Knooking is Cool!

Karen and I in a "selfie" during the banquet.
Karen and I in a “selfie” during the banquet.

I decided to take this class with Karen Whooley on a bit of a lark. I was curious about knooking and I love taking classes with Karen. As a teacher myself, observing other teachers’ class room styles is very educational to me…and Karen is a fabulous teacher. But this class turned out to be so much more for me than I had expected.

My issue with knitting has always been that I feel like the needle in my right hand is lacking something. That’s right, it needs a hook! So this knooking thing was way cool for me. Finally, everything I understood about knitting could be applied to a craft that used a hook. The fabric created with knooking is true “knit” fabric, the tools to create it are just a little different.

Knooking Kit

Leisure Arts very kindly supplied the kits for all the students in Karen’s class. So that made it easy for us all to get started. The kits held 3 hooks of different sizes, 3 satin cords and a handy sized booklet with everything you needed to know to begin knooking.  Having taken my knitting class the day before also helped me. I was rocking along very quickly with my knooking and having a great time.

Different Sized Swatches

I got a lot further along with my swatch in this class than I had in my knitting class.

Curly Knook Swatch

Didn’t bind off very well though, the top of my swatch had a serious curling problem.

One thing I’ve always struggled with in my knitting is twisting stitches and if I pull out a needle accidentally I often put the stitches back on the needle wrong. What I was really enjoying about knooking was I wasn’t struggling to keep stitches from slipping off the needles when making them and could focus more on what was happening with them.

Karen Teaching

I think knooking is going to be the “doorway” craft for me to improve my knitting skills. In fact Karen said that lots of folks that take to knooking eventually end up feeling more comfortable knitting with 2 needles. She helped me see how the way I was wrapping my yarn would make a difference in my knit stitches and whether they would “twist”.

As you work each row in knooking the cord holding the previous row of stitches allows you to correct the new row (if needed) without making a mess of the previous row. Somewhat like using “life lines” in lace knitting. I think it is easiest to knook with a hook that has a fairly pointed hook end, especially since you are working into stitches that also have a cord in them. I actually have some wooden hooks that have very pointed tops I’m considering modifying so I can knook with them. Just need to make the tail-end of the hook a little flatter and put a hole in it.

KW Knooking book cover

Karen has also published a book with Leisure Arts called “Easy Knit Projects”. It’s geared toward kids, but is really great for crocheters that don’t knit and want to try out knooking. In the back of the book are 8 pages that have illustrations and information reviewing the basics of knooking. It contains 9 fun projects to try out once you have the hang of knooking.

After taking this class I can highly recommend it to anyone that has ever wanted to learn to knit, but found 2 pointy sticks to be too intimidating.

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