We didn't have any wooden spools sitting around the house, so we opted for a simpler version, using a toilet paper tube, some craft sticks, a couple of rubber bands, and a little glue. We started out by gluing six craft sticks around the tube, so that their ends stuck up above the top of the tube (I've seen these done with six, four, or three sticks).
Then, we added a couple of rubber bands around the tube, to stabilize the sticks.
When it was dry, we threaded our yarn through the tube from top to bottom, so the loose end was sticking out the bottom of the tube.
We looped the yarn around each stick, so that the yarn crossed behind the sticks.
When all the sticks had a loop of yarn, we wrapped our yarn around all the sticks, in one loop, and began lifting the bottom loops over our new loop.
As we continued wrapping around all the sticks, and lifting loops over the top, a tube of knitting descended through the tube, and out the bottom.
I thought it was pretty neat, but I'll admit when I demonstrated the technique to the children, our conversation was a lot like that of Henry and Beezus from chapter one of the book I mentioned earlier.
"But what does it make?" Henry asked.
"A piece of knitting," Beezus held up her work to show Henry a tail of knitted red yarn that came out of the hole in the center of the spool.
"But what's it good for?" Henry asked.
"I don't know," admitted Beezus, her fingers and the crochet hook flying. "But it's fun to do."
Of course, I checked, and there are a few things you can do with spool knitting, like use it as a bracelet, a belt, twist it into a flower, or a hot pad, or place mat, or rug...
It's great to be a homeschooler.