Toilet rolls are a crafty way for kids to make a French knitting loom. It’s also a great way to introduce your kids to knitting and getting them interested in crafting.

With the colder months upon us it’s a good time to pull the wool out!

I’ve been noticing around the school yard that a bunch of children have started finger knitting. This is a great kids’ activity that tends to come and go in popularity. Clearly it’s back ‘in’.

The kids were making giant snakes, bracelets and necklaces with their creations. And what was even cooler, was watching them teach each other how to finger knit. I was quite inspired!

This gave me the idea of creating this French knitting loom using just a toilet roll, some ice block sticks, glue and a bit of paint.

This is so easy and so much fun for kids to construct. Now you could just go out and buy a fancy little French knitting loom from somewhere like Spotlight. But you’ll end up paying up to $30 or $40, and more. My loom cost less than $5!

And once your kids get the hang of French knitting, they’ll love it. It is pretty easy for little fingers, and rather addictive. It’s a great way to pass the time, especially coming into these colder months where the kids want to stay inside more.

The way the toilet roll knitting loom works is that you wind your wool around your cardboard loom, and as you work, your wool forms a knitted tube that’s fed down through the centre of the cardboard roll and out the bottom.

What an amazingly simple invention!

Here’s how to create a French knitting loom from a toilet roll.

How to make a toilet roll French knitting loom

You will need
A toilet roll or cardboard tube
4 iceblock sticks
Hot glue
Masking tape
Paint – we used Resene test pots in Java and Wild Thing

What to do
1. Paint your toilet roll in Resene Java. I painted two thick coats. Then add yellow dots (Resene Wild Thing) using a cotton bud.

2. Paint your 4 iceblock sticks in Wild Thing. Again I painted two coats, just so they really popped.

toitlet roll french knitting materials

3. Once all your paint is dry, add hot glue to one side of the your iceblock stick and attach it to the inside of your tube.

french knitting wild thing resene

french knitting toilet roll

4. Repeat step 3 placing the iceblock sticks opposite each other, so that you end up with 4 iceblock sticks in total.

5. Use masking tape to add a little more reinforcement to the ice block sticks on the inside of the tube.

Now your French knitting loom is ready to use.

How to use your French knitting loom

Grab some wool and it’s time to start creating!

It’s fun to play around with the thickness of your wool as it will make your knit thicker or thiner. That said, if this is your child’s first attempt, I would recommend a slightly thinner wool as it’s a little easer to manage while learning.

Casting on

1. Drop the end of your wool down the centre of the cardboard roll, letting about 4cm hang out the bottom.

Keep a gentle hold on this tail of wool as you begin to cast on your stitches.

Working from the ball of wool, wrap the wool around one iceblock stick, once, in a clockwise direction. Make sure your wool is passing around the inside edge of your stick and wrapping it around the back.

Toilet roll French knitting loom knit

Do this same step until you are back at your starting position. Once you’re back to where you first started, wrap your wool one more time around the next iceblock stick. See picture below.

Toilet roll French knitting loom starting

Knitting your stitch

To do this you simply lay your wool across the second iceblock stick, just above the stitch that you cast on.

With your fingers or a wooden stick, hook the lower stitch and gently pull it out over the stitch above it, and all the way off the iceblock stick. Let it fall to the other side of the iceblock stick. Gently pull the tail of the wool to tighten the stitch a little.

Toilet roll French knitting loom casting on weave

Continue around your loom, doing the same with each iceblock stick: Wrap the wool around one iceblock stick, once, in a clockwise direction. Make sure your wool is passing around the inside edge of your stick and wrapping it around the back. Like we did when casting on but instead of going all the way around make sure you are looping your bottom piece of wool off each time before moving on to the next iceblock stick.

Continue with this form of French knitting until your project reaches a length that you’re happy with.

French knitting

Casting off

Casting off is what you do when you have come to the end of your knitting. This will keep your project from coming undone.

Cut your wool, leaving a tail at least 10cm long.

Each of your craft sticks should have just one stitch remaining on it, and these stitches will form little loops once removed from the sticks. Slip the wool off one iceblock stick at a time. Then thread your wool end up through the loop. Repeat this action for each loop.

TP french knitting

Gently pull on the tail and the loop will close. Then tie a knot close to the loops to secure everything in place.

Tie a similar knot at the opposite end of your knitting. And you’re done.

And what can you create with a French knitting loom? Lot’s of projects! From the simplest friendship bracelets:

french knitted friendship bracelet-Kiwi Families
Courtesy: www.domesblissity.com

To beautiful jewellery:

French knitted necklace-Kiwi Families
Courtesy: www.thecraftymummy.com

To awesome homeware ideas:

French knitted coasters-Kiwi Families
Courtesy: www.mypoppet.com.au

For hundreds more crafting ideas be sure to check out our Creative arts and crafts section.

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Alayna lives in the Horowhenua with her husband and two beautiful children, where she runs Laynescreative.com. She's a qualified primary school teacher with a passion for visual arts. Alayna's work has featured in print and online publications, you can check out her work on her website.

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