I never knew this as French knitting as a kid, it was always my tomboy, and for a while I carried it with me everywhere.
Tomboys are a fun hobby for kids to take up, they don't just keep kids occupied for hours, they keep them occupied for months or years.
Time: 10 minutes to prepare, endless hours 'knitting'
Age: 5-10s, Over 10s
4 Popsicle Sticks
First you need to decorate the tomboy. If kids get really into this they'll be taking it with them everywhere. This isn't a necessary step, but it's much cooler carrying around a decorated tomboy than one that actually just looks like an old toilet roll. Add some paint and some glitter, and it will be good to go.
Once the paint has dried, start attaching your popsicle sticks. they should be evenly spaced around the roll, with the tips all poking out at each side. Secure them in place with sticky tape.
The tomboy is now finished. Now you just need to start 'knitting'.
Start by tying a small loop around the first popsicle stick.
Then make your way around the popsicle sticks, making a loop (without tying a knot) around each one.
When you make it back to the first one, bring the wool above the knotted loop. Then pull the loop, bringing it over the top of the strand of wool. You've now made your first stich.
Continue this around all the stich, and you're off. After you've been going for a while, your stitches should resemble a spiders web.
When your strand of wool starts running out (or you just want to change colours) simply tie another piece of wool to the end, cutting off any loose bits. This way you can keep going on forever.
So tomboys are fun, but can you actually do anything with them? There are actually heaps of things you can make. Check out this site with patterns for a whole range of spool knitting projects, including this gorgeous heart. Older girls might be interested in knitting when they find out they can make things like this braided necklace, or they can always just aim at beating the longest tomboy record of 26.33km. Phew!
I think we've still got a long way to go!
Let us know what creations your kids come up with, and share your decorated tomboys!
I too loved my 'tomboy' and carried it everywhere with me. Mum was an avid knitter and always had lengths of unwanted wool. My Dad made my tomboy out of an empty wooden cotton thread reel with nails banged in the top. I do like the idea you have posted and will make it with my grand kids. Thank you.