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Knitting spools, also known as knitting Nancys, have been around for centuries. This form of knitting is unlike usual knitting, which uses two needles. Instead, a special tool is used to create knitted cord, which can then be formed into other items--ranging from rugs to more intricate designs. Learning how to spool knit is easy, especially if you are familiar with other knitting and crocheting techniques, and it can be a fun project to do with your children.
Hold the spool knitter in your left hand, or your right hand if you're a lefty. Take the yarn and loop it counterclockwise around one peg. Then loop the yarn clockwise around the peg across from you. Loop the yarn clockwise across the peg to the left, and then counterclockwise on the final peg.
Face the first peg towards yourself again and loop the yarn around the peg from right to left. Using a crochet hook, pull the first loop on the peg over this new loop and let it drop over the peg. Rotate the spool counterclockwise to the next peg and repeat the process, pulling on the tail end of the yarn to keep it taught and tight.
Allow the yarn to start pulling through the bottom of the spool. You need to make about 400 rounds of stitches to make 1 foot of cord. Continue until you have enough yarn cord to complete your project.
Take the yarn from the final peg and move the last stitch you knitted over one peg to the left. Pull the stitch up from this peg over the knitted stitch you just transferred and then let drop. Continue moving stitches in this manner until you are left with one stitch. Cut the yarn to a length of 4 to 5 inches and pull this tail through the remaining loop.
Using a spool knitter with more pegs will result in a larger cord.
You can knit many materials on a spool knitter, from ribbon to jewelry wire.
There are many patterns available for using the finished cord.
You can make the knitting spool itself from an old wooden spool and some nails. Kits are also available to make your own knitting spool in different sizes and shapes.
If the knitter is made with actual nails and wood, supervise your children while they use it.