Tutorial : French Knitting

French knitting is one of those skills, like making pom poms, that I think lots of us learn when we are younger. It is a lovely skill to teach children or a simple craft to enjoy ourselves. So whether this tutorial serves as an introduction or as a reminder, I hope you enjoy a bit of French knitting.

Tutorial : French KnittingTo begin your own piece of French knitting you will need some wool, a darning needle, a knitting dolly and a pair of scissors. My knitting dolly is from the Hampshire Coppice Craftsmen’s Group. I have used 4 ply yarn, but you can use any wool you like as long as it will fit down the centre of your dolly.

Tutorial : French KnittingTo get started, thread the end of your wool onto your darning needle and thread it through the dolly.

Tutorial : French KnittingYou need to pull about 5 inches of wool out of the bottom of the dolly. Then pull your needle off. Next you need to cast on your stitches, which means wrapping your wool around the pegs at the top. Taking the wool from the ball, loop the wool around each peg in turn.

Tutorial : French KnittingNext you need to wrap the wool around the four pegs once more, but instead of looping it around, simply pull the wool around the outside of each of the four pegs. This last wrap will sit above the first loops, which sit towards the bottom of the pegs. Now you have two stitches on each peg.

Tutorial : French KnittingNow you can start knitting. To do this, put your darning needle under the bottom of the first looped stitch. Pull this stitch up and over the wrapped stitch above it and off the top of the peg.

Tutorial : French KnittingContinue to do this to each of the stitches, pulling the wool around as you go to create the wrapped stitches at the top of each peg. When you have knitted around a few times, gently pull the wool hanging out the bottom of the dolly to feed your knitting through.

Tutorial : French KnittingTo cast off, cut your wool from the ball and thread this end onto your needle. Thread this piece of wool through each of the stitches left on the pegs and pull them off the pegs. Pull the wool to gather the four stitches together.

Tutorial : French KnittingFrench knitting is simple and its really portable too. I’m going to be writing some tutorials soon to show you what you can do with your French knitting!

Tutorial : French KnittingIf you fancy trying out French knitting then you can buy knitting dollies from Amazon. If you purchase anything through the links in my post you are helping to support my blog as I get a small referral fee from Amazon. Thank you!



  1. I still have the french knitting dolly my granda made for me when I was little, a bobbin with some nails knocked in πŸ™‚ It’s got a PHD in at that moment haha I wanted to make a rug but I got part way and got distracted :/ Oops!

  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial, I am sure my daughter (and me lol) would love to knit way, but I haven’t seen any kind of knitting dollies here in the States, I wonder is there is a way to make one πŸ™‚

      • You can get them online at Amazon or you can purchase them at JoAnn’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby. They call them knitting looms, I think, and they come in several sizes.

  3. Just bought a hand carved bobbin at a craft fair. Can’t wait to use it. Happy childhood memoriesmi

  4. My grandmother’s neighbor, Mrs. Miller and of French heritage, taught my sister and I how to do this but called it cattailing. Oh my now I’ve found this and I’ll be able to teach my grandaughters (and sons). Thank you so much!!!!

  5. My father put 4 nails in an empty wooden thread spool and my grandma showed me how to do this knitting. Brought back HAPPY memories.


    • Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for getting in touch. More nails would make a bigger tube and you would probably need a larger hole to feed the knitting through. Google ‘loom knitting’ , I think you would find that is the kind of thing you are imagining.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s