Big Boy's Knitting Stick


Introduction: Big Boy's Knitting Stick

About: The answer is lasers, now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Find me on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX

#2 son did an Instructable, so #1 son had to as well. Being older, he had to go one better, so power tools were involved.

#2 son wanted to learn "french knitting", but the equipment available was a bit too girly. "That's alright", we said, "we can make a boys french knitting tool.

Step 1: Materials and Equipment

We needed a lump of wood, some staples (the hammer-in kind), a saw, a drill, a rotary tool and a hammer.

To make sure it ends up as a boy's knitting tool, we used a section of branch that blew off a tree on the common last night.

Step 2: Cut the Wood and Drill the Hole.

The knitting tool can only be as long as the hole we can drill, so we cut a lump off the branch a little shorter than the drill-bit. We then trimmed off the ragged bits of bark at the end of the section.

When we had our section of branch, we used a narrow bit to drill a pilot hole, then went straight through the lump with the widest twist-bit we had.

We then used the rotary tool to round off the edges of the hole to prevent the wool snagging.

Step 3: Staples

The staples are vital to the knitting operation - we hammered in four of the smoothest, shiniest staples we could.

Remember two things to stop the wool sliding off the staples:

  • Most hammer-in staples have points that are not parallel - use pliers to squeeze the points closer together before you hammer them in.
  • The tops of the staples should lean outwards slightly.

Step 4: So What on Earth Is French Knitting, Anyway?

French knitting is a way of turning wool into thicker, decorative cords.

Tie a small loop in your wool, several centimetres from the end. Thread the loose end through the knitting stick, and put the loop over one of the staples. Twist the wool around the rest of the staples, looping it backwards around each staple. That's confusing, isn't it? Look at the photos for a better idea.

After you've been around the staples once, go round again to make another set of loops above the first.

Using a proddy thing of some description (my wife recommends a crochet hook, but #2 son prefers the special wooden needle I made fir him), lift the first row of loops up off the staples, over the top of the second row that stay on the staples. Gently tug the tail of wool that you threaded through the stick.

As you continue adding rows of loops and lifting the lower loops over the upper loops, the strand of cord gets longer and longer out of the bottom of the knitting stick. When the cord is as long as you want it, snip off the wool, thread it through the last loops on the staples and tie a knot.



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    Five staple/pegs/tabs creates a very attractive cord. Any number over 1 will work but the more you use the more it becomes a tube not a cord.

    And I use my cord to knit or crochet on large tools. And for jewelry.

    here is a video of how you use a knitter

    you got my vote!!!

    1 reply

    Thank you, for both!

    Thank you.

    What's the finished product look like? Is there a limit on the number of staples? I see the commercial one has two staples, and yours has four. Does it have to be an even number?

    2 replies

    The only limit to the number of staples/nails is the space in which to nail them and the size of the hole in the middle. The hole needs to be big enough for the knitted cord to slide through; the thickness of the yarn is a factor here. Also, the distance between the staples/nails needs to easily accommodate the thickest likely yarn.

    This knitting device has many names and is often made from a wooden thread spool. It is related to knitting looms and knitting rakes, both of which have many more pegs/nails on which to form stitches for creating wider knitted fabric for hats, scarves, etc.

    I think it'd the angle makes the commercial one look like it has two - most have four, I've seen one with eight, but I don't see why it can't have an odd number.

    Family projects get a vote from me right off the bat. I agree with mrmath, I'd like to see a few more pics of the end product and the process continued just a bit.

    2 replies

    I think an actual French knitting Instructable will have to wait a while - #1 son was just keen to get his bit online, we have a few other projects on the go, and we're away on holiday again soon. Plus, my wife does French knitting differently to the way I learned it, so we're waiting to work out which is best.

    I think it is safe to assume that the wife's way is best. It may not actually BE best, however, from my personal experience, I think it is the safest assumption. I haven't seen one of these in 35 years. When I was a kid I made one with a giant-sized painted wooden bead and small finishing nails (or maybe brads). I was kinda thinking I might want to make another one but couldn't remember how they work. I'm plusing this one.

    Love these knitting tools. What does your wife make with the wool? Maybe she can do an instructable too :-) Thanks

    1 reply

    My wife does proper knitting, with a pair of needles.

    She doesn't really feel like doing an 'ible, because the patterns are all published by other people. I did catch one of her projects in time to make a video of it, though.

    This is a great Instructable. I followed your steps and I now have an excellent tool for knitting paracord lanyards. Thanks.