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Sushi Knitting Needles

Denise Cozzitorto crafts a pair of polymer clay sushi knitting needles.

Project by Denise Cozzitorto.

Denise Cozzitorto, of Orangevale, Calif., is young, hip and loves to try out playful projects. She learned to sew from her mom and taught herself some D-I-Y techniques. When Cozzitorto loves something, she finds a clever way to incorporate it into her work. Two examples–a sushi inspired knitting set and a stuffed creature molded after her pet cat, Flash.

Materials and Tools:

12" wood dowels (approximate diameter of a pencil)
pencil sharpener
medium-grit and extra-fine grit-sandpaper
light green acrylic paint
gel medium-glossy
foam brush
empty egg carton to hold dowel rods while painting and drying
polymer clay: white, translucent, green, red, yellow, black
acrylic roller
polymer clay cutting blade
needle tool
oven for baking clay
cotton fabric
fusible interfacing
sewing machine
iron and ironing board
cement glue
jewelry wire
4 jump rings
aluminum foil


1. Condition one package of translucent clay with hands until soft. Roll an approximate 3/4-inch diameter cylinder with your fingers (figure A).

2. Condition one package of white clay, roll it out flat using an acrylic rod and wrap it around the translucent clay cylinder (figure B).

3. Roll the white and translucent clay into a long snake about 1/8 inch in diameter using your fingers. Cut into 12 equal sections (figure C). This makes the rice part of the sushi roll.

4. Condition the red, yellow and green clays, mixing with a little white clay. Roll colored clay into 1/8 inch diameter snakes using your fingers and cut to the same length as the white clay snakes.

5. Position the colored clay snakes in the center and surround them with white clay snakes. Roll to compress the snakes together and squeeze out any air pockets (figure D).

6. Condition black clay, roll it out flat using an acrylic roller and wrap around the colored clay roll.

7. Compress the entire sushi clay roll so it bonds together. Cut the ends to even.

8. Put the clay in the fridge for about 10 minutes to cool.

9. Cut the sushi roll into two equal circles about a half-inch thick using a polymer clay blade (figure E).

10. Make a hole with a clay needle tool in the center where the dowel rod will attach (figure F).

11. Reduce the remaining sushi roll down into a smaller roll. Place this in the fridge for another 10 minutes.

12. Cut the smaller roll into four equal circles for the stitch markers and poke a hole in the top for the wire findings. Cut wires about an inch long, make a loop at one end using pliers and stick the other end into the top of each clay circle. Remove the wires before baking (figure G).

13. Once the sushi rolls are cut, bake them in a 250-degree oven wrapped in aluminum foil packet (shaped like a taco). The larger rolls bake for about 30 minutes and the smaller rolls for about 10 minutes.

14. Sharpen one end of each dowel in a pencil sharpener to make a nice even point (figure H).

15. Sand the dowels with a medium-grit sandpaper to make them as smooth as possible.

16. Place the ends of the dowels into an empty egg carton and paint with acrylic paint. Let dry. Turn over and paint the other ends (figure I). Let dry.

17. Sand the dowels with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out and add a second coat of paint.

18. Glue the sushi rolls to the knitting needles.

19. Attach wire to the stitch markers using cement adhesive.

20. Paint on clear gel medium to the needles and markers.

21. For the needle cozy:

  • Cut 10-1/2" x 36 piece of fabric and interfacing
  • Cut a small 5-1/2" x 4" fabric pocket
  • Cut ribbon ties

22. Iron the fusible interfacing to the fabric and turn over all edges 1/4 inch, pressing them down.

23. Fold fabric in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Stitch.

24. Fold bottom end up to about six inches from the top. Position ribbons along the long sides about halfway down. Stitch around three sides leaving the top edge open (figure J).

25. Pin the pocket at the bottom. Sew Velcro on the inside of the pocket fabric and outside of the holder. Pin and sew on pocket at the bottom (figure K).

26. Place the sushi knitting needles into the case and stitch markers in the pocket, tie closed (figure L).


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