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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Thursday, 15 April 2010
A natural twist on a spring classic.

Skipping ropes are easy to come by this time of year, but truth be told my daughter needed a lasso.  She uses playsilks for just about everything, but they lack the weight to successfully rope and hog tie a stampeding T Rex or Daddy from the back of Jester, her junkyard reclaimed/ recycled spring horse.

So I made her a lasso that also works as a skipping rope.

I think.  Rowan can't skip yet and I am afraid to try as it has been a few decades!
But we did give it a whirl!

PLEASE do not leave young children unattended with ropes or cords of any sort.  Please use only with supervision for children under 5 or 6 (you know your child best). Play safe!


Materials:
  • scissors, ruler
  • WOOL yarn (scraps are fine if you are prepared to weave in ends)~ any weight, I suggest worsted or heavier to get a rope with enough thickness for the purpose. If using scraps make sure they are all one weight. In order to felt, you must use wool yarn.
  • needles (DPNs are ideal, though regular needles will work) I used worsted yarn and 7 mm needles. It is an inexact science!
Note: 
Most skipping ropes for play are approx. 7' long.
In order to allow for some shrinkage with felting + handles, knit 7+ feet (that is one long i-cord!).
7' is a LOT of rope for my 4.5 year old at a height of 42".
Adjust accordingly.

Step 1: Knitting the I-Cord
Cast one 4-6 stitches and begin to create an i-cord in knit.
New to i-cords? Use your favourite online knitting resource for instructions and videos.
Try this one or this one.
Continue knitting, changing colours as you desire (be careful to weave in the colour change to prevent holes or gaps).

Step 2: Finishing the I-Cord
Knit to the desired length.
Bind off in knit.
Weave in all ends.

Step 3: Handles
Fold over each end of the rope to create a handle.
Tie in place with wool yarn.
I made my handles with a 3" opening. Never make them large enough for a child's head to pass through.
This meant folding over roughly 4.5" of rope and stitching it down.
Then wrap the juncture with wool yarn and stitch in place, again with wool yarn so it will felt with the rope.
For an older child you may want to embellish your handles after felting: beads, tassles and other fun stuff!

Step 4: Felting
I use a top loading machine for felting.
I understand front loaders will work, but you may want to look up special instructions for machine felting with a front loading machine.
**Place your rope in a lingerie/ net bag or a tied off pillow case to prevent 7+ feet of rope snaking its way around the innards of your washing machine!**
Toss it into the machine. 
Add a pair of jeans, old canvas shoes or anything that will act as a beater to help the felting process.
Being long and thin it may take more than one cycle to get your rope to felt up to your tastes.
Yes, I use rubber duckies. I don't know how we ended up with so many. It makes me giggle!


Run the HOT cycle.
Add a capful of dish soap NOT laundry soap.
I usually pull my items out after the hot wash cycle to check their progress.  If the rope needs more felting, rather than proceed with the cold rinse, restart the hot wash portion of the cycle.  When it is felted as you would like it, let the machine finish out the cycle.
Massage and smooth out any bumps or rough parts with your hands.
Lay flat to dry (don't hang as it may stretch the rope).
Check your handles, they may need a security stitch following their felting.

Step 5: Skipping!
Or Lassoing, as your needs require.

Have fun!
I'd love to see pictures!

Copyright Lori Campbell, 2010.
Copyright protects my images and instructions.  Feel free to make and share skipping ropes for friends and family.  Not for commercial use.  No part of this document may be reproduced, altered or sold for profit.
Share and play nice ♥ Thank you.

5 comments:

CHILDHOOD MAGIC said...

I love this! So amazing!

Mari-Ann said...

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing this! My boy is too young for a jump rope, but I will bookmark this for later. Also, just found you on FB and became a fan - what a great blog you have!

Queen of the Butterfly Ball said...

Oh! This looks like something we "must" make here! My boys will love this! Thanks for the tutorial!
Rachel

" me " said...

what an excelent idea!

Anonymous said...

Hi..This question is a few years too late, but I'll ask anyways. Can this rope be made by finger knitting wool and then felting it?

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