Tag Archive | knitting nancy

Spool Knitting Finished Project

Well, I finally finished my “cattail” and bound it off from my 4 pronged spool.  My cord is 195″ long or almost 5  1/2 yards.  I am planning to roll my cord into a circle and use it as a trivet for my kitchen.

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When rolled, the trivet will measure 9″ across which will be a perfect size for plates or bowls to keep the heat directly off my table.  It will also look great as a decorated piece under my kitchen centerpiece.

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Because I used up all the thread that I had to make the cord, I am going to whip stitch it together using all 6 strands of a coordinating DMC floss.  Beginning in the center and rolling as I go, I will whip stitch it together using a cross stitch type needle which has a little bit of a blunt tip so that I don’t snag any of my threads.

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This is a wonderful activity for a child to do and a super way to use up all those “little balls” of yarn leftover from other knit or crochet projects.  As you collect your bits and pieces of leftover yarn, just tie them together with a secure square knot (right over left and left over right) and keep adding to make a big multi-colored skein.  I would try to keep your category of yarn about the same; that is, I wouldn’t tie a chunky (category 5) to a sock weight (category 2).  How fun to see all the different colors come together!!

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Enjoy making your own “cattail” ~~ you can find more information on using knitting Nancy’s here.  FYI: I did purchase a super little tool from my local big box store (knittingboard.com) which worked great to lift my lower loops easily over the upper loops on my spool.  🙂

HAPPY CREATING!!

 

Knitting Nancy Project

I have still been knitting on my “cattail” using my handmade knitting nancy spool.   It is a very easy, relaxing type of yarn craft that I will pick up for those times when I don’t want to have to concentrate to hard on a project or count stitches as I crochet.

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You can check out my Knitting Nancy blog to see exactly how to make a spool and how to start your yarn to begin forming your tail!  As you can see by the picture, my “tail” is quite long, presently measuring 131 inches or a little over 3 1/2 yards long.  My goal is to roll my tail into a circle to make a nice trivet or mat for a hot bowl to protect the dining table top.

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At present, it measures almost 8 inches in diameter and I think I will make it just a little wider but probably not more than 10 inches.  Of course, this will leave me with just enough yarn to make a small pom pom!!  Yarn scraps?? hmm – working on some ways to use them up because I just cannot bear to trash them or maybe I will find a local 4H group and donate all my tiny yarn balls to them.  Like that idea!!

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Anyways I digress, my trivet will be sewn together with a nice quilting weight cotton thread.  Connecting Threads has some great collections of these threads in a wide variety of colors too, which are wonderful for machine or hand sewing projects.

I think I started a new skein of yarn for this project, a category 4 yarn, worsted weight.  I just used a size 5 hook to lift my lower loop over the top loop to create the knit looking tail.

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When I am ready to bind off, I will do another blog with close up pictures so you can see the actual binding off process.

Some fun ideas to use your “tail” for would be a set of coasters, cool bookmarks, glue some googlie eyes and make a snake for a little one, make three tails and sew together at one end and braid them for a bracelet or headband, placemats even a small rug.

I’m looking forward to completing this one and having it ready for my kitchen table!!

HAPPY CREATING!!

 

 

Ideas for Knitting Nancy “Tail”

I haven’t actually researched the correct terminology for the knitted cord that is created from completing your loops on a Knitting Nancy which really look similar to an I-cord; however, I still like to refer to it as my “cat’s tail”!! 🙂

SONY DSC Presently, my cat’s tail measures 76 inches or 193.04 cm and it is stirring all kinds of ideas as to what I want to create.  I can definitely curl itself around and make a super trivet to protect my table from a hot dish.  If I make the trivet, I could combine it with my hot pads and dish clothes for a cool, handmade hostess gift.  SONY DSC

Also, have given some thought to designing a unique wrapped necklace.  Leaving long loops and covering the joined area with a really one-of-a-kind tubular bead.  Hmm, maybe I will just have to keep the necklace for myself if I end up making that idea!!

I’ve been into yarn bowls too and I think I could take a ceramic bowl and wrap the tail around the outside of it for a size pattern, stitch together, and then maybe create a unique loop edge as a finishing touch.

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I know whatever I design, my “cat’s tail” still needs to be longer, I am planning to have a finished length of 160 inches or 406.4 cm.  So when I really need some down time that doesn’t require any counting of stitches or decreases/increases or watching my gauge, I just sit with my favorite cup of tea and go round and round with my spool knitting.  Only having to untwist my tail periodically to keep it smooth.  It makes for a very relaxing time for me. 🙂

HAPPY CREATING!!

  • Tip:  I will use a coordinating DMC floss (2-3 strands) as my sewing thread when I begin to stitch my cord together.  Will probably have to do some pinning also to hold my coils in place.

 

Yarning with a “Knitting Nancy” spool

Using a knitting nancy or spool knitting is a great tool/technique to introduce a youngster to the wonders of yarn.   It is a very easy yarn method to create a nice knitted or braided cord that could be designed for bracelets, trivets, coasters, etc.  It is really an awesome technique that anyone would find fun to do!! SONY DSC

I have actually recycled a thick cardboard thread spool that formally held 1200 yards of mercerized cotton thread for machine quilting by Coats and Clark.  The spool is 1″ in diameter with the opening being 1/2″ in diameter.  The length of the spool is 2  3/4″ long.  I like this size because it fits a child’s small hand really well.  You can purchase knitting spools too.

I hammered in four brads using ones that had a large flat head to them.  It helps to keep the yarn from sliding off the brad when making your loops.  Once you have your spool ready, select your yarn.  I would recommend using a 4 ply worsted weight yarn and a metal crochet hook size 5 (1.90mm).

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To begin, take your yarn and drop it through the hole and let it hang out about 2 or 3 inches from the bottom.  Now to “cast” on your loops, you will be turning the spool in a clockwise direction but going around each brad in a counter-clockwise direction one at a time.

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After you have made your loop on each brad, you take your yarn and place it right above the first loop made and with your crochet hook, lift the bottom loop up and over the yarn and brad.  Leaving one loop on the brad.  Spin your spool in your hand slightly and do that same thing again on the next brad.  Keep turning the spool in your hand, make another yarn wrap and continue lifting the bottom loop up and over the top yarn on each brad.  Before you know it, you will have a great icord, braided loop or “cattail” coming out of your spool at the bottom.

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Now just keep making your loops until you have your “tail” as long as you want it to be.  Once you have reached the desired length, you will need to bind off your work from the knitting spool.

When you are ready to “cast off” don’t make a yarn wrap, just grab the loop of the last stitch made and lift it onto the brad to its immediate left.  Lift the bottom loop over that loop, now grab the remaining loop left on that brad and lift it onto the brad to its immediate left.  Continue doing this until you only have one loop left on the last brad.  Cut your yarn and carefully lift the last loop off the brad and place your cut yarn through the last loop and pull snuggly securing all your stitches.  Now you have a wonderful knitted tube that can be used for a wide variety of creative projects!!

I have discussed this technique before but have updated my pictures to help you see the process better!! 🙂

HAPPY CREATING!!

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Using a “Knitting Nancy”

This is a super yarn technique that is very easy for a young child to conquer and make useful, handmade creations.  Actually, anyone who loves to work with yarn would probably like to do this type of knitting (aka french knitting).  You can purchase a knitting spool or, if you are so inclined, design your own “spool loom”.

When I was a child, this was one of my first yarn project tools which I made many, many hot pads, bracelets, hot plate trivets, even a small rug.  Anyways, a large skein of a variegated yarn provides many hours of fun for someone who is interested in working with yarn.  I called my spool knitting, “cattailing”, I guess because it looked kind of like a cat’s tail when being knitted through my spool.   Not sure if anyone else ever used that name or even heard of “cattailing”!?!?

Here’s a brief description of how to use a Knitting Nancy –  Typically, a knitting spool uses 4 brads/nails/dowels, but depending on the size of the spool you choose, you could knit with 6 or 8 nails.  Your brads/nails should be evenly spaced on the top of your spool.  Begin by dropping your yarn through the spool hole from top to bottom and let it dangle out the bottom by about a couple of inches.  Enough to be able to grab it and tug gently on it until your cat’s tail is exposed through the bottom of your spool!!

Diagram of "casting on" technique

Diagram of “casting on” technique

 

The “casting on” technique involves wrapping your yarn in a clock-wise fashion BUT you will be wrapping each brad/nail in a counter-clockwise technique.  Once you have completed the “casting on” technique for each nail, you will simply wrap the yarn again (clock-wise) on the outside of each brad/nail above the loops you just cast on.  After completing this second wrap, hold the yarn strand along the outside of your spool with your thumb to keep your wrap taut. Using a knitting needle or crochet hook, grab the bottom loop and lift it over the top yarn wrap.  Do this around for each brad/nail and then pull gently on the “cat tail”.   Wrap your yarn again around all your brads/nails, hold your yarn strand with your thumb on the outside of your spool, lift the bottom loop over each top wrap on all brads/nails, and pull gently on the tail.  Continue making your knitting in this way and before you know it, you will be seeing a colorful, knitted tube/coil coming out the bottom of your spool.

Keep knitting until your “cat’s tail” is as long as you want it to be for whatever special project you are creating!!

When you are ready to “cast off” don’t make a yarn wrap, just grab the loop of the last stitch made and lift it onto the brad/nail to its immediate left.  Lift the bottom loop over that loop, now grab the remaining loop left on that brad/nail and lift it onto the brad/nail to its immediate left.  Continue doing this until you only have one loop left on the last brad/nail.  Cut your yarn and carefully lift the last loop off the brad/nail and place your cut yarn through the last loop and pull snuggly securing all your stitches.  Now you have a wonderful knitted tube that can be used for a wide variety of creative projects!!

This would make a wonderful stocking stuffer item for that potential crocheter, knitter or yarn lover!!

  • TIP:  Open out a bobby pin and use the slightly curved tip as your needle for grabbing the bottom loop and lifting over the wrapped yarn.  Make sure the rubber tips are still there so the bobby pin doesn’t catch the yarn.  The curved edge helps to keep the loop from sliding off the bobby pin/needle. 

HAPPY CREATING!!