If you didn’t grow up in Germany, you may wonder “What is a Strickliesel?”Many German Girls were given their introduction to the all-important (and not always loved) concept of Handarbeit (literally hand work or handi craft, but in this instance it means needlework/sewing or embroidery) with a Strickliesel. These sweet little spool looms taught the basics of knitting by turning a simple piece of yarn into a knitted cord. Luckily, these adorable looms were fun to use… otherwise I would not have been able to sit so still to use mine.
Quick Look at the Contents
What is a Strickliesel?
The Strickliesel, spool knitter, has been around for thousands of years. Ararchaeological digs have found them dating back to the Roman Times! Of course… today’s Strickliesel look a bit different, I’m sure the Romans didn’t paint theirs to look like little ladies, or mushrooms. The modern Strickliesel was introduced in 1926 by the Nuremberg game company, JW Spear. It is as much a toy, as it is a practical tool. Small versions, like these, can weave cord (an important thing to have). Larger versions would knit thicker cords that can be braided to make rugs for warmth.
Today people collect Strickliesels because they come in so many cute variations! You can also make lots of fun crafts.
How does a Strickliesel Work?
A Strickliesel is a round spool, mostly made from wood, a few inches long and just wide enough to comfortably fit in a child’s hand. On top, there are nails or hooks evenly spaced around the edge, and the center is hollow… like a tube.
Start by dropping the end of the yarn down the tube. Some people use a needle to help it through. You begin “knitting” by winding yarn around each peg individually, in a loop. Then you go around again. Now for the fun part! Using a hook, or knitting needle, or crochet hook… you lift the bottom loop over the top loop, then off the nail. Go all the way around the spool doing this. Then wind a new layer of yarn on.
It takes time, but eventually, a knitted cord emerges from the bottom of the Stickliesel. I can’t describe for you how excited my 7 year old self was when I’d finally see it come out. PROGRESS!!! After that, it became much more exciting. I would get in contests with my sister, or cousin about who could make the longest cord!
What Can You Do With the Cords?
There are a lot of project books available now with projects to make from the cord you made. Bracelets, cute shapes… you can even braid them together to make scarves!
Adults have rediscovered the Strickliesel, and are using it to weave wire for beautiful jewelry!
Some people are even using Wire to make fabulous jewelry…
Where Can you Buy a Strickliesel?
Lion Brand Yarn 400-5-7002 Knitting Spool Knitter or French KnitterBoye Knit Spool SetMiles Kimball Knitting DollLearn to Loom Knit for Your Dolls: A Kid’s Guide to Loom Knitting for DollsNeue Ideen für die StricklieselErste Ideen für die Strickliesel: Kinderleichte Einsteigerprojekte (German Edition)
Vintage Strickliesels for Sale
See How to Use a Strickliesel
In German (but simple to understand)
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