Knooking: The Knit Stitch

7 Jan

The Knit Stitch

Making the knit stitch is really very easy. It is basically the same thing as a crochet slip stitch. The difference is that your stitches are held live on a cord and look like an upside down U, instead of the V that crocheters are used to seeing.

Steps:

  1. Keep your working yarn in the left hand and to the back of your project.
  2. Simply insert your hook through the stitch.
  3. Yarn over, and pull the yarn through the stitch.
  4. Ta-da, you did it!
  5. Keep working across the row, with the loops you’ve made staying on the needle, and eventually passing on to the cord (if it is a large project).
  6. When you reach the end of the row, simply slide the remaining live stitches from your needle and on to the cord.
  7. 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 through the stitch

Yarn over and grab the working yarn

Pull the yarn through the stitch. Ta-da!

And here is a little video I made to help walk you through the steps. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions. Thanks!

Crochet Cast On

7 Jan

Crochet Cast On

I like the crochet cast on because it’s easy to chain the number of stitches I need. However, it’s not a very stretchy cast on, so consider your project requirements carefully. It is possible to make the cast on a bit stretchier by using a slightly larger hook than you will be using for the project, but you may want to experiment with some waste yarn before diving in.

(Question: Does this have a Knitterly or other official name? I don’t want to muddy the waters by calling it by different name if it already has an established name. KWIM? Thanks!)

I am going to assume that you are familiar with the basics of crochet. If you need to learn how to crochet, there are lots of wonderful websites such as Raverly, Nexstitch Videos, Lion Brand, and more. Check ’em out! 🙂

Instructions:

1. Make a slipknot and crochet the number of chains as cast on stitches per your pattern.

Slipknot

Chain the number of stitches needed

2. Flip your starting chain over so that you can see the back “bump” of each chain. Insert your hook under bump of the SECOND chain from the hook.

Inserting the hook

3. Work the knit stitch, or stitch requirement per your pattern.

Yarn over

Pull through...knit stitch made

4. Continue working into the back bumps of each chain until you reach the end.

Work to the end of the of the starting chain

Cast on complete

5. Slide your live stitches on to the holding cord attached to the end of your hook. Turn, and begin working your stitches (per your pattern) into the live stitches on the cord.

Knitting across the row

6. Keep going, you’ve got it now!

Ta-da!

Long Tail Cast On

7 Jan

Long Tail Cast On

I’ve tried to learn two-needle knitting several times over the years. With the help of the videos at KnittingHelp.com, I finally managed learned the basics and made a few small projects. But as much as I like the look of knitting, I really didn’t enjoy the process. 😦

Even though I now use a hook to make my knit stitches, the videos at KnittingHelp are still a valuable resource. I learned how to do the Long Tail Cast On, by watching Amy’s fabulous video. I strongly suggest you watch it too, as it is better than anything I could do. 🙂

Obviously, you will be holding a hook instead of a needle. As long as you make sure you have your cable attached to the end of your hook, you should be able to use this cast on quite easily. It’s a great almost-any-project cast on that makes a nice stretchy edge.

Step One

Step Two

Cast On Finished

Slide stitches onto cording

Work stitches per pattern (knit shown)

Ta-da!

Intro to Knooking Part 2

6 Jan

Wait!

Before you run off to buy a set of hooks or mangle the ones you already own, you may have a local option that will let you give Knooking a try.

There is a neat little tool available at Hobby Lobby, and perhaps your local craft store, called a Locker Hook. It is a metal hook, often around crochet hook size G, with the eye of a needle at the end. It is used for a craft called Locker Hooking, which is very similar to latch hooking. In fact, that is where I found my hook, by the latch hook supplies.

Locker Hook

It is has more of a Boye shape than a Bates, and technically the eye of the hook should be smaller than the diameter of the hook itself, but it’s still a good way to get some practice without laying out a lot of cash upfront.

If you can’t find it locally, there are a few online stores that carry it: Hobby Lobby, Create for Less, and Mielke’s Fiber Arts. I am not affiliated with these stores in any way, and always remember to carefully checkout any online sites before you make a purchase. 🙂

There have been rumors of people modifying their own hooks. I will admit that I am one who has tried, and failed.  It’s probably not that hard, but I just don’t have the necessary talents, skills and tools not to royally screw it up.  I have a whole collection of Lion Brand plastic hooks that belong in a House of Horrors. *lol!*

So now you have your hook and yarn, what do you do? I’ll cover that in another post very soon, along with some project ideas.

Before you go, I do need to mention the wonderful Yahoo group that helped me out when I first found started. It’s called Knitting with CrochetHook, and has a wonderful group of helpful members. It’s a low volume group most of the time, so you don’t have to worry about being overwhelmed with messages. Be sure to read through the archives too, it’s a treasure trove of helpful information.

Introduction to Knooking

6 Jan

First of all, I have to give a big “thanks” to Grieney at Ravelry who came up with the term “Knooking.” Not only that, she even wrote a theme song!

So what IS knooking? In a nutshell, it’s making actual knit stitches using a specialized crochet hook. Nope, it’s not Tunisian, slip stitch, crochetnit, double crochet, or any other knit-look-alike stitch. It’s actual knit and purl stitches. Knitting with a hook = Knooking. 🙂

The technique and hook itself appears to have originated in Japan under the name Japanese Super Miracle Needle. See Sohon Se on this blog, and also referenced by Crochet with Dee. Right now the only source seems to be Tezukuritown, but I haven’t had any success contacting them.

Super Miracle Needle


The American version is called the Amazing Needle, and can be purchased from Amazing Yarns. They have hook sizes E through P available for purchase. For fastest service, I recommend calling the store.

Amazing Needle


It also appears that cabled crochet hooks may also work, such as the Denise Interchangeable Crochet Hooks, and possibly the KnitPro Symfonie Interchangeables.

Denise Interchangeable Crochet Hooks

Knit Pro Symfonie Tunisian/Afghan Crochet Hooks


So what is so special about these hooks? They have removable cables or cords that can be attached to the end of the hook, and acts as the second knitting “needle.” If you can slip stitch, you can do this simple technique and create actual knitted fabrics and projects. As you work your stitches, they will be kept “live” on the cord until your next round. You work each stitch one at a time, just as you do in crochet.

It has been my experience that Knooking is slower than traditional crochet, but faster than two-needle knitting. Although there are a few patterns available specifically for the Amazing Needle, theoretically just about any knitting project should be able to be adapted for Knooking.

And now for our Theme Song:

(Sung to “Makin’ Whoopee”, natch)

Another skein, another wool.
How I wish, it was center-pull
Another season, another reason,
For makin’ Knookee

A lot of socks, made late at night,
When I get nervous, each stitch gets tight
My hands are killin’, but it’s so thrillin’
To make Knookee.

Now picture a little stash room,
Just a few skeins here and there
Picture that same sweet stash room
Not an inch of floor is bare.

They think I’m knitting, with pointy sticks,
No, I’m still hookin, but that’s the trick
They’ll say I’m lyin’, my hook is flyin’
Just makin’ Knookee