What’s a Knook? What is “Knooking”?
A “Knook” is a modified crochet hook with a small hole at the end. You thread a silky cord through this hole to facilitate the unique Knooking process of making fabric. Leisure Arts manufactures this tool and publishes a range of lovely patterns intended for use with it.
Pictured here is the Knook Beginner Kit by Leisure Arts. If you’re interested in Knooking, this is the tool set I recommend for getting started.
What’s in the Knook Beginner Kit?
The beginner’s kit includes 3 Knook tools — sizes G – 6 (4.0 mm,) H -8 (5.0 mm,)and I – 9 (5.5 mm.) There are also 3 silky cords.
Included with the kit is a helpful 32 page instruction booklet that includes four beginner-friendly Knooking patterns. The contents in the booklet are as follows:
Knooking Projects and Instructions:
You get directions on how to Knook, with pictures, for both right-handed and left-handed people.
A Simple Beginner’s Scarf or Infinity Cowl Pattern
There are two different variations on this pattern: a scarf and a cowl. Both variations are worked in garter stitch. The main difference between the two projects is that you change the finishing slightly if you want a cowl instead of a traditional long scarf.
The Spacloth: A Beginner’s Washcloth or Dishcloth Pattern
A washcloth or dishcloth is one of the easiest possible patterns to get started with when you learn how to Knook. If your stitches are a little wonky, it won’t matter; your Spacloth will still do a good job of washing your dishes, your countertops, your face or whatever other surface you need it to wash. It also has the advantage of not needing to fit anybody.
Basketweave Baby Blanket Knooking Pattern
This baby blanket is made in a lovely textured basketweave stitch pattern.
Diamond Lap Blanket Pattern
Textured diamond motifs are the primary design element in this lovely textured lap blanket.
The instruction booklet includes many color photographs which are clear and helpful.They illustrate the Knooking technique well.
The Knook Beginner Set Is Sturdy!
I’ve owned my Knook Beginner Set since 2012. My set survived two trips across the Atlantic Ocean, one of which was a highly turbulent Atlantic crossing we made in a 34′ / 10 meter sailboat. A LOT of my belongings broke during the frequent storms we experienced on that voyage — but these tools didn’t break. They’re surprisingly sturdy. The quality is excellent.
It also speaks volumes that I actually chose to bring the set back with me. When our little family returned to the USA from our trip across the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, my husband and I each packed 2 suitcases full — and we had to get rid of everything else that didn’t fit. (That was almost everything we owned). I had to give away almost all of my tools, yarn, supplies and books — but the Knook came back with me when we boarded the plane to return home. I still haven’t been able to replace all the other tools I couldn’t bring back, but at least I have my Knooks. To say that I value them greatly would be an understatement.
How to Knook:
To get started with Knooking, you’ll first need to insert one of the silky cords into each of the holes in your Knook tools. The first time I tried Knooking, I had a hard time doing this; the cord just didn’t want to go through the little hole. It took me several attempts, but I finally got it through.
Later, after having a bit more experience with the Knook, I can better appreciate that the cord needs to fit tightly into the hole. Once you get it set up, the snug fit is exactly what you want.
Next, you’ll want to work your foundation chain. If you know how to crochet a chain stitch, you already know how to do this; it’s the same exact process with the Knook.
But after that, the process is different and unfamiliar. You’ll hold the hook upside down to pick up stitches. Next you transfer the stitches onto the cord and turn the work over. Then you begin working the stitches, transferring each one onto the Knook as you proceed. It’s a technique that resembles both knitting and crocheting, but it’s also different from both.
You end up with a fabric that, structurally, is knitted. The resulting textile has all the characteristics of a weft-knitted fabric including the appearance, texture and drape.
Since I already know how to knit with two knitting needles, at first I found this technique to be a little awkward in comparison to knitting. (And since I also machine knit, it definitely seemed awkward compared to that.)
However, when I originally learned how to hand knit, it took me a long time and a lot of struggling. For me, learning how to Knook was easy in comparison.
The awkwardness does fade with practice, though. Like anything you practice, you can get really good and fast with the Knook if you work at it.
The Knook doesn’t have many downsides, but the one significant disadvantage I did find is that the cord can get in your way as you attempt to make new stitches. But even so, the technique grows easier with practice, and the cord seems less bothersome as you get better at it — at least, that was my experience.
For crafters who are already knitting successfully, I don’t think this tool is a must-have item.
However, for anyone who is interested in combining the two techniques — knitting and crochet — in the same project, the Knook could be a truly useful tool. It’s convenient to have the option to switch between using the Knooking technique and traditional crochet techniques to create hybrid projects without having the hassle of switching back and forth between using knitting needles and crochet hooks.
I think the Knook will appeal most to people who have tried to learn how to knit but have given up in frustration. For that group, I think it’s definitely worth considering this set.
Price: The price of this set will probably vary depending where and when you buy it. Back in 2012 when I bought mine, I paid $9.95 US dollars for it. At the time of this posting, I checked the price at a few online retailers and found that the price was either the same or less than that — but, of course, the price could change at any time.
In my opinion, the Knook Beginner Set is an outstanding value for its asking price. I am delighted with the quality of the tools, and with the instructions I received for using them. I recommend this product to crafters who are not already comfortable with knitting using the previously existing methods; and I also recommend this set to freeform crocheters and knitters or any crafters who enjoy combining the two artforms in their projects.
Where to Buy the Knook Beginner Set by Leisure Arts
- The Leisure Arts Website — If possible, I highly recommend buying this product directly from the manufacturer, which is a privately-owned American company. This is one of the best ways to support their work and ensure that they are able to continue creating excellent patterns, videos and resources to support the Knook in the future.
- Click here to shop for the Knook Beginner Set at Amazon
- The Knook Beginner Set is also available for sale at CreateForLess.
I used the following resources to create this review.
- Obviously, I consulted the booklet being reviewed.
- I also viewed some of the resources available at the Leisure Arts website.
- Tina Benagh motivated me to write this article, and she also contributed insight into the contents of the article iteslf. Thanks, Tina!
Related Resources Available on Our Website
- What’s the Difference Between Crochet and Knitting?
- How to Make Crochet Look Like Knitting
- Crochet Mittens That Look Like Fair Isle Knitting
- A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting Needles
- How to Knit Faster
- All About Yarn
About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and making crafts since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials.
This page was last updated on 12-13-2019.