French Knitting

Last Winter I did a lot of knitting. This year I am working on my ripple blanket which is a crochet project. But I’ve been thinking of teaching my 7 year old French knitting. I remember learning to as a child and it is easier than either knitting or crochet I think. I had a Knitting Nancy similar to this one. (Thanks for the photo B)

But I’ve always wondered what you’d make with the resulting chain of knitting? I don’t remember what I made with them. So I’ve spent some time searching the net and found some pretty and useful things to make. This first one is the nicest I think – I’d wear this. But the photo is copyrighted so you will have to click through to see it over here. The rest are clickable photos hat will take you to the sites where I found them.

knitted braid necklace Etsy

So what do you think? Have you done French knitting? What did you make?

Do you think its a good choice for my 7 year old?

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  1. says

    Oh, I’ve been so wanting to by a Knitting Nancy (or make one from a cotton reel) for my nearly 7 yo daughter too. I can remember when I was that age that was the first craft involving yarn and I loved it. I don’t know that I actually made anything but loved seeing the yarn being transformed into something. I must get onto it. I love those hairbands. They’d be perfect.

    Thanks for giving me a reminder!

  2. says

    Love french knitting and I also used to make lots when I was a kid. I remember making a pot holder by spiralling the long ‘snake’ into a circle and stitching it all together. All my children have learnt french knitting, so if a 5 year old can do it, of course your 7 year old will be able to! I have the spools from spotlight which have a feeder for the yarn which seem to work well for the kids, although they have more pegs to go around so the ‘snake’ doesn’t grow as fast. Mind you, you can stuff the fatter ‘snakes’ and make them into snakes and other animals which the kids have had fun with! I think you can also make scrunchies with them by threading elastic through the tube when the ‘snake’ is finished but I haven’t had a go at this yet.

  3. Michelle says

    French knitting is great, but I believe that if your seven year old has the dexterity and attention span to handle that craft, she is certainly old enough to learn to knit for real. Maybe she can use the cord from her french knitting as the ‘yarn’ she learns to knit with. Children reap plenty of benefits from learning to knit at a young age.

    • says

      I had originally been going to teach her knitting, but she had a go and just got frustrated. So I thought we’d try something easier first and build her confidence. Using the cord is a good idea, though. Thanks!

  4. says

    Great photo ;0)

    I think Miss 7 will love it!

    I am doing three long strands of French Knitting in a lovely raspberry red, plaiting them together then stitching on a crocheted flower here and there… I think it will look darling – perhaps I could send you a photo of that when it is done – if ever it is finished….

  5. says

    Just a suggestion: try a search for “finger knitting”; she may like that better as the results are not so slow.

    I love that scarf – it’s unusual but fun.

  6. Jessica Nichols says

    I learned to knit on a spool when I was a child (strangely enough, the spool came as a souvenir from my German grandmother, and we never knew of it as French knitting). I think it’s a great way to introduce your daughter to the idea of pulling loops through each other to create something. It was certainly easier to learn than actual knitting (I tried both at that age). However, I got bored of it fairly quickly when I realized all I could make was a long tube. I wouldn’t be surprised if you need to move your daughter on to real knitting soon.

  7. says

    My 8 year old has just been taught this at school using a toilet roll holder and paddle pop sticks held on with a rubber band!!!! When I tried to teach her using a ‘proper’ knitting nancy like in the photo above she was quickly frustrated [she was also 6 – could have something to do with it?]. The entire class are busy working on their ‘snakes’ and are going to coil them into a large floor mat, which will be stitched together by hand. I thought it was a great use for the cord. All I used to do with them when I was a girl was use them as hair ties.

  8. ali says

    Many thanks for featuring my daisy in your French Knitting post. I keep mine in the car for when I have to wait to pick up my son at various sporting venues. It is something you can pick up and put down. Love your blog, Ali

  9. Izzy says

    I just turned 14 and my Gran taught me to French knit when i was younger… I can’t remember exactly how old, and then I used to sit and do it with my friends. A really cool thing to do is to use a piece of fine coloured wire instead of wool, and you can make a really pretty necklace if you thread beads onto it as well. This can be a little more tricky as the wire isn’t so forgiving and stays in slightly lumpy loops if you aren’t careful. I think the scarf is really cool and the little headbands are a really cute idea. I’m sure your little girl will enjoy it!

  10. Maddison says

    Hi my names Maddi and im 12 my nanna and aunty taught me how to french knit and have been hooked ever since its really fun and i have made lots of things i have made a headband that goes all the way aroung your head and the wool stretches quite a bit so its justlike wearing an elastic headband and my nanna croquets flowers so i stiched on a large flower it looks really cool and stylish i also made a braclet out of rainbow wool and i also made a braclet with a flower stiched on i am on to making little coasters now i really enjoy french knitting and thanks for some more ideas

  11. Meredith Brown says

    HI from New Zealand, I have made a long tube of french knitting and want to make it into a floor mat BUT it keeps on turning up, any ideas on how to keep it flat, I had the idea that I would back it with a fabric,

    Kind Regards

    Meredith Brown

    • says

      Hi Meredith,
      I haven’t tried this but it seems like it should work, doesn’t it? I wonder whether it is rolling up because it is twisted, or maybe the stitching holding it into a coil is too tight? I wonder too whether it would flatten out again as it got bigger – just as a crochet blanket can curl for the first few rows and then flatten out as you crochet more and more rows onto it? The backing fabric sounds like a good idea – perhaps if you attached it to the backing as you coiled and stitched it that would keep it flat?
      So I don’t have an answer but perhaps those ideas will help. I’m also going to share your question over on my Facebook page and Twitter and see if anyone has any more suggestions.

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