Craft: French Knitting (Toilet Roll Knitting)

This is a fun activity to do with your children. French knitting, or Tube Knitting, has been around for years. I remember doing it when I was a child. I actually had a wooden bobbin with nails at the top. If I remember correctly I believe my dad made it for me. My girls are 5 and were able to do this activity. 

Knitting – whether French, finger, arm or with knitting needles is great for children. It builds dexterity and strength in the small muscles that work the hand, fingers and thumbs. This is so very important for writing skills that will come later. It also encourages and builds up hand-eye coordination. Let’s not forget it also improves concentration, patience and being able to persevere, to press on to complete a task. 

home made French knitter with large pop sticks
You can use larger or normal size pop sticks for your French knitter

FOR THIS ACTIVITY YOU WILL NEED:

  • A pre-purchased french knitter (though honestly it isn’t necessary)
  • Colorful yarn

OR

  • A toilet roll
  • Pop sticks
  • Tape (duck tape is perfect)
  • Hot glue (if you like)
  • Small buttons (if you like – again, not necessary. You can put them at the top of the pop sticks to stop yarn slipping. I don’t think they are all that helpful but maybe your child will.)
  • A paper cup (not vital but it’s great to pull the yarn through so it doesn’t get tangled)
  • Colorful yarn
  • Scissors
home made French knitter with normal sized pop sticks
My homemade French Knitter

WHAT TO DO TO MAKE YOUR FRENCH KNITTER:

  1. Cut your toilet roll down in size. This will depend on the size of your child’s hand. I have made them in various sizes. For my girl’s little hands just over 2 inches is great. For me 3.5 inches is good.
  2. Cut your pop sticks into half.
  3. Tape them onto the toilet roll at 12, 3, 6, and 9 positions. 
  4. Tape down the roll to keep things in place. 
  5. Punch a hole into the side of the paper cup and thread the yarn through it, with the ball inside the cup
  6. Cast onto the roll (check out the video on this page that will show you how to do it – it is easy)
  7. Create a few loops for your child
  8. Happy knitting! (you can always tie on extra lengths of yarn to keep going. I like to give smaller lengths to children so they don’t get tangled.)
  9. When the desired length is reached, finish it off and take it off the roll……..again, this video will help you with that – why reinvent the wheel? 😉
  10. Make fun things with your knitting!
You can use a cup to stop yarn from tangling – which is frustrating

THINGS YOU CAN MAKE WITH YOUR KNITTING:

  • Finger puppets
  • Tie together for bracelets or necklaces
  • Sew together to make a scarf
  • Make it like a snake and sew it together
  • Or just make it as long as possible! (That is always fun!)

Have fun with this!! If you want some more craft ideas, here are some previous vlogs/blogs I have done:
DIY Doll houses or Valentine’s Day Craft (a heart dream catcher that could be made any time really)

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