My Material Life

Toilet Paper Roll Knitting Idea #8: Summer Skinny Skarf


It wasn’t until I figured how to knit a hole into a spool-knit tube (see Spool Knit Wrist Warmer) that I realized that a spool knitter could be used to knit a flat panel. Why it took me so long I don’t know. Spool knitters are knitting looms after all – just because they are round doesn’t mean you have to create a tube with them. What I did to create the flat scarf above was to start knitting on one stick and work my way around to the last stick. Then, instead of continuing to work in a circle, I took my working yarn (or yarns in this case – two strands of Rowan DK Handknit Cotton) and pulled it around the front of that last stick and started working back in the direction I had just come from. Back and forth, back and forth – instead of round and round – that’s how you knit flat on a spool knitter. Pretty neat, huh?

Because I wrap my sticks as I use the spool knitter, you will notice a directional change in the pattern created by the stitches. If you do not wrap your loops, i.e., if you simply lay your yarn across the front of the sticks, you won’t have this change in direction. I’ve just never been able to knit on my homemade spool knitters that way because the knitting becomes too tight.

Now let me show you how to get a nice finished edge for your scarf. When you are happy with the scarf length (this one is about 64″ long), go ahead and knit the first two sticks.  *Then, take the loop from the last stick you just knitted and place it on the first stick you already knitted next to it (Figure 1). Now that stick has two loops on it, so knit it again and then your sticks should look like Figure 2. Move that remaining loop to the next stick in the direction you are moving to bind off. Now, move your working yarn so you are ready to knit the stick next to that one (Figure 3), and go ahead and knit it.*  Repeat from * to * until …

you end up with only two loops remaining on one stick. Knit that stitch, cut your yarn, remove the remaining loop from your knitter and pull your yarn tail up tight through that loop. Weave in the ends, and you’ve got yourself a scarf.

Here’s another scarf I’m working on with some finer yarns that I had in my stash. I love my new knitter. It’s made with an empty cardboard tape tube and the cutest little craft sticks that I found at Jo-Ann’s. I’m crazy about that tape (also from Jo-Ann’s); it’s very seventies, kind of Marimekko, and the colors make me happy. Remember when duct tape only came in silver?


For additional spool knitting posts and projects, please click here.



  1. Cath

    would love to try that but I do not understand how to use it and the change of direction you are talking about, could you please telle me more, thanks

    • I should really make a video; let me come up with something else to help in the meantime, but have you looked at the giant knitting nancy video I have a link to on my post, Attack of the Knitting Nancys? Watching that really helped me see how to use one of these. Take a look if you haven’t yet – Colleen

    • elaine

      About changing direction, think about drawing an ” O ” , the reg knitting nancy you go around and around but to make it flat you make a “C” and go back the other way. Pretty cool idea

    • Is it the back and forth part you’re having trouble with or just the popsicle stick spool knitting in general? Have you seen the video of the giant spool knitter I have a link to on my post, Attack of the Knitting Nancys? That helped me a lot. Let me know – your scouts will have a blast with this. Thanks for writing –

  2. Peggy

    I’m teaching knitting to my 6th grade exploratory class. I have 27 kids this quarter and not enough needles. This will be a great way to get them all going and then teach alternately to knit with needles. Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • I need to do a video; in the meantime take a look at this

      I think it’s a little different than what I’m showing, but it should work – good luck. Working on another scarf now will show soon …

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