Monday, December 29, 2008

We Have Moved!

We Have Moved!

Hi everyone! I trust that you have all enjoyed
a Happy Christmas with your family and

I am now in my "new" house and it is taking
a little longer to get everything organized and
in its place.

I had some "new" spool knitters added to the
collection since the last post, however, the collection
is still in storage at present.

Stay tuned........ I will have something
to feed the spool knitting bug soon!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Next Generation

Sometimes in this world, if you are
patient enough, good things will come
to you.
Was it the novel endearing character of these
particular strickliesel (spool knitter)?
OR ..... Was it the current popular
revival of the craft of spool knitting that
brought back these lovely spool knitters?
Either way, we have the arrival of the
next generation
of the "yellow hat brigade" with
a twist!!
At this stage (due to moving house and
all of my collection being packed and not
being able to access them),
I cannot go into more detail
regarding the original versions of
this spool knitter. I will have to post
more about that at a later time.
But these were new arrivals in
the post today and
I had to show them to you now.
So without further ado -
I present the next generation......

Okay now ...... as I have found with so many
spool knitters in their boxes, the one
pictured on the top of the box varies
to the one in the box.
I purchased three of these and all three
have red hats, the same colour stripes,
and the same number of stripes.
For those who are practically regular
readers of my blog, you will remember the
vintage originals with their yellow hats
and the many colours and stripes and
designs that they are found in.
I have almost fifty vintage spool knitters
of this style and none of them
are exactly the same!
So here we have the updated spool knitter
and due to production costs they are
all exactly the same colours/design.
(But I wonder where the one on the
top of the box is?)

This is the back of the box (sorry about glare)
which is all in German.
No - Made in China or Taiwan - here.

And for a little nostalgic look .......
here are the vintage
spool knitters.

This is the last post for a few weeks
but I hope to be back in time for
Christmas! See you then!


Added December 4th

I am so glad that some things have been
cleared up for me concerning these new
strickliesel/spool knitters.
Which is why I would encourage anyone
who knows otherwise to contact me regarding
anything that I have posted about on
my spoolknitter blog.
The "next generation" strickliesel does come
in a variety of stripes and colours!
It just so happened that my order must have
been of the same batch.
And what's more - they also come with different
coloured hats!
The directions are on the bottom of the box (in
German) although somewhat not too clear according
to my dear German friend.

See you soon!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Transogram Knobby Knitter

This set has just arrived and I
quickly photographed it
before it was packed away!

I love the graphics on the box top -
cleverly taking the older style
cotton reel and nails into the
modern era!

"Mrs. Oldtime Knittingspool's new bright
little child".

Illustrated by Isabelle Magor below.
Photo taken in the 1930's.

The set is dated 1938
by Transogram N.Y.

Originally there would have been two
spool knitters but unfortunately as happens
with so many like this, they get separated
and lost. The blue spool knitter here is
a great little character although still a little plain.
The tool is very much like the "Spears Games
loop lifter".

Here are some more of the fantastic
graphics on the box top.

Knobby Knitter - a very clever little gadget
to make ...... Hat-bands, Skipping Ropes, Baskets,
Belts, Purses, Mats, Pillow Tops, Horse-reins!
Also, the instructions are missing.
The set is numbered 68.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Guess Who?

Guess Who?

These are spool knitters turned by Hubby and
newly painted. I know the blue hat is a little large
for the character on the right, but these are
practice spool knitters and maybe there will
be more made that would suit the look
better. The woods for both are different and
as you can see, the character on the left
has a few "ridges" in the wood.
But I am pleased with the result just
the same. Of course
they still require their
nails to be official, but I have to
wait for Hubby to do that for me.
Let me know what you think of

Still just managing to quickly do another
spool knitter or so before the move - so keep
a watch out for the next new "arrivals" to
the collection.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


There wont be a lot of content in this
post - all of my spool knitter
collection is now in

So I hope you will forgive me if I
show you a picture you
may have already seen.

But here is the complete "Kokeshi"
spool knitter - see ....... it now has
its nails and is fully functional!

Luckily the paints have not yet
been packed and I can squeeze in
some more painting before the

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I was able to finish another of my
homemade spool knitters today. I hope
you like it.

Over the years I have found that I am drawn
more and more to wooden dolls and
toys, for example - Matroushka dolls,
Nutcracker dolls, Jumping Jacks,
Spool Knitters (of course!)
and Kokeshi dolls.

I have been wanting to do a Japanese
doll spool knitter for quite a while, and
thanks to my dear hubby, who cleverly
wooodturned some spool knitters for
me, I now have a "Kokeshi" style
spool knitter!
(She just needs the nails to
complete her.)

Here is a link to Wikipedia explaining
about Kokeshi dolls.

Of course there are hundreds more sites about
Kokeshi dolls so go ahead and Google
to see some fantastic Kokeshi dolls!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Peter Pan Playthings Ltd.

For those who are keen to collect
spool knitters in any way shape or
form, you might also like to include
those found in sets for sewing,
embroidery, knitting and handicraft
in general.

Below we have for example, the
Handicraft Compendium by Peter
Pan Playthings Ltd. London.

Included in this set are Basket Weaving
Quick Knit
Pom Pom Favourites.

The term "Quick Knit" in this
case refers to the spool knitter.
While this spool knitter is only plastic,
it is a good quality plastic with six "nails"
and would have provided
many happy hours of
spool knitting.

The directions on this set shows the
date of 1967.

Peter Pan Playthings (PPP) Ltd. also
made a Wendy "Pie" Knitter.


Friday, October 17, 2008


Here is a simple set by Milton-Bradley
called - The Nifty Knitter.
I would date to 1930's but
I am open to opinions -
if you have a complete set
I would love to know.

The original good quality
knitting spool is yellow and red
with four "gold" nails.
It arrived with three extra knitting spools -
2 thread spools and a red spool which looks to
me like a typical spool by "Davis" -
again open to other opinions regarding
this. One of the thread spools has been
"scribbled" on and so I am going to paint it.

Above is showing the side of the box.

Inside the lid are the directions for knitting.
It also states the number of this set is
4540 - 4544.


Friday, October 10, 2008


Knitting Doll by
Russimco Ltd.

These new sets dated 2007, are an interesting
find as the box top is a reproduction of the
Spears & Sons Knitting Nancy box.
It is such a pity that the original
Knitting Nancy has not been reproduced -
I was so disappointed to find that the
spool knitters contained in these boxes
are so totally different to the Spear's
"Knitting Nancy"......... :(!!

Below is an original vintage Spear
& Sons Knitting Nancy box and probably
the first boxes produced in 1926.
Note the wording on this - keeps
our Little Girls busy - and on the
reproduction box it is - keeps
our Little Ones busy.

Below is the back of the reproduction.
These spool knitters are -
"Available in three different designs".

Above photo shows the leaflets found in both
the original box and the reproduction.

Below - this photo is of another knitting dolls box
set where the knitting dolls available also are a
Japanese doll and Eskimo doll.
((This photo actually shows the "Indian" and
Japanese dolls and
the Eskimo doll (or perhaps it is a Russian cossack -
what do you think???) is illustrated on the box)).


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Spear's Orange Boxes

As promised from the last post, here
are the Spear's Games Knitting Nancy
boxes from 1983 and 1989.

Below is the box dated 1989
with the number 55046.

Below - this is what was in this particular
box. The Spear's Games and Crafts
catalogue unfortunately
did not include the Knitting Nancy!

Below - the directions found in this box are
in french for the Jeannette La Tricoteuse (the illustration
shown here is nothing like any
Spear's Knitting Nancy) which
is the french name for the vintage Knitting Nancy.
(The small print at the bottom says
Printed in England.)

Below - the two boxes right of the photo are both
dated 1983. (MCMLXXXIII)
The box number is 6001.

Below - inside one of the boxes (a later model Knitting
Nancy along with two earlier models - as found.)

For the next post I have another surprising find!
......and here is a sneak peek.......

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Spear & Sons Knitting Nancy Box

I came across this box last year, the only one
I have seen in all of my collecting years.
By Spear's Games, it would have to be
the very last type of Knitting
Nancy box issued
before Spear's Games was sold to
Mattel in 1994. I have been told by Francis
Spear (of the Spear & Sons family)
that Mattel did not continue with the
production of Knitting Nancy but I have
seen one by Rocket Toys & Games (2003) with
the exact same Knitting Nancy. (The
link to my post showing Rocket Toys
& Games is here.)

This Knitting Nancy box is dated 1992 and
its number is 55046. I do have a box
numbered 55046 which is the orange
coloured box and I will show that box
(plus others) in the next post.

Side of box.

Inside the box - note that it comes
with a warranty.

Bottom of box.

The leaflet of projects made with the
Knitting Nancy.

The other side of the leaflet showing
the instructions and is dated 1989.


Friday, September 12, 2008


Will Charm the Girls and Quiet the Noisy Boys.

Every now and then you get lucky and find
something significant in
spool knitter history.
The above trade card of the
English Needle Co. N.Y. and printed by
G. W. Averell & Co. is a fantastic
discovery and makes interesting reading
The use of staples (called double
pins in the ad)
goes all the way back
to 1879 and possibly further as it
states this illustration of
G W Averell & Co. (illustrators
and publishers) was
patented on December
23rd, 1879!
The price of the Toy Knitter?
....... just 15 cents postpaid!
I cannot find further information
on the English Needle Co. N.Y. but
obviously it would have been the
U.S. branch of the company in the U.K.

Above - I found this vintage ad for G. W. Averell
on the internet.

Close up of the Toy Knitter - note
the "spiral guide" (spring) to
guide your yarn as you work.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here It Is!

Ta Daaa!
Here is the new strickliesel finished
and only has to have the nails put in.
Let me know what you think!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Back in June
I had posted about some spool knitters
newly turned by hubby on various woods
(below). Some of them had started showing
cracks not long after
being turned but they did stop and they are
just minor cracks, after all.

I decided to go ahead with painting without using
wood filler as I think these cracks adds to the character
of the spool knitter.

So we have the beginnings of another painted
spool knitter.

Above shows the two sizes of the
original and the recent wood turned
spool knitter. (9cms and 18cms)
Not much more to go with the painting side
of things, just a little "fine-tuning" as the
stripes are the difficult part (though looking
at the originals, the stripes are not exactly
straight anyway). The hair needs
adjusting and the "shoes" also
need to be adjusted. Then there
is just the face and I will add "buttons" too.
The original spool knitter is Made in Germany
where they are called "strickliesel" and
they are to be found in a vast variety of
different stripes and different colours.
Stay tuned for the finished spool knitter.