There are countless amounts of vintage plastic knitting needles for sale on Ebay, in a huge array of colours and sizes - and they're lovely! Unfortunately, though, it seems that a lot of people erroneously list them as being made from Bakelite. They're most likely not made of Bakelite at all.
Vintage plastic knitting needles are 99.9% of the time made from Casein. Casein is strong yet flexible - essential especially in smaller, double-pointed needles. Bakelite, on the other hand, is rigid and brittle at such narrow gauges, and chips/breaks like porcelain. It's also heavy, which would make it unweildy at thicker gauges. Not much use as a material to make knitting needles from!
So just a word of warning. If you're looking for collectable Bakelite knitting paraphernalia, needles won't be something you'll find, even if they're listed as such. There are, however, some beautiful Bakelite wool and needle holders that pop up for sale on Ebay quite often, so don't give up hope ;-)
Bakelite knitting needles?
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17 October 2007
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