Knitting Spool from Office Supplies

September 7, 2007 at 12:40 pm | Posted in All Finished Crafts, Craft - How-to's, Craft - Websites | 14 Comments

I’ve been longing for a knitting spool (tricotin in French?), also called knitting nancy, or some knitting looms for a long time, but I could not persuade myself to buy one. My dad, who has much more clever fingers than I do, used to promise me making me one after I finish my thesis at least 3 years ago, however both of us forgot about this when I actually submitted my thesis. (It happens between my dad and me a lot. I can make a long list of my dad’s promises. :-P) Not living with my parents any more, I have to count on myself for tools now. It took a few experiments to search for the right materials, especially I don’t have many handy tools. Finally I came up with this one, which only requires common office supplies: a few paper clips and one transparent tape roll.

If you don’t know much about knitting spools, this page and this can tell you a lot. CraftyPod has a great tutorial on spool knitting.

As you can see, most self-made knitting spools are made of a wood spool and some nails. Unfortunately, wood spools are not so common nowadays whereas those plastic spools won’t work with nails in the same way. Nevertheless, I have tried to bind some nails and pins to a roll similar to this one. It certainly worked, but there are some problems: it’s easy to lose the loop of current round when carrying the previous loop around it and sometimes it’s a little tricky to insert the crochet hook between two loops on the same nail so it’s hard to speed up the knitting.

After observations on the commercial knitting spools, I came to a conclusion: most of them use u-shaped bended wires instead of straight nails so that the hook or the needle can be easily inserted. The video-clip from Clover is a really good inspiration for me and finally leads me to the final version.

Here is how I made the knitting spool.

Material: a tape roll, 7 (the number of the pegs of the spool plus 1 for the hook) paper clips, a permanent pen and a plier (optional) for twisting the clips without hurting the hands

1. Mark the positions for the pegs on the tape roll. The distance between every two adjacent pegs should be equivalent. In my case, there are already some guides on the roll so I don’t really need the marking.

2. Twist 6 paper clips as above. First, simple open the loop. For the second step, bend the small loop a little so the peg can stop hold the thread which is not on the hook.

3. Twist the last clip into a hook. Adjust the hook to an angle which you feel comfortable with. For me, the hook of 60 to 80 degrees (different from what’s shown above) works the best.

4. Peel off at least two rounds of the tape.

5. Put the clips to the marked position and secure them with tapes one by one.

It would look like this. As for using it, it is the same as any other knitting spools, however there are a few little tricks to make knitting easier.

1. Start by tying a loose knot to the loop under the tape roll.

2. Wrap the yarn around the tool as usual. That’s how I hold the tool and the “hook”.

3. Insert the hook into the peg between two rounds of yarns.

4. Pull a little

5. Spin the hook and carry the loop over.

The braid I made looks like this:

After I finish this braid, I found out I am not really interested in making anything out of it. Now, it’s Chubbey’s boyfriend‘s scarf. I haven’t got any spool knitting projects in mind so far. Maybe that’s why I didn’t buy one of those knitting spools. I just enjoyed making the tool. 😛



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  1. :mrgreen: 这个我一定要试验一次。哈哈。很好玩的样子。

    From ccat:

  2. Oh you so rock! Perfect size! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Brilliant! You are so clever. I’ve been longing for a knitting nancy too, but it sure does look like a lot of work. The knitting part that is.

  4. wow, what a brilliant idea!

  5. […] also make a small experiment today: knitting needle vs. knitting spool. It’s been my impression that the spool should be much easier to use for making i-cord, but I […]

  6. I love your idea for making a hook out of another paperclip. I can keep making spools for my students, but I’ve been running out of second hand crochet hooks to give them.

  7. I realy love it!!

  8. thank you veru much. I make some activities in a school and i want to prove that we can create some things with recuperation….thanks

  9. good

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