Knitting Needle Boxes with Gauges

I have 14 knitting needle boxes with holes, or slots, for measuring needles. The six above are the oldest. Four of them are definitely bakelite; the others could be slightly later and made of a different plastic.

Underneath they say Bex Made in England. The sizes are from 00 to 16. There is a 12″ ruler on the top.

These two are exactly alike except that one is in its original box. The label, which has fallen off the cardboard box, says No 105 Green Knitting Needle Box Made in England One only

These were also made by Bex. They are narrower and shallower than the bakelite boxes above. Judging from the plastic I think these are later but there are some anomalies with that theory. Generally, over the years, people started to use thicker yarns and the smaller sizes disappeared from gauges. (Higher numbers are smaller sizes). These boxes start at size 1 whereas all the other boxes start at 00. This could imply that they are older.

There are slits, not holes, for measuring the needles. The top has a 12″ ruler.

These are definitely more recent than all the boxes above.

  • Light blue: Made by Bex. Similar in size to the bakelite boxes, but longer. It has a 16″ ruler. The slits are similar to the smaller Bex boxes and measure from 00 to 16.
  • Red: No name. Much softer plastic. Hole sizes from 3 to 14. Two rulers – 12″ and 30 centimetres.
  • Blue: Continental Plastics Pty Ltd Melbourne Australia. Rigid, but thin, plastic. 12″ ruler. Sizes 00 to 16.
  • The other two boxes are alike except for a slight difference in the colour

One box has its original cardboard sleeve. It has a lot of information but no maker’s name.

Knitting Needle Case. Compartments for 7, 9, 10, 12 & 14 inch needles.
A strong rigid case with specially moulded internal compartments to ensure that needles from 7 to 14″ are always at your fingertips. A useful needle gauge and embossed metric and imperial rules make it the ideal knitter’s companion.

The ruler is 10″ and the holes are from 000 to 14.

This is where the boxes usually live.


  1. Frankie Brown says:

    Another interesting post Pat. I like those three thinner ones in pastel shades; I haven’t seen any like that before. I thought I had quite a good collection of knitting tools but you beat me hands down!

  2. Ann CURRAN says:

    Any idea how old the boxes are? Just found one of my mums, identical to the cream one.. Can’t across it whilst hunting for old knitting patterns.. I’m in love with it…

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