Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Fun of Corking

Corking2 Now if you are at all like me, you'll read 'corking' and think, "Huh?"

That's what I thought when I first saw this book during my library seach for easy knitting projects. And as usual, if I want to know something, I go to my knowledgeable Uncle Google. And as usual, he gave me some great information as well as some really cool links and ideas!

Corking, also known as a knitting spool, knitting Nancy, or knitting knobby is simply knitting a tube using pegs and a blunt needle instead of knitting needles. So we got the book from the library - it's cool and fun and just FULL of crafts and projects and toys that you can make with your tubes - and daughter promptly discovered it and decided that she wanted to make a small spool, like the one on the cover, so she could make a rope. (She loves to tie things up!) Younger son saw us making hers and he decided he'd like one, too! By the time we were done making younger sons, middle son wanted in on all this knitting action as well.

They are pretty easy to make. All you need is something round and hollow, 1" cloth tape, finishing nails (they are straight with no heads to speak of), yarn and a yarn needle or smaller crochet hook.

We used a toilet paper tube, a 15 oz. can and an large yogurt container. For the toilet paper tube, you cut it along the side, roll it until it is doubled (till the cut sides are even when rolled double-thick - does that make sense?), and tape it closed with the cloth tape. Put a strip of the cloth tape sticky side out around the top of your spool, then you place the two nails together (as one peg) on the tape at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock, having the nail heads 1/2" above the rim of your spool. Cover that strip with another strip of cloth tape. Then you seal the top edge, and secure the nails in place by cutting strips of the 1" tape in half lengthwise and taping in between each nail set. That's it!

The instructions for the larger containers are essentially the same, except in placing the nail sets around the rim you will space them 5/8" apart. You may also cover your corker with felt or fabric to make it more decorative, if you wish.

Corking1 This produces a really nice tube and each of the children are very excited about their progress. They all love how easy it is and have a plan for each of their projects. As I mentioned above, daughter plans to make a rope, younger son wants to make a snake (Yuck!), and middle son is planning on a pair of socks. :-)

The work you see here - each son is about halway down his tube in length, and daughter's is coming out the end - was done in the time since Dad came home from work. Not too bad. The best part about it for each of them is that they made it all themselves from things we have here (although I did have to run to the drugstore and get some more cloth tape!)

Here are a few links if you'd like to learn more or get started yourself in corking.

And of course, don't forget to look for this great book, Corking by Judy Ann Sadler, at your local library or bookstore!

Some extra information: If you don't knit, like me :-( then you can use this same principle to make a straight knitter, which is what I am going to do. History: I found some adorable specialty yarn on sale and had visions of knitting a cute something for daughter and granddaughter. Reality: It didn't work. At. All. But now I see that I can simply make a straight corker - a piece of 1x4 wood maybe 8" long with the nails/pegs evenly spaced along the top - and 'knit' some scarves that way. Yeah!! Besides, the children were telling me all evening to make my own because I kept asking them to let me try theirs "just for a minute" ;-)

I'll post a Tutorial on how to make the spool if anyone is interested or would like more information than the directions above.

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