Mama Pensées

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the Knook, pt 2

with 2 comments

This is the second in a series of posts on Knooking. Last time, I talked about my initial impressions of the recently released Leisure Arts “the Knook” kit.

This time, a little history lesson :)The “knitting with a crochet hook and string tool” technique now being called Knooking was invented in Japan. The English translation of their name for it comes out to something along the lines of “Super Miracle Needle” or “Magic Needle”. From what I’ve been able to find on the internet and read with the help of Google Translate, the technique was invented by an occupational therapist of some sort, so that those with only one hand or limited mobility of their hands can learn to do “something productive”. I’ve also found references to using this technique to teach young children to knit. And eventually (as the later booklets in the series of instruction guides show), they began to combine knitting and crochet within a piece.

The very earliest date I can find associated with the technique is the publishing date of the first in the series of Japanese-language “Magic Needle” instruction guides. The booklet (its English-translated title is “Fundamentals of Magic Needle part 1″*) was published by Nihon-Vogue in 1991.

The next entry on the History of Knooking timeline comes with the formation of the “Knitting With a Crochet Hook” Yahoo! Group in 2004. This group is still active today, boasting over 500 members.

Shortly thereafter (2006) the US-based Amazing Yarn company started selling “Amazing Needles” with knit, crochet, and tatting instruction guides, and developed a few patterns specifically for the technique.**

And then it’s back to Japan, with a knitting symposium class schedule from 2009, where a 3-hour “Japanese Super Miracle Needle” course was being offered. The description says in part: “Knit by one hand instead of two hands using this special needle. This needle is invented the fusion of crochet hook and knitting needle.” The swatches shown are of knitting and crochet combined in one piece.

In 2010, a Ravelry group was started for the technique and the term “Knooking” was unvented and came into common usage. At least two of the moderators have Knooking blogs with patterns specifically for this technique.

And that brings us to now! In 2011, Leisure Arts released “the Knook” kit.*** Their website also has patterns specifically for this technique. Hopefully, with the support of a major craft company, more designers will begin experimenting with the possibilities of Knooking and more patterns will be made available.

* if you’re interested in looking at/ordering the Japanese “Magic Needle” instruction guides, it can be a little tricky to find them online–I haven’t found them from any English-language sellers, which complicates searching for them. Search by ISBN is most reliable to locate them on Japanese-language websites (if you search on Google, it will give a “translate this page” for each hit). The ISBN for the “part 1″ booklet is 978-4-529-02028-2. DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with any sellers of these booklets, and I don’t speak, read, or write Japanese. If you order anything from an international website, I am not responsible for cancelled orders, lost packages, unauthorized charges, etc. and I can not help you rectify any such situations. Caveat emptor.

** the website for Amazing Yarns’ Amazing Needle. Once again, DISCLAIMER: I’m not affiliated with Amazing Yarns, and as of today I’ve never ordered from them. I have been told that calling them is the most reliable way to order, but I do not have any personal experience to back that up with. Caveat emptor.

*** Leisure Arts’ How to Knookwebpage

****The Yahoo! Group (Knitting With a Crochet Hook) and Ravelry group (Knooking) can be found by logging in to and searching their respective sites for the group name.

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Written by Sada D.

August 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hello Sada very good article.
    Excellent history so far.

    Thanks for the history lesson . It is nice to know where these thngs come from. I only knew of this being found in Europe some years ago, but very little about where it came from. The Japenese P.T. Training makes a lot of sense. The RAG Shop which was a great place to get all kinds of crafting itmes had a annoucment about a Super Needle, but I never got to see or get it. I wonder what the difference is in the sets/kits.
    How did you find knooking , On Ravelry? Happy Knooking!

    I wonder if it came this way with the Japenses Arugumi toys? I know the Japenese and Chainese are avid crocheters and knitters I once watched a woman unravel a sweater as she knit up a new sweater with reused yarn . All while I was ordering food to take out I stayed and talked to her about this ans she shared mcuh with me whilke laughing at how we here do not do this according to what she knew. ( she never met folks fvorm the Depression). I marveled at how fast she was.like a machine fast!!!!!

    I saw it on Ravelry and wanted to know more in time.
    I saw the group and I jumped haha I had hoped it would be fun to finally learn more. I wonder if you could post this to them? I bet not huh?

    I had a kit from Europe when I first got my Brother knitting machine almost 22 years ago.. It was in the store and the mamager who sold nme my machine told me this was a new way to knit anf it could be used while traveling. but the cords were more like plastic screwins then the cords we have today.

    They would screwed intt the bottom of the crochet hook and were silver in color and I r,ememebr there were only 3or five noit sure since I don’t have the kit anymore. I was concerned about the metaq; as the metal piece had to be put back in after several tried at stitching. I used nail polish at first haha and ti stayed for a ferw months and thenused a good glue to keep in strong and tight. I enjoyed the kit , but it did not come with more then a booklet to start a row and no more.

    After the loss of the of all of my knitting equipmant the kit went too !!! I know there were French instructions and instructions in English, but English from England not here as the terms were different and I had to look them up.
    Now this comes alone about 20 years later hahaha. I did learn about the Japenese method and it was adapted by other countries after it caught on. I wonder why Provo never made this kit? They make good itmes for those who have trouble with their hands. Maybe copyrights are involved.

    bexaida

    August 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm

  2. Thank you so much for the history lesson on the knook, I come to this a few months ago and love it. I have notice that there aren’t many patterns out there and I am using a knitted scarf pattern because I wanted to learn what I could do with the knook. I have a thread on http://www.knittingparadise.com and have posted a couple of pic’s of my work. I am finding that some knitters don’t like it and others do enjoy it. The reason I started my thread is because of the lack of info on the subject and the negativity that I read and I wanted to show others just starting out what could be done with the knook. My first thread I keep up closely with and have a couple of ladies that help me out. Mainly because I was asked to keep the thread going. These were ladies wanting to learn and since I too am still learning I thought we could all learn together and in the process help others just finding out about the knook. I have seen a lot of what is out there and any English translation of knooking would be apperciated.

    Pat J

    January 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm


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