Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How to cork!

...or spool knitting, Knitting Nancy, bizzy Lizzy...etc. Corking is my first every yarn craft and very easy for kids or older people who want to get started with yarn.
To make a corker:
Things you'll need: 4 long nails, one piece of piping (I found mine for 66 cents at the hardware store. You could also use a toilet paper tube, for a temporary-ish flimsy option), duct tape.
1. Have 4 pieces of your duct tape ready. They should be 2-3 inches long.
2. Take 1 piece of your tape and firmly tape one of your nails to anywhere on the pipe/tube. There should be 1 inch of nail sticking up from the edge of the tube.
3. Using your next piece of tape, attach another of your nails directly opposite your attached nail.
4. Do this again, placing a nail in between the two with equal space between them. Do the same with your other nail. The 4 nails should be in a square on your pipe/tube.
5. Cut a longer piece of duct tape and wrap it around the pipe/tube at the area of the nails attached by the tape, to secure and cover the pointy ends. Overlap your already-there-tape by 1 inch-half an inch.
Your new corker should look approximately like this:
Congrats. You have a corker.
(Please note that you can BUY things like this at craft stores for 5-10$. But it's cheaper to make your own.)
Now for the actual corking!
What you'll need.
There are 3 basic corker stitches. There could be more but here are the ones I know. I'll call them Basic, The Other One, and Skinny. Sounds good. 
Instructions for Basic:
1. Make a slipknot with a longish tail. Place the slipknot on one of your nail-pegs (doesn't matter which), and feed the tail down your corkers body (pipe-tube). This is how you will start The Other One as well.
Beautiful, darling.
2. Wrap your working yarn around the remaining 3 pegs from the back.
3. Repeat that, so that you have 2 layers of loops on every nail.

4. Then use your optional corking tool or more often your fingers to lift the bottom layer of loops OFF of the nail, over the newer layer of loops. It should look like this...

5. (and beyond...) repeat steps 3 and 4 until your corking is as long as you'd like. Every once in awhile tug the tail from your beginning slip knot.

Instructions for The Other One:
Repeat steps 1 and 2 of Basic.
1. Now, to make your second layer, this time instead of wrapping around each nail individually from the back, wrap on the outside around all 4, to make a square.
2. Loop your bottom layer normally.
3. (and beyond...) Repeat steps 1 and 2 until your corking is as long as you'd like. Every once in awhile tug the tail from your beginning slip knot.

Instructions for Skinny:
Repeat step 1 of Basic.
1. Wrap the working yarn around the peg diagonal from your beginning one (with the slip knot on).
2. Wrap a second layer and lift the bottom off of the nail, as normal.

3. Repeat step 2 until your corking is as long as you'd like. Every once in awhile tug the tail from your beginning slip knot.
How to finish off your corking.
So you;ve corked what you want. It's perfect. But then you realize HOW DO I GET IT OFF OF MY CORKER?!?! Calm the HECK down, first of all. Second of all, it's easy.
What you want to do is safely transfer all of the 4 loops onto 1 of the nails, whichever. I recommend first  transferring so that there's 2 each on 2 nails...
...and then transfer 2 of the loops onto the other nail.
Then cut a tail and carefully feed it through all 4 loops, from top to bottom.
Remove from the nail. Done!

From left to right: Beginner, The Other One, Skinny.
Make a headband.
Make a bracelet Or an anklet! Whatever!
Make a cat's cradle string (using Skinny).
If you add 2 more nails to the corker it makes a round corker, which makes long skinny tubes. Cool!
To change colours, cut your yarn and tie the new colour to it (TIGHTLY). Trim the ends.
Trivet/coaster/rug: cork a long stretch. coil it into a spiral, sewing it carefully to make a spirally circle thing. 

Have fun with your new skill!


  1. Can you make a four-slice toaster with this?

    1. I have toasted many a toast with a machine fabricated out of yarn in my day.