Monday, 7 April 2014

Do you remember French Knitting?

Can anyone remember hammering nails into a wooden cotton reel to do some French Knitting when they were young? I didn't realise until recently that wooden reels are considered to be 'vintage' and then noticed that the ones in the shops now are made out of plastic. I thought my grandchildren might like to try french knitting so bought a spool and took it up north with me when I visited them recently.

I bought one for for the girls for under $5 from Spotlight which was similar to....

....this one on ebay. 

Once I worked out how to use it I found it quite therapeutic and really got into the swing of it after a while.  I did try to show Miss Five how to use it but it was a tad too big for her hands to hold comfortably so Nanna took over and before I knew it the knitting was about a metre long. 


I was going to ask my daughter to keep knitting after I had left but, before I left for the airport, I was showing Miss Five how to curl it around to eventually make a coaster and went to my room to find my camera to take a photo and when I returned she had pulled the knitting off the spool :-( Never mind! 

When I got home I remembered that I had bought a Clover knitting spool many years ago at a Stitches and Craft Show in Brisbane as a demonstrator used one to make a necklace with wire and small beads and I was quite keen on beading then and bought one. I eventually unearthed it as I was keen to start up a french knitting project but wasn't sure what to make. So what do you do when you want some fresh check out Pinterest of course!

A search for 'french knitting' gave me some interesting ideas like these flowers which would look great on a Christmas tree. 

i-cord flower tutorial

There is a tutorial on this site on how to make this 'i-cord flower'. I don't know why it is called an i-cord!

This method uses crochet cotton and incorporates beads as well. It is quite pretty.... is this necklace.

 I could always make some bracelets for the girls....

French knit necklace and earrings 

....or make myself or a friend a necklace....

picture of pattern 022 'Spirals' french knitted bag by Debbie Tomkies of DT Craft and Design 

....but although it is very cute I don't think I would have the patience to make this bag.

So there are a few ideas to give me inspiration. Did you do french knitting as a child or even as an adult and, if so, what did you end up making with it? I would love to know.



  1. Hi Nanna Chel,
    Not like I need any more projects but that does look interesting. I never did it as a child (at least not that I remember) but I do remember seeing them about.
    Sounds like you all had a lot of fun!

  2. Headbands! One in every color that my mother had leftover yarn in, this was about the time that I was growing out my 'Cher' bangs and trying (never succeeding) to have that hippy - flower child parted in the middle hair. I had totally forgotten - thanks for the memory jogger! These look prettier and more fun to work with than the old homemade ones!

  3. Hi! I have made Christmas decorations, a Humpty Dumpty, and a chook pincushion. Never did this as a child but I have fun with it now. You can find me on - - I am a fellow Aussie from Victoria and currently head the worldwide group Yahoo Spoolknitting Group ... maybe I will see you there! By the way, I also collect them! .... cheers, Marian/Maz


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