Three Fun Spool-Knitting Crafts to Trycomments (3) August 8th, 2008
Even if you're not a knitter, you can learn to spool-knit. Once you've mastered the tricky part (threading the spool), the rest is just lifting one loop over another.
If you are a knitter, then you probably refer to spool-knitted cord as I-cord, and you may be accustomed to using it for things like purse handles and edgings. But here are three quick, fun projects you can make with knitted cord—whatever you call it.
If you'd like to learn to spool-knit, you can visit my basic tutorial for instructions. Many large craft stores carry ready-made cord knitters, or you can also build a spool of your own. Or, if you'd rather not spool it, you can knit one on double-pointed needles.
Project #1: Cheerful Flower Pin
Knit up a 15-inch length of cord (or any length that's divisible by 5), using pearl cotton embroidery floss. Then, divide the cord into five parts and place a pin at each division.
Thread a tapestry needle with more pearl cotton. Pinch the cord together at each pin, and make a stitch or two through the cord to hold that bend in place. Repeat with the other pins. Stitch the two ends of the cord together to complete the flower. And then, embellish as you like, and glue on a pin back. A cluster of these would look very cute on a handbag.
Project #2: Knitted Bracelet
Start with a piece of bracelet memory wire, cut to the right length for your wrist. Glue one end bead to the wire, and allow it to dry thoroughly. Then, knit a very narrow tube (mine is built on four stitches), again with pearl cotton. The tube should be about 1 inch shorter than the length of the wire.
String the capped end of the wire carefully down the center of the knitted tube. Glue an end bead to the other end of the wire, and allow it to dry. Then, apply a little glue to each end of the wire, close to the end bead. Stretch the knitted cord a little until the ends of the cord touch the end beads. Wrap the loose end of the floss that's still attached to the cord around the wire a few times, adding more glue if needed to hold it. Then, cut the excess floss and allow it to dry.
Project #3: Pen Cozy
Depending on the size of pen you use, you may need to play around a little to find the right size of knitted tube for this project. For the Paper Mate stick pen I used, I knitted a seven-stitch tube with baby-weight yarn.
Knit up a tube that's about 1 inch shorter than the length of your pen (because you'll want the tube to stretch snugly over it). Thread the pen through it.
Begin at the writing tip of the pen. Thread the loose end of yarn that's still attached to the tube onto a tapestry needle, and make small stitches along the edge of the tube. Apply a little glue around the pen, and then pull the stitches to gather the end of the tube snugly around the pen. Allow the glue to dry.
At the other end of the pen, gather the end of the tube and stretch it a little so that the knitting covers up the top of the pen. Knot the thread to secure it, and put a drop of glue on the knot. Allow to dry. If you like, you can add a little embellishment to the loose end of the yarn, like a tassel. Or, you can cut it off.
All of these make great summertime projects for kids, or they're also nice for when you just want a little instant-gratification crafting!