Wednesday, 28 July 2010
French knitting bag
Anyone who has ever dabbled in the art of French knitting will tell you that the problem is not learning how to do the knitting itself - it's fun and easy, and a great introduction to yarn crafts for young children. No, the big problem is knowing what to do with it afterwards.
French knitting creates a long, long knitted tube. You can curl it round and sew it up to make a place mat or coaster, but that's hardly inspiring stuff for a young French knitter. I used to make worm cosies, which were just colourful lengths of tube. Sadly, I could never pursuade a real worm to use one.
A 1979 edition of Penny comic comes up with this inspired idea of making a French Knitting purse - a really keen French knitter could make a momentously long tube and create a shoulder bag. Now that's something a bit more exciting than a coaster, especially if you decorated it with beads and sequins, or buttons, or...
If you've never tried French Knitting, Penny also provides easy to follow instructions, below:
Traditionally, French Knitting "dollies" or "knitting nancies" were made out of old wooden cotton reels with four nails hammered into them. These days, cotton reels are made out of plastic, so this little bit of fun has been taken away from us by our society's obsession with petrochemicals. Great. There's no need to go out and buy an expensive ready made French Knitting dolly, though.
There are wonderful ways to make a knitting dolly out of Smartie tubes, toilet rolls, or an old table leg. Visit www.waynesthisandthat.com, www.allfreecrafts.com and www.how-to-knit-guide.com for instructions and inspiration. You may be able to find a second-hand wooden cotton reel, or try drilling a hole through the middle of a small length of thick wooden dowelling from a hardwear shop. Make your own recycled knitting nancy and let me know how you get on...