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Hand-Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters

Up-Cycled Claw Weights

Some of the claw weights in my stash date back decades and I have straightened teeth until I felt an Orthodontist! Recently I decided to “remodel” some of the really mangled claws into something useful.

As most of you know, I do a lot of hand-manipulated stitches and right now I am nearing the end (YEA!!!!) of my fourth book. The trickiest places to tension are under working needles when most of the stitches are in holding position. Claw weights are often to wide to position under the working needles – and weights on the stitches that are  in holding position are worthless.

So many of the things I do require tensioning just a few stitches and I often just pinch individual stitches with my fingers to keep them down. Sometimes I use a transfer tool, poked through the fabric, to tug down on the stitches.

Both of these options demand one of my two hands, which can be limiting when it comes to the actual manipulations. I thought to myself  “A narrow weight would be a nice thing to have.”

They used to make some 2-toothed claw weights that were perfect for tight spots like that. They may still be made and available, for all I know, but I didn’t have time for a shopping trip, real or virtual.

I looked through my weights, found a couple on their last legs (er, teeth) and brought them down to the workbench in the cellar where I attacked them with some metal shears. I clipped off the upper corners and the mangled teeth they held. Then I used a metal file to smooth the sharp edges, followed by some emery cloth to make sure they were smooth and safe to use. After all, I don’t want to cut myself or the yarn! The end result is some perfect, narrow 2-toothed claw weights and I am feeling pretty smug right now that I was able to savage and up-cycle those old claws. Maybe now I will go shopping!





  1. Colleen on November 14, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks for the idea. I also liked the fact that you used emery cloth to smooth out the sharp edges. The up-scaled claw weights look very good and useful.

    • Susan Guagliumi on November 14, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Definitely need a final smoothing with the emery cloth – that metal is sharp!

  2. Angelika on November 14, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    You are such a renaissance woman! So handy, even in the workshop. ;))

  3. Karen on November 14, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Nice job!

    • Susan Guagliumi on November 14, 2017 at 8:24 pm


  4. Deb on November 14, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    When I acquired my new to me knitting machine in the box of accessories I found some fishing lure weights called bell sinkers with paper clips partially straightened out but leaving hooks on both ends. I filed them away not knowing what there use was, but now I’m guessing these would work in much the same way.
    Of note as well the weights that came with my Elna knitting machine are two claw weights. So if your looking to buy look for Toyota or Elna weights.

    • Susan Guagliumi on November 14, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Yes – the little fishing weights will work the same way. I doubt that you will find Elna or Toyota claw weights at this point as both companies stopped manufacturing around 190. Silver Reed still makes claws and there are lots of them available on eBay and through machine knit dealers.

    • Matthew on November 15, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Just make sure your fishing weights are painted or coated in some way. They are probably lead and you don’t want to get that on your hands where it might get transferred elsewhere. A quick dip in a can/jar of paint should take care of them. I have some painted ones that came with some older generation of Bond machine.

      • Susan Guagliumi on November 15, 2017 at 11:05 am

        There is a rubbery dip sold for tool handles that works just fine.

  5. Diane C Turner on November 18, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Or paint them with some nail polish, clear or other wise.

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