the Knook, pt 2
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.