This is a technique which I learned from my mother who refers to it as 'knitting'. The technique does not actually use normal knitting needles, not does it use a conventional crochet hook, but a differently shaped, wooden one she calls a 'pen'.

I've written this tutorial on request of many avid knitters and crocheters on BurdaStyle and elsewhere who want to learn this variation. A lively debate on the technique and its origins can be found on (search for 'Dutch Knitting Pen') where it was established that the technique is probably neither Dutch nor knitting.

In honour of my mum I am going to be following our family tradition and continue to call this knitting in this tutorial. If you are a purist, look away now! For those less fussed about terminology, enjoy this tutorial, and do send me (links to) pictures of your projects if you take this up - my mum will be absolutely delighted!

Technique Materials

Piece of wood, 3mm thick, measuring approx 15cm by 4 to make the pen
fine sand paper
nail file


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    Sep 2, 2010, 01.03 AMby loui46

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! :) I crochet every day and have never seen this before and would like to try it , just for something different. Ciao Luana

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    Jul 5, 2010, 06.09 AMby randidrew

    This was really interesting! I have never heard of this before! Maybe I will try it sometime! :D

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    Jun 16, 2010, 02.59 AMby nehmah

    Due to an inborn (and age-related) inability to handle sharp objects w/o bleeding on the wood, I wonder if you know of an artisan who sells these pens. Strictly for the granddaughters, you understand. I thought you might ;) Cordially, Nehmah

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    Jun 6, 2010, 03.10 PMby goggs

    You did a great job with this tutorial. THANK YOU!!! It seems to me this can be done with “regular” hook, I’ll try it!

    1 Reply
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      Jun 6, 2010, 05.56 PMby flosiepoos

      Thanks for the compliment! It can be done with a regular hook. It is called slip stitch crochet when you use a regular hook, and the technique is a little different. The work looks different however, it’s to do with the angle at which the loops are formed.

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    May 8, 2010, 03.30 PMby flosiepoos

    thank you for your kind comment, Sheree! It’s such a pleasure to hear back from people. And perhaps you’ll pick up the needles and hooks again sometime, who knows…

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    May 4, 2010, 11.44 AMby shereesews

    I don’t knit or crochet anymore, but this tutorial is extremely interesting. It’s nice to come across fresh notions and ideas! Thanks

    • This is a question
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