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Friday, 13 September 2013

Conkers Revisited


Last year at about this time I wrote about conkers. There was quite a bit of interest in the game of conkers, and apologies for repeating some of the photos and information below.


Conkers are the fruit of the horse chestnut tree. Finding a spikey green case,  slightly split open, and removing a shiny conker from its white cushion, is one of the pleasures of autumn. But it has been on my mind that my pattern did not include the conker case. So I have reworked the pattern adding a shell section. So now you can make a lovely little home for your conkers. The new pattern is available on ravelry and Craftsy.



The shell is knitted on just two straight needles and in two pieces: green and cream. So the only sewing up is joining the inner and outer shells. There is some short row knitting to create the curves. As you will see I have made two variations: a half shell, which is how I often find a conker on the ground, or the two halves sewn together so you can have your conker just peeping out.




The game conkers is played between two people. A hole is made in the conkers, and they are threaded on a piece of string. They take turns hitting each others conker with their own. Each player holds their conker out in front of themselves, and the other player takes a swing at it with their conker. The conker that breaks the other one is the victor. The dangers are that you can be hit by swinging conkers, which are quite hard, or being hit by flying shards of conkers when the hit is successful. Hard conkers usually win, but it is considered cheating to harden your conker artificially.  Apparently Michael Palin of Monty Python was disqualified from a conkers competition for baking his conker and soaking it in vinegar.

Then there is the whole business of scoring. A conker that defeats another is a oner, etc. But if a conker beats another conker, it also takes on that conker's score. So if a twoer beats a threer, it would become a fiver. It is that conker that takes the title, not the human swinging it! 


My new improved conker pattern and the horsechestnut leaf pattern are available on ravelry separately, or with a discount if you buy both together. Also my samples are available in my Etsy shop.


 Happy Autumn Conkering



If you haven't seen my little giveaway please Click Here. Thank you to everyone who has entered. Some of your entries have really made me laugh. There are still two weeks until I announce the winner. I would love to see some more entries from crocheters.

34 comments:

  1. The conker and it's case look amazing, I love your crochet creations. Your Michael Palin fact made me smile. I'm far too old to be playing with them but I still love finding them, so shiny and smooth. Have a lovely weekend.
    Ali x

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  2. I love these! Will you be putting some in your shop? I'm still a newbie knitter! ;o)
    ~ joey ~

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  3. Fabulous projects!!! Love all! You are so talented!Thanks so much for sharing! Would love to have you visit my blog sometime.
    Have a fabulous week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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  4. I love your autumnal leaves and conkers. I'm very fortunate to have a Horsechestnut tree growing right next to the Summerhouse in the garden, I'm looking forward to when the conkers are ready and start to drop from the tree.
    Clare x
    http://summerhousebythesea.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. Wow, I would not have known where to begin to knit the horse chestnuts. Very cool!

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  6. I haven't seen conkers since moving to Oz, fun game that! But I really love love love your knitted leaves, and the conkers too :-)

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  7. Ginx you have so much patience, figuring the pattern out for conkers.
    They look great and I love them tucked up in their outer shell.

    Claire :)

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  8. Amazing. They look so realistic.

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  9. Bonkers conkers they are just great! How ever do you think of all the patterns?

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  10. You are so very clever and inventive. I really love them - especially the idea of putting a 'real' conker into one of your knitted shells.

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  11. Really clever designs and patterns, you are so creative, I love them. It's good to remind people how to play conkers in these health and safety riddled days!

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  12. These are so different, I love them, 'bonkers about conkers' springs to mind, in the nicest possible way of course.

    Jan x

    Just read MadBirds comment...... great minds think alike (or is it a case of fools never differ?)

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  13. love these!!! i can see you've had a lot of fun coming up with this design and they look fab, the conker cases in particular are quite ingenious! x

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  14. This is truly amazing! Like nature in 3D knitting. You are SO talented. Have a wonderful week.

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  15. They're fantastic!! Particularly love the one where you've just got the conker peeping out.

    Looks like it is going to be a bumper year for the real thing - the trees at the back of my house look full (unlike last year)

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  16. These are fascinating! Don't know how you get your needles around those fiddly bits!

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  17. Wow, I wouldn't have a clue where to start!!

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  18. I love your new conker shells, especially since you've made the spikes as well rather than just making a smooth case for the conkers.

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  19. This is brilliant. I love how you can knit a home for a real conker. However I won't show this to my daughter because she would urge me to knit some right now!

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  20. How fun is this? :) What a lovely idea. A perfect place to keep your conker and I also love your knitted leaves.

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  21. This is so nice!
    I'd love if you'd link up to my Autumn&Halloween-Spezial
    http://pamelopee.blogspot.de/p/linkparty-crealopee.html
    But please, don't forget a backlink :-)

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  22. Brilliant !!! - and less painful on the hands when you get hit by them playing conkers... xx

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  23. beautiful pattern - they've always been a symbol of autumn for me :)

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  24. These are fantastic! I have had them pinned since last year. I hope to knit some up for our nature table at some point.

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  25. Amazing knits! Thanks for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

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  26. OMG!!!! I laughed til I cried.......and mainly at myself.....I've never heard of conkers before!!!!!! These are buckeyes in the states....a symbol of good luck. We'd never smash them up!!!! I've just got to check out the pattern!!!!! I LOVE THEM!!!!!!

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  27. They are wonderful!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

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