How to do French knitting

Learn how to create knitted cord, from the very first issue of Prima

French knitting doll

Most of us remember French knitting from childhood. It's also called spool knitting and it is still a useful form of knitting.

You can buy commercial French knitting dolls (like this one, left, from Amazon), or make your own.

If you're lucky enough to find wooden cotton reels, just hammer in four nails. But the larger plastic ones will, we've found, take nails too.

You can also use a hollowed cork or drill a hole in a piece of wood; the bigger the centre hole, the thicker the finished cord.

Begin by threading the end of the yarn through the centre hole.









Twist the yarn round each nail as shown in the diagram. Pull yarn taut.










Take the yarn round the outside of the next nail, pick up the loop with a crochet hook or blunt needle, and lift over the nail. Repeat, working round the nails in a clockwise direction, until the cord starts to appear through the bottom of the hole.










To cast off, lift each stitch over the next nail until one stitch remains. Cut the yarn, draw it through the last stitch and pull tight. Darn ends of knitting into the centre of the knitted cord.








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Read the rest of Prima's first issue

Get more knitting advice here

Learn a new craft: see all of our beginners' guides

See all of our free knitting patterns

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