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Needle Profile:
Swallow Casein Single-Pointed Needles

Swallow Casein Needles
Close-up of Swallow Casein Needles


Swallow Needle Mfg. Co.




There's a lot of buzz surrounding these needles because they're made from a milk protein called "casein."

Some knitters report losing their Swallows to hungry pets, but my cat has yet to show any interest in these needles as dietary supplements.

Swallows are available both in a traditional tortoise-shell color and a fun assortment of bright pearlescent colors.

The needles are smooth, warm to the touch, and highly flexible. They have a short taper and medium-sized tip.

Available Sizes

Needles marked in metric sizes only.

mm 2.75, 3, 3.25, 3.75, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5

mm 2.75, 3, 3.25, 3.75, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5

mm 3.25, 3.75, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 9, 10

Average retail price


Made in


Review date

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Reader Comments

"I love the Swallow casien needles! I'm a beginning knitter and an older person who's beginning to have arthritis in her hands - these needles are great. They flex, and they are warm (and yes they do taste terrible!). They are a bit slower than the metal varieties which is good for a beginner, and good for patterns which require more control. Also, I like the tortoise shell look as I'm in a medeival recreation group and so I like the "period" look." fionna, 4/16/02

"I adore these needles, as my hands & every other part of my body are & is arthritic. I have been knitting for 55 years, & am still learning. I finally retired, & fell in love with "Family Circle Knitting". I began to purchase back issues on Ebay. I came across an article on knitting needles-which enlightened me to the fact that there are differences in needles. I was skeptical, but purchasrd two pair of Swallow Cassein. They are marvelous!! I am going to purchase a few pair of Bryspun, also. Now, if I can only stay away from the computer, I may be able to get back to my knitting. My Favorites List is so long, that I could knit a sweater with it!! I adore this site-Thanks for being there!" patti, 11/15/01

"I own four sets of casien double pointed needles, and I love them. They are flexible, which I find helps when doing a small project on 4 or 5 needles. Best of all, they warm up from the heat in your hands, which helps to keep your fingers from becoming stiff or tired. The only drawback I have found is that, if you tend to hold a needle in your mouth on occasion, these taste awful! Of course, they could also break you of that habit pretty quickly." tricia, 7/2/01

"I'd like to know why the people who make the Swallow casein needles can't or won't make circulars as well as straights and dpns. It can be done -- Boye did it for years with the balene needles, which are my absolute favorites and which I buy anytime I can find them." dannye, 4/18/2001

"I would love to hear from knitters who have used casein needles. They are not available here in Israel, but would possibly order them if I could hear some first hand comments from fellow knitters." kesam, 4/12/01

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