Friday, July 29, 2011

New Design - Flowing Water

If you stare at this one for a while, the blue lines will start to resemble flowing water. And you may get a headache. Consider yourself forewarned.

 Flowing Water - computer simulation

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weekly Update - Bright Feathers

I’m still having trouble getting back into my regular routines after being ill, so I didn’t get much done again this week. Hopefully next week will be better.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It annoys me sometimes to see all the useless gadgets that companies come up with. You know the kind: the ones that solve a “problem” you didn’t even know you had until you saw the gadget. Or the ones that do one particular task that you can easily do with a tool you already have on hand.

However, what really bothers me is when needlework companies come up with a “new technique” that can only be done with their special gadget. They try to invent new forms of needlework just so that they can sell you a gadget, supplies, and patterns. When the fad is over in a few months or years, you’re left with a gadget that no one’s writing patterns or selling supplies for. In other words, a piece of junk.

The latest offender is Leisure Arts’ new product, the Knook™. Using this gadget, “now you can knit with a crochet hook!” I’ve never had any desire to knit with a crochet hook, but I took a look out of curiosity.

The Knook™ is a crochet hook with a hook at one end what looks like a flattened knitting needle with a hole in it at the other. It comes with several cords. Leisure Arts has posted videos showing how to use it. You thread the cord through the hole, crochet a chain, then pick up stitches from the chain using the hook end. You then pull the cord through the stitches, which keeps them from unraveling while you work the next row by pulling the yarn through each stitch with the hook.

Well, being the skeptic that I am, I had to see if it was possible to do this technique with a regular crochet hook. I used a regular crochet hook and a scrap piece of yarn in place of the cord. I followed the technique as shown in the Leisure Arts video, except instead of pulling the yarn/cord through the stitches with a threaded Knook™, I used the hook end to pull the yarn/cord through from the other direction (since the yarn/cord only holds stitches, it doesn’t matter which direction you pull it through).

Verdict: you do not need this gadget if you want to knit with a crochet hook. I would, however, recommend using a smooth-textured yarn or cord, such as rayon, to facilitate pulling the yarn/cord through the stitches without distorting them.

Moreover, I found this technique to be extremely awkward and slow. You have to hold your hand in an odd position in order to make the stitches without twisting them. I’ve been crocheting for 30 years and the movements felt entirely wrong. It’s also difficult to keep an even tension – the yarn/cord doesn’t fill the stitches the way a hook or needle would and allows them to get pulled out of shape.

Furthermore, although this technique would allow you to do many patterns based on just knit and purl stitches, I don’t see how one could possibly do cables. It would be rather difficult to twist stitches around each other with that cord in the way. You might be able to knit the cable, but could you pull the cord out afterwards?

I wouldn’t waste my money on the Knook™. If you really feel you must try knitting with a crochet hook, grab a regular hook and a scrap of yarn and follow the videos. As for me, I’ll stick to my knitting needles.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Weekly Update - Bright Feathers

I’m still sick, but on Monday I started to get back into my routine of doing 2 hours of needlework per day, so I’ve got a bit done.