Yarn Lover's Room



Tips and Tricks


Exchanging knit to crochet


 Spool Knitter    exchange to crochet 

This cord is also known as "horse reins" or "k" lines. It has many uses such as for ties on bibs or shoulder wraps and drawstrings for purses or shopping bags. It can he made easily from an ordinary sewing spool but there is on the market a small device called Knitting Knobby which is the modern version of the old "Spool Knitter."

Take a large size sewing spool and drive 4 small nails equally spaced around the top; let each nail protrude about ½ inch above the spool. Number each nail 1, 2, 3 and 4.

To start, pull the end of the yarn or thread through the hole of spool, leaving about a 4-inch length showing as in sketch.

Pass the working end of thread around hook number 1, which should be directly in front of you.

Loop yarn around hook number 2 and bring to number 3, then to 4; now you are back to hook 1 and read to knit.

Hold spool or device in left hand with the yarn and the knitter (a small size knitting needle) in right hand.

Pass the thread around the hooks from right to left. Insert needle from, outside into 1p around hook 1 and below the working thread, pick up stitch or loop and slip it over the working thread, dropping it off the hook. Always take off sts from the left side of hooks. A little pull of the end thread will help to keep the sts even.

The knitted piece will gradually come through the end of the spool.

To bind off hold spool 1 in front of you. Take the last st its hook and place it on hook to the left of it. Now drop the bottom st repeat until one st remains.

Cut leaving a few inches and loop through st, drawing it tight

To add more thread or yarn, or join different colors, place the ends of yarn together and make about ½ inch from end.

When you reach the knot in knitting, simply tuck the loose ends into center of cord.

Taken from the Workbasket August 1954

    Made by Hazel                   

Hi Shirley: Just received your Yarn Lover's Room update and when I read your article on Spool Knitting I just had to write and let you know what I am doing with my long ropes or as I call them my "yarn snakes". I too remember making them as a child but I have since found a great way to use up all my little scraps of yarn and any old socks or sweaters or whatever else I find to ravel and re-use the yarn. I am making braided mats and they are really beautiful when they are finished. Mind you, it takes a lot of patience and a whole lot of yarn so unless you have a lot of scrap yarn, it could become costly. What I am doing is making the long ropes or "snakes", then braiding them together and making braided rugs or mats. Great to put by your bed or just about anywhere else. They are so warm and cozy to put your bare feet on first thing in the morning. The great thing about it is, you can combine any color, any amount you wish and when it is all braided together it just looks great. I try to mix my colors so I have the bright and darks mixed through my mat. They are popular here. I have made several and given as gifts. I sure don't throw out any odd mitts or out-grown sweaters or old knitted afghans and things that are looking a little worn out. I just re-cycle the yarn into my mats. Hope somebody else would like to try this. I simply weave them together after I have quite a few rope braids made. Here again, I just use scrap yarn and a darning needle and weave the yarn back and forth fastening one braid to the other as I go. I will send a picture. 

The instructions are just my own way of doing it I suppose. I first make my long ropes, then braid three together, just like braiding long hair. Then I either make an oblong mat or a round one. For the round mat, you just start coiling your braid and weaving your yarn back and forth from one side to the other to hold it together. (I use a matching yarn in my darning needle). Just keeping wrapping the braid around until you have the desired size you want. What I do is I leave about a six inch tail on each end of my rope and that way I just keep joining one rope to another before I braid them together. I hope I am not making this sound complicated because it is so easy to do. My mats are usually around 36 to 40 inches across for round ones and when I do oblong ones I leave my first braid about 10 inches long and then I start wrapping the next braid around it so that I end up with a mat about 36 inches by 46 inches but the size is entirely up to oneself. It sure is a great way to use up scraps of yarn and end up with something pretty and useful. Hope lots of other spool knitters will try it. Thank you for your response. Hazel. PS: You sure can add my name also. Don't mind sharing. Hazel Watters, Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada.  hwatters@nf.sympatico.ca 

Another use for the rope that you make with the spool - for the knitters that want to join the Fancy Flowers Squares - well only make the rope 6 to 8 inches long, fasen off and then carefully make the rope into a rose by wrapping it around and stitching it together to make it look like a rose, then take this rose and sew onto the completed squares.  It is hard for a knitter to make flowers to go on their squares and this will work, they just need to play around with it and make their tucks here and there and it will work. Our knitters and crocheters are crafty people and once they start, they will figure it out.  And don't forget, all of Gods' flowers are different, so each flower is unique in its own shape and form.  They will look pretty.

A fellow swapper - - - Suzanna at scbasco@

Hi Shirley: It has been some time since I last wrote in response to your newsletter.  I am still reading and enjoying it however.  Since I sent in the picture of my braided mat, I have moved provinces and I am now living in Nova Scotia but I am still creating my braided mats.  I have made several long ones by just leaving my first braid quite long and wrapping the others around it.  This way I end up with a mat that can be used as a hall runner or one to go in front of a sofa or under a coffee table.  They are so colorful that everyone loves them and there is never a problem with matching them to whatever scheme your room happens to be.  Also, it is possible now to purchase "Spools" made specifically for doing this type of knitting.  Some craft stores and yarn stores carry them.  I was able to purchase a really nice one that I am able to work so much faster with.  It has pins in it instead of nails and they are bent to look like half of a paper clip driven in the wood.  It really is a big step forward from the spools we used to use as kids.  Just thought I would share that.  Keep the newsletters and tips coming. Hazel hwatters@ns.sympatico.ca