Signature Needles

Signature Needles are precision instruments for knitting.

Size 5 fixed circulars, Signature Needles with qivuit yarn.

Fixed circular Signature Needles and Arctic Qivuit yarn, Arctic Dreams colorway.

The idea for the company was sparked by Cathryn Bothe, a knitter who also happens to be the president of Bothe Associates Inc., a family-owned manufacturer of metal components in Wisconsin. She relates her story: “One night, when struggling with a fuzzy yarn, I said out loud, ‘Why can’t I have needles with a better point?’ From across the room my husband, Kent, replied, ‘You can, just take them to work.'”

And so, Signature Needle Arts, a company, was born in 2007.

Each needle is constructed from aircraft-quality aluminum, with points that are precision turned and hand polished. Needle colors are size specific and custom options include length, tip style and size.

Having worked on high-performance aircraft used in rescue missions, the value of precision machining is revealed over time and under stress. Progress on creating a laceweight neck cowl proved sheer frustration until switching over to the purring perfection of Signature’s stiletto points (also available in blunt and “middy” versions). Arctic Qiviut Winter Dream, a hand-painted luxury yarn that blends the soft undercoat of muskox with silk and cashmere – is a gossamer confection that proved a challenge to knit. But not anymore.

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in 2011; Signature Needles in 2017 is celebrating its 10th year in business and has added product lines. Arctic Qivuit yarns range from $198 (pure), $149 or $128 (blend) for two ounces; $98 for sockweight, available through Bijou Basin Ranch online store and sometimes an Etsy store. Also available in select retail shops.