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how to knook

  • Texting Mitts

     

    I know that it is spring and almost summer but I wanted to practice my new found Knooking skills. I flipped through the booklet in the Knook Beginner Set for Kids and decided I would try to make a pair of fingerless mittens. In the book, the fingerless mittens are called Texting Mitts. Since it is a pattern for kids, and the instructions said to chain 14 and pick up 13 stitches, I added 4 more making it 18 stitches and picked up 17 stitches. Doing this made it longer because it goes down your arm not around. I Knooked until it wrapped around and touched but I didn't pull it too tightly. I also made sure when I started to leave a tail and also a tail when I was finished for sewing the seam. If you need any help with Knooking there are videos to help.

    I used Paton's  Classic Wool worsted; it will be slightly scratchy until it is washed by hand and laid flat to dry. Next time I think I will add 4 more stitches to make it even longer. Fingerless mittens are quick and easy to Knook, crochet, and knit. They also make wonderful gifts for yarn worthy friends or family.

     

    Finger-less mittens Finger less mittens

     

     

     

  • Knook

    Kid_Knook_pkg__58583_zoom

    This week I learned how to use a Knook. I used the Knook for Kids kit by Leisure Arts and followed the instructions. I have to admit that I turned my nose up at learning how to Knook. I have knitted for almost 20 years and crocheted for about 5 years. Why do I need to learn how to Knook? I asked myself. Because you like to learn new things and challenge yourself is what I thought. So I gave it a go and I found that I liked using a Knook. I found the instructions to be very easy to follow. I even watched a video from the website that the book has - to make sure I had a full understanding.

    To practice my new Knooking skills, I Knooked three swatches: a garter stitch swatch which is just a knit stitch; a stockinette stitch swatch which is knit a row, purl a row; and, a rib stitch swatch which is knit two, purl two. The three swatches will make perfect coasters. I always need something to set my drinks on; my poor coffee table has several rings on it. They also make great little gifts that don’t take very long to knit up. Challenge yourself and learn something new this week.

    left garter stitch, middle stockinette stitch, and right rib stitch left garter stitch, middle stockinette stitch, and right rib stitch
  • Knooks, Videos, and Tangents

     

    A few months ago, my husband thought he would try to help me out with some of the craft projects I do for this blog.  He didn't think he was up to crocheting, so he went for the Knook.  The plan was that he would try it out while I was away at work, and then I could help him with any confusion.  We were pretty certain that he would get pretty confused and I would probably have a post's worth of humor and silliness.

    When I came home that evening, he told me he didn't get as far as he had hoped.  "I ran out of string" he said.

    Oh.

    Let me be clear: I had left him with several Knook pattern books, all of which have detailed explanations on how to use the Knook.  These explanations all have pictures.  When I made him a pile of Knook-related materials next to some yarn and Knooks, I was very careful to place Learn to Knook on the very top.

    Let me be extra clear (in case you have never used a Knook, or you are just trying to give this poor man the benefit of a doubt): the string to which he referred was, in fact, the string attached to the end of the Knook.  The string you use to hold your active stitches.

    For the record, here's what you do with the string:

    And here's how you get started:

    I was never quite able to figure out what he had tried to do with the Knook and the string, but I did manage to explain to him what it was for.  He then decided that Knooking was not for him because I was making things too complicated.

     

    Whatever, it's his loss.  I'm not sure why I was thinking about that lately, but I was. And even though my husband didn't appreciate me bringing it up, I got a few laughs out of the memory.

    But to be fair, any kind of craft can be hard to understand at first--both in terms of technique and motivation.  But for people who enjoy making things, learning something new is definitely worth the initial confusion and frustration.  It's still interesting and satisfying to try out something different, even when some attempts don't work as well as others (looking at you, Tunisian crochet).

    Knooking will probably never be as fun for me as knitting and crochet are, but it's okay to have favorites and it was super fascinating to learn how to do it.   Other people love their Knooks and it always makes me happy to see Ravelry users or bloggers freaking out over how much they like Knooking and showing pictures of their projects.

    Once you get the hang of it, you can adapt any knitting pattern to your Knooking.  And then I guess you can take over the world!  There are several video tutorials on the Leisure Arts YouTube channel, and even more (in HD!) on their video page.   It's a fun thing to try out, if you haven't already.  The weekend looms large and is full of promise.  I say go for it.

    I mean, I don't say that to my husband but hey.  Give something new a try!  Anything!  And have fun.

     

     

  • Free Knook Pattern: Ridges Baby Hat

     

     

    Unfortunately, the baby does not come with the book.  Sorry.

     

  • Learn to Knook: s1, k1, psso Left-Handed

    Time to talk about decrease techniques!

    Slipping one stitch, knitting one stitch, and then passing your slipped stitch over the knitted one takes less time than it does to type that description.  I've checked.

    The s1, k1 psso is one of my favorite decreasing techniques because it's a clean-looking decrease and you get it with a minimum of fussing.

    See?

    Video can also be seen here.

    Slipping stitches can feel weird or wrong, but it's not.  I promise.  It pulls the knitted fabric in a different direction than knitting two stitches together, and one of my favorite hat patterns calls for both of those techniques.  And that's one reason why it's a good idea to know more than one decrease method. 

    Another reason is that it's lots of fun to have all this Knooking knowledge at your disposal for whenever you want to do cool Knooking things.  And who doesn't want to do cool Knooking things?

    And with that, I'm done writing about Knook videos.  What?!  Yes.  I've talked about all of the Knook videos.  At least all of the Knook videos that are in existence right now.  It's a new thing, and I'm sure people will keep figuring out how to use it for different stitches and techniques.  So when that happens and there's a video tutorial of it, I will happily write about it.  Until then, I will happily write about Knook things or knitting things or crochet things.  Fewer videos, more pictures.  I'm excited!  I hope these posts were helpful!  I have so many other things to talk about in the next week or so!

    Until then, happy Knooking!

  • Learn to Knook: s1, k1, psso

    Time for one of the last Knook tutorials I'm going to post in a while!  It's crazy for me to think about, but I've written about nearly all of the Knook tutorial videos on the Leisure Arts website.  What happens next?  Come back next week to find out.

    For now, though, we're going to talk about one of my favorite decrease methods.  I'm not joking.  I really like this decrease method.  The act of slipping one stitch, knitting one stitch, and then passing the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch leaves a clean-looking decrease, and takes me less time to do it than it just did to type it out. 

    This is how simple it is:

     Video can also be found here.

    Wasn't that simple and not-intimidating?  Because all of the warnings and wailings in books and on websites about how hard it is to correct accidentally dropped or slipped stitches, it can be difficult to make yourself slip a stitch at first.  To just pass that stitch from one place to the next without doing anything just seems a little wrong. 

    But once you're doing it mindfully, you know you won't forget.  As always, I'd like to offer the helpful advice of muttering the order of steps under your breath.  People will know to leave you alone when you're so focused on such important work, and saying the words as you do the work will help ingrain the process in your memory.  If nothing else, you'll learn how to say the long-winded-sounding process correctly.  Such a long-sounding name for such a simple process.

    This dishcloth that I Knooked uses slipped stitches. 

    But the slips are less obvious when they're passed over a knitted stitch and they pull the fabric a little tighter.  I love this method so much more than SSK (slip 2 stitches knitwise, then pass them back to your first needle to untwist them--or twist them, I never remember--and then knit the two together. ) because I'm really bad at that.  You don't have to worry about that, though, because I don't know if it's even physically possible to do with a Knook and you'd probably be just fine with it anyway.

    Like I said, this is one of my favorite decrease methods.  It pulls the stitches in a different direction than knitting them together, which is why some patterns will tell you to use both methods throughout a project.  I hope you're also the kind of person who gets excited and has opinions about decreasing.  It's always great to find a technique that you like, so that's it's your go-to method for patterns instead of just plodding along and doing whatever.  I bet you're not a plodder, though.  So good for you!

    Happy Knooking!

  • Learn to Knook: Back Cables Left-Handed

    See those cabled gift card holders up there?  I made 'em.  I feel good about it.  They looked even better with the cards in them, and they probably would have looked fantastic if I was better at button placement and had some appropriately colored thread for the buttons.  But it was a nice little project and a more personal touch for a gift card.  The pattern can be found here, and it features front and back cables.

    I'm not sure why I thought back cables would be very different from front cables, but there you go. I read the pattern and panicked a little because I'd only practiced with front cables, but then I tried it and was almost disappointed because, oh, your held stitches are in the back.  The right side has front cables and the left side has back cables.  It's just another way to make a cable, and to make your stitches move in a different direction.  If you've already figured out front cables, then you can probably manage back cables.

    But since there's no need to struggle, here's a video to show you! 

    Video can also be watched here.

    I tell you what, any task seems so much more manageable after you watch someone else do something a few times.  The first time around, I always go between "I think I understand" and "I don't think I'll ever be able to do that."  The second time, I'm able to pay closer attention.  The third time, it mostly makes sense.  Some time after the fourth viewing, I feel like the demonstration might be something I could actually try out myself.  This applies to knitting, baby wearing, crocheting, Knooking, yoga, baby swaddling, sink repair, and anything else that isn't a hair tutorial (certain up-dos are never going to happen for me).

    I don't know that back cables will require that much preparation and video-viewing from you.  I'm assuming you'll have an easier time with it than I do, and I wouldn't call it difficult.  It's a fun little technique that makes the prettiest design.  I'm blatantly biased, but I think you should try it out after watching the video.  Maybe watch it twice.

    Happy Knooking!

    Postscript: I realize this post is full of really country-sounding expressions.  I can't think of a better way to phrase things when I'm tired.  Or, as it sounds when I'm saying, "tahred."  It's just a day for Arkansas blogging.  Sorry about that.

  • Learn to Knook: Back Cables

    More cables!  The only difference between front cables and back cables is that your held stitches are held in the front of your work for front cables, and guess where those held stitches go for back cables?  Yep.

    Simply scooting your cord to the back of your work isn't that tricky (unless you're not paying attention and just finished working a front cable.  Ahem), but it's worth going over in a video.  And so some nice person at Leisure Arts did!

    Ta da!

    Video can also be found here.

    As you can see, carefully removing the cord after a cable row probably takes more time than figuring out the cable itself!  And even that's not so bad.  It's a relatively small amount of work to have such a nice pattern in your knitting.  Knooking.  Whatever.  Since Knooking results in a knitted fabric, I think it counts as knitting.

    And cabled fabric is the prettiest fabric, I think.  I know this is probably due to the fact that I just learned how to work cables, but it really is pretty!  I like to read a blog called Knitting Confessions, and no one has ever said anything unkind about cables.  In fact, I also used to read a blog called something like Unpopular Knitting Opinions (I'm pretty sure the administrator just quit posting after people kept getting up in arms over all the unpopular knitting opinions. It's sad that people would get so weird about loom knitting), and no one had anything bad to say about cables there, either!  I know that's not proof that the whole world likes cables, but it's got to mean something when people have a chance to anonymously snark about something on the Internet and don't.

    And how could you?  You can't.  For Pete's sake, remember when that scary knitted full body suit picture was floating around the Internet a few weeks ago?  Just in case your eyeballs haven't been cursed with this horrifying work of art, here you go:

    (Source.)

    Everyone had to admit it was really well made.  Some of the people I know who shared this on Facebook even said they wished someone would make this for them.  They inevitably tried to drop hints around crocheters, so it didn't work, but hey. 

    Side note: I love when people ask for knitted items with no offer of compensation or undying gratitude--from crocheters!  Or vice versa.  I just laugh and laugh, probably because I'm mean.

    But I don't have a single snarky thing to say about cables.

    Because they're the best.

    Try them out. Come on.

    You'll love them.

    Just not on a full body suit for a giant adult.

    Please.

  • Learn to Knook: Front Cables Left-Handed

    Good morning!  Are you safe?  Are you warm? Do you have power?

    Arkansas is still a bit of a mess and I'm at home. I'm writing this post later in the morning than I normally would, and I'm doing it while watching my daughter play with my phone.  She's covered in gingerbread and I'm trying not to think about what's happening to my keyboard because it's entertaining her far more thoroughly than my BBC drama on DVD is.  I don't know why toddlers can't appreciate Masterpiece Mystery.

    But enough about me.  If you're a left-handed person at home on this blustery day, ready to learn how to Knook some front cables, then here you go:

    Oh cables.  You're so pretty.  I like cables on the Knook because there's not an extra needle and none of the stitches can get away from you.  I was knitting a few cabled things last week and I'd be so focused on the cable needle that I wouldn't even notice that the stitches on one of my main needles had slipped right off.  I was surprised every single time. It was a little pitiful.  But I've liked what I did on the Knook so far.

    That's yesterday's picture because I haven't done much more than that.  I just like it when posts have pictures.  Speaking of which, here's another completed dishcloth.

    It's the Sunny pattern from Dishcloths Made with the Knook.  I used a H/8 Knook and Sugarn' Cream cotton yarn in Sage Green.  I liked that pattern a lot.  Either I'm finding patterns I like more, or I'm finally getting the hang of using a Knook.  It's probably a combination of the two, but I'm happy either way. 

    I hope you're also having fun trying out more Knook things.

    Happy Knooking!

  • Learn to Knook: Front Cables

    It's cable time!  Yay cables!  They're fancy!  They're twisty!  They're really not that tricky!

    See?

    Video can also be viewed here.

    The nice thing about making cables on the Knook is that you don't need a cable hook, and you don't have to worry about your other stitches falling off the needles on the left-hand needle.  Or at least I don't.  This might not be something most knitters don't have to worry about.  Anyway,  everything's safe on your cord, and Knooking cables aren't too complicated at all.

    I've been trying it myself today:

    I know it's not super visible, and my snow day pajama pants are probably detracting from the project, but there you have it!  Knooked cables!

    If you're eager to try out cables on a real project, remember that you can Knook any knitted pattern.  Or you can try the book, Urban Hats Made with the Knook

    The hat on the cover has cables and everything!  Super cute.

    I hope you're staying warm and safe and entertaining yourself with some Christmas yarn.  Talk to you tomorrow.  Happy Knooking!

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