Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mega Giveaway, $299 value at giverslog

Let's forget for just a moment that the Giver's log gift giver's blog has given us incredible handmade gift ideas and recipes for things like kick-butt caramels, hot chocolate on a stick (which I made today and am currently enjoying) and home made pesto. Forget that it's a friendly blog with lots of special touches like pretty printables.

Today, AmberLee is giving away a Silhouette Machine (a $299.99 value), complete with Software for Windows XP/Vista & Mac, Power cable, USB cable -2 Cutting mats (one for thick media, one for thin media), One cutting blade and a $10 gift card to the Silhouette Online Store.

What?? Am I serious?


Monday, November 1, 2010

Want to be a Knooker?

You heard me. It’s an actual word, and it’s what’s being used to describe a new (to me) technique for knitting with a special crochet hook called a KNOOK. This isn’t to be confused with the knit stitch in tunisian crochet that looks like knit fabric. The fabric you make by knooking really is knit, it’s just the technique that’s different.


The big deal is this hook! It’s a special crochet hook with a hole on the end opposite the hook. There are a few different kinds of hook which are commercially available that work for this, the most commonly found is a Locker Hooking needle, like this (picture courtesy of KMart.com):


Another similar tool is the Amazing Needle (picture courtesy Amazingyarn.com):



You string a cord or shoelace on the end of this hook and use it to hold your active stitches, like your right hand knitting needle. You don’t specifically have to own one of these special needles to try this out. If you hold your active stitches on your crochet hook (better yet, your longer tunisian, cro-knit or cabled crochet hook), you can grab your cord with your hook and pull it through all the stitches, freeing your hook again to start knooking in the other direction.


How fortunate we are to have avid and knowledgeable knookers like Jen, with her Knooking blog to demonstrate the technique for us! Here’s her video teaching us the garter stitch:

Knooking: The knit stitch by pixjen

Check out her other knooking videos here.


Lately, because I desperately wish to knit myself some socks, I’ve been trying to relearn how to knit. It’s a slow process, and though I’m having little success with double pointed needles and even a circular needle, I’m optimistic that knooking will help me achieve my goal by making the best of my talent for crochet. Since I live in a small town with only WalMart as my craft supply source, there are no knooks, Amazing Needles or Locker Hooking needles anywhere to be found. This means than after my initial swatch attempt with a regular hook and cord, I was ready to hit the DIY road and make my own knook.


With regular old 6mm doweling from the dollar store, my trusty Jobmate rotary tool and some sand paper, I fashioned this knook all by my self. I think it’s rather beautiful if I may say so, and I even waxed it by rubbing some wax from a soy wax candle I have in my studio (Butt Naked scented, too).


It works like a charm, but the slippery cord I was able to fit in the hole does like to slip through my work, so I’m going to have to widen that hole to accommodate a larger and more grippy cord. Still, I was able to make the following swatch with it:



I had some 8mm doweling kicking around too, so I made another knook with that, with a wider hole that will fit a shoelace.


Hooray! And what else should an aspiring sock knitter try, but knitting in the round with some double stranded chunky?


Not bad for my first day knooking, if I do say so. I do still want to get some good knooks so I can knit finer gauge yarns (sock yarn, hello!). I’ve got my eye on a set of Denise Interchangeable Circular Crochet Hooks, because I really think they’ll be fabulous for knooking. I hope that the next knooking project I blog about is my first pair of socks!


Meanwhile, I’ve joined the Knooking Group on Ravelry (the very place I stumbled across that introduced me to knooking), for inspiration, tips and fellowship. Join us!


Thanks for stopping by!