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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Wool on Sundays...

Joining Janine over at the Rainbow Hare Blog in Wool on Sunday. This week Janine's post featured a beautiful crocheted purse and a very interesting video featuring Magda Sayeg who started the Yarn Bombing 'çraze'. Like me, Janine enjoys the whimsy of yarn bombing but is torn by the fact that the yarn could be used to make items to keep people warm. (And my K4BN friends and I get a mention in this blog post! Thank you Janine!)
 Now what am I going to write about this week? In a recent post, I wrote about a local yarn shop Knitch, which was closing down. At our last Knit and Natter there, I did a bit of shopping. (As you do!)
One item I bought was this...
A modern day version of French Knitting! (It's very swish; you just turn a little handle and rounds are done in no time)
Oh what memories come flooding back, even when I just type the words 'French Knitting'!  I 'discovered' French Knitting when I was at primary school. And I found it so much fun. 

Remember the 4 tacks in the wooden cotton reel?

This one actually belonged to my first husband and somehow it was still in my craft 'stuff'. ( his mum would have packed it with all his belongings when he moved to Queensland to get married) It would have originally been used in the late 1950s...the little nails are a little rusty.

Some fellow students in my class had beautifully painted ' knitting Nancys' instead of the cotton reels, but most of us had the latter.  ( a quick Google shows there are many names for these spools)
Years later as a teacher myself, I bought a number of the modern day mass produced knitting Nancys for my class to use.
So yet another generation was being introduced to this addictive craft. 😃 .
As well as using the Knitting Nancys with my class we also experimented with making spools with cardboard tubes with paddle pop sticks taped to the top, and even fruit juice tins with either 3 inch nails or paddle pop sticks taped to the top rim.

When researching for background for this post, I found an interesting site here which is all about the history of French Knitting or Spool Knitting as it is also called.
If you have memories of French knitting you may also remember the age old problem of this craft which was finding a use for the long cords that were made. I remember my mother showing me how to stitch the cord into a coiled mat for under the teapot as it sat on the table. But often the quite long lengths of cord just languished in cupboards/drawers/boxes etc.
But then, we didn't have Pinterest in those former times did we? I had a great time checking out the ideas for how to use the French Knitting cord here. So many wonderful ideas; good job I bought that swish new spool!


Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

I remember these so well! I had a french knitting lady with a red dress who I thought looked like a queen in a deck of cards! I've just thoroughly enjoyed your links. Nowadays, for a four - six stitch version I find knitting icord on two dpns much quicker but I'm fascinated by the multi-stitch versions. My dad once told me my Granny had one and she used it to knit their socks but I didn't know anyone still made them. Thank you very much for linking up this post with Wool on Sundays :)

Vireya said...

That brought back a lot of memories! I had the wooden cotton reel version, then a "bought" one later.

margaret said...

I am sure we all had the wooden cotton reel with the nails and yes long cords that we never did anything with, your latest version looks a good idea happy knitting with it

Denice Barker said...

I bought two French knitters in the past couple of years and have used them to teach my granddaughters but for myself I've been using one of them to work a 'rope' that I plan to use to mark off the pews in church when I hold a quilt exhibit in a few weeks. (So much prettier than yellow caution tape!!!!)I've used it for garland on the Christmas tree but have a long way to go to get the rope long enough for the entire church! It goes fast and is comforting to do while riding in the car. Thanks for the memories!

Jackie said...

I love French Knitting, though I was brought up calling it Corking. This is how I am making my rather large throw rug.

God bless.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

HI Maria
I have seen these tools. I also have never heard of French Knitting. Even after looking at your Pinterest link, I still don't see me doing this craft, though I do think it's a cool thing for kids to do.

I am of that thought that items must be useful. I think it's my right brain fighting my left brain. Yup, for sure.

But what will you do with your cords? I'll wait to see!
xx, Carol

angela said...

I might have to check it out on Pinterest. Might surface after that in a day or two lol thanks for the link

Kim said...

Thank you for the link to Pinterest re all things French is wonderful. I have many happy memories of French Knitting. From the nails in the cotton spool, to the toilet roll holder with the paddle pop sticks, to the pretty wooden "Nancy". BUT....I too cannot remember what ever became of my length upon length of tubes of woolly goodness.