DIY French Knitter {Iron Craft Challenge}

french knitting tube

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I’m a day late on Iron Craft this time around because I got so caught up in my book coming out that I couldn’t think about anything else for a few days.

The challenge was to craft something having to do with France, and since I’m not a Francophile at all, I had trouble coming up with something.

A slate for a cheese tasting? Nah, that’s not really crafting. Something with a bicycle? Maybe.

Then I remembered French knitters. Also known as spool knitters or knitting Nancys, it’s basically a tube with some pegs on it that allows you to make a cord that looks like knitting. make a french knitter

It’s often a gateway tool used before kids are old enough to learn how to knit, but it’s really kind of fun for all ages.

So I made myself a DIY French knitter out of stuff I found in the playroom. I took it for a spin and will have to leave it out for the Bit and see if she’s ready to give it a try.

What You’ll Need

  • a cardboard tube about 4 inches long (use a toilet paper tube, or cut down a paper towel tube or a foil/cling wrap tube)
  • four popsicle sticks (I used the bigger ones that are more like tongue depressors because that’s what I found first, but either size is fine)
  • tape (you could use masking tape, painter’s tape or colorful Duck Tape, like I did; this stuff happened to be a freebie from BlissDom)
  • optional: glue dots, roll-on adhesive or glue stick
  • yarn
  • crochet hook

What You’ll Dofrench knitter diy

  1. Use adhesive to attach the sticks to the sides of the tube, evenly spaced and with roughly 2 inches of stick sticking out above the tube (you could also just hold them while you tape them in place if you don’t have any adhesive handy). make a french knitter
  2. Reinforce with tape. I covered the whole tube to make it pretty and secure. knitting with a french knitter
  3. To knit, thread your yarn down through the center of the tube.getting started french knitter
  4. Then wrap the yarn around each stick, going counter-clockwise. ready to knit french knitter
  5. Take the yarn around the whole tube again, keeping the yarn above the wraps.

    crochet hook french knitting
    You don’t really even need the hook of the crochet hook, so use a knitting needle, or anything else you have on hand.
  6. Using a crochet hook or your fingers, lift the wrap up and over the yarn and the end of the stick. Repeat for all four.

    french knitting
    As you go, the knitting will appear through the center of the tube.
  7. Wrap the yarn around the top again and continue in this manner, pulling on the tail of yarn in the middle of the tube every round or so to tighten the knitting up. Keep going as long as you like. finishing french knitting
  8. To finish, cut your yarn, leaving a tail of about 6 inches. Slip the loops off the sticks and thread the yarn end through each. Pull tight to close the end of the tube.

Easy, right?

french knitting tube
My finished tube of French/spool knitting.

I worked on this for maybe half an hour, perhaps less, and came out with a bulky tube 15 inches long (that yarn, by the way, is Lion Brand Baby’s First). It’s just about the perfect length for a simple little headband for the Bit. Or a necklace. Or whatever.

This was a lot of fun and its so super simple to make. I may just have to make a whole bunch of cord. Maybe a giant knit rug is in my future?

Check out more French inspirations at Just Crafty Enough.

This post is shared at Whatever Goes Wednesday on Someday Crafts and the Lil Luna Link Party. Check them out for lots more crafty goodness.

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  1. I have such ridiculous stash. I’ve been working on a strip blanket all year and though it’s going to be huge (6×6 or so) I still feel like I have more yarn to use. 😉

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