Friday, October 26, 2007


Finally, I have finished painting the next two
tricotins/spool knitters
cleverly turned for me by my
very generous friend.

The larger of the two, I have painted as a Spanish Rose.
She wears a lacy top and also has gold earrings.
I felt that this tricotin/spool knitter was able to be painted differently
rather than traditionally seeing that it
was unusually bigger than its original. (see post "New Tricotins")

The second one is somewhat of a mixture of
ideas. Not too sure about what I wanted, but I didn't
want the traditional style who all seem to be a
cheeky looking masculine figure.
I would have liked perhaps a Victorian style figure
but as the skirt would need to be longer, that would
have looked a little silly.
So I ended up trying a different colour combination,
making it a female, with a lacy skirt.
Quite a mixture, but I suppose it all adds
to her character!

Sorry about the glare!
So what do you think?
Please click on pictures to enlarge them, you can see
the detail of the flowery lace!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Spear's Games Vintage Knitting Nancy

Francis Spear, a family member of the Spear's Games empire, and myself have been corresponding over the past few months.
Francis has been wonderful in assisting me with my enquiries regarding how the Knitting Nancy came to be.
I was in particular, interested to find out about the painting of the Knitting Nancy.
The following is what Francis has told me, ... quote ...
"J. W. Spear & Sons was originally a German company and all items were manufactured in Nuremberg. In 1932, a factory was established in England which made and assembled English language boxes but obtained most of the components from Germany.
After the war, both branches were independent as far as product selection and design was concerned, but did not compete in each other's territory."
"... the English branch in particular sometimes took liberties with the designs, the important thing being - in the case of a handicraft item - that it worked, had good instructions, and was easy for the child to do.
As a secondary consideration, production cost was also important and often designs were changed to reduce this. Knitting Nancy figures were an example.
Originally, they were mostly hand-painted but some time in the 1970's or 80's, the process was mechanised, the solid colours being applied by dipping and for the face and hair, we used a special printing machine."
Thanks so much again Francis, your friendship is invaluable!

Because I love the Spear's vintage Knitting Nancy so much, I decided to paint my third blank spool knitter as a "Knitting Nancy", (see previous post), even though it is a little larger and slightly different in shape, I am rather pleased with the results. I would really love to find more (blanks) so that I can paint them in other colours, too! Do you like it?

Here it is with a vintage "Knitting Nancy" for comparison.

And here are the group of the rest of the "Knitting Nancies". The first one is
a very much loved Knitting Nancy!

For further reading about Spear's Games Knitting Nancy please see my other posts
on August 6, 2007 - Spool Knitter Evolution!
and September 21, 2007 - A Little More About Spear's Games Knitting Nancy ..........


Monday, October 15, 2007


Recently, a very generous friend made me some fabulous tricotins
(french spool knitters), based on the ones from the pages of
Marie Claire Idees No. 62 Septembre 2006.

Due to a very busy schedule I have just managed
to paint two so far.

Here is one original (below) between the newly turned tricotins.

I chose these two to paint first. They are rare tricotins
especially here in Australia, and so because of that
I decided to keep the traditional look of these
just as they are found in the magazine.

I have been very lucky to find one original and here it
is again with the two newly painted tricotins.

Here are some tricotins featured in the magazine - Marie
Claire Idees.
The next three tricotins will be posted as soon as they are finished.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Due to a very busy schedule this week,
this is a very short post.
Just a little something for the eye!
These are spool knitters from France where they are called
tricotins. The faces are somewhat childish
which leads me to believe that they were produced
in a cottage industry, where everyone painted them
professional or not.
Do you see a pattern here?
The three on the left I would believe to be painted by one worker.
The three in the middle I believe to be painted by another worker.
The green (white apron) and the red (yellow apron) another worker.
And the fellow on the end, another worker.
Would you agree with me?

I am currently involved in much crafting and painting, so I hope to have
something special to show you within the week!

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Please, KNOW what you are buying,
gather any information you can,
seek out all pictures- vintage and new.
Not all sellers are experts.

Recently, there was a sale on the internet of a penguin spool knitter
which was being sold as a rare Laine du Pingouin tricotin (French spool knitter).
Needless to say it sold for a considerable sum of money
but it wasn't authentic! I felt that I should show the differences
between these spool knitters for future reference.

I have two "Laine du Pingouins" - one of which is in its original box.
Below are the two originals - the one on the right came with the box
and is the earlier model of the two.
(Note the orange bases and the large, very long beaks.)

Below are two penguin spool knitters that I recently purchased from England.
They are new
(and fabulous), and cost me around AU$9.00 each.
This is the penguin spool knitter
that was mistaken for the "Laine du Pingouin".
They are not fakes, and they were not intended to be a
reproduction of
the "Laine" pingouin.
Below - a close up of the "Laine Du Pingouins".
Below - a close up of the new penguins with their gold
coloured nails. Their paint finish is glossier although it is hard
to see it in these photos,
Group photo with the "Laine du Pingouin" in the middle.
Below are the bases for comparison.
Left - is the "Laine du Pingouin" and
stamped FRANCE on the bottom and is bigger
in diameter.
Right - the new Penguin spool knitter from England.
Here is the sheet of instructions included with the
"Laine du Pingouin" knitting kit .I know that there is very little written about spool knitters,
but for collectors, don't pay any more for a spool knitter than what
it is worth - and I repeat, KNOW what you are buying.

I don't call myself an expert and I welcome all
comments, opinions, criticisms, all in
an effort to learn more about spool knitters.
Please share what you know,
I would love to hear from you!