Winners!

15 Jan

That was fun! We had a total of 32 comments (I had to combine a few). I’m so excited to have so many people joining me on this new fiber adventure! I let the Random Number Generator work it’s magic and it came up with:

Winning Comments

Commenter #1 was Amy, who said:

my favorite crafting tip is, basically, join as you go as much as possible. The less you have to sew together at the end, the better!

Commenter #29 was PlanetJune, who said:

Ooh, there are some great tips here! My best tip is that if you’re single crocheting (e.g. making amigurumi) to use the invisible decrease instead of a sc2tog. Tutorial here: http://www.planetjune.com/invdec – it truly is practically invisible!

Congratulations! I’ll be sending you an email soon, asking for details so I can send out your new locker hooks. And a big “Thank You!” to everyone else, because I learned some new and interesting tips in the comments.

Your First Knooking Projects

15 Jan

A lot of times beginning knitter and crochet books will tell the new crafter to make a scarf.

Boooring!

Your first project will probably look like crap, so why torture yourself with a huge time-suck like a scarf that you won’t wear anyway? But a washcloth can be both crappy AND useful all at the same time.

The reasons why I think washcloths are great starting projects:

  1. It’s small, and can be worked up in a few hours even if you are a slow Knooker.
  2. You’ll get to practice casting on, knitting and/or purling and casting off.
  3. It’s small enough you won’t have time to get bored.
  4. It’s portable, you can hide it in your purse and Knook at work.
  5. Washcloths are useful all year long, scarves are not.
  6. If you need to rip back or frog the whole thing, it’s only a few rows.
  7. If it looks ugly you can always use it to scrub your kitchen counters or bathroom.
  8. If it’s really ugly you can always toss it in the trash and never speak of it again.

“Washcloth? What washcloth?”  :)

I’m happy to present to you, my first Knooking Patterns:

Knooking 101 & 102: Washcloths are a Knookers Best Friend

Who knew swatches could be so useful?

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Download one or both, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling! Knitting 101 is a Garter Stitch Washcloth, and Knitting 102 is a Stockinette Washcloth with a Garter Stitch border.

There is nothing particularly special about these patterns except that I wrote the directions with the new Knooker in mind, with some tips for dealing with the holding cord and links to the tutorials in case they are needed. Simply click on the patterns below to download.

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I’d love to see how your projects turn out. Please link us up in the comment section and our Ravelry group! For more fun washcloth patterns, I highly recommend the ones at Knitting Knonsense. They have ABCs and 123s, not to mention animals, seasons, holidays and more. Quick and fun!

Knooking now at Ravelry!

13 Jan

I’m excited to tell you that I’ve taken the plunge and started a Knooking group at Ravelry!

If you are a crocheter, knitter, spinner, or weaver and haven’t heard of Ravelry yet, you really must check it out! It’s a fiber loving wonderland of incredibly talented people. I have learned more tips, tricks, and techniques in the past two years than I have since I learned to crochet, low these many years.

The Knooking group will not take the place of this blog. It will be a place that fellow Knookers can get together, enjoy each others company, and share our projects. Hope to see you there!

Garter Stitch

13 Jan

Garter Stitch

If you have read the previous posts, you should have all the skills you need to make the Garter Stitch. It’s probably the most basic knitting stitch pattern ever, but I find it to be quite charming. It doesn’t curl, I like the texture, and it’s pretty fast to make. Ravelry even has it’s own Garter Stitch fan club called FLOGS – For the Love of Garter Stitch.

You can work the Garter stitch over any number of stitches. In a nutshell you cast on, knit every row, and bind off. Ta-da!

Need more help? Be sure to check out these posts:

Long Tail or Crochet Cast On

The Knit Stitch

Bind Off

Give Away Time!

13 Jan

I’m going to be hosting a give away! I have two Locker Hooks looking for new homes with crafters wanting to learn how to Knook. Come on, you know you want to give it a try!

All you’ve gotta do is leave a single comment (duplicates will be deleted) telling me your favorite crafting tip. You must provide a valid e-mail address, but you do not have to have a blog. International friends are welcome to enter too!

I’ll be collecting comments through Thursday night at midnight (CST). On Friday, January 15th I’ll hold the drawing using a random number generator and announce the winner! Tell your friends!

Good luck and thanks for playing!

Basic Knit or Slip Stitch Crochet Bind Off

10 Jan

I thought for a very long time what to call this bind off. Since we are using our hooks to knit, I thought perhaps I should use a knitting term. On the other hand, How many of us are primarily (or only) crocheters?

I myself have only dipped my toes in the knitting waters and am pretty much ignorant of the most basic knitting terminology. If I call something by only it’s knitting name, will that be more or less confusing? The reverse is true for those people who are bi-craftual, and wonder why I’m calling a common knitting term by some other bizarre name.

I also pondered what would be easiest for the new Knooker.

I have studied several knitting bind off videos at KnittingHelp, especially the “Basic Knit Bind Off” and what Amy calls the “Single Crochet Bind Off.” And I swear they both look like they are making a crochet slip stitch, except the knit one looks incredibly awkward to me, and the results look exactly the same.

As a crocheter, it bugs me that what is called a single crochet is actually a slip stitch, and the “Double Crochet Bind Off” is the single crochet stitch. But as far as I can tell, these are the standard knitting terms for these bind offs.

SO….all that to say that I hope this name will be easily understood by both crocheters and knitters.

The Basic Knit or Slip Stitch Crochet Bind Off

You can use any crochet hook for binding off. However, you may want to consider going up a hook size to keep your bind off from becoming too tight.

1. Work the knit stitch into the first stitch of the row. You will end up with one stitch on your hook.

Knit into first stitch

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2. Slip your hook into the second stitch as if to knit. Yarn over and pull through BOTH loops on your hook. You should now have only one stitch on your hook. You are essentially making a slip stitch. At first it looks a bit like making a single crochet, but that is because the knit stitches stand upright instead of laying across the work as in a crocheted fabric. But it is actually a slip stitch.

Work as if to knit

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Pull through both loops

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3.  Continue working into each stitch across your piece until you reach the last stitch.

Work each stitch on the holding cord

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It should look similar to this

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4.  On the last stitch, work as before. Cut the ball end of the yarn leaving a 3-4 inch tail, and pull it through the last stitch. Pull out the holding cord, finish off and weave in the ends. Ta-da! You did it!

Work last stitch

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Cut yarn and pull through

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Pull out holding cord. Ta-da

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Here is a video showing the bind off in action: (There’s no sound in this video. )

Knooking: The Purl Stitch

7 Jan

The Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is a bit more challenging to make. It is basically the knit stitch, only backwards. You will be inserting the hook into the live stitch from back to front.

Steps:

  1. Keep your working yarn in the left hand and to the FRONT of your project.
  2. Insert your hook from the BACK of your project, through the stitch, to the front.
  3. Grab the working yarn (remember, it should be held to the front), Yarn over and pull the yarn through the stitch.
  4. Ta-da, you did it!
  5. The first purl is usually the hardest to do, because you are juggling the working yarn. Once that first stitch is made, the yarn will stay towards the front of the project until you make a knit stitch.
  6. Keep working purl stitches across the row, keeping the loops you’ve made staying on the hook, and eventually passing on to the cord (if it is a large project). When you reach the end of the row, simply slide the remaining live stitches from your needle and on to the cord.

You can either remove the cord from the hook, leaving the cord in the project like a lifeline, and attach a new cord to the end of your hook. Or, you can slide the stitches closer to the end (making sure you have the clip attached), turn your work and work the next row.

Insert the hook from back to front

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Grab (yo) the working yarn

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Pull the yarn throught the stitch. Ta-da!

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And for your viewing pleasure, a video tutorial for the purl stitch.

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