How to french knit

Introduction: How to Use a French Knitter

How to french knit

How to french knit

How to french knit

The other day, I post an Instructable on how to make a cheap and easy French Knitter with a paper towel tube and popsicle sticks. This Instructable will now show you the basics of using a French Knitter to make a nice long yarn cord.

Step 1: Supplies

For french knitting, you don’t need too many supplies.

  • French Knitter – or make your own
  • Yarn of choice
  • Scissors
  • Crochet Hook (optional, for cleaner finish)

Step 2: Cast on Your Yarn

I don’t know if it’s called casting on, but that’s kind of what you are doing. You need to start by getting your yarn on your french knitter.

  • Start by threading the yarn down the center of your knitter and bring it to the outside and hold it in place with your thumb.
  • Make a loop around one of the hooks sticking off the knitter.
  • Continue to loop your yarn around all the hooks going clockwise.
  • Push all those loops down, and loop your yarn around the hooks again. Hold the yarn strand or the loops will all just pop off the hooks.
  • Take your hook (or crochet hook) and grab the bottom loop.
  • Bring the bottom loop over the top loop and off the hook.
  • Repeat around until you’ve taken all the bottom loops off the hooks. (you don’t need to hold the yarn end anymore)
  • Repeat this over and over.

Step 3: Your Yarn Cord

Now, you just keep repeating the same process until your cord is as long as you want it. Remember to measure from the bottom of the hooks where your yarn is; do not measure from the bottom of the french knitter.

Step 4: Ending – Easy Method

This is the easy way to end your cord. It is also the way most directions will tell you to do it.

  • Cut your yarn leaving at least a few inches (leave more if you are going to use this yarn to sew or for anything really).
  • Loop your yarn around your first hook as you normally would.
  • Pull the bottom loop over the top loop and off the hook as you normally would.
  • Now, pull that loop you just put on the hook until the end comes through it. Now the loop you just made should be on your yarn.
  • Repeat this around until all of your loops are off the French knitter and on the yarn end.
  • That’s it.
  • You can pull it tight and you’ll get more of a point like the last picture shows.

Step 5: Ending – Cleaner Method

When I was working on my scarf, I realized I didn’t want those weak ends on my cords, so I chose to end my cord this way.

  • You don’t have to cut the yarn yet, I would wait until you are done.
  • Take the loop that is to the left of the one that is attached to your ball. Take it off the french knitter hook it is on, and put it on the french knitter hook to its left.
  • Take your hook tool, and go through the top loop and grab the bottom loop.
  • Pull the bottom loop up through the center of the top loop.
  • Pull both loops off the french knitter hook but make sure the loop from the bottom that you just grabbed stays on your hook too.
  • Take this loop and put it on the french knitter hook to the left.
  • Keep going around until you’ve put all the loops through other loops. You should be left with one last loop on your hook tool.
  • If you want to be done now, cut your yarn and pull the yarn through this last loop. Continue on to get the cleanest ending.

Finishing your tube:

  • Cut your yarn and pull the yarn through that last loop.
  • Stick a crochet hook through the next “V” loop in your chain (follow along with the pictures the best you can).
  • Pull your yarn through that “V” loop.
  • Using your hook, bring the yarn down through the last loop that you had on your hook when you took your cord off the french knitter.
  • If you are done and don’t need the yarn, bring it down through the center of the cord and cut off the excess.
  • You should be left with a nicely braided-looking ending on your cord.

Sorry, this ending is a little harder to explain. Hopefully the images help it make sense, otherwise, ask questions (with pictures if possible) and I’ll try to help you along!

Step 6: Done

Not sure what to do with a french knitter?

I’m going to post an Knit Infinity Tube Scarf that I made with mine.

If you can get your tubes small enough, you can make this Spaghetti and Meatball Knit Scarf.

Another great project is this Easy Earmuff Headband.

Be the First to Share

Did you make this project? Share it with us!

by Jenny Hart

How to french knit

The most feared and equally adored embroidery stitch. The trick is in really understanding how it works instead of just hoping it will turn out right. You can do it. So why is it so difficult to learn? It’s not. It’s difficult to teach. Usually, I encourage you to read stitching instructions with needle and floss in hand. Instead, this time I suggest you read through all the steps first and then try it while going through the instructions again. I’ve broken down each tricky bit that finally clicked with me after lots of practice.

How to french knit

Step 1: You will need both hands (at least I do), so set your hoop in your lap or work surface. With your non-needle hand pinch the floss a few inches from where it exits the fabric (where arrow is pointing). Hold it taut with your hand not holding the needle (that’s important).

Step 2: Place your needle in front of this stretch of floss. Notice the needle is in front of the floss, not coming from behind it. This will make the next step easier, and will prevent the knot from going all wonky later on.

How to french knit

Step 3: Wind the floss around the needle once or twice (shown winding twice), depending on if you want a bigger or smaller knot. Continue the tension of the floss with your left hand (non-needle hand) to prevent it from uncoiling.

IMPORTANT: Keep your hand holding the needle still while winding it with the floss in this step. Meaning, don’t try to use your needle hand to do the wrapping by getting all twirly with your wrist. This is the first way your knot can go wrong!

Step 4:
Okay, you’ve wound around the needle, the coil is pulled nice and taut. Next, (this is an important one) re-insert the tip of your needle just next to, but not into the same exit point on your fabric. If you enter the same hole, your knot may pop all the way through and disappear when you finish (and you say “wha?”). So, simply return at a point a little bit away from the exit point. And hold it right there! Keep your needle in this position. Don’t push it all the way through juuust yet. The next step is an even more important one.

How to french knit

Step 5: Remember your non-needle hand pinching the length of floss? Remember? Wake it up! This is when it goes to work. Give the floss a little downward tug with that hand, so that the coil will tighten up, and slide down your needle to make a little bundle against the surface of your fabric.

Step 6: With your coil snugly held in position against the surface, now push your needle all the way through!

How to french knit

Step 7: See? You’ve just pulled your needle, and the floss trailing behind it, down through the center of the coil that was wrapped around the needle. (Didn’t work? Go back to step one and we’ll go over it again.)

Step 8: Voilà! I knew you could do it!

Keep practicing and you won’t even have to think about the steps. Once you get the hang of it, I bet it will become one of your favorite stitches to use. You’ll start thinking of all sorts of neat ways to use it. If it didn’t turn out just right the first time, don’t worry- try it again and you’ll eventually get the feel for it. I know you can do it.

Now that you adoore French knots, here’s a great pattern for using them:

Published on April 19, 2019

Skill level Beginner Project time 3 hours

How to french knit

This great free tutorial by Christine Leech shows you just how simple it is to French knit! Follow along as she teaches you how to make a beautiful cursive word. Christine is a blogger and expert pom pom crafter at the Sew Yeah blog.

Materials

  • MillaMia Naturally Soft Cotton
  • 2 balls in a shade of your choice
  • Approximately 1.5m of soft, pliable wire
  • Pony French Knitter

I’m not keen on knitting, and crochet makes my hands cramp, but I do have a soft spot for French knitting. I remember many hours whiled away when I was younger making meters and meters of the stuff using a cotton reel with 4 nails knocked in the top.

I thought I’d reminisce and revisit this crafty craze this week, whilst teaching you how to do it too! Why not pick up a knitting dolly and give it a try?

Let’s get knitting

How to french knit

Following the instructions that come with the knitting dolly and knit a length of rope approximately 1.5 meters long.

How to french knit

To create this two-tone effect simply use the two yarns together as if they were one.

How to french knit

This knitting dolly kit provides you with a plastic needle, but I found a small crochet hook made it much easier.

Knitting this much rope took me one episode of Bake Off, one of Containment and one of Nashville. That’s about three hours, and a nice array of entertainment!

How to french knit

To work out if you have knitted enough rope for your word, try and lay it out as you go on a flat surface to see how much more you need to knit.

How to french knit

When you have made the correct length, cast off and then take your piece of wire and push it inside the French knitting till it’s all inside.

If there’s a sharp end, cover it in tape to stop the end from catching on the yarn.

How to french knit

Next all you have to do is manipulate the wire to spell whatever word you fancy.

Pro Tip

It may help to write the word out in the size you want first. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right first time, as you can always straighten the wire and start again.

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Celebrate the joy of creating! Share your craft and knowledge or pick up some tips.

How to french knit

There are lots of different ways to embellish your knitting projects even after the knitting is done if you decide they need a little extra something.

Duplicate stitch is one really common way to add more color to a knitting project, but another great idea is to use embroidery stitches on the surface of your knitting, such as French knots.

French knots are a fun and easy way to add a little zing to your knitting, whether you want to use them as the center of embroidered or knit flowers, as the eyes for a doll or just as random decoration on a knitting project.

They’re really quick and easy to make and add both texture and color to your knitting.

How to Make a French Knot

To make a French knot, you’ll need a length of yarn, any color you like, and a yarn needle.

  1. Thread the needle, tie a knot at the end of the yarn and bring the needle up through the knitting, from back to front, in the place where you want the knot to be.
  2. Wrap the yarn around the needle at least once, but as many as five or six times. The more times you wrap the yarn, the bigger your knot will be.
  3. Place the needle back through the knit fabric, close to where you came up, but not exactly the same place.
  4. Slowly pull the needle through. You may need to hold the knot as the eye of the needle goes through the fabric so it doesn’t pull to the back.
  5. Continue in this manner until you have all the French knots you want.

If you’re working on a knitting project where the back is not going to be visible, you can work multiple French knots in different locations with the same strand of yarn, just make sure you leave some slack in the yarn between the stitches so it doesn’t bunch up your knitting.

If you’d like to see a more detailed diagram of how a French knot works, check out the embroidery stitch tutorial. And if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like making French knots, you can always use alternative embellishments.

Knitting Projects

As mentioned above, French knots are a great choice for making eyes on a project that’s going to a baby, or to give a homespun look. They can be used as the center of flowers, whether those flowers are knit into the work or added with lazy daisy stitch.

You can also use a bunch of French knots together to make a design.

The French Knot Potholder pattern from Pierrot uses rows of French knots as a design element.

Other ideas might include making French knot sheep. Once you get going you might get kind of obsessed and want to do a really detailed, totally ridiculous-but-gorgeous project like French knot bursts. And wouldn’t it look amazing on a sweater?

Introduction: How to Make Your Own French Knitted Rug

How to french knit

How to french knit

Here is how to French knit a rug just like the one I have made.

WARNING: This rug will take hours of hard work. Do not underestimate the time!

Step 1: What You Need

For the knitting you will need:

Wool – You can use mismatched pieces of wool or an entire ball. Keep in mind that the more wool you use the bigger your rug will become.

French Knitter – The French Knitter can be anything with four pegs. I used the Monster Loom from Rainbow Loom.

For the sewing you will need:

Scissors

Thread

Darning needle

Step 2: How to Get Started

Next tie a slip knot on one of the pegs on your French knitter like shown above.

Step 3: What to Do

Then crisscross the yarn around your knitter until each peg has two loops, like shown above. Be sure to work in a counterclockwise pattern around your French knitter.

Step 4: Pull the Loops

Now take the bottom loop of each peg and pull them up over the top loops and into the middle one by one. Be sure to work in a counterclockwise pattern around your French knitter.

Step 5: Tip 1

Be sure to pull on your knitting gently as soon as possible after you complete step 4.

Step 6: Repeat

Keep doing steps 3 and 4 until you have enough to make the size of rug you want. Make sure you keep doing the crisscrossing and loops counterclockwise around your French knitter.

Step 7: Tip 2

To know if you have knitted enough for the size of rug you want, take your knitting and wind it around. If this is the size you want stop knitting and go to the next step.

Step 8: Ending Off Your French Knitting

First take the loop to the left of your line and move it onto the peg on it’s right. Then take the loop below it and pull it over the first loop. Then move your remaining loop(yes this is the loop you started with) to the peg to it’s right. Pull the loop on the bottom up over the peg towards the middle. Then move the loop onto your final peg and take the bottom loop up over the top and into the middle. Once you have only one loop left, cut your yarn about 8 centimeters from the ball. Then take your last loop over the peg and push the yarn through the loop, then pull it tight.

Step 9: How to Sew It

How to start off your sewing (first 3 pictures)

To start sewing first loop your thread through the eye of your darning needle and tie the thread’s 2 ends together. Next push your needle though your knitting(1) and then through the loop the tied together thread makes(2).

How to sew your rug (4th picture)

After you have done this take your needle and put it through your knitting(4). Then pull it through and repeat

the process until your thread has about 2 needles length left.

How to end off your string (5-8 pictures)

Take your needle and pull it through your knitting. Now instead of pulling your needle all the way through push the needle up through the loop with the head going first(5-7). Snip off the excess thread(8).

Now that you have done this you can start the process again and keep doing it till you have sewn the whole rug.

If you like to watch someone doing a craft then take a look at the video after the step by step instructions.

You will need:

French Knitting Nancy (or doll)

Step 1: Form the first loop

Form a loop using a slip knot as if you were going to do ordinary knitting or crocheting.

Place the loop over one of your posts (or pins) on the Nancy. Let the tail end of the yarn fall down through the Nancy.

Step 2: Form the first row

Wrap the yarn around the next post (or pin) around the top of the Nancy in an anti-clockwise direction.

Repeat this process around the remaining two posts.

Step 3: Add a row of loops

Take the yarn and wrap it around the post containing that first loop that you made. Repeat all the way around the Nancy so that you have two loops on each post (pin).

Step 4: Form the knitting

On the post that you placed the first loop on (in my case the blue one) take the bottom loop and pull it up over the second loop and ‘drop it off’ into the tube. You have now made a stitch. You can do this with your fingers but if you have a small ‘doll’ you may need to use a crochet hook.

Repeat for the remaining 3 posts and you will have completed a round of knitting.

Step 5: Continuous knitting

Now wrap the yarn around all the posts again in turn and repeat the process in Step 4 until you have the required length of knitting.

Next week I will show you how to cast off your French Knitting ready to create your final product.

I hope that you are enjoying your French Knitting. I found it really relaxing to do in front of the television in an evening. This infinity scarf is what I made with mine! I just sewed the tubes of knitting together but more about that in the next post (How to cast off and Create Masterpieces).

Of course, it is also a great way for kids to produce a lot of knitting very quickly with minimal difficulty. A great school holiday rainy day activity.

Here are some more great craft tutorials for you to try:

Remember to pin this tutorial on Pinterest so that you can find it later.

How to french knit

The French knot is one of several knotted stitches used in surface embroidery and produces a knot similar to a colonial knot. This stitch has a reputation for being difficult, but persist in your efforts. Once it clicks, you’ll be sprinkling French knots all over. They look great as eyes on designs with faces!

Read through all the steps first, then try it on your practice cloth. Looking at only the diagram or the instructions can be confusing, so it helps to consider them both. As you practice the knot over and over, the movements will become more natural.

French knots are notoriously tricky to unknot; don’t even try. Just cut away any unwanted knots. If you struggle with French knots, begin with a new length of thread before starting to work on your project’s knots. That way, any French knot mistakes can simply be cut away without affecting your other stitching efforts.

Notes

Practice on a small square of cotton or other fabric of your choice, using needles of type and size appropriate to the fabric. As you stitch, move your stitching hand from the back of the fabric to the front of the work as needed.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Embroidery hoop sized for practice cloth
  • Embroidery needle, size between 1 and 5
  • Small sharp scissors

Materials

  • Small square of cotton fabric for practicing
  • Six-strand embroidery floss

Instructions

Getting Ready

Place the fabric in the hoop. Cut a 12 to ​14-inch length of six-strand embroidery floss and thread it through the embroidery needle. Knot the other end.

Working the Knot

Bring your needle up through the fabric where you want the knot to place the knot.

  • Wrap the thread around the needle once for a small knot, twice for a larger knot. Avoid wrapping more than twice or you will end up with a lopsided knot.
  • Take the needle partway down into the fabric, close to the place where the needle came to the front. Gently tug thread to eliminate any slack and snug the knot close to the fabric surface.
  • Slowly pull the needle and working thread down through the wraps to complete a French knot. The needle should be able to slide smoothly through the loops of thread.

Hold the working thread taut as you pull the needle and thread through; this tension helps create nice, even French knots. You may also want to try keeping the tension a little looser as you pull the needle through, then tighten it as the rest of the working thread passes through. You may hear a “pop” as you finish the knot; that’s normal!

Inserting the needle into the same hole that the thread comes up often results in losing the knot to the back when you pull it through! Make sure you don’t take the needle down in the same place it came up.

How to french knit

How to french knit

Practice and Explore

To practice, work some more French knots individually, and in loose or dense groups as a filling, or along a line or path.

It’s best to only wrap French knots once or twice, but you can also adjust the size of a French knot by using more or fewer strands of floss. Try creating a small sampler of knots worked with different strands and wrapping both one or two times.

Another way to alter the size and look of French knots is with the tension. A knot with perfect tension will be tight and compact. By loosening the tension, you can achieve loopy and soft French knots, like those on the right. The look might be just right for your project.

Published on 19 April 2019

Skill level Beginner Project time 3 hours

How to french knit

This great free tutorial by Christine Leech shows you just how simple it is to French knit! Follow along as she teaches you how to make a beautiful cursive word. Christine is a blogger and expert pom pom crafter at the Sew Yeah blog.

Materials

  • MillaMia Naturally Soft Cotton
  • 2 balls in a shade of your choice
  • KnitPro Waves Crochet Hook 15cm (6″)
  • Approximately 1.5m of soft, pliable wire
  • Pony French Knitter

I’m not keen on knitting, and crochet makes my hands cramp, but I do have a soft spot for French knitting. I remember many hours whiled away when I was younger making meters and meters of the stuff using a cotton reel with 4 nails knocked in the top.

I thought I’d reminisce and revisit this crafty craze this week, whilst teaching you how to do it too! Why not pick up a knitting dolly and give it a try?

Let’s get knitting

How to french knit

Following the instructions that come with the knitting dolly and knit a length of rope approximately 1.5 metres long.

How to french knit

To create this two-tone effect simply use the two yarns together as if they were one.

How to french knit

This knitting dolly kit provides you with a plastic needle, but I found a small crochet hook made it much easier.

Knitting this much rope took me one episode of Bake Off, one of Containment and one of Nashville. That’s about three hours, and a nice array of entertainment!

How to french knit

To work out if you have knitted enough rope for your word, try and lay it out as you go on a flat surface to see how much more you need to knit.

How to french knit

When you have made the correct length, cast off and then take your piece of wire and push it inside the French knitting till it’s all inside.

If there’s a sharp end, cover it in tape to stop the end from catching on the yarn.

How to french knit

Next all you have to do is manipulate the wire to spell whatever word you fancy.

Pro Tip

It may help to write the word out in the size you want first. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right first time, as you can always straighten the wire and start again.

You might also like

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Your Purchase

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Explore LoveCrafts

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  • Crochet Hooks
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  • Free Crochet Patterns
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  • Clearance

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  • About Us
  • Contact Us
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  • Sell Your Patterns
  • Jobs
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Celebrate the joy of creating! Share your craft and knowledge or pick up some tips.

How to french knit

How to french knit

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