Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Friday, 16 November 2012

What Do You Call This?

I call it 'Corking', I know some people call it 'French Knitting', others call it 'Knitting Nancy' or 'Knitting Dollies'.  This was the first 'yarn craft' that I learned as a child.  I was quite small too maybe five years old.  It is a great winter craft for kids, particularly competitive siblings.    I 'Corked' miles of this stuff as a kid.  I used to have races with my cousins to see who could get theirs the longest.  They grew so long we had to braid them to stop them from getting tangled. I do not think I have ever seen anything actually made out of corking.  I think I was trying to make a rug for the living room!  I have always been good at 'biting off more than I could chew'.  At the 'Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing Guild' on Saturday these little 'Corking dollies, looms or whatever you call them had been made by one of the members they were sold for the grand total of 20p.  Mine used to be made out of an empty wooden cotton reel with tacks in.  Now wooden cotton reels are pretty tricky to come by.  I have used 'mass produced' Corking thingamejigs and they do not work well in my opinion, the plastic ones in particular are terrible.  I taught Euan how to 'Cork' tonight.  At first he was all flustered and crabby about it but very quickly he got the hang of it.  He has now been sitting quietly 'corking' for an hour.  He is busy making a coaster.  He keeps measuring and rolling it up and is very impressed with his progress.  He has his colours all planned out.
He wants it big enough for the mug to fit on and all the colours to show around the edge.  He is already talking about breaking 'World Records' for 'Corking' and going into business with me, him corking and me sewing it up.
He has suggested a Yard Sale once every couple of weeks selling our 'Corking' makes.  In the current economic climate this really could be worth a try.  I may get him his own Etsy Store.
            If you have children you need to keep quiet you could do worse than get them 'Corking'  there is a good tutorial Here.
             Oh no!  I am getting delusions of grandeur again.  Look at this beautiful French Knitted Bag Designed by Debbie Tomkies.

Debbie has a Blog Hue and Dye and is the proprietor for DT Craft and Design a 'must have a look' for hand dyers.  I did not know 'corking' could be turned into anything so beautiful.  I will place an order with Euan!


  1. Oooh that corking mallarkey looks like fun! I love the bag...perhaps you and Euan going into business isn't a bad idea if that's the sort of beautiful thing that can be made!

  2. Ooh so tempted ... tell Euan he has another order!! xxx

  3. I know it as French knitting. Used to enjoy doing it as a child but never made my "lengths" into anything much. The bag is beautiful. Evan could be onto a winner!
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Carol xx

  4. I call it French Knitting too (and a knitting dolly if it's painted in pretty colours!)

  5. OOh I LURVE that bag!
    Funny enough we were looking at some french knitting thingies at the rural life museum yesterday. They were smooth wood with cute little faces on!

  6. I call it French knitting and my little thingamy for doing it on, a knitting bee...because he is decorated as as bee ^_^ I had a go at making a bird form it once, but Kerry (from makes lovely things from it. Very sweet little robins and snails.^_^ That bag is beautiful!

  7. aww i love that bag so much..very sweet..
    hugs for you x

  8. hiya, yes french knitting for me also, my first introduction into "knitting ", the best ones made out of wooden cotton reels, another order for the bag please

  9. hello Lucy

    French knitting.....and I hunted high and low for a dolly here to buy for my grand-daughter. I thought it would initiate her into crochet that way. Well I wasn't lucky at all but do you know where I finally found one....I had to go to the other side of the world and bring one back. I found it in Toowoomba in Queensland in a marvallous BIG store that sold loads of stuff just for for every craft under the sun practically. She loved it and makes loads and loads of cord. She has already made up a few bracelets for her friends. I didn't have anything as sophisticated as what I found for her .....yours is very much like the one I had and my Dad made it for me.....sigh.......

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  10. I don't know wha tI would call it but I like that better than the "mechanical" ones where you just crank a handle and it does it for you quickly....
    I used to make them using elastic thick thread, sometimes with beads, and making bracelets...

    It's constructed the same as the i-cord in knitting and it can be used for lots of things!!! What a great idea to entertain a kid!

  11. I did that as a kid.. I think I used a spool with nail brads like yours and also I used the plastic one. I think we called it a Knitting Nancy. That bag made from it is amazing! You and Euen are quite the industrious pair! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  12. Yup... I knew it as French Knitting too... and still have my wooden caterpiller-type one 20 years later! Might have to find it... I loved that thing, haha!

    Oh.. and I also saw this on my travels.... cute use for the cord on his antlers??

  13. I always called it French Knitting as a kid, I wish I'd known you could make bags like that - I'm inspired - thanks Lucy:) x

  14. Yes French Knitting for me too. I loved it but I love that bag more x


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