The craft of French knitting produces a long tubular length of knitted yarn, and has been practiced by adults and children alike through many generations. French knitting bobbins have many different names, including knitting nancy, peg knitter, bizzy lizzy and knitting dolly. Larger versions of the original, manual four-peg knitting nancy are available with 40 or more pegs, and many of these larger machines are hand-cranked to automate the knitting process.
Make a French knitting tube that measures 10 inches, then loop the tube into 2-inch sections to form five petal shapes. Secure the loops in the center of the flower by sewing them together in a matching thread. Make the flowers either larger or smaller by sewing longer French knitting tubes together. Use the flowers to embellish scarves, mittens or hats.
Dolls and Animals
Stuff short lengths of French knitting to make arms and legs for dolls, or legs for animals. Push a length of pipe cleaner down the center of insect legs that need to bend in the middle for realism, then sew them between the strands of a pompom body. When you’re making French knitting dolls’ legs, make the top half of the tube in a flesh color and the bottom half of the tube in narrow stripes to give the doll stripy socks.
Long lengths of French knitting look good when they are coiled together then stitched flat to make either a mat or cushion cover. Give cushion covers a little extra embellishments by sewing on French knitting flowers. Another way of sewing together the coils is to pile them on top of each other and sew them vertically so that they make a plant pot cover. Covers for mobile phones or even laptops can be made the same way.
Create practical accessory items such as scarves. Make scarves by sewing very long French knitting lengths together, first by laying them out flat side by side on a table and then carefully stitching them together, one at a time, in rows. Achieve neat striped effects by making French knitting tubes in different colors, then alternating the colors as you sew them together.
Deborah Jones started her freelance writing career in 1990. Her work has appeared in The Writer's Forum, "Reader's Digest" and numerous D.C. Thomson magazines. Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a postgraduate certificate in education, both from the University of Derby.