Monday, April 23, 2007


We are renovating and the house is in chaos, however, I have finally managed to photo some of the knitting nancy collection.

Knitting nancy, knitting bobbin, dolly bobbin, spool bobbin, knitting dolly, french knitter, tricotin, strickliesel, strick susel, strick hanni, punniken.......the list goes on..... these are some of the names that have been given to these small wooden items with a hollowed out centre and nails on top.
It is very hard to find information on the knitting nancy.......according to some, it is thought to have evolved from the lucet ((a tool for making cord, drawstrings, braids, etc. and lucets found date back to the Viking era. It was a common tool in Europe around the 16th century onwards and made from materials such as wood, bone, horn, ivory, tortoise-shell and mother-of-pearl) ...for further information refer to Lucet Braiding by Elaine Fuller (available through Lacis)).

The first photo shows some of the older nancies in the collection. (You can click on images for a larger and clearer photo. )
On the middle shelf is a Little Maids Knitting Set (from England) which contains a knitting nancy.
Many of these lined up here were purchased from France. You will also see a knitting mushroom, and these also come in various shapes and sizes.

Jeannette la tricoteuse - this of course, is french. There is no date that I can find.

The first - Knitting Nancy ...keeps our Little Girls busy.... comes from England, and the second - Kurken-breien is from The Netherlands. I cannot find any dates on these.

Three characters that can be found are - Madeline, Little Orphan Annie, and Becassine.

The above two photos show a box lid and its bottom - if you are lucky to find these, they contain two spools. The two spools either side of the box are from another box. On the lid is - Toykraft Knitting Spool Set. The date is 1936 and made in the USA. I would guess that these sets were meant to be shared with a friend.

Strick Susel, Strick Liesel, Strick Hanni.

French Knitters - I have seen one of these in a Golden Hands publication from the 70's. As you can see there are many colour variations.

Well, you have just seen a small portion of the collection, maybe I will show you more in the future, as well as what can be made from the miles of cord that you can end up with!


catsmum said...

hey you've been busy ... a clock AND an avatar! woohoo!
and I think the writing style is starting to flow easier too.
Question though ...don't you have any in the collection that were made in Oz?

crazyhaberdasher said...

Well, I have many that were purchased here but still foreign made, and I also bought some hand-turned spools from Ebay Oz that are ready to paint, so you could say they are made in Oz. I have only painted one so far - as a piccaninny.

mehitabel said...

Wonderful collection! I haven't seen too many of these here, but now I think I have something new to look for when I go to the antique malls. Who knew there was such a variety??

crazyhaberdasher said...

Thanks Mehitabel, it still surprises me when I find different one!

Rachel Hardy said...

Lovely collection, but I just wanted to tell you that the "Kurken-breier" is not from Denmark, but the Netherlands (which is where I live).

Have fun collecting.

Rachel from Holland

crazyhaberdasher said...

Hi Rachel, lovely to hear from you. Thankyou for setting me straight about the Kurken-breier. I was told that by the french dealer I purchased it from, but I will correct it and note it with my information. Thanks again!