Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas 2009


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Knitting Spool Outfit No 2

The Knitting Spool Outfit No2
is made by the American Toy
Works - Fifth Avenue, NY
I could find very little about
the toy company (ATW) other than
the address is the same for many
other toy companies.
Nothing came up on the
internet and my two reliable
sources -
Encyclopedia of Children's
Sewing Collectibles by
Darlene J. Gengelbach
Toys A to Z by
Mark Rich
offered no historical
information at all.
However, there are also
two other sets made
Embroidery and Needlework Set No1
and Sewing Set No3.
All three sets have the same
graphics and according to
Darlene J. Gengelbach,
they are circa 1920's.

My Knitting Spool Outfit box came to
me, literally in pieces -
and I am glad that someone kept them
together so that I was able to
reassemble the entire box back to
it's semi-former glory.

In the box we find an instructional
sheet for different stitches using the
spool knitter - but it is by
Parker Bros. so it is not
the original leaflet.

The red spool knitter is a well
formed woodturned shape with
four staples and spring coil
to hold the yarn, and the red loop
tool also has a woodturned
Some time in the future when
I am better organised at home,
I want to do a comparison of the
spools of this type and the loop
tools found with them. (Those
that still have their loop tool.)
I hope that information
may come to light in future
regarding the "American
Toy Works" toy company.

The above book is really a fantastic look
at Children's sewing collectibles and a
worthwhile purchase if you love vintage
sewing (.... as I do!).


Simple Christmas Decoration

Here is a simple spool
knit Christmas decoration
that I made using found materials.
I didn't have any glitter, sequins,
shimmering silvery yarn, beads,
or whatever. Even my silver
and gold paint are still packed
However, the decoration
was simple and when I do
make more, I will then
have the necessary
bits and pieces to
make them sparkle
and shine!
It is based on a
photo of one I
saw in a French
pattern book.
Hope you like it!


Friday, November 6, 2009

A Project for Christmas!

A Project for Christmas
(or anytime!)

Spoolknitted cords are the
perfect addition to any
type of knitted project.
Hats, scarves, jackets,
toys, etc. can include a
spool knitted cord in some way.

Adding a cord to a plain
afghan can be especially
appealing, keeping it simple
and elegant.

Follow a *plain stocking stitch
knit instruction for a plain
afghan in a burgandy or deep red
colour adding approximately
25 cms of cream colour border.
Spool knit a length of green coloured
cord and sew it in place all
around the outside edge
of the afghan.
Next spool knit 8 lengths of
green coloured cord and arrange
in a scroll pattern on the
cream border. Pin and sew
in place.
(Size will have to be determined
by you and the size of the finished

Variations of this could be
- Use the 8 lengths of cord as stems and
add wool felt leaves and flowers that
are then blanket stitched around
the edges.

- Use a continuous length of green cord
in a zigzag pattern over the cream

- Add a celtic patterned spool knitted
cord over the cream border.

*The afghan could be crocheted in a
plain double crochet instead of knitted.

What other ways can you think
of to add a decorative
spool knitted trim to your


Monday, November 2, 2009


Several things had taken
me away from the Spool Knitter
blog the past month
but I hope this announcement
will make up for it.
I am currently looking
after the Yahoo Spoolknitter
Group - Noreen Crone-Findlay
is the founding "Mom" of the
group - and due to lots of other
projects, has asked me if I would
take over for a while.
I am very honoured that she
would consider me for the job,
Noreen is Queen of Spoolknitting.
As she has given me
practically free rein, I thought a
competition could be fun!
Why not pop over and
take a peek at Yahoo
Spoolknitter Group
and check out the details.


Saturday, September 26, 2009


Here is a very attractive sewing kit
(valise couture) made by
Moulin Roty - France.

This little carry case holds
all of the young child's
requirements for
sewing and knitting.

Tape measure, embroidery thread, scissors,
spool knitter, crochet hook, buttons,
thimble, cottons, sewing
needles, knitting needles, and wool.

Of course, the spool knitter is the main
attraction here. Measuring just 6 cms
from top to bottom including the staples,
in the cutest mushroom shape.

This set is new, very well made, and it
will quickly become a collectible for
the future.

Details : Moulin Roty S.A.
44390 Nort-Sur-Erdre


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rocket Knitting Nancy

This is the new (2008) Knitting Nancy
box from Rocket Toys and Games.
I find it a pity that the Knitting Nancy
itself was not changed. Aside from the
extremely pink face, this exact Knitting
Nancy has been around for about 30 years.

Below is the leaflet found in this box which
is printed on both sides.

Originally made by Spears Games which was
then taken over by Mattel, the Knitting Nancy
was not continued by Mattel. We now see it
being produced by Rocket Toys and Games of

Below is the first Knitting Nancy box
from Rocket Toys and Games.

Although a different Knitter is pictured on the
box, the actual Knitter found inside is the one
shown here on the right.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Knitting Nancies

These are newly painted
Knitting Nancies in the tradition
of the vintage Spear & Sons
Knitting Nancy of the 20's - 30's.
They are being offered for purchase
through my Spool Knitter group
on Flickr where you will find
more information.
They are for members only
and limited to twelve
(and some have sold).
So if you are interested, you
are welcome to join the
group (link in side column)
and contact me for
Be quick, as should you
have a colour preference
there is a limit there also.

The Knitting Nancies
shown in the photo are
yet to have their loop posts
added but I assure you that
they will be complete
and have some little extras
included in each of their


Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Knitting Bee!

Sometime ago, I found an interesting
little "magazine/newspaper" titled
- Harper's Young People - An Illustrated
Weekly - Vol. II No. 80 -
dated Tuesday, May 10, 1881 -
published by Harper & Brothers,
New York -
Price Four Cents.

I consider it of great interest in
particular to
the spool knitter world.
Among its illustrations and stories
is an illustration/engraving of -
"The Knitting Bee" engraving of the painting
by G. H. Story
(engraved by J. Tinkey)

The two young girls are intent
on their knitting while the
young boy is very busy working
on his spool knitting.

I have zoomed in on the
spool knitter which appears to
be a specially made wooden
spool knitter (not a cotton
spool as I think they were
not yet available) which
has four wooden posts and
not nails.
(Click on picture
to enlarge)

Below is my interpretation of how
this spool knitter looks bearing
in mind that the boy's
finger is covering part of the

George H. Story (1835 - 1922)
was an American artist
perhaps better known for his 1916
painting of Abraham Lincoln, a picture
of which can be found HERE at the
AMICA Library.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fun With Wool

It is quite a common question
- "What do you do with Spool-
Knitted Cord?"

It does appear to be a rather fruitless
occupation. "You have a very fine
knitted cord - not much can be done
with it" say!

There appears to be very little written
about the subject with very little offering
in the way of patterns.

I am always looking for books that
have anything to do with spool knitting.

There are some books that have been
published in France and Germany.
It appears that this craft is more popular
in these countries - and has been the case
for many more years - than anywhere
else in the world.

I have, in the past mentioned some
books on my blog.

Here is another one to add to the list -

Fun With Wool
Marie-Françoise Héron
It is published in French
and English language.

It is a paperback size with 96 pages -
over half of the book deals with
projects for french knitting.
It is still available to purchase on
the internet.

You can also check the links on my
blog for other sites that offer patterns
and of course, don't forget
Noreen Crone-Findlay has
published books on spool knitting -
these links are there also.
Plus, if you are a member
of Ravelry,
Noreen has a group there called
"Cool Spool: Spool Knitting Beyond
the Cord".
My Spool Knitter group on Flickr
welcomes new members - the photos
by other members can provide
inspiration also. (Link to
Flickr is in the side column).


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little Knitter

Here is a rather plain little
spool knitter called "Little Knitter"
by Spear's Games - England

It is *my opinion that it is possible
these sets were sold during the WWII years.

The illustration leaflet above is printed in black
and white.

The directions are puzzling in that
the diagram here is a totally different
looking spool knitter.

The painted Knitting Nancy on
the right is the "after WWII" model
and is exactly the same shape
as the plain model.

Above shows the wording on the
box top.

* If you have an opinion,
or agree with me, or know anything
about this "Little Knitter" please do
let me know. We are all here to
learn what we can about spool knitters.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Three boxes by Spear's Germany

Original Strickliesel

These boxes and stricklieseln were
produced by Spears Germany.

The left dates pre 1967
The centre dates from 1967 - 1979
The right dates after 1979
(this one is actually dated
1981 (MCMLXXXI))

(Thanks goes to strick_else - a good
friend in Germany and also a member
of my Flickr Spool Knitter group -
for the dating these boxes)

They are all No. 53002.

Above - the front of the leaflet
found in the "left" box.

Above - the front of the leaflet
found in boxes centre and right.
Both of these also have the
same knitting doll.

I am endeavouring to find
out more information
about the German
branch of Spear & Sons.
I am sure that it will come
to light in the near future.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Fairy" Knitting Dolls

The Fairy Knitting Dolls
were recently released
in Australia.

Here are the set of
pink, red, purple, green
and blue knitting dolls.

They are
indeed a delightful set!


(You would have noticed that the posts
have been somewhat irregular which
is due to current renovations on
the "new" house - please
do keep checking in often - I will do
my utmost to "keep you
posted".... : ) !

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Leapin' Lizards!

Little Orphan Annie


Harold Lincoln Gray (January 20, 1894 - May 9, 1968)
was an American newspaper artist and cartoonist.
He first had the idea for a cartoon strip in 1924 for
Little Orphant Otto. The title was quickly
altered by the Chicago Tribune editor to
Little Orphan Annie which first appeared
in the Tribune on August 6, 1924.
In the 1930's it also had become a popular
children's radio program sponsored by Ovaltine.

You can listen to the opening jingle
and some of the Episodes here.

Shirley Bell, who was 10 years old when she won
the role, played Radio Orphan Annie on the
show from 1931 - 1940.

Jack Pressman & Co. was one of the
pioneers in the toy industry in licensing
comic strip and film properties, and
in the 1930's sold licensed toys based
on Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy,
and also Walt Disney's Snow White and
the Seven Dwarfs.

Here is the Little Orphan Annie
Knitting Outfit made by J. Pressman
& Co. N.Y. - U.S.A. (No. 6830)

Above - showing the inside.

This is the leaflet found inside
this set - instructions for
Tricky Knit.

Obviously, it is a J. Pressman & Co issued

Above - showing the other side of the leaflet.

Sandy says "Aarf!!"
Little Orphan Annie's four-legged

The spool knitter itself is a very
simple wood spool shape with
the paper picture of the cartoon
Annie pasted on.


Little Orphan Annie
became simply "Annie" due to the release
of the movie of that name on December 9,
1982, with Aileen Quinn as Annie.
The cast members include - Albert
Finney, Carol Burnett, Anne Reinking, Tim
Curry, Bernadette Peters, and others.

Aileen Quinn has grown-up.

There are many songs for you to
enjoy to be found on U tube.
Such as Tomorrow, It's a Hard
Knock Life, and Aileen Quinn's
favourite song - Maybe.

Further reading -
About Annie the musical
Pressman History
The Nostalgia League
Radio Hall of Fame