It is a treasure. It’s 100 years old and has delightful photos.
I find it interesting that Mary McCormack consistently calls the spool knitted cords, ‘webs’, rather than cords.
I think that this is probably because she likens a child (she always uses ‘he’ as the supposed spool knitting child, never ‘she’, sigh) to a spider spinning a web.
Her projects all involve spool knitting yards of cord, mostly on 2 peg spool knitters, and then stitching them into shapes that are then assembled for the finished project.
To be honest, I don’t know if crafters nowadays would be willing to do that.
Hand stitching things seems to be a process that is really resisted.
As I was reading through the book, my attention was caught by the use of the terms, ’round webs’ and ‘flat webs’.
I thought… hmmmm…. this bears further investigation….. I wanted to see if what she was showing was different from the way I make 2 peg cord.
I thought that perhaps, I should make a 2 peg spool knitter just like the one she uses in the book, but then, I thought…. nah, let’s just make the cords, and THEN see about making some spoolies like hers.
So, I got out one of my Cordelia cordmakers, and cast on in a figure ’8′.
McCormack does all her spool knitting on 2 peg spool knitters using the figure ’8′ wrap. She doesn’t start with a slip knot, just by taking the yarn around the right hand peg. She uses a dowel with a center hole that she drops the yarn down, but since I am using a Cordelia cordmaker that doesn’t have a hole, I just hold the tail in front of the cordmaker.
I am using 2 strands of yarn held together, just because I wanted a thicker cord. I realize that that could be confusing….. sorry about that…..
So, you take the yarn around the right hand peg,between the pegs, and around the left hand peg, then back between the pegs……and around the right hand peg again.
Then, you lift the lower wrap of yarn over the upper wrap…. of course, I had to take the picture, so I left the loop lifter dangling in space, but you’re not going to do that…
McCormack has the reader take the yarn around each peg, always following a figure ’8′, and lifting the lower loop over the upper loop.
This creates a cord that is actually closer to being square than round. I worked the McCormack figure ’8′ style for several inches. I kept looking closely at the resulting cord, trying to see if it looked any different from the cord that I make by the ‘zip round the pegs to the outside’ technique. I decided that I needed to try the ’round the outside of the pegs’ method to see if I could see any difference in the resulting cord.
The littler girl in the picture captured my heart…. she has the classic resignation of the younger sister who knows that she is always going to be the one who is ‘the student’ when she plays school with Big Sister.
And, that Big Sister is ALWAYS going to be the one clucking, ‘giddyup’, and that she will always be cantering in the reins….. never the one who cracks the whip….Anyhow…. back to the cords…. I placed a bit of yarn in the center of the spool knitter to mark where I had shifted from wrapping a figure 8 to going around the outside of the pegs.
I still was lifting the lower loop over the upper, so the only difference was not taking the yarn between the pegs.
I spool knitted for several more inches, and if I had not placed the pink yarn in the cord, honestly, I would never have been able to tell the difference between the 2 wrapping techniques. So…. if you prefer to use the figure 8 technique, then do that. If you prefer the other way of just going around the outside edge, then by all means, use that method. McCormack’s second technique for working with the 2 peg spool knitter creates what she calls, |The Flat Web|
This is a really neat, decorative cord that I quite like. The Flat Web is worked in the figure 8 wrap method. Wrap 2 figure 8′s on both pegs. Lift the LOWER TWO wraps over the upper wrap on each peg. Then, wrap 2 figure 8′s again, and continue to lift the lower 2 over the upper one. (This is also a great way of ‘beefing up’ a thin yarn ) I wouldn’t use the ‘Flat Web’ cord for dolls or toys, but for jewelry and embellishments, I would definitely choose it. Here is a comparison of the ‘Round Web’ and the ‘Flat Web’ cords:
Both are made using 2 strands of Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton. Spool knitting cotton is more challenging than spool knitting wool, as cotton doesn’t have spring or memory, so it’s not as fast as wool or most smooth spun synthetic yarns. I thought that it was really neat that McCormack has wristlets in her book. Just goes to show that some things that go round, come round again even if it takes 100 years.