Knitting With A Home Made French Knitting Bobbin

frenchknittingthumb.JPGOn the previous page, I detailed the making of my French knitting bobbin - now let's see how to use it...

(For a video tutorial version of these instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the page)

frenchknitting2_1.JPGTo begin, take the end of the wool/yarn and push it downwards through the central hole. Pull a few inches through so that it doesn't come loose.

(In this picture, the main ball of yarn is underneath my left hand)

frenchknitting2_2.JPGNext, make an anti-clockwise loop around one of the pegs.

frenchknitting2_3.JPGCarry on, making an anti-clockwise loop around the next peg - and the others in turn.

frenchknitting2_4.JPGRepeat until all the pegs have a loop on them - it should look like this.

Starting The First Stitch

frenchknitting2_5.JPGNow lay the free yarn (the end that has the ball attached, that you've been looping around) across the peg that was the first one to receive a loop.

You'll need to hold this securely in place, but don't pull it excessively tight, or it will become harder to knit next time around the circle.

frenchknitting2_6.JPGPush the needle through the loop on the bottom of the peg and pull it gently out towards you.

frenchknitting2_7.JPGKeeping the working end of the yarn reasonably tight, bring the loop up, over it and over the top of the peg.

frenchknitting2_8.JPGPush the loop right down over the back of the peg, then pull the needle out.

The yarn you laid over the peg earlier has become the new loop for this peg - and the working end of the yarn is ready to lay across the top of the peg immediately to the left.


After pulling the needle out, turn the whole apparatus a little and continue (from step 5 on this page) with the next stitch on the next peg.

frenchknitting2_10.JPGAfter a while, a tube of knitted material will form, descending through the hole in the middle.

Pulling gently on the knitted work, once in a while, helps to keep things neat and tidy.

Uses For French Knitting

There doesn't have to be a use for the finished work - some people will find enough enjoyment in simply doing it, but the neat tube of knitting produced here is far from useless...

It can be sewn together in spirals to make pot holders and hats - it can be sewn onto the edges of blankets to make a decorative trim - or it can be sewn together in a zigzag to make square pieces that can further be joined to make blankets and other items.

Casting Off

If the work is simply removed from the bobbin, it will quickly unravel - so it needs to be cast off.

The easiest way to do this is to cut off the ball of yarn, leaving a convenient length to work with, then pass this end through each of the loops on each of the pegs in turn - it should then be possible to remove them from the pegs and pull tight the end of the yarn to fasten it permanently.

Changing Colours

You're not limited to working in one colour only - if you want a striped effect, just knit a few rows in one colour, then cut off the ball of yarn and tie in a new one - as the knot works into the knitting, it's usually possible to make the loose ends disappear into the inside of the knitted tube.


Video Tutorial


Before, during or after the video(s) embedded in this page, the player may display advertisements or links to additional videos - these are not affiliated to Atomic Shrimp and the selection is something over which I have no control.


1. On Saturday, July 30, 2011, 16:24 by Rebecca

fascinating patterns it makes

2. On Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 00:20 by Jediwhiz3

Could you post a video on how to use it please???

3. On Saturday, May 12, 2012, 10:36 by Dennis

A really well put together presentation - great pictures. I am using my lather to make the bobbin, but I had never thought of using 5 posts, as I grew up (many years ago!!) using only the four nails. You have given me some real great ideas, thankyou.

4. On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 00:10 by WonderWheeler

Too lazy to experiment myself. You might already knowDoes this work with an odd number of pins, like, say five... !;

5. On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 07:08 by Mike (for Atomic Shrimp)

Yes - it will work with almost any number of pegs, (I mean, any positive integer value). It can even be done on a single peg to create a chain-like cord.

6. On Saturday, January 5, 2013, 05:38 by Nabila

Hello, I've seen your video and think it's amazing.. However I'd like to know if you also sell these types of bobbin or the bigger ones too? I'm not good at crafting :-/

7. On Saturday, January 5, 2013, 09:27 by Mike (For Atomic Shrimp)

Hi NabilI don't generally make them for sale (usually too busy on other projects), but if you contact me by email (via the contact page), I'll see if I can help you.;

8. On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 19:31 by Nabila

Hi MikeI cannot seem to post anything in the contact us site, as it says the anti spam, does not match. I've tried numerous times :-/ ;

9. On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 20:39 by Mike (for Atomic Shrimp)

Sorry about that - try emailing me atid654 (at) atomicshrimp (dot) com;

10. On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 15:24 by Nabila

Hi mikeThe email add is incorrect. ;

11. On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 17:45 by Mike (For Atomic Shrimp)

So sorry - and thank you for your patience. I've completely redone the contact form on the contact page now - and it works.

12. On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 11:45 by Les Privat

Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.
It's awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same outdated rehashed information. Fantastic read!

I've bookmarked your site and I'm including your RSS feeds
to my Google account.

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