As you can see on the picture above, I am still at the very beginning of the doily. But, so far, so good. I am enjoying the pattern quite a bit, the stitches are fun to work with, and the pattern instructions is nice and clear. It’s true that when you work with something like this, you do need to pay a lot of attention to what you’re doing. But when it’s a fun project, paying attention isn’t difficult because you are anxiously watching as the doily develops at each row.
Anyway, if you know me, you know that I started crocheting with thread, making doilies, so working on these are so much fun to me, and it brings a somewhat cozy feeling.
If you still haven’t seen all 6 Granny Square Madness Purses, well, shame on you! No, wait… I meant, click HERE to see them. :)
Once you have had a chance to check them all out, let us know which one is your favorite!
This is Granny Square Purse #6, and I really like it! One of the cool unique features in this purse is that it has different colors; one side is in a blue/purple tone, and the other side is in a brown color. I also love the shape of this purse, and it is the first purse in this group that has wooden handles, rather than my usual crocheted shoulder strap.
It was the fastest purse to make so far, and I like the versatility that the colors provide. It’s almost like having two different purses. Like the ones I made before, the granny square used on this purse is from Leisure Arts’ 99 Granny Squares to Crochet book, and it was made using Lion Brand’s Homespun yarn, and I used 4 different colors. The variegated blue/purple and the variegated brown were leftovers from previous purses, and I added the creme to give a matching border for both sides. The black was actually a last-minute decision (and I was really glad to have a skein sitting around!), made when I realized I was going to have to use black handles, rather than the brown ones I intended to use. Interestingly enough, the black ended up giving this purse a striking contrast that really made it look great!
My initial idea was to use a larger wooden handle that would be big enough to go onto the shoulder. But once the purse was ready for the handles, I realized it would look much better with these smaller handles.
I know, it took me long enough, right? But somewhere between all the meetings and the huge Knook distraction, purse #5 sort of moved to the back burner.
So, without further ado, here it is! Made using the granny square triangle from the Leisure Arts’ 99 Granny Squares to Crochet book, and using the usual Homespun Lion Brand yarn, this is a very cute purse.
It is on the smaller side, like Purse #1, and it can be used either as a purse, or as a mini laptop, iPad, or eReader cover. I still need to add the button, but I don’t have it at home and didn’t want to wait until tomorrow to post the pictures. Since I never added a picture of Purse #2 with the button added, I will probably create a new post with the finished purses soon.
It can also be used as a sleeve for the electronics mentioned above by folding the strap and putting it inside the purse.
Here are more pictures, some with my mini laptop in it.
As you can see, this would be a nice and cushy sleeve for your electronic equipment if you wanted to carry it inside a purse or hang it on your shoulder with the strap.
And, I am glad to announce that Purse #5 also carries Naomi’s seal of approval!
If you haven’t yet, please check out the other purses!
Please click HERE to check out the other Granny Square Purses!
Well, I’ve been busy this week! With our meeting spot closing, we ended up having 3 meetings this week. We just had to have 2 meetings at Borders, since it was the last time we were able to go to our favorite place. *sniff* And we still have another meeting tomorrow, which I am super-excited about!
So, the Knook got a little lonely. Just a little, though, because some of the ladies got their hands all over the Knook!!
Last night, Sharonnan and Moneca got to try it out. And today, during class, Helena took a quick break from her purse class, where she was making this purse, to try it out! She said she really liked it!
As expected, it seems like the most difficult thing is to do what I started calling the “yarn under.” Not because it’s difficult to do, but because crocheters are so used to doing yarn over all the time. Her other comment was that it would probably be easier if instead of the string, it had something a little firmer that held the loops more open. That was what I got from the two ladies who tried it at the group last night too.
Helena’s final verdict was “I like it!”
Well, as you can tell by now, the granny triangle purse sort of fell out of grace and the Knook Obsession stepped up! By the way, Merrilee, I haven’t forgotten about the eReader cover! :)
So, here we are, back to the Knook again. Yes, it’s been in my thoughts, constantly, and I spent a few hours playing with it tonight. So, I’m ready to babble about it, big time!
First, CONGRATULATIONS to whomever thought about doing this. For the first time, after so many years of hearing that Tunisian was like knitting using crochet hooks, this is truly the craft of knitting using a crochet hook!
Don’t take me wrong, I love Tunisian crochet! I love the texture, the look and how nice the fabric feels. But saying it’s like a knitted project is just not true.
I have a feeling the person who came up with the concept of knooking probably knitted for a while and used to drop stitches a lot. Since the way to fix it is by grabbing a crochet hook and bringing the missed stitch “up-to-date” with its little fellows and putting it back onto the needle, I can see someone who’s done it a lot having an “a-ha” moment and saying “I can do the whole thing with the hook!” And it’s amazing that no one else ever had the same thought!
And, since I am talking about dropped stitches, this is definitely something harder to happen while knooking. Not to say I haven’t done it myself, but you have to be “special” to accomplish it. It also helps if you are trying to be creative doing something you don’t really master yet. But it’s definitely another plus to the Knook!
So, I thought I’d start by talking about the things I less than love when knooking. First, if you’re anything like me, what you hate the most about crocheting is working the first row on the foundation chain. I hate it, hate it, hate it! All I can think of as I work my way through it is “It’ll be over soon!” And, I have to say, I found my comparable hatred in knooking and it’s making the first stitch on a knit row. It’s harder to bring the hook though the loop and I just don’t like it. The great and awesome news is: it only happens once, not for the whole row, and you quickly forget about it as you ease into working the rest of the row. No biggie, really. And I am getting the hang of holding the differently with my left hand (I’m right-handed) so it’s not such a pain.
Now, when doing the knit stitch, I found it easier to slide the hook under the string, as you can see on the picture below. The string seems to help make the loop firmer and easier to slide into.
And, here are a few shots from what it’s like when finishing a knit row.
When you finish the row, this is what you have. The loops are on the hook and the string, and you have the string tail hanging from the back of the hook.
The next step is to pull the string, not the tail that is hanging from the back of the hook, out of the loops so that they only stay around the hook, as seen on the next picture…
Once you’ve pulled the string through, this is what your work looks like. - Just a quick reminder: you can see the pictures in a larger size by clicking on them.
The next step is to pull the knook through the loops, pulling it by its head, not the tail with the string hanging from, as you can see on the picture below. You pull it enough so that the shorter string tail comes through and the loops are only sitting on one side of the string.
Ok, so I slept on it and here are the new thoughts that came to mind…
My main concern with the Knook is the string used with it. First, it’s not really easy to squeeze it into the small opening. Although if you’re handy and have the right tools you can probably increase the opening, I wouldn’t want to risk breaking the Knook doing that. Second, if the hardened ends of the cord get softened with use or ripped, that’s it, forget about getting it into the space. Third, if you want to make a large blanket, the cord isn’t long enough to hold it.
So, after going to bed with these thoughts in my mind, by the time I woke up, one word was fresh in my mind: NYLON! A piece of thick nylon cord, like the stuff used for fishing, is the answer. It is flexible, yet firm enough to make it easy to insert it into the Knook. It would also slide very easily through the work, and you can cut it at any length you want! :)
It would be interesting to find something that would work as a stopper on one of the ends of the cord so if you’re making a really large piece, the loops won’t fall off the cord. And this brings me to my next thought. Making really large knitted pieces with the Knook would be a piece of cake and you wouldn’t have to spend extra money buying circular Knooks, since the Knook is essentially a circular tool!
Stay tuned for further Knook thoughts as I work with this intriguing new toy!
Yeah, I can get fixated on things, and why not get fixated on a new technique I’m learning?? Tell me what your relationship with knooking is like so far.
UPDATE: Please click on “comments” below the poll to read Leisure Arts’ Merrilee’s comment with information about what the Knook is and how to find it!
ANOTHER UPDATE: To the person who said they got the kit but are having a hard time getting started, please add a comment here with your questions and I’ll help you get started! You can also always stop by the FORUM and add a post with your questions. I can try to help with text, pictures, or video!
All right, so I received my Knook kit and had to try it out! Because I had a full day and a group meeting that didn’t end until 10 pm, I didn’t get a chance to do much with the kit, but here are my first impressions.
The kit - It comes with the items shown in the picture above: 3 wooden hooks in 3 different sizes, 3 cords, 1 instructions booklet.
At first, I thought the cords were to be used as yarn, which I quickly realized was an incorrect assumption. The cords are actually inserted into a small opening carved on the end opposite from the hook. I have to say that I wish the hole was a little bigger. Although the cord has a hardened end to make it easier to insert it into the Knook, because it’s a tight fit, I can see the end splitting eventually, which would make it impossible to get the cord through the knook. Actually, a longer opening, like what you find in tapestry needles, would probably do the trick.
The good news is that you can actually use any string that slides well against the yarn you are using. So, if the cord splits and you can’t use it, you can easily find a different, thinner cord that will be easier to handle. Another option would be to make the kits with a plastic cord.
I originally thought the technique might involve using 2 hooks, sort of like knitting needles, but once I saw the multiple hooks in the kit were for different sizes, I realized that wasn’t the case. You work with one hook (knook), with the cord inserted into it and any yarn you choose.
My next thought is that, since this is a new product, it would be nice to find out whether larger hooks are available. I haven’t really made a search for it, so I hope it’s already available.
For those who knit and enjoy it, I don’t really see switching to the knook as bringing any benefit. But, if you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel, or joint issues, I am glad to say this technique seems much easier on the hands!
I also have a feeling this will be a god-send to those people who always wanted to learn knitting but had a hard time working with the two needles at the same time. Although it’s not like Tunisian (another earlier assumption I made), if you can do Tunisian crochet, you can Knook.
Now, to the actual technique.
I was able to learn both the knit and purl stitches within an hour or so. One thing I have to figure out is why my number of stitches isn’t right. But that could have been because I was tired and not really concentrating so well. Also, the yarn I used wasn’t ideal. I should have used something like Lion Brand’s Pound of Love, and I have tons of it lying around. But, unfortunately, when you live by yourself on a multi-floor home and have a broken toe, you don’t use what you want, you use what’s handy!
In my opinion, you can Knook even if you never knitted before. Other than the fact that you have the working yarn on the back for the knit stitch and on the front for the purl stitch, and that the knit stitch is the back of the purl stitch and vice-versa, knitting and knooking are completely different techniques that provide the same final fabric.
It’s impressive to really have a knitted piece of work achieved using only a hook. And, unlike the Tunisian “knit” and “purl” stitches that, as I mentioned on an earlier post, make a stitch that looks like it was made with knitting needles, but would never fool someone who actually handled the piece, when you use the Knook, what you end up with is a knitted piece.
Being experienced in Tunisian would definitely be the most useful previous experience to get you comfortable learning the Knook.
The most different characteristic in knooking, and that may be the hardest aspect of working this technique for those who have been crocheting for a while (not because it’s difficult, but because of the habit), is that you don’t do yarn over when knooking, it’s actually done with “yan under,” picking up the yarn with the nose of the hook down. This makes handling the first stitch of the rows a little trickier.
I’m excited to try again later today, and will probably be working with Pound of Love when I do. I’ll also get some pictures posted once I have a piece worked. In my mind, ideas keep popping up of things I can potentially do with the Knook. Once I’m more comfortable working with it and have a chance at trying to make different things, I will post them here for your review!