French knitting is a simple way of introducing children to the idea of knitting. It is very safe as it does not require the use of knitting needles and is easier for children's small hands than manipulating conventional needles. It produces a long knitted rope which can be coiled and sewn into mats, used as a belt or curled into letters and sewn onto cushions. Try curling a long string of French knitting into a simple flower shape and gluing or sewing onto a pajama case.
Items you will need
- 3-inch length of curtain rod or broom handle
- Drill and quarter-inch drill bit
- Four small nails
- Tape measure
- Ball of yarn
- Crochet hook
Make the knitting dolly. Sand off both ends of the curtain rod to remove any splinters, then drill a hole through middle of the rod from one end to the other. Knock the four nails into one end around the drill hole. Use a tape measure to make sure that the nails are all equidistant and leave about half an inch protruding.
Take the end of the yarn and push it through the hole in the top of the dolly until it hangs out of the bottom by about 4 inches. Wind the main piece of yarn loosely twice counterclockwise round one of the nails.
Use a crochet hook to hook the lower loop over the top loop and let it drop off the back of the nail. Turn the dolly counterclockwise towards you so that there is a new nail nearest you. Take the main yarn and wrap it twice counterclockwise round the new nail. Hook the bottom loop over the top loop, and repeat the process for the third nail. Twist the dolly so that the fourth nail faces you.
Loop the yarn only once counterclockwise around the fourth nail. Pick up the loop and drop it off the top of the nail with the crochet hook. Continue to twist the dolly and wind the yarn around the nails and lift off the bottom loop as before but continuing to make one loop only. The finished string of knitting will eventually appear out of the bottom of the dolly.
Cast the knitting off when it is the desired length. Cut the yarn about 4 inches from the nails and tuck the end through each of the four loops on the nails. Pull taut, then cut the end off short.
Tips & Warnings
- Commercial knitting dollies are available on line and from craft shops. These are often painted to look like animals or dolls and are easier for children to hold.
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