How to Use a French Knitter

Introduction: How to Use a French Knitter

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The other day, I post an Instructable on how to make a cheap and easy French Knitter with a paper towel tube and popsicle sticks. This Instructable will now show you the basics of using a French Knitter to make a nice long yarn cord.

Step 1: Supplies

For french knitting, you don't need too many supplies.

Step 2: Cast on Your Yarn

I don't know if it's called casting on, but that's kind of what you are doing. You need to start by getting your yarn on your french knitter.

  • Start by threading the yarn down the center of your knitter and bring it to the outside and hold it in place with your thumb.
  • Make a loop around one of the hooks sticking off the knitter.
  • Continue to loop your yarn around all the hooks going clockwise.
  • Push all those loops down, and loop your yarn around the hooks again. Hold the yarn strand or the loops will all just pop off the hooks.
  • Take your hook (or crochet hook) and grab the bottom loop.
  • Bring the bottom loop over the top loop and off the hook.
  • Repeat around until you've taken all the bottom loops off the hooks. (you don't need to hold the yarn end anymore)
  • Repeat this over and over.

Step 3: Your Yarn Cord

Now, you just keep repeating the same process until your cord is as long as you want it. Remember to measure from the bottom of the hooks where your yarn is; do not measure from the bottom of the french knitter.

Step 4: Ending - Easy Method

This is the easy way to end your cord. It is also the way most directions will tell you to do it.

  • Cut your yarn leaving at least a few inches (leave more if you are going to use this yarn to sew or for anything really).
  • Loop your yarn around your first hook as you normally would.
  • Pull the bottom loop over the top loop and off the hook as you normally would.
  • Now, pull that loop you just put on the hook until the end comes through it. Now the loop you just made should be on your yarn.
  • Repeat this around until all of your loops are off the French knitter and on the yarn end.
  • That's it.
  • You can pull it tight and you'll get more of a point like the last picture shows.

Step 5: Ending - Cleaner Method

When I was working on my scarf, I realized I didn't want those weak ends on my cords, so I chose to end my cord this way.

  • You don't have to cut the yarn yet, I would wait until you are done.
  • Take the loop that is to the left of the one that is attached to your ball. Take it off the french knitter hook it is on, and put it on the french knitter hook to its left.
  • Take your hook tool, and go through the top loop and grab the bottom loop.
  • Pull the bottom loop up through the center of the top loop.
  • Pull both loops off the french knitter hook but make sure the loop from the bottom that you just grabbed stays on your hook too.
  • Take this loop and put it on the french knitter hook to the left.
  • Keep going around until you've put all the loops through other loops. You should be left with one last loop on your hook tool.
  • If you want to be done now, cut your yarn and pull the yarn through this last loop. Continue on to get the cleanest ending.

Finishing your tube:

  • Cut your yarn and pull the yarn through that last loop.
  • Stick a crochet hook through the next "V" loop in your chain (follow along with the pictures the best you can).
  • Pull your yarn through that "V" loop.
  • Using your hook, bring the yarn down through the last loop that you had on your hook when you took your cord off the french knitter.
  • If you are done and don't need the yarn, bring it down through the center of the cord and cut off the excess.
  • You should be left with a nicely braided-looking ending on your cord.

Sorry, this ending is a little harder to explain. Hopefully the images help it make sense, otherwise, ask questions (with pictures if possible) and I'll try to help you along!

Step 6: Done

Not sure what to do with a french knitter?

I'm going to post an Knit Infinity Tube Scarf that I made with mine.

If you can get your tubes small enough, you can make this Spaghetti and Meatball Knit Scarf.

Another great project is this Easy Earmuff Headband.



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    23 Discussions

    cool i will have to do it some time when i get home

    Thanks Penelope, rraazz and others for the info on the "Nut PicK".

    The photo makes it easier to think up an alternative. I used to do a bit of sculpture and had an old set of Dental picks....yuk...remember the dentist picking at my decay....anyway..found that one of the Stainless Steel picks will suit French Knitting perfectly.

    Thanks everyone!

    What can you make with this, besides a scarf?

    4 replies

    French Knitting is a really, really old craft. I remember when at Primary (Grade) school in 1957 we used wooden ...what were called "cotton reels"..a solid wooden spool with a round hole down the middle - repurposed from our Mother's sewing box spools - reels of thread. It helped a great deal to have the knitted rope go down the narrow kept it neat and was easier to hold a spool. We'd hammer in six small headed nails...I forget what we used instead of a crochet hook...and do not have a clue what a steel "nut pick" is..can somebody explain please? Oh, yes, we used a hair pin to pick up the thread! One clever boy made a smooth stick with a slight curve at the end from a twig... fior his little girl friend of 9yrs old!

    Besides a scarf you can make 'beanies and caps with French Knitting...just make a really, reeeally long knitted rope and then sew it into a circle at the end - one that fits a person's head, and keep on sewing round and round. With the first circle large enough to fit your head ( or somebody else's), taper it inwards as you go around sewing the rope on top of itself until you have a really small opening at the top...then either just close it or make a pom pom and sew it on.

    You can make the body of the beanie as long as you want. I like beanies that can have several folds over the ears. Beanie and scarf to match makes a nice gift.

    ? "Nut pick" - anyone.

    I actually had to google a nut pick after it was mentioned, and then I remembered seeing one before. They look like this and are essentially a stick with a curved end.

    nut pick.jpg

    The nut pick is part of a set (as shown in your pix) along with the nut cracker. The pick us used to 'pick' the nut-meats out of the shell, as in walnuts, pecans, and other similar type of nuts...

    don't know if this will help anyone else, but i find crochet needles too curved for this. knitting needles are too straight &/or slippery. i went into my utensil drawer & got a stainless steel nut pick {pointed, with slight curve @ end}: it works like nobody's business [i.e: a dream] x^D

    3 replies

    I agree. I never thought of a nut pick, but that is just the shape of the tool that comes with the store-bought French Knitter. Very good idea :)

    thank-you! just went back & saw your white one; you're right ~ exactly the same shape :^) .... my mom made a couple for my sister & me (decades ago) from wooden spools with nails that were a bit tough to use. i really like that alternate ending you show; it's nice & neat. i'm making a rainbow infinity scarf for a friend of mine, who lost an olive green one that another friend made for her. thanx for posting, & keep up the good work, penolopy!

    Great work! Does the beginning automatically come good? Can you post a photo of the beginning.

    1 reply

    It should come out pretty good. This is the only picture I have of the beginning:

    french knitter how to-12.jpg

    I have seen people using a wooden french knitter, but do not know how to use it. Thanks for the instructable.

    1 reply

    I grew up with what we called "spool= knitting". An old thread spool with 4 nails in it. You use it the exact same way as your French knitter.

    1 reply

    Yeah, I've seen those spool ones around the web, they seem nice and sturdy and look like they'd work the same :)

    Years ago when our son, who's now 44, was at school, he learned how to do finger knitting. I've forgotten how he did it, but if you take 5 fingers instead of 6 popsicle sticks, I assume it would work just as well.

    1 reply

    Thank you Thank you....and now, coupled with how to make the french knitter, I can get started on my handmade leggings. Excitement plus !