Knitting Tower

The Camden Rose Knitting Tower is available from Amazon.

When I was a little girl, my father made a “knitting spool” for me using a wooden spool from thread (they were all made out of wood back in the old’n days πŸ™‚ and small finishing nails. I remember waiting for the first piece of tubing to make it’s way out of spool. It was like magic. As the coil grew I envisioned all sorts of amazing projects that I could make, although, inevitably, I made hot pads πŸ™‚

When I had children, I discovered knitting towers. I loved them because they were much easier for wee hands to hold. It is also a wonderful way to introduce young children to fibers and knitting. We are delighted to be offering a wonderful knitting tower in our shop. (Opening April 23.) It is made in the USA out of Birch Wood. The knitting tower comes with instructions and a piece of wool yarn to get started. But trust me, you’ll want more yarn FAST πŸ™‚

Some of the suggested project ideas are: 
~run pipe cleaners through the finished tubes and create bendable figures   
~create hair bands and bracelets by inserting elastic through the center of the tube and sewing the ends together to form a loop
~sew multiple tubes together to make flat fabrics
~short tubes can be turned into finger puppets
~sew tubes into a spiral to make doll rugs

I’m thinking they can be:
~sewn on to embellish necklines and sleeves of t-shirts
~make two spirals, sew them together to make bean bags.
~make 3 and braid together to make an awesome belt
~make a big loop for Cat’s Cradle

I would like to make this suggestion. The knitting tower is made from raw wood. Whenever I get any wooden piece that has not been finished, I always take fine sandpaper to the wood to remove any burrs that were created in the shaping of the piece. This is especially important since you will be working with fibers that would snag on any rough edges.

Then, I use a natural beeswax finish (we recommend Three Beautiful Bees All Natural Beeswax) and go over the entire piece, inside and out. Not only does it give a wood a beautiful paten, it also stops the wood from drying out and splintering. It is a good idea to reapply the wood finish regularly to prolong the life of the wood.

I’m busy making a long tube right now. Not sure what I’m making… hopefully not yet another hot pad… but I’m finding the experience very relaxing.

Knitting towers are suggested for children 5 and up, but my children did use them earlier. One additional comment. It is a good idea to work a little on the loose side. If the tension is too tight, it is hard to slide the loops up and over the prongs. Also, if you tend to work tight like I do, you might find it helpful to use a blunt end yarn needle to help slide the loops over the prongs. Also, this wonderful knitting tower is “reversible”. For beginners, use the side with 4 prongs. It makes a looser tube and is easier for wee fingers. Then, the other side has 6 prongs, making a tighter and denser tube. The choice is yours!

I’ll keep you posted on what I make, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of your completed projects πŸ™‚

In case you are wondering how I join my yarn together so you can’t see the knots… it is “magic”! That is, if you are using 100% wool yarn that has not been treated not to felt. To join two threads, begin by separating about 2″ of the end of the old yarn and the new yarn.

Intertwine the four tails. 

Next, get this section damp. You can get water from the sink, I usually pop it in my mouth. Ewwww… right? Anyway, when it is damp, simply roll the section back and forth in the palm of your hand until the fibers felt together. It only takes about 15 seconds. You don’t want to over felt the yarns or they will become too thin. Rather, just do it long enough so they adhere together. They should stay together if you very gently tug on them.

Now, continue knitting with the yarn and you are knot free. Pretty nifty, right? Of course, if you aren’t working with 100% wool yarn, you will have to knot your your. When you are knitting, just make sure that you place the knot and ends on the inside. Sometimes you need to fudge the tension a little so the knot shows up on the inside, but it won’t hurt the overall quality of your tube.

 

Photos: 4-11-12

Kimara

9 Comments

  1. I had a set of these as a child, and they were amazing! I spent hours making long multicoloured tubes of yarn that I turned into (lopsided) spiral rugs using a big wool needle. Definitely a tool I’d recommend for creative young ones.

  2. Can I ask a really dumb question?! How do you change colours? Do you just tie the two strands together? How do you hide the knot?
    I can’t wait to see your finished project, even if it is a hot pad! (I think that’s what we would start with)
    ~ joey ~

    1. I would never laugh at you Joey πŸ™‚ Actually, it is an excellent question, and lucky for you I took photos of the process when I was putting together this post. I decided to wait and share the photos when I talked more about the yarn, but since you asked, I included how to join yarn at the end of the post. Go check it out. I hope it helps πŸ™‚

      1. I’m so glad I asked as I would never have thought to do that! Thanks so much for not only sharing your wonderful designs but all the knowledge that you have to get such professional results!
        Will the yarn be available in a rainbow “sampler pack”?! ;o)
        Many thanks!
        xoxo
        ~ joey ~

  3. Aren’t these great? I remember spending long rainy days as a child doing this. We called it corking and used large, wooden, thread spools with nails driven into them. My sisters and I would compete to see who could make the longest one in the shortest amount of time. Some of the uses I’ve seen for them are chair seat protecters, throw rugs, and pot holders.

  4. I love this tower! Believe it or not, I just unearthed a bunch of the old fashioned nail-in-spool numbers while cleaning out my craft cabinet. But this tower looks much more child friendly and I have acquired several borrowed children who would most likely delight in using these!

    Open! Open! Open!

  5. Cool! We have a tonne of bamboo in our garden, might try making my own. My Dad made us French knitting thingies out of wooden cotton reels and little nails. Mine got ridiculously long using all Mum’s left over knitting wool so we sewed it in big squiggles all over a jumper. I loved it

    1. I grew up with the spool ones my dad made, too. If you get it to work with the bamboo, please let us know. Would love to have you share a photo, too!  

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