What is a Strickliesel? Their History and Where You Can Buy One.
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.
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!
Where Can you Buy a Strickliesel?
Amazon carries Strickliesels! I wonder about the clear one… remember how exciting it was when you could finally see the cord?
Kreativ-Set Meine bunte StricklieselMeine StricklieselStrickliesel Sylvie pinkSchmidt Spiele 51604ALEX Toys Craft Cool Spool Knitting KitSusan Bates Crystalites French Knitter – Medium4M French Knit Butterfly Kit from Little Craft Kids, Specially Designed Knitting Reel Lets Kids Make Their Own Yarn Butterflies, Ages 8+Learn to Loom Knit for Your Dolls: A Kid’s Guide to Loom Knitting for Dolls
Strickliesel Project Books
You have the Strickliesel, you’ve made the long rope… now what can you DO with it? Here are some really cute ideas!
You can even immediately download the patterns from Spooligarumi! There are even some ideas for older kids…
SpiceBox Children’s Activity Kits Make & Play Spool Knit Animals, Craft Kit for Kids, 19 Unique Animals to CreateHow to Knit Fashionable Scarves on Circle Looms: New Techniques for Knitting 12 Stylish Designs
Spool Knitting Wire to Make Jewelry
You don’t just have to use yarn… you can knit wire to make some interesting jewelry pieces.
Spool Knit JewelryPremium Crochet Looms Set – 4pc Ergonomic Jewelry Looms – Unique Invisible Spool Knitting Looms – Best Wire Crochet Beading Looms – Wire Mesh Looms – Jewelry Making Wire Knitter – Super Gift for Crochet Lovers – Includes Downloadable VideoSpool Knit Jewelry Book Kit
See How to Use a Strickliesel
In German (but simple to understand)