#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
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.