How to french knit, the basics

French knitted thread

As a child I’d love to make these bulky threads using French knitting. My sister and I would do a little competition, who could get the longest thread with the yarn available…

Okay, back to French knitting. Let me know in the comments if you made the same long threads as a child and after that, didn’t know what to do with it! I am re-inventing French knitting but before we can start creating we have to know how to make that thread again. So, here is a full do-it-yourself guide on how to French knit by hand!

What you need

Make sure you have the following materials ready for use because without them, french knitting will be difficult:

  • Yarn
  • Scissor
  • (crochet) hook or anything else you can grab the yarn with.
  • A French knitting doll
Tools French knit
Step 1, tools

The DIY is written using a French knitting doll with 4 pins. You also have dolls with 6 or 8 pins. The DIY works the same, you only need to zig zag the yarn a couple times more in the beginning. Let’s get started now we have all the materials ready.

Starting your French knitted cable and continuing

The following steps will show you how to get started and continue making your yarn thread. The second part of this DIY shows you how to stop the thread in the most beautiful way. You can find different DIY’s on the internet but I think the below steps give you the most beautiful start and finish. Show me your makings when you finish! I’m curious to see what you create.

  1. Place the yarn through the French knitting doll as seen in step 1.
  2. Move the yarn around one of the pins. (step 2)
  3. Skip 1 pin and move the yarn around the third pin. The fourth pin is skipped too (see step 3).
  4. Back to pin 1. Place the yarn above the loop that is already there.
  5. Pull the loop that is under the yarn over it. That will be your first stitch. (step 4 and step 5)
  6. Place the yarn on the second and third pin and pull the loop over the yarn from the third pin as shown in step 6, step 7 and step 8.
  7. Move the yarn around the fourth pin and go back to pin 1. Now move the loop again like you did in step 4 over the thread (step 9 and step 10).
  8. Now you are going to repeat to move the loop over the thread for each pin just like you did before, until your thread is long enough to create something with it (see step 13).

TIP: At one point you should get a pattern in the middle as seen in step 12.

Removing the thread from the pin

To remove the thread from you French knitting doll, leave a long thread (around 10cm) and cut it.

  1. Finish your last loop and take the loop that is left on your pin. Now pull the thread through as you can see in step 13.
  2. The first pin is now free of any yarn, see step 14.
  3. Repeat the steps for all other pins, when you’re at the last pin, your work should look like step 15.
  4. When you completed all 4 pins in this case, your French knitted thread is finished as can be seen in step 16.

French knitting might be a craft we all forgot about, because we never knew what to create from it. You can’t find a lot of things to make after you finished your thread. But, it is PERFECT to introduce yarn and fluffy stuff to children, therefor I am re-introducing this craft and share some fun DIY’s whenever I get an idea that is perfect for French knitting. I am already creating some.

Hint: make it in a brown color….

So, that’s all for now. I promise your kids gonna love French knitting while I re-invent it.



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