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A French knitting doll is a type of loom that resembles a doll and is sometimes painted to look like one. It's carved from wood and is hollow with 4 pegs arranged around the hole in the top. When used, it produces a tube of knitted yarn that can be used in other crafts to create things like necklaces, place mats and soft toys. Although knitting looms in general can have over 60 pegs, allowing you to create clothing items like socks and hats, knitting dolls tend to have only 4 to 10 pegs.
Knitting a tube
Thread the end of the yarn through the hole in the top of the French knitting doll so that there is at least a 7.5 cm (3 inch) tail hanging out the bottom of the doll.
Wrap the yarn around each peg on the top of the French knitting doll so that there is a loop of yarn around each peg. Use your finger or the crochet hook to push the loops to the bottom of the pegs.
Wind the yarn once around the outside of the pegs just above the loops.
Pull the first loop you made on the pegs up and over the yarn above it using the crochet hook. Continue pulling the loops up and over the yarn on all four pegs. Pull on the yarn tail at the bottom of the doll after you've pulled all the loops over to keep the stitches uniform and to slide the new stitches you've just created down to the bottom of the pegs.
Continue in the established pattern of winding the yarn around the outside of the pegs and pulling the loops from the bottom of the pegs up and over the yarn. Do as many rows as you need for the yarn tube to measure the correct length for whatever you will be using it for. Remember to measure from the top of the French knitting doll with the tape measure when determining how long your work is.
Bind off your work
Bind off the stitches by pulling the first loop up and off its peg with the crochet hook, keeping that stitch on the crochet hook. Then slip the hook into the next stitch, pulling it up and off its peg and pulling it through the first stitch, keeping only one stitch at a time on the crochet hook. Do this with the remaining two stitches.
Cut the yarn, leaving a 5 cm (2 inch) tail. Thread the tail into the tapestry needle and through the final stitch to finish it off, pulling it closed.
Slide the finished knitted tube from inside the French knitting doll.
Weave the loose ends of yarn back into the tube on both ends using the tapestry needle.
- "Loom Knitting Primer"; Isela Phelps; March 2007
- Lighter weight yarn than medium can be used with your French knitting doll, but don't use heavier than worsted as it can be difficult to work with.
- Some French knitting dolls come with a small, pointed stick that resembles a double-pointed knitting needle. If yours has one, it is intended to be used in place of the crochet hook to create the stitches.
- Strips of French knitting can be sewn together to create a scarf or place mat. Short strips can be stuffed with cotton or batting to make bodies and limbs which can then be sewn together to create a stuffed animal. Use your imagination to make almost anything from the knitted tubes from your French knitting doll.
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