The Knook or Knitting without Needles
The New Craft of Knooking
In the fiber arts, ways to create knitted fabric are evolving. As someone who periodically takes out knitting needles to learn how to knit but never gets beyond casting on, I was excited to try the knook and see what knooking is all about. Can a knitting-impaired wanna be like me learn to knit using the knook?
What is a Knook?
First of all, to learn quickly how to knook, it helps to be proficient at using a crochet hook since, with knooking, it is all about the instrument or the hybrid hook you use to create knitted fabric. The knook is a crochet hook with a hole at the end of it to allow a cord to be threaded through it. Most attribute the start of knooking to the Japanese Super Miracle Needle. One who has drilling expertise can make her own knook(s). Or you can buy Leisure Arts The Knook starter kit or the The Knook Beginner Set for Light Medium Bulky Weight Yarns (Leisure Arts #5845) -- both of which can be purchased at Amazon. Both come with knooks in different sizes, cords and stitch clips. While you hold the knook the same way you would hold a crochet hook, that is about the only thing crochet and knooking have in common.
What is Knooking?
Where, in knitting with needles you are transferring new stitches from one needle to another, with the knook, you keep live stitches on the cord and make new stitches as you transfer them to the knook. Once you're done with the row of new stitches, they are moved to the cord and another row is started. It is quite easy to learn the knit stitch and the purl stitch with the knook and once you know those you can do stockinette stitch as well as a variety of other knitting stitches.
The Benefits of Using the Knook to Knit
* If you know how to crochet or use a crochet hook, it is easy to use the knook.
* You should be able to take any knitting pattern and convert it for your use on the knook. My advice would be to start slowly with an easy dishcloth or scarf pattern. Ravelry is a great place to find free/paid patterns as well as interacting other knookers or fiber art fans.
* You can knit fabric and crochet it using the same hook.
* The repetitive motion of knooking is relaxing. Even moving live stitches from the knook to the cord is a de-stressing process for me.
* Many who have tried knitting only to experience hand or wrist pain find that they can knook with little or no pain in the same areas.
If you've always wanted to learn how to knit yet could never manage knitting needles (yo, that's me), knooking allows you to create knitted fabric using the specialized crochet hook or knook.
The Drawbacks to Using the Knook to Knit
* I find that knooking is slower than crocheting and knitters who have tried knooking say that it is slower than knitting. Generally, crochet is pretty fast compared to knitting and, for me, it is ultra fast compared to knooking. But if you want the look of knitted fabric without using knitting needles, knooking might be what you're looking for.
* Following a regular knitting pattern with a knook is fairly easy but if you get stuck you may not be able to figure out how to proceed with the next stitches because a knitting pattern will not be able to explain how to proceed using a knook. Leisure Arts has published several knook pattern books so that you can confidently knook scarves, hats and baby blankets (among other things).
Right now I'm making a dishcloth and I'm enjoying the process with a small garter stitch bookmark as my next knooking project. When I want the satisfaction of making something quickly, I crochet. But when I want to knit something, I'm knooking all the way.