Sometimes the Thoughts Connect…and Then We Make Socks
I came across a “new” technique a few weeks ago that’s being called “knooking” (if you’re on Ravelry, you can search for a group by that name for info), which means “knitting with a hook”. It is knitting (real knitting, not tunisian or any of the looks-like-knit crochet methods/stitches) done with a crochet hook that has a long cord attached to the end: the crochet hook grabs the working yarn to pull through and make stitches, and after completing a row, the stitches are slid down onto the cord and the work is turned, so the cord holds the live stitches as the next row is worked. According to those teaching the method in the USA, the technique originated in Japan, where it is called “Magic Needle”. That the Japanese came up with it doesn’t surprise me…they aren’t quite as “encamped” about knitting and crocheting in other countries. And apparently some of the other forms of knitting use hooked needles (I believe Portuguese was one) to help with “grabbing” the working yarn.
After playing with my homemade “knook” (a locker hook with some plastic lacing through the “eye”) for a couple days, some things about regular knitting really clicked in my brain. With just a cord holding the stitches as I worked in to them, I could really see the stitches and how they connect, and how what you do the row before effects the row you’re working on now…and the whole “stitch mount” concept finally makes complete sense to me. My “fundamentals” knitting (scarves) has been flying off my needles since then, and I’m feeling ready for a little bit of a challenge.
I originally thought I’d learn “knooking” as a way to knit socks. Between having the cord to act as a life-line and not having to deal with losing DPNs, it seemed like the perfect technique for conquering my sock-a-phobia. (Before discovering Continental knitting, I tried crocheting socks and just didn’t like them. After discovering Continental knitting, I made a crash-and-burn DPN sock attempt that didn’t make it past casting on and trying to split the stitches between the needles.) But it’s difficult to find pre-made “knooking” hooks, especially in the tiny gauge needed for sock yarn (a size “B” crochet hook or smaller). And while I’m a pretty Do-It-Yourself kinda gal, I wasn’t able to come up with anything locally that could be easily modified.
That’s when I thought about the similarity between the “knooking” cord and what I had seen of “Magic Loop” knitting. In one of those “if I can do *this*, surely I can do *that*” moments, I decided to find out just what’s so magic about the loop. Some internet research, YouTube watching, and one “Learn to Knit Socks Three Ways” guidebook later…and today I became the proud owner of my first Addi Natura 40″ circular needle. I’m going to cast on my first sock tomorrow 🙂
I’m still going to keep playing with the “knooking” as well…on some of the Japanese websites (an aside: do you want a laugh? Have Google Translate a Japanese website for you), you can order guides that show knit and crochet stitches being used in the same piece. Pictures of stockinette-bodiced cardigans with crocheted lace yokes are dancing through my head 😉