I used this for knitting the seed stitch alphabet or for
other seed stitch patterns where the sequence was not always k1, p1. The spacing
between every needle is not as exact as it is between every other needle because
the narrow channels take up just a bit of extra room. Since you don't want
to latch up two stitches next to one another anyway, it doesn't seem to make
too much difference.
A tool like this could also be made from wood or maybe matboard by cutting
strips to be used for needle channels and making some type of a wedge that could
be fastened to keep the needles in either working or nonworking position.