Introduction: Superhero Lasso - Spool Knitting

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Knitting is manipulating a fabric or textile by weaving yarn or thread by hand or machine. It's hard to pin point where knitting started as it has a history as far back as ancient Egypt, documentation shows knitting guilds as far back as 1268 in Europe.

Spool knitting has lots of different names it can be known as corking, French knitting or tomboy knitting is a from of knitting using a spool with typically 4-5 of nails or pegs that encircle a hoop or tube of some kind. Some very complex spools have anywhere from 16 to 100s of pegs around a very large tube. A lot of things made from spool knitters are rugs, socks, hats, and more.

For this project you are making a yarn lasso that can be worn for costumes. Traditionally dressing up in costumes was reserved for Halloween or special dress up parties. Since the 1990s though, making and dressing up in costumes is called Cosplay. It's a form of performance art where those in costumes, cosplayers, interact with others as if they were the persons they are dressed up as. Typically, one can find cosplayers at large conventions where there are even competitions for those who have created the best costumes.

Supplies

This project can be made with lots of different supplies. There is hardly any wrong way to do this so if you don't have any of these items think of how you might be able to change it up with what is already at your home. Think outside the box and look for some type of tube, and 4-5 long thin items that can be your pegs.

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Toilet Paper cardboard roll (Beginner build)

  • Toilet paper cardboard roll - Make sure its empty first!
  • Popsicle sticks - Normal size is suggested and you can use 4-5 sticks to get a good pattern.
  • Strong tape - Duct tape is best, but other options could be packing tape. Normal scotch tape might could work with many layers, but it doesn't stick as well to cardboard.

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Tin foil cardboard roll (Intermediate build)

  • Smaller cardboard roll - Found on tin foil, parchment, wax paper, and clingfilm rolls. It's a lot thinner and stronger than a toilet paper roll.
  • Sewing Pins - Those with bright round balls on the top make for an easier time when knitting. You will need 4-5 depending on how tight of a weave you want.

Tools:

  • Hot glue gun + glue sticks - As pins are very thin tape doesn't hold them down well. Hot glue will make a much stronger bond and help you grip the cardboard.

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Tape roll (Advanced build)

  • Plastic tape roll - Make sure it's empty and has the channel where you can glue the paperclips inside.
  • Paperclips - You need 4-5 depending on how tight of a weave you want to make.

Tools:

  • Hot glue gun + glue sticks - Used to adhere the paperclips inside the channel on the plastic tape roll.
  • Pliers - Two pairs is best so you can hold on side tightly while you twist with the other pair. This method is more advanced.

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Needed for no matter which build you choose:

  • Yarn - Any color and type will work. The thicker it is the harder it might be to work with, but certainly try with whatever you have on hand.
  • Scissors - Use to cut your yarn.

Optional:

  • Felt - Used to make belt attachment if you want to wear your lasso.
  • Velcro - For your belt attachment making it easier to take it on and off when being worn.
  • Crochet hook - This is best for the advanced build but can be used with any of those listed. It makes the whole process easier but isn't necessary for the beginner and intermediate builds.
  • Mini Saw - Used to cut down cardboard easier. A Canary mini hand saw is a great addition if you are looking for something to add to your at home maker studio.
  • School Glue - Used to add a little security to the ends of your lasso when you are finished.

Step 1: Beginner Build

The easiest build for beginners and young makers is the "Beginner Build".

You need an empty toilet paper roll, 4-5 popsicle sticks, and some strong tape.

- Decide how far you want the popsicle stick to rise above the edge of the toilet paper roll. Often there are some markings that you can use or measure and mark a line on your roll. For our example we used a marking that was already on the roll.

- Cut off a piece of tape long enough to wrap around the entire roll.

- Start to attach one popsicle stick at a time using the tape to adhere it. Try to space them out evenly before you attach a second piece of tape.


If this is the build you have chosen feel free to move on to Step 4.

Step 2: Intermediate Build

For this intermediate build you will need an empty tin foil cardboard roll, 4-5 sewing pins, and hot glue.

- Using strong scissors or a mini saw as shown cut it down to an easier piece to hold. These cardboard rolls are thinner, but are more strong that toilet paper rolls. You can find these types of rolls on clingfilm, parchment, and wax paper containers.

- With your hot glue gun put a line down then attach one of your sewing pins. Once placed add another line of glue on top of the pin so that it is completely encased with hot glue.

- Keep adding pins until you are finished just make sure they are well placed like the last image shows.

If this is the build you have chosen feel free to move on to Step 4.

Step 3: Advanced Build

This build is more complicated but depending on what you have hand it might have items you could use to make your spool.

For this option you will need an empty tape roll, 4-5 paperclips, hot glue, and two pairs of pliers.

- Open up each of your paper clips flat then fold them in half.

- Using your pliers hold one side at the bend and the other holding the ends and twist. Do that to each paperclip.

- Depending on the size of your paperclips you may need to trim the bottoms a little. It's best if you have wire cutters but scissors can work they will just dull more quickly.

- Hot glue one paperclip twist at a time into the channel of the empty tape roll. Spread them out evenly and then fill the whole channel. Doing this will ensure the paperclips won't move or fall out while you work.

If this is the build you have chosen feel free to move on to Step 4.

Step 4: Starting to Knit

You will be weaving the same way no matter which build you created for your spool. The first three images are gifs showing how to get started with each type of spool we created. The last images are stills in case that is any easier to understand using the sewing pin spool as the example.

- Put the end of the yarn inside the tube.

- Begin to wrap lightly around each popsicle stick, pin, or paperclip making a loop on each location.

- When you get back to your first position pull the yarn to the front of the pegs so that it's facing yo.

-Place it above the yarn already wrapped around that location.

- Gently lift up the yarn loop that was already around that peg location making it go over the new yarn you are holding in front of it.

- Repeat this over each location until you get to the end of the yarn roll or have reached the length you desire.

Step 5: Finishing the Lasso

The first image is a gif showing how to remove it from your spool. The still images of those steps for removing your lasso.

Once you've gotten to the length of the lasso you want it's time to finish it!

- Take the yarn loop off your most recent knit and then pull it over to the peg to the left. It should rest above the loop that was already on that peg.

- At the location you just added that loop to take the bottom loop that had already been there and pull it over the top. By doing this you are leaving a single loop that now gets transferred to the next peg location. Keep doing at each peg location until you get to your last one.

- With your final loop and all other locations now empty it's time to cut the yarn so that you leave approx 3-4 inches of extra string to make removing it from the spool easier.

- Gently pull the last loop from the peg and feed the end of your cut yarn through that loop. You are creating a knot that will make the lasso not unravel. Cut down the long ends of yarn from each end close to the knot but be careful not to cut the knots off each end.

Optional:
Now that you are your lasso is finished for an extra level of security add a small dab of school glue to both ends of your lasso. Just a little right at the knot can help ensure it lasting and not accidentally.

Continued spool loom learning:

Fiber Flux - How To Use A French Knitter Video

Step 6: Belt Attachment

For those wanting to wear the lasso a very simple felt holder is an easy addition. Be sure to check all the photos for the step by step process.

Most belts are the same size in width, but it's best to find the belt you would want to wear and use it to help measure how long of a piece of felt you need.

For our example we used a piece of felt that was 12" inches long and 3" inches wide.

- Hold you felt under your belt and find how much of a flap you need to create a loop that you belt will run through.

- With your hot glue gun add a generous amount of glue to the felt and push it together. Now you have a complete loop that you can run your belt through.

You should now have a longer loose flat of felt that will hold the lasso.

- With a piece of Velcro glue it on top of the loop that your belt is running through facing outwards away from your body. This way you can pull it away while you are wearing it and remove the lasso.

- Even if your Velcro has a sticky back use your glue gun to add to it so it is secure. Be sure to remove the peel that is covering the sticky back.

- On the other piece of Velcro remove the sticky back, add hot glue and then pull up the bottom of your felt and place it securely which finishes the tear away loop that holds the lasso.

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