So this project has been a work in progress for a very long time now...like for years.
I started french knitting at nights a few years back to pass some extra time that I had. When I first started I had no idea that all my knitted lengths would turn into a rug, so cool! I am really happy with how it has turned out and I hope you get some inspiration to start your own project.
If you have any questions on any of the steps just ask me in the comments and I will get back to you. Also I love hearing what you think.
If you like this instructable you can vote for me in the Warm and Fuzzy Contest - much appreciated.
Step 1: Equipment and Wool
You will need:
- French knitter
- Needle with a large eye
- Lots of wool
- Lifting tool (a nail or similar will work)
- Cotton thread
I recently went and bought some wool because I was running low and I wanted different colors including some bright wool to lighten up the rug and add some interest. Some of it is 100% natural wool and the rest is acrylic because I didn't mind having a mix and the acrylic was cheaper than the wool!
Step 2: Starting Off the Knitter
To start off your knitting, pull the wool down through the hole holding it with one of your fingers so it doesn't pull back though when looping (picture 2). Pull the wool around the inside of the bottom right nail in a U shape (picture 3) and then go to the next nail (picture 4, bottom left nail) and go around on the outside coming up to the next nail on the inside, then continue with the last two nails. The pictures will help with explaining this process. The last two photos show that once I had run the wool completely around to the last nail, I ran the wool around the outside of the nails above the original loops. You will need to hold the wool tight when starting of the rope and also for the first few rounds when you start to pull the loops over the nails.
Step 3: Starting to Knit
On the first nail there will be 2 loops of wool, take the bottom loop and pull it out and over the top of the nail leaving the top loop now at the bottom. Pull the length of wool that is at the bottom of the hole (this is the knitted 'tail') each time you put a loop over a nail. Turn the knitter in your hand so it is easier to place the next loop over the next nail. Continue doing this until you have you length of french knitting as long as you want it to be.
The next step shows how to finish off a length.
Step 4: Finishing Off
Once your french knitting is at the desired length, cut your wool leaving about 3-4 inches so you can finish tying it off. Continue looping per normal except this time instead of going to the next nail pull out the wool so it is not linked onto that nail anymore. Continue with the last three nails and then you can remove the knitted wool from your wooden french knitter.
Step 5: Making the Ends Secure
I don't want my knitting to unravel after all that hard work so to stop that from happening I have threaded my needle onto the end of the wool then poked the needle though the end of the knitting and pulled it most of the way though. Pass the needle though the loop before pulling it tight. Basically I just made a overhand knot. You can see in picture 5 the knot before I pulled it tight. Once the knot is finished cut the remaining wool off.
Step 6: Disaster!
It was time to start stitching together my lengths of knitting to make the circle. I did a continuous long slip stitch which worked well for the start but turned out badly someway though. As you can see in the first three pictures I had pulled the stitching a little too tight which ended up leaving a bubble in a small circle around the center.
The stitching that I used for the start was a continuous slip stitch, so as I threaded into one side of the first rope then straight into the other side of the second rope it meant it just kept getting tighter the more I pulled it.
I had to fix this problem or my rug would look more like a sombrero!
To fix the problem I cut out the middle where the bubble was and took out a few lengths of knitting so it would sit flat then I placed the middle circle into the hole and found I had to knit a length to fit into the small hole which was left. Picture 14 shows the lengths that I took out along with all the thread and the remaining hole to fill.
The end picture shows me checking that the length is long enough before finishing it off from the knitter.
Step 7: Starting the Circle
In picture 1 I have sat all my loose lengths together to get an idea of the size of the rug. Once you have a pile of knitted lengths you can begin stitching them into a rug. Cut a long length of the cotton thread and tie a double knot on one end so if doesn't pull through when we thread it into the knitting. Poke the needle into the middle of the side of one of the lengths and pull it through so the knot is sitting nicely (picture 5). Take your needle and push it through where the knot is again so it makes kind of a loop. Now thread the cotton thread through the middle of the side of the green knitting (picture 7).
Step 8: The Type of Stitch
Now that the thread has been made secure we can continue stitching along the knitting. Picture 8 shows what shape I am going for with the stitching, but basically starting from picture 2 thread the needle through the middle of the side of the light green rope and pull it tight but not too tight - you want to make sure that the rug is sitting nice and flat. Now take the needle and thread it in the opposite direction through the multi-colored rope so the needle is now going backwards, pull it tight, again be careful not to pull it too tight. Now thread the needle through the middle of the light green rope again but a little further along in front so you can do another stitch.
Be careful when stitching the knitting together because the rope can slowly twist around without you noticing (picture 10-11) and it ends up looking a bit funny.
Step 9: Coming to the End of the Cotton Thread
When you find that you are coming to the end of your length of cotton thread you need to secure it so you can start with another fresh length of thread.
To finish it off thread it through the green rope and then into the multi-colored rope but before pulling it tight push the needle through the loop then pull it tight (picture 4). Thread the needle back through the multi-colored rope and then into the green rope again poking the needle through the loop before pulling tight. Thread it once more through the green rope and then cut the thread close to the rope.
Step 10: Joining the Ends
To join the ends of two separate lengths of french knitting poke the needle through the end of the secured length and pull it through then push the needle through the burgundy colored rope (picture 2) and pull it through so it sits nicely. Thread the needle backwards through the white rope (picture 3) and then again into the green one and through into the burgundy, but this time closer to the inside so you have two lots of thread going through the ends of the knitting. Now you can continue stitching on the newly added rope.
Step 11: Finished!
When you are happy with the size of the rug, sit back and enjoy. It is so warm and soft, perfect for your legs on a cold evening. Thanks to my sister for modeling :)
I hope you enjoyed reading!