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I used to do French knitting when I was a child, but my french knitting was done on a wooden cotton reel with four tiny nails hammered carefully into the top of the reel and I used to use a hairpin to hook the wool over with. It worked in exactly the same way as the Bigjigs Knitting doll but it wasn't half as pretty.
I thought that Amy may well enjoy a knitting doll, she is six going on twenty six, like lots of little girls!
Amy loves to do anything creative and we have spent hours scrapbooking, making collages and doing papier mache.
I considered making her one of my cotton reel knitting dolls but thought that it may be more of an attractive proposition for her to own a pretty knitting doll.
Where to get one from was the next puzzle! I asked around our local toy shops and on a visit to the Westfield Centre checked out `Past Times` to see if they sold them, all to no avail.
So Google came to the fore and as soon as I hit the button there was a company called BigJigs Toys, but unfortunately there wasn't a knitting doll to be seen, they had cleared their stock.
So I ventured onto good old Amazon, in disbelief I saw that they were all out of dolls too!
Next step...EBay and I managed to find a BigJigs knitting doll for £2.99 plus postage and packing. I had some money in my PayPal account so I was able to pay on the spot, which meant that Amy would get her doll fairly quickly.
I have lots of odd balls of wool stored away, so I found out a ball of pale pink two ply wool, you need fine wool to French knit , if the knitting gets too bulky it won`t fit through the dolly.
When the set came I was thrilled with it!
It contained one wooden knitting doll, one wooden needle, 4 coloured balls of fine wool and the instruction leaflet.
The pretty wooden knitting doll has a natural wood body and a dear little face. The knitting pins that are fixed to the top of the doll are made from quality steel, so they wont rust and the paints used for the face are non toxic.
The knitting set is recommended for aged 3 and above.
It has been years since I have done any French knitting, so I had to secretly practise! But I soon got back into the swing of it.
The best way that I can describe it is that you knit with four stitches using a circular motion, the stitches are formed at the top of the doll and by knitting in this way you form a tube (about as thick as an iron cable) the tube eventually starts to show from the bottom of the doll as you keep knitting.
If you keep on going to form a long piece then you can coil the work around and sew it into position to make a dressing table mat or a coaster.(Or maybe there are people who will have some far more imaginative ideas!)
Amy and I had our Craft session and she took to it like a duck to water, she loved her new knitting dolly!
Amy was able to pick it up fairly quickly, it took an hour or so before she was into full swing.
It has made a pleasant change from our other crafts and i`m sure that Amy and I will make good use of the doll.
BigJig toys have a website, I have had a good look around it. They do a lot of educational toys, jigsaws, train sets, big toys...I saw a marvellous Pirate ship!
Go to www.PlayMerrily.com and take a look for yourselves, I hope you think that the site is as interesting as I did.
Knitting Nancy Pack