Way back in my day when my mother taught me how to do this craft we would use the old wooden cotton reels to form our knitting reel, unfortunately these days they are not very easy to come by, but that does not mean we cannot still enjoy the craft. This is a fun, easy craft for children of all ages, the little ones might get a bit frustrated and bored, but for 8 years and up it brings hours of pleasure. Younger children might need a bit of help from mom when getting started with their French knitting, but once they see the results of their work they are inspired to keep going. French knitting is excellent for improving fine motor skills and exercising the hand muscles.
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Read through all the instructions first before starting this craft. Make sure you have all required items on hand.
We are going to drill a hole in the centre of our wooden block with a drill. The hole needs to go right through the block.
We are now going to take our four wooden nails and hammer them into the block around the hole, in the shape of a square. They need to be far enough away from the hole so as not to crack the wood when we hammer them, but not so far away that the knitting becomes hard to work with.
We are now going to choose a colour of wool and thread it through the hole from the top to the bottom, so you have your ball of wool on the top of the reel.
Wind the wool around the nails to start with, you don't need to worry about any particular order, you can wind it around all the nails in any order. This is just to get your knitting started.
Now we are going to start at one nail and wind the string around all the nails again, without doing anything to the wool at this point.
This is where the fun starts, we are going to put the wool over the wool on the next nail. Then we are going to lift the wool from the bottom over the wool on top, using a crochet hook or sewing needle.
Go to the next nail and put the wool on top of the other wool, lift the wool from the bottom over the top layer and move to the next nail. We keep going around and around until we can start seeing the knitting growing out the bottom of the wheel.
Every now and then we can pull the knitting from the bottom to keep the knitting stiff and not all gathered up at the top of the wheel.
All you need to do is break off your last colour long enough to tie a new colour to it and keep going, you will eventually work the other colour in and you can keep going with this new colour until you are done.
To finish off, you need to take the loop around one nail off that nail and put it over the nail next to it, then take the loop at the bottom over the top one, take that loop off the nail and put it onto the next nail, doing the same with the others. When you have only one loop left, break the wool off quite close to the loop and just pull it through the loop. Pull it tight, and there you go!