I would love to introduce to a wonderful way to make a gift for someone who knits.
Contact this company and check out all the wonderful woods he has for purchase. The company is called Dowelsondemand = web site - (click here) He does not ship the quickest but always comes through if you are in a pinch. I am also not sure how small an order he will take, I use to order 40 dowels at a time but you can always check.
I have uses Bloodwood (red) , Bacote, Zebrawood, Black walnut. You want a harder wood rather than a soft wood (like Osage Orange) because it will bend and warp less. He lists only to 1/4" diameter but will shave it down to 3/16" if you email him and ask.
Once you have the dowels you also need :
beeswax (I used moulding beeswax)
beads - a mixture of wood and metal make it fancy
(with holes the same width as the diameter of the dowel)
sandpaper the tip to a blunt point
Make sure you rotate the stick as you sand. Angle the dowel almost parallel to the table as you sand so that you get about 3/8ths to 1/2 inches sanded. Put pressure on the tip as you sand away the wood. Use grit 120 to start & then switch to 220. Then use a fine grain of 400 grit sandpaper lightly to sand the entire dowel. Wipe off the dowel with a soft cloth to get rid of all the sawdust.
The apply the warm (by holding it in your hand to soften it a bit) beeswax up and down the dowel. Not too much as you then buff it off again with the soft cloth. Re-sand if your cloth catches on any parts, re-wax & buff.
When all the wax is buffed off with the soft cloth
Glue on the end beads. Make sure you have a glue that will handle what ever type of bead you have - dont expect wood glue to glue on a glass bead and keep. I used a all-purpose permanent adhesive, even though the fumes are horrible when wet. Make sure to crack a window if you use something like that.
There you have it. I teach 6 year olds to do this and they accomplish it quite well and then fell like they have made a beautiful gift worthy gift.