Browsing articles in "Techniques (How-to)"
Jun 3, 2016

Double Knit 101-Part IV

Change of Color with Stripes and Design

There are many patterns in our free pattern library that incorporate stripes and fun intarsia designs.  Here are a few designs that you may recognize from our afghan patterns.  Let’s go over the basics in working with color changes and creating designs.

EXAMPLES OF CHANGE OF COLOR

Crayon Box Throw uses basic horizontal stripes.  These can be worked in any amount of rows, which will determine how thick the stripe will be.  The colors begin at start of a row and go to the end of the row.  Horizontal stripes can also be used to create a border at bottom and top of the knitted piece.

Vertical stripes are a bit different in that they are created with selected stitches and repeated on the same pins in each row.  With each row, the stripe grows longer.

They can also be used in just a few rows to create checker board designs.

painted_desert2__35124.1419381330.1280.1280

 

 

Painted Desert Afghan, uses vertical and horizontal stripes for the 2 color design and the border.  We used wide stripes to create the side panels.  The 3 panels were sewn together with the invisible stitch.

Checkerboard is created with vertical stripes for several rows and groups of stitches in one color, and then, by shifting the rows to different stitches,  for  several additional rows.  They can be created with just 2 colors or many.  If you are just exploring this concept, I would suggest starting with just a couple colors.  Tangled yarns can be frustrating-but we can talk about ways to assist with this when we start Intarsia                                                         .

afghan_new_daisyc__80278.1456511116.1280.1280

 

When we designed this large afghan, the New Daisy Afghan , we used a 2 color design by adding colors into the knit creating intarsia flowers.  The 2 color side panels were knit separately and all three strips were sewn together using invisible stitch.

 

 

chickie_blanket__89902.1419908673.1280.1280

 

In our Little Chickie Blanket, you can see how colors are used within the knit to create the ‘Chickie’.  Also vertical and horizontal stripes are used for the letters and the 2-tone stripe section.  This little blanket was knit is 3 strips, but the change of colors makes it look like squares.  The border was added as a separate piece and sewn on using invisible stitch.  This sewing stitch is illustrated in Part III tutorial.

 

 

INTARSIA

So what does ‘Intarsia’ really mean? According to wikipedia, it means a knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colors.  In single knit, the main color is traditionally dropped behind the peg of a different color as in a slip stitch.  So at end of color design, the backside is a maze of yarn colors.  In double knit, its a bit different as the color changes are made between the 2 rows of stitches, so they are most often not seen;  but, the really great thing about double knit, is that the color design is seen on both sides.  This is why double knit intarsia afghans and scarves are so beautiful.

Basic Horizontal Stripe: We are working with blue and want to create a white stripe.  Pull the white thru the 3rd stitch in center of loom, just under the last row.  Keep the blue yarn attached as we will only make the white stripe about 3 rows wide.  Then we will continue with the blue again.  You will see in the photos that the blue yarn is moved slightly with each row, so it doesn’t get caught up in the white row.

tie to 3rd stitch

tie and lay yarn down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

weave the white row

Work 3 rows with white yarn.  Once complete, lay white aside and work rows with the blue.  By keeping both yarns attached, we will be ready when we want to start some vertical stripes.  If you plan to do more than 3 or 4 rows of a color stripe, it may be best to cut the blue, tie white to blue at 3rd stitch, and then work with new color.  Then lay both yarn tails down and continue.

Once you weave and hook over the desired number of rows with the white stripe, lay the white aside and continue with the blue yarn.

new row of blue on white

Continue with the blue knit for as many rows as desired, and maybe change back to the white for another stripe, or maybe tie in another new color.

For now, let’s work 2 rows of the blue.  Keep both colors attached, because from here, we will be able to go right into some vertical stripes.

checkerboard

Here is an example of a scarf with horizontal, vertical, and checkerboard.

In this scarf, it is the same process as with the blue and white yarns.  We have blue knit with a 3 row white stripe, and then 2 rows of blue.  Now, let’s create vertical stripes to match the vertical stripes in the Checkerboard Scarf.

Vertical Stripes: Start vertical stripes by weaving the blue around 2 stitches, skip 2 stitches, blue for 2 stitches, skip 2 stitches, and continue to  the end of the piece.  See below example of full circular.  The row is worked in stockinette stitch, skipping the pegs where the white yarn will be worked in. The white yarn will fill in the stitches that were skipped.

start of verticle

 

full weave of vertical

 

 

 

 

Now add the white yarn in stockinette stitch.

You can see the previous row is already done.  By repeating this row with both colors, you will have vertical stripes growing with the knit.

 

white stripe:blue:verticle

 

 

Now, you may be wondering if we could do these vertical stripes with the white yarn in b/b stitch (back to back weaving).  When you are working only 2 stitches of a color, that is a good option also.  Or you may work the blue in b/b, and then weave the white in stockinette.  I think you are beginning to see how this can be expanded into multiple color designs.

 

checkerboard with knit

 

 

Checkerboard Design:

To create a checkerboard design, work the vertical stripe like above for 3 or 4 rows, the white loops over white, and blue over blue. Then alternate colors.  Now do 3 or 4 rows of blue where the white stitches were, and the white where the blue ones were.  See photo.  This will shift the vertical stripes into checkerboard like on the brown scarf above.  But lets look at how the weave will be different if we use some b/b stitches for clarity.

bb white w:blu

 

As you can see, the white stitches in back/back stitch look pretty much the same as stockinette only a little looser.

The best time to use the b/b weaving is within a piece of knit creating a small design.

Weave the white over b/b, 2 stitches, move across to next white stitches until all white stitches are covered.

b:b 2

Weave over the white stitches in stockinette in blue for a  full circular so that all pegs are covered.  Hook over.  Repeat.  Remember in doing any design, be sure to cast on amount of stitches to complete the sequence.  Here, we just want even amount of stitches, so the 2-stitch vertical stripe or checkerboard design comes out even.

blue over bb1

compkete blue over bb

 

 

 

 

 

 

When doing a knitted piece with a small design in it, you will tie on the color of design, close to where the stitches begin.  Work the color stitches in that row in b/b stitch.  Lay yarn down, and pick up main color and work in stockinette stitch. Work each row, one at a time, using the color sts when required keeping the yarn attached until the design is complete.  Tie to working yarn and cut. Weave in the color yarn tail.

We will dive into intarsia with graphs and multiple colors in another tutorial.  Next month, we will shift focus and see a few new double knit stitches that everyone of all skill levels can enjoy.

Double Knit Tutorial Series: Part I      Part II       Part III

 

2 Comments

  • Thank you for the great tutorial on double knit color change. My daughter and I were trying (with limited success) to change colors. I saw your Advent creations and they looked beautiful but I was afraid to try them. Now I have worked up to the second color change of the checkerboard and it looks great. I’ll be trying some of the Advent projects this fall! Thank you for teaching us. I had just two questions: in double knitting when one changes color is there a need to “twist” the yarns ? Secondly, what is back to back weaving? Thank you for the great instructions.

  • Hi Cindy, So happy that you and your daughter are enjoying colors in your knitting. The back to back or b/b weave is shown and explained in Part 1 and the link is at bottom of this tutorial. But this is also shown in this tutorial where the weaving is front to back rather than the stockinette. Thank you for asking about twisting the yarns, as it is important in color change. If you are working in stockinette where one color is across the weave of the other, you do not need to twist the yarns at the junction of 2 colors meeting. This is because the stockinette will lock the knit together. If, however, you are working in color blocks with 2 different yarns that are not woven over each other, you will want to twist them where they meet. Otherwise, the sections will not be connected in finished knit and will need some ‘sewing’ to connect them. You may find that if you are adding a small amount of a color in your design, it makes twisting easier to cut a small amount of yarn for that section rather than working with 2 large skeins of yarn.

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May 16, 2016

Loom FAQs: What Is Laddering?

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The first thing most people learn when learning to loom knit is how to work the e-wrap knit stitch.  Some people only use this stitch to create endless items.  It’s a very simple stitch that many prefer over the knit stitch or even learning the purl stitch.  Nothing wrong with that.  It is a knit stitch after all.  And an easy one.  Think I said that already.

But it has its drawbacks.  Beginners always have that same question when making hats or other items worked in the round.  Why do I have a large gap between the first and last stitch?  It only happens with e-wrap worked in the round.  Never with flat panels.  Why is that?  It really is a simple answer.  Let’s talk about the laddering effect.

What is laddering?

Laddering is that gap between the first and last stitch of a project worked in the round when using the e-wrap knit stitch when the entire loom is wrapped before knitting over.  It leaves the yarn between the stitches in horizontal lines that looks like a ladder.  Hence the name.

Here is an example of laddering:

Ladder effect with e-wrap knit stitch

Ladder effect with e-wrap knit stitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why does it happen?

Laddering happens when all the pegs on the entire loom are wrapped then knit over.  This is due to each stitch getting looser has the bottom loop is lifted over the top loop.  It is actually on the round below, not the round just wrapped.  With the twist in the stitch, each stitch gets pulled a little when knit over making the next one a little looser when it is knit over.  And so on until you end the round with that extra between the first and last stitch.  By the time the last stitch is worked, there is enough of a gap to be noticed.

This is why it doesn’t happen with flat panels.  The extra bit that creates the ladder when working in the round ends up at the edge.

Sometimes this will not happen with bulkier yarns especially if the yarn is slightly bulkier than the loom gauge requires.

Is it due to tension?

Tension is not really the issue when it comes to laddering.  Some people like to use yarn guides or empty pens to make it faster to wrap the pegs.  This will not prevent laddering.  Laddering happens when knitting over, not how tight you wrap the pegs.

But why is mine laddering between all the stitches??

If using a smaller yarn weight than the loom gauge like using 1 strand of worsted with a large gauge loom, laddering will happen between each stitch with e-wrap whether in the round or a flat panel.  The twist in the stitch will keep the stitches from pulling together when off the loom.

Example of 1 strand worsted on large gauge loom

Example of 1 strand worsted on large gauge loom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This effect is sometimes desired for lacier projects.  But if it’s not desired, make sure the yarn weight matches the gauge of the loom.  Learn more on yarn weights and which gauge loom to use here.

How do I prevent laddering in my work?

The best way to prevent laddering is one not often preferred.  That is to wrap and knit over each peg as you go.  That way each stitch is exactly the same.  But most people prefer to wrap the loom first.  And that leads us to the next question.

Are there other ways to prevent it without working each peg as you go?

Some people say to start and stop at different pegs on each round.  That will work as long as those pegs that you are stopping at are not next to each other.  If you stop at the one before the last peg you stopped at on the previous round, the laddering will be on a diagonal instead of vertical.

If you wrap the pegs in shorter sections then knit over before going on to the next section, the amount of yarn that is made loose is not as much and therefore not as noticed.  If you wrap only 5 to 10 pegs at a time, the laddering effect will not happen.

Will it “fix” itself if left alone?

Yes.  Most times, if the item is given time to relax, the stitches will “fix” themselves, and the ladder will disappear.   Blocking will help too depending on the fiber used.

 

While I am not one to use e-wrap knit stitch very often, it is a wonderful stitch that can add texture or is just easy to work.  If you are ready to make that next step to a different knit stitch, please check out my article Loom FAQs:  Which Knit Stitch?

Until next time!  Happy loom knitting!

3 Comments

  • This is very good article. I will definitely add this to my “need to know” folder.

  • Thanks Jonnita.

  • Wrap and knit over each peg as you go is the only way I do Ewrap knit, both as flat panel and in the round. It makes a tremendous difference. I also use it as a cast on and the result is less loopy than the traditional Ewrap cast on. This method works great on hats too. Thanks for the great article.

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Apr 25, 2016

Double Knit 101-Part III

Double Knit 101—Part II        Double Knit 101-Part I

Elizabeth with hat:scarfShaping the Knit

Yay, you completed your double knit scarf last month! That’s really so cool, because you did the basic cast on with anchor yarn, changed stitch patterns with the Stockinette stitch and the Rib stitch. Hopefully, you finished off both ends and have it ready to wear, when needed. Well, some folks still need their warm wearables handy with the snow still flying in parts of the country.

Your current abbreviations learned are:

Stockinette stitch=St stitch, or K stitch= knit stitch. (same stitch),

Back/to/back stitch=b/b

Rib stitch=Rib stitch

Increase=inc

Decrease=dec, or DD=double dec

Cast On=CO

Bind Off=BO

Approximately=aprox

Regular row=a row with no increase or decrease

So today, I want to share with you the basics of increasing and decreasing, so you can make lots more fun items in double knit. What can we make, and when will you use the inc and dec? Let’s look at some different situations, and what will the pattern say? The best way to explain the shaping is to just make something with these techniques, for example, a hat to match your scarf.  With a double knit hat, we usually make it on a long loom so that we can get the entire length going around the head, all in one piece.  This way the cast on, with the  anchor yarn edge, will be at the top of hat, and then,  just gather the top with the anchor yarn.  But sometimes that method creates a hat that is very bunched up at the top, or sits on your head like a paper sack pulled down.

I am using the 18-All-n-One-Loom as the 10″ Knitting Board would be limited, for this example.  The All-n-One Loom has 48 pegs, and my hat will need 56 stitches.  So, we can just make this in 2 pieces, each will have 28 sts.  OH no, you say, sewing? Maybe I did it on purpose, because I wanted to show you how the invisible stitch can be just that…invisible.  So with our hat, we are going to make it in 2 shaped pieces and sew them together with invisible stitch.  Each piece will look something like this.

hat front 2

Here is the hat front or back, they will be the same.  We will start the piece at brim and work with rib stitch and stockinette.  We will do dec across the center and, on up to hat top. We will use the dec at beginning and end of each row as well as randomly across the entire row.

#5 yarn and the All-n-One Loom, set at smallest spacing is used in sample.  This will produce a size small hat to fit head circumference of approximately 21-22″.  You can make a larger hat by using the mid spacing of the All-n-One Loom.  If you are using the 28″Loom, maintain the smaller setting.  For a deeper hat, work 12 rows of rib st and 12 rows of stockinette st.  Our sample measures aprox 9″ deep.

Cast On 28 stitches in stockinette stitch.  Work in Rib stitch for 10 rows.

Change to Stockinette stitch and work for 10 rows.  For a deeper hat, change to 12 rows of each stitch.  This will add 1″ in depth.  We will go thru the series of a dec row before completing our hat panel.

pick up 3rd stitch

Decrease at ends of loom and across the loom: A basic dec is same as term (k2tog)  or knit 2 sts together as one.  This is what we are doing.  When you combine 2 sts, you are creating an empty peg and the peg next to it has 2 loops.  If you leave the pegs empty and continue weaving over them, you will create an open hole as with an eyelet design.  On the other hand, if you move the sts together and eliminate the empty peg, you are reducing the amount of stitches, and making the knit width narrower.  This is what we want to do to shape the hat around the head.

 

place on peg 4

 

 

Sometimes, you want to just bring in the ends with a dec at each end, or some shapes, like a neckline will ask you to dec at just the front end, or back end of loom.  When you want a more sharp curve like our hat, we will use some dec rows that will have multiple decreases all across the knitting.  It all does the same thing-make the knit smaller in width.Remember, the dec stitches must be done to both boards for a basic process.

We have created empty pegs on both boards by moving loop on peg 2 to peg 3.  It is always best to do a dec or inc from inside the knit rather than at the first stitch.  There will be times when you will work from peg one, but that is usually for ruffles and intricate little items.

ready to close in open pegs

 

 

 

 

create open pegs for dec

Once you have all the open pegs you need to reduce the size of the knit, start at center of loom and move the pegs over towards center.  If you are working with an empty peg that has the 2 loops, be sure to move both of them to next peg.  Sometime there will be more than one peg to jump over, and it will be a tight stretch.  Just go slow and careful, so that the loops are on the intended pegs.

In the photo above, you can see 6 empty pegs on each board.  They are ready to be moved over.  They all need to be adjacent to each other in order to weave the next (shorter) row.  After this row is complete, you will have just 22 sts instead of the 28 sts that you cast on.  Be sure to weave over all pegs to complete the row.

pick up both loops and move over

It can be a bit of a stretch as you move the loops over to close in the empty pegs.  Once they are all moved, weave over the pegs and hook over, being careful to lift both loops when working  the double loops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eyelets

 

Remember, if you leave the loops spaced out, and weave over them, without moving them together, you will create eyelets.

 

 

 

 

Continue the shaping of the hat: We are working from L side of loom.

Decrease row #1-Lift loop #3 and place it on peg #4, both boards.  Place loop #8 onto peg #9, both boards.  Place loop #13 onto peg #14, both boards.  Notice they are all laying towards center.  Now, place loop #16 onto peg #15, both boards, and loop #21 onto peg #20, and then loop #26 onto peg #25, both boards.  Your dec is done.  Now, carefully move the loops over until they are all adjacent to each other and you now have 22 sts.  Check carefully to be sure you do not have empty pegs.  Sometimes, when moving the double loops on one peg, it helps to move one at a time, so you don’t accidentally lose one of them.  Weave over the 22 sts and hook over.

22 sts after dec.2

Work 2 regular rows in stockinette.

Dec #2-Lift loop #3 onto peg #4 on both boards.  Do this to both ends of loom.  You are dec by 2 sts.

Work 4 regular rows in stockinette.

Dec #3- Lift loop #4 onto peg #5 and loop # 9 onto peg #10.  Do this to both boards.  Lift loop #17 onto peg #16, and loop #12 onto #11.  Do this to both boards.  We are decreasing by 4 stitches.  Now there are 16 sts on loom.

Work 2 regular rows in stockinette.

Repeat dec row #2.  Work 1 regular row.

Repeat dec row #2 again.  Work 1 reg row.

Dec #4-decrease by 3 sts.  Lift loop #3 onto peg #4, both boards, both ends, and one dec in center of knitting.  There are 9 sts remaining.   Work 1 reg row.

Repeat dec row #4-so that you now have 6 sts remaining.  Work 1 reg row.

Dec 1 st at each end of loom on both boards.  Work 1 reg row.

Dec 1 st at each end of loom on both boards, and bind off the last sts.  THIS PIECE IS DONE.

Now, make a 2nd piece exactly the same-it will go so much faster than the first.

 

ready to put togetherYou now need to sew them together using the invisible stitch.  If you look at the outer edges of the hat pieces, you will see where you want to do the sewing-right on the outer edge, so that you can just pull the pieces together.  I like to pin the pieces in place before beginning.  You can do this with some nice smooth double pointed knitting needles, or, find some very smooth toothpicks.

 

 

pinned together for sewing

 

Do the sewing with matching yarn, aprox 3′ long.  Use a darning needle to make the stitches.  The yarn used in the sample is a contrast color yarn.  This was done on purpose, so you can see the stitches, and then see how it disappears once pulled snug into the knitting.

The bind off of each piece can be done before the sewing, and remove the anchor yarn, or you can leave them in until after the sewing.  I will use this method, so we can have one continuous bind off all around the hat.

Start sewing at one corner of hat at anchor yarn by simply tying the yarn about 1″ from bottom edge.  Bring yarn up thru the knit to the starting point for sewing.

 

edges to be sewn

This is ready to sew together.  With darning needle, start on one edge and grab the cross stitch inside the edge.  Without pulling it tight, grab the cross stitch inside other edge.  Keep following the seam by alternating from one edge to the other.  After working for about 2″, you can gently pull the working yarn to bring the 2 edges together.  See the pale yellow yarn sewn loosely, and then see how it totally disappears in the next photo.You can gently shape the top of the hat to be rounded or flat across the top, just with the sewing.

 

stitching

invisible sewing.2

 

Once you have sewn the hats pieces together, you are ready to do a nice finish on the hat brim. This will be a simple crochet bind off as shown in Part I of Double Knit 101. The bind off will connect the 2 pieces with a seamless finished edge.  Remove the 2 anchor yarns.  Weave in any yarn tails, trim excess and your hat is ready to wear.  Add adornments if desired, like a little round flower.

Basic Increase preview-Making a circle.

circle

Cast On 3 sts stockinette. Place anchor yarn.

Work 1 reg row.

Inc from st #1 to peg #2, both ends and both boards. Work row.

Work 1 reg row.

Continue with inc row, now moving stitch #2 to peg #3, and 1 regular row until you have 13 stitches.

Work 2 reg rows.

Inc row, continue till you have 15 sts.

Work 3 regular rows.

Complete in reverse using the dec instead of inc.

Keep working until you are back to 3 sts.

Bind off at both anchor, and loom.

So how is the basic Inc done in double knit?  Pretty much like the Dec except move the 1st stitch out to new empty peg.  You have an empty peg between st 1 and st 2.  Instead, pick up the loop behind the adjacent peg (this is the last row dropped off) of peg #3.  Place that loop onto the empty peg.  You now have a new stitch on that empty peg.  If you do this to both sides and both ends, your next row will have 2 more stitches. With 5 stitches, now do the inc rows from stitch #2 to peg #3.

Cast on 3 sts.     Move stitch #1 to new peg creating empty peg.  Same on both boards and at both ends.

caston 3 sts

move 2 peg out2

 

 

 

Now you see row with 7 stitches.  We are lifting the loop from the previous row to place on the empty peg for the new stitch.  Next photo shows the new stitches.  Weave this row and hook over.

We can go into more detail for the inc process next month, when we will be talking about some color additions, and intarsia designs.  We will want to cover buttonholes, for sure.  After that some new exciting stitches.  Join us here!inc to empty peg

stitch to pick up

6 Comments

  • Pat,
    Another great article. Really like the explanation of he invisible stitch. That is the only stitch I use when sewing together items. Am looking forward to next article when you talk about Intarsia design, a favorite topic and one people like to learn. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge with everyone.

  • Thank you, Sue. I agree with the sewing stitch-it seems to work in so many situations. Pat

  • I love these tutorials. That circle would be great to make the bottom of a knitted bag.

  • Hi Claudia, that’s a great idea. How about the bottom of a basket or cup holder, even a knitting board bag. Thanks, Pat

  • Awesome tutorial! While I didn’t make the hat (yet), I did use it to make the top of a hanging towel and it worked great. Thank you so much! I looked at other tutorials and they just didn’t explain it the way you did, you made it so easy. I agree with you and Claudia, a basket would be fun to make.

  • Hi Jen, That’s a super use of creating a circular piece-I hadn’t thought of that. Great creative idea. Pat

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Mar 28, 2016

Double Knit 101-Part II

Check out DOUBLE KNIT Part I for beginning of the series.

IMG_1791 (2)

Double Knit made simple, part II. Last month, we began with an overview of what double knit is and, why it works so well. Today…how to get started with the double knit basic cast on, and then cover some basic stitches. We will get into colorwork and cables in a few months.

For illustration, we are workng on the 10” Knitting Board and have it set for 2cm spacing between the pegs from rail to rail. This is the mid spacing on the wood blocks.  This loom has 24 double pegs, but we are going to use 14 stitches for illustration. Place cast on in the center of loom. I have chosen a pretty yarn  in #5 weight, Big Twists Yarn in 100% acrylic. This is a 2 ply yarn and works well in loom knitting.

Remember that in double knit, we want to use both sides of the loom, so that our resulting knit is interlocked.

Let’s begin…Place slip knot on the first peg on the back board.  When we refer to first stitch, it is the first stitch used for the cast on, not always the first on the board.

Back Board

slip knot start

Front Board

We are doing the basic wrap for cast on.   From the first peg on back board, wrap the 2nd peg on front board.  Wrap across the loom and skip every other peg.  Continue until you have the amount of stitches desired. Wrap around the end pegs, and work back to first peg, covering all skipped pegs.  You will end at peg on front board directly across from first peg.

You now have a ‘full circular’ on the loom.  You are ready to place an anchor yarn.

stockinette weave3

 

The anchor yarn is not a requirement, but you will see how easily it makes the first row, and controls all the stitches. Most times the anchor yarn will be removed when you get done with the knitting, and you will finish off the cast on stitches with a nice crochet edge. Other times, the anchor yarn stays in and becomes a drawstring to gather the stitches together like in the crown of a hat. It is also useful to help pull down the first few rows of knitting and keep the tension even. A pattern will tell you when to use a contrast color of yarn for the anchor since it will be removed, or, to use a matching yarn that will remain in the knitting for another use.

lay anchor2

You will notice that the anchor yarn only covers the stitch area and the ends drop down between the boards.  It works best if you make it long enough to tie under the board.  This way, it is not accidentally pulled out.

At this point, you are ready to add another row of weaving. Work it just like you did the first row.  Wrap the first peg and down the the 2nd peg on front board and continue across the stitches wrapping every other peg.  Turn around at end, and wrap the pegs going back towards first peg.  There will now be 2 loops on each peg, and the anchor yarn is between. Let the anchor yarn assist you when you ‘hook over’ this cast on row.  Hooking over is just the term used to describe the action of lifting the bottom loop over the top.  See below.

 

stockinette over anchor2

 

 

 

 

 

caston_row2

 

 

 

 

 

With knit hook, lift bottom loops over top loops and off pegs.  Take loop up and over, and drop it off of peg.  You will do the ‘hook over’ on all stitches on both boards.  Hint:  In order to keep the sides of the knit even, do the hook over as in the photos from Left side of knit to about center of the stitches.  Then go to the Right side of knit and work to the center, so that all pegs are completed.  Just vary the center point, so that you do not create a line in the knit. This will keep edges even. Work pegs on other side of loom also.

Hooking over1f

hooking over3f

After you do the ‘hook over’ on all stitches, you can just push them down in center between the boards, and pull down gently on the anchor yarn.  Your stitches are now Cast On.  You are ready to work in Stockinette or Rib stitch, or any other that you will learn.

Stockinette stitch:  This is the basic stitch and forms a smooth knit on both sides.  It is done exactly like the weave of the cast on row.

The Rib stitch:  To create a rib pattern, the weave is just slightly different.  Let’s look at the cream yarn to see the difference.  Wrap the back board on first peg and then down to the 3rd peg on front board.  You can see the angle is more extreme than with stockinette.  You are working from peg 1 to peg 3 by skipping the first 2 pegs on front board. Continue with this angle and wrap every other peg to end of knit.  Wrap the yarn around the end pegs and return.  The first stitch is consecutive with the end pegs.  Then you will be working all empty pegs.

full rib weave

 

 

return weave rib2

 

 

As you return to first peg, you will see that you are still working from peg 1 to peg 3, and then, every other.  The first 2 pegs will be wrapped consecutively.  Just be sure to cover all pegs. You will also notice that you are working at opposite angle with the weaving.  This is what creates the ribs.  You will find as you work the stitch pattern, your stitches will create pairs of  stitches for each rib.

Once you get back to the first stitch, all pegs should have 2 loops.  The ‘hook over’ process is the same as the Stockinette stitch.  Continue with the Rib weave as long as desired or according to your pattern.

Back to Back Stitch:  Sometimes, you want to just add a few stitches for accent or make the entire knitted piece in a simple stitch referred to as the Back to Back stitch.  It takes only one pass of the loom for each row.  Just weave front to back on the pegs of each stitch.

b_b weave2

The finished knit will look similar to the Stockinette, but may be a bit looser.  We will use it later, in color work.

 

 

 

 

BIND OFF: So enough for our basic stitches, let’s learn how to take the knit off the loom, Bind Off.  We need to bind off at the loom, and then, at the anchor yarn of the Cast On stitches.

bind off loomStart on the end of the loom opposite the yarn, or the back end.  You can go ahead and cut the yarn leaving a few inches of ‘yarn tail’.  The yarn tail is usually about 3-4″ long and will be used to knot the last stitch.

Insert the crochet hook into the first stitch on back board.  Lift it off the loom.  Then, pick up the first stitch on the front board.  You have 2 loops on the crochet hook.  Pull the loop closest to the hook thru the other loop.  Now pick up the next loop on the back board.  Pull the loop closest to hook thru the other loop.  Pick up the next loop from the front board.  Pull one thru one.  Continue this process, alternating front board and back board until you have the last loop on the hook.  Now, you are at that yarn tail, so you can pull it thru the last loop and gently tighten.

Now, we are looking at Cast On stitches with the anchor yarn.  We want to put a nice even finish on this end also.

anchor in cast on

bind off anchor2

 

 

 

 

 

Start at end opposite the yarn tail.  Pick up just the first 2 loops.  Pull the loop closest to the hook thru the other loop, just as you did on the loom Bind Off.  Continue across the knit until you reach the last loop and use the yarn tail to knot the edge.

bind off anchor

 

 

You can just use your fingers to assist with moving one loop on the crochet hook thru the other loop.

 

 

Once the ends of your scarf are finished with the Crochet Bind Off, just weave the yarn tails into the knit.  Take the crochet hook up thru the 2 layers of knit so that the hook comes out close to yarn tail.  Draw the  yarn into the knit, carefully, so that even the knot is tucked away, out of sight.  Then just remove the crochet hook by taking it out the end with the hook.  This way, you will not snag the knit.

yarn tail

With what you have learned about double knit, you can create your first completed item. YAY!!  How about using the stitches to do a new scarf.

SIMPLE SCARF

Get loom and yarn, knit hook, and crochet hook in hand.  Cast on 14 stitches in Stockinette stitch, add anchor yarn, and continue for about 12 rows.  Then with no change of pace, just start the next row in Rib stitch.  Work in Rib stitch for 12 rows.  Then start next row in Stockinette stitch.  On and on you will go, until you look down and have a great scarf.  You may decide to work the scarf using 20 or 22 stitches.  That’s your choice.  Then bind off stitches at both ends.

rib_stockinette scarf

 

Now, let’s look at how our two stitches look as a stitch pattern.  Remember, our stitch pattern was 12 rows of Stockinette stitch, 12 rows of Rib stitch, and repeating all the way down.  A scarf can be made as long as desired and this one could be really long if you used a full skein (ball) of yarn and knit it with just 14 stitches.  Or maybe you decided to make it wider and shorter.  That’s the fun of being creative with our double knit.

The photo (below) shows the double knit edge of the scarf.  It is always easy to count your completed rows by counting the stitches along the outer edge. The next photo (below) shows how to pick up the horizontal cross stitch on the edge of double knit when you want to sew 2 edges together with an invisible stitch.  We will cover both of these topics next month along with some increase and decrease techniques to add shape to the knit.  HAPPY KNITTING!

edge of scarf_arrow

Edge of Knitted Scarf

edge cross stitch

Side of Knitted Scarf

13 Comments

  • Both links went to lesson part 2, (even the one that was meant to be for part 1!) but I missed part 1 and could not find out how to find it. Is it possible to send the correct link please?

  • Thanks, I have now found part 1 on the website, even though the link in the email goes to part 2.

  • Here is the link for Part I:

    http://blog.knittingboard.com/archives/5174

  • I wonder if the “Back to Back” stich is the one that has the same effect than knitting flat.

  • I too would like the lesson 1..I have been gone and I do have the board and all I need to do this. Thankyou, Joann

  • Hi Jane, sorry for the error. We have added a link for Part I on the page of part II. So once you go to the new part II, you will see the link to click on Part I. Thanks for your patience. Pat

  • Hi, see the link to part I when you view part II. thanks, Pat

  • Thank you, We have added it to the part II also.

  • Pat, once again, great article on double knit. I hope with all your clear and excellent instructions that folks will get excited about double knit as well as single. Both are exciting and offer so much variety to the knitter on the knitting boards. Thanks again for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us all!!

  • Thanks Sue. You are such a fabulous double knitter, yourself. Please add any other thoughts to share with us, if you’d like. Pat

  • Hi Guys :)
    Link to the squares isn’t working:
    To find all the previous stitches in this column, simply click here.

  • Hi Kim-I will check it out-thank you so much for the heads-up. Pat

  • Hi Kim and Pat :)

    Just wanted to let you know that the link error is now corrected. It occurred when the categories for the site were changed. ;) Thanks for letting us know, Kim!

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Mar 21, 2016

Loom FAQs: Is Loom Knitting Cheating?

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Most people who loom knit have at some point come across a needle knitter who tells them “that is cheating” or “that’s not real knitting”.  It can be very hurtful to be told these things.  Especially for those who are first learning.

But…  Is it cheating?  Questions that I see are  When did loom knitting first start?  Which came first needles or looms?  How can it be cheating when the stitches look exactly the same after it is made?

Personally I love it when someone sees a finished project I have made and then asks me me what size needles I used.  That look when I say “I knit this on a loom.”  Disbelief every time.

Let’s take a look at the history of loom knitting as well as the pros and cons of looms vs. needles.  Watch your toes!  Some may get stepped on by accident…

What is the earliest know knitted item?

The oldest known knitted artifact are socks from Egypt in the 11th century AD.  These socks had a very fine gauge and included colorwork as well as turned heels.  This would indicate that the art of knitting went back a lot further with no way to know where it developed or even what tool was used to knit with.

Is loom knitting new since I am just now seeing more knitting looms in stores?

Not really.  Loom knitting dates back centuries.  It hasn’t always been known as loom knitting.  Some names used were peg frame knitting from the late 14th century, stocking frame knitting for knitting stockings during the time of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century (which upset the needle knitters then too, by the way), as well as terms such as ring, wheel, rake, French, and spool knitting depending on the era and location.

There has just been a resurgence in the popularity of loom knitting in the past 2 decades.  More companies are mass producing knitting looms for retail making it easier to buy them.  Back in the mid to late 20th century, knitting looms could be bought, but most were by mail order only or in kid’s craft sets.  And with the advent of the internet, instructions are much easier to find than when I received my first looms as a child whether it is written instructions or video tutorials.  Also the selection of patterns has increased tremendously which is absolutely wonderful!

Which came first needles or looms?

This information is hard to find.  Some sources will say that looms predated needles and vice versa.  Probably depends on who is writing the information and which tool they prefer using…

Looming and knitting are different, aren’t they?

No.  It’s all knitting.  Looms are the tool, just as needles are the tool used.  No matter what the tool used, it’s still knitting.  People who use needles don’t call it needling…  Just saying…

But hand knitting is not the same as loom knitting…

If it’s not made with a machine, it is made by hand.  Whether it is done on needles or on a loom.  Hand knit only means that it was made with hands and not a machine.

Is loom knitting only for children?

No it isn’t.  Unless you want to count your inner child…  While there have always been a lot of loom knit kits packaged and targeted for children, it is not just a child’s toy.  Most kids do find loom knitting easier to grasp than needle knitting.  But whatever encourages their creativity to blossom!  That is the goal after all.

 

 

What are the pros and cons of looms vs. needles?

Each has it’s benefit.  Each has it’s deficit.

Let’s begin with the cost of the tools themselves.  It’s cheaper to buy needles in all sizes and gauges than it is to buy looms in all sizes and gauges.  Plus 1 for needles.

Another pro of needles is portability.  Needles take up less room than a loom does.  Most times they are more portable than looms depending on the loom.

Some will say that more can be done on needles than on looms.  That is not necessarily the case.  As far as I know, only large cables are almost impossible on looms and easier on needles due to being able to stretch the stitches across the other stitches to create the cables.  Therefore, anything that can be knit on needles can be knit on looms.

But looms have their pros as well that needles do not.

Such as it’s easier on the hands to work with looms than needles.  Lots of people with arthritis can loom knit long after needles no long become an option.

Looms are also better than needles since each stitch has it’s own “needle” making it harder to drop stitches.  This also makes traveling easier despite the size of the loom.  No worries about those stitches sliding off the needles in transit.  Not saying it can’t happen with looms.  It just doesn’t happen as often.

So…  Is loom knitting cheating?

No.  It’s just a different tool to achieve the same thing.  Each knit or purl stitch looks exactly the same once finished since the yarn itself is worked in exactly the same way to create the stitch.  Two different people can take the exact same yarn and create the exact same thing with one using a loom and the other using needles, and they will look exactly the same when finished.

Next time someone tells you that loom knitting is cheating, just smile and say thank you.  They will wonder why you thanked them.  Most likely it will annoy them as well.  There isn’t any need to get upset.  It’s all fiber art after all.  What a dreary world we would live in if we couldn’t take a “string” and create something amazing.  No matter what tool we use to do it.

I do wish we had some sort of national council to established guidelines that define everything loom knit like gauge sizes, terminology, standardize pattern writing, abbreviations, etc., just like with needles knitting and crochet.  It would help with the confusion created among the masses since there are people who are doing their own thing and creating their own terminology when writing patterns.

Hope not too many toes are sore after this!  While some people won’t agree with all I have said, it really isn’t worth getting upset over something we all enjoy and love.  And that something is KNITTING!  So grab a ball of yarn and pick up a loom or some needles and CREATE SOMETHING AMAZING!!

4 Comments

  • I am with you on the need of standards being set. I really struggle sometimes trying to understand between one pattern and another.!!

  • Thank you for the great information. I have researched loom and needle knitting as well to inform people. They find it hard to believe I am knitting until I show a finished item, then they believe. Have actually converted some folks over. Thanks again, more info to pass on.

  • Thanks for interesting article .I love loom knitting because it is easier on my hands and like you people can not believe I can whip up a baby hat in no time.

  • Hi Caroline, I can still remember when I first started loom double knitting-I was amazed at it also. I just love it. Pat

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Feb 29, 2016

Double Knit 101 Tutorial

Introduction to Double Knit – Part I

knittingboard28_newbluesmThe hobby of knitting, at one time, was simple. You would pick out a yarn; it was most likely a worsted weight in assorted colors. With just 2 needles and some guidelines, you could be making a scarf. Then the yarn selection began to grow and over the years, we saw all the new fibers and combinations that were being offered. It was no longer just a Worsted World. The huge, biggie yarns are really trending now, and a lot of fun. We also have boucle and eyelash, sock and glitter. Just look at all the great color combinations on the store shelves. Then, there’s all the different size needles and the circular needles and accessories like stitch holders, markers, gauge guides, darning needles, gauge counters, double ended, ring markers, blocking wires, row counters, as well as all the different sizes of each one.

Then, we add knitting looms in all shapes and sizes with double knit and single knit, and knit in the round, and knit panels, long circular, adjustable, rake, sock, and on and on. It’s no wonder a person gets confused when they say to a friend, “I want to learn to knit, but I have never been able to figure it all out.”
As we go along and time passes, we keep seeing more new gadgets, and helpful tools. We ask a question and get an earful of knitting terms, complex explanations, and a helpful person saying, “its so easy and quick, anyone can learn to knit.” So you decide to buy a book, and find that there are over 350+ book titles with the same promise, “its so easy to learn this way.” So, you go to the internet and start reading, and joining groups and blogs and picking out patterns that you like, and save them. Then, there’s those terms again and the abbreviations, and the charts, and the gauges, and the various cast ons, bind offs, skip this and skip that, and finally you decide its just too confusing.

So after all the time and money spent, you want to come out with something, so you knit a scarf. You don’t like it- so you give it away, and feel good about yourself. You put the ‘stuff’ away, until later, when you may decide to try it again.

Has anyone been down this road before? Maybe 10 years ago, or, maybe just recently? I guess it’s like anything else you enjoy-it becomes a hobby for you, and your favorite pastime. It relaxes you, and you continue learning from all the media, knit friends, and personal experience. But for those just starting out, we are going to attempt to take some of the confusion out of just one form of knitting– double knitting on a loom! We are going to start from scratch, so that ‘anyone can learn to do double knit’. See, I said it too! So, let’s breakdown all the terms and uncertainty as we go. I’m Pat Novak and have been doing double knit on a loom for 15 years after designing and knitting with 2 needles for 5 years. But, its so amazing how much has emerged; I get confused with all the new and wonderful things and ideas I see coming out of other knitters. There are amazing designers out there. It’s sure a hobby that you never outgrow, or ever run out of new ideas and designs to learn. So, hopefully, once you get the basics, you will enjoy the journey of a continuing loom knitting education, from all sources. We want to offer these articles with the basic info, the ground roots, to get you started out, with lots of success.

What is double knit?

You hear the term when looking at fabric, or in clothing-it is called double knit jersey. It means that the fabric is woven with 2 layers of thread, which makes it stretchy and durable. It’s the same in knitwear that is double knit; you create a fabric with 2 layers of yarn that is woven together. Remember that-it’s woven together, or interlocked. It can be bulky and thick, or thin and lacey. Being interlocked is different from a knitted circular tube. This is why you do not get a knit side and a purl side to your knitting. The result is the same knit side on both back and front creating a reversible fabric. So, for the afghan or scarf, it can flip around and have the same look on both sides.  This is especially beneficial when you add colorwork to the knit.  This will come later.

Getting started doing your double knit, will require a loom with 2 rows of needles or pegs across from each other. The pegs are usually placed directly across from the other row. So, you need 2 rails that are connected at the ends. The spacing between the rails, is determined by some type of spacer, holding them in place. The amount of space between the rails determines the size of the stitches created. For example, we are showing the KB 10” knitting board. It has 2 rails, each with 24 pegs that are placed directly across from each other. The little block of wood between them is set at 1cm – 3cm apart. They are held together with long bolts and wing nuts. Each stitch in double knit requires both pegs, one on each rail. So this loom or knitting board has 24 double stitches. By weaving the yarn back and forth across both rails, the resulting knit will be interlocked, or one single double knit fabric.

 

Now, you are probably wondering what the fabric will look like in double knit-will it be too thick if it is double? Good question!

This all depends on the yarn chosen and the gauge of the knitting. Yarn can be used from very fine to bulky. We will show you the difference with #3 (DK) yarn (just a little thinner than worsted weight) vs #6 (Bulky/thick) yarn, and also the 2cm spacing.

But we also want to look at the comparison with different spacing between the 2 rows of pegs. This measurement between the peg rails will change the size of the stitch. With larger stitches, the knitted width can also change.  For illustration, we will use the rail spacing of 1cm apart compared to 3cm apart.  Then we’ll be looking at very thin yarn with 2cm spacing.

 

 

CM1-Yarn 3 best

Here is a sample of working with 1cm spacing.  This means there is 7/8″ between the pegs from one row to the pegs on other row. The yarn is #3 DK weight and the gauge of knitting is 4 stitches in one inch of knitting.  You can see the rows on the ruler.

For a piece of knitting 4″ wide, you would cast on 16 stitches.

This is a nice tight, smooth knit great for most items.

Yarn shown is Paton’s Classic Wool, DK Superwash, all wool.


3CM-yarn 3best

This sample was knit with same #3 DK yarn, but with the spacing of 3cm or 1-9/16″ from peg to peg.  So the only difference in this and the previous one is the size of the stitches.  The blue needle is marking the first stitch so you can see that there are only 2.5 stitches for each inch of knit. 

So, to get the same 4″ of knitting, you would cast on just 10 stitches.  If you worked with 16 stitches, you would get a wider piece of knit.  You can also see in this sample that the stitches are much looser so it will create a more open weave; it is not solid, as you can see the white background behind the loops.

This setting makes really soft, loose knit scarves and shawls.

cm3.yarn6 (2)

 

 

 

Now, let’s look at the difference with the same setting of 3cm on the loom, but use a #6 bulky yarn.  The openness closes up and the knit is solid and bulky.  Great when you want to achieve that chunky look and the extra warmth.  As you can see, there are only 2 stitches for each inch.  If you still wanted a 4″ scarf, you would only need to cast on 8 stitches.

This thick, bulky knit is really trending now in scarves and hats and warm afghans.  Knitting at this gauge goes really quickly also.

This yarn is Loops and Threads, Cozy Wool, acrylic & wool

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if you want to do a lacy, open weave scarf, but you like the concept of doing it in double knit?  Can that be achieved with a knitting board?  Just look at these samples…is this what you were thinking about?  Again, this is using the more open spacing of 2cm, which is 1.25 inches from peg to peg, but choosing to work with a very fine #1 yarn, and #2.   You can achieve a very lacy look with ‘fluffy’ yarns as well in #1 and 2 weight yarns.

This yarn is Lion Brand, Sock-Ease in wool/nylon, #1.          Here is same setting of 2cm with #2 sock yarn.

cm2.yarn1 cm2.yarn2-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, we can see that there are many looks to achieve with double knit, just as there are in single knit, and knitting with needles.  This is why most patterns, that may seem intimidating at first, will always give you 4 ingredients:  one is how the project will look when completed, two is the loom that was used and how it was set up, three is the yarn that was used, and forth is the gauge that was achieved, or, how many stitches = one inch of knitting.  Next month, we will look at the some of the ways to cast on the loom, bind off, and some basic stitches.  We will explore some little tips for getting going with the great hobby of double knitting on a knitting board loom.  We’ll also look at a simple pattern using those techniques.

12 Comments

  • Great article Pat. Really explains the difference in spacing and use of yarn in spacing. Although I double knit all the time, I can always learn new things. Thanks for sharing with everyone. Can’t wait to see the next one.

  • I’ve tried double knitting once (with the aid of a video), but your tutorial definitely helped me understand it a bit better. Also I hate doing gauge, but I think that was because I didn’t know how to do it properly. I can’t wait for the next tutorial as I’d like to learn more about double knitting! :)

  • Thanks Sue.

  • Hi Colleen, doing a swatch for checking gauge is always boring, but saves so much ‘error’ in the overall project.

  • Yeah so true. I think I will attempt a gauge swatch next project, your article made it seem pretty simple to find gauge for double knitting :) Thanks!

  • I’m so glad you’re talking about double knitting! Aside from your website, it’s very hard to find good information that isn’t confusing.

    I hope you consider at some point doing more with cables in double knit. Cables are so popular right now, but with the exception of your basic cables video, there is very little information for double knitting.

  • Thank you Pat for this great tutorial. I like how double knitting looks and want to learn more. It’s great that you started from the basics and I’ll follow this topic for sure. I know that these are more advanced topics, but I would love to learn about color work and brioche using the knitting boards. Is there a possibility in the future?

  • Hi Jen, We want to go thru all the bare basics and then keep going to cover the more advanced stitches and cables, as well as color work. We’ll have fun with it. Pat

  • Hi Claudia, We can cover it all slowly. And anyone can jump in with other ideas also. Pat

  • Hi, Pat,
    Just found your 101 double knitting entry. I have been working on loom knitting technique for about four years. I have learned a lot from this site on both single and double knitting. Thanks for the comparative presentation of the various settings.

    The biggest challenge for me is to incorporate increases and decreases to achieve shapes and textures. I try to transcribe Barbara Walker’s recipes into loom knitting.

    May this craft and its practitioners live long and prosper.
    Rani

  • Beautifully informative. I am looking forward to future postings. Thank you.

  • Hi Pat,
    Thanks for doing this! This is my favorite topic in loom knitting. It’s hard to find many patterns and information for double knitting on the loom.I am wondering if there might be a double knit loom-along in the future?
    Thanks again and I am eagerly looking forward to the next installment!
    Dale

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Feb 15, 2016

Loom FAQs: How Are Hat Brims Made?

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Hats are one of the first things people learn when learning to loom knit.  But the questions abound.  How do I made a brim?  How do I keep it from rolling up?  How many ways are there to make brims?

Glad you asked!  There are various ways to make brims on hats depending on what kind of look you are wanting.

Rolled Brim

Curly_cute_hat_medium

 

These are fun brims and makes an easy hat since all knit will roll up naturally.

How to work the rolled brim:

Cast on and knit all the rows after the cast on for approximately 3 inches.  It doesn’t matter which version of the knit stitch you use or the type of cast on you use.  All knits will curl.

Continue working the hat in whatever stitch pattern you wish and let the brim roll up on it’s own.

 

 

 

No Brim

cabled_hatscarf__80054.1419468139.1280.1280

 

These hats are worked in a stitch pattern that doesn’t curl.  The entire hat is worked in the same stitch pattern for the entire length so that there isn’t a brim at the bottom.

How to work the no brim:

Cast on and work the entire hat in a stitch pattern that doesn’t curl like ribbing, garter stitch, basket weave, seed stitch, moss stitch, etc.

 

 

 

Turned Up Brim

cable_hat turned up brim

 

Hats with turned up brims are just worked longer than the desired length so that the bottom may be turned up for the brim.  Rib stitch is common for these types of brims.

How to work a turned up brim:

Cast on and work the brim in whichever stitch pattern desired for twice the length of the brim.

Continue working the remainder of the hat in whatever other stitch desired.

 

 

 

Folded Brim

paving stones

 

This is usually the first type of brim most loom knitters learn since it can be worked with all knit such as e-wrap and won’t curl.  This brim is double the thickness of the fabric since the work is folded up and attached to the rest of the hat as you go.

How to work the folded brim:

All knits or any stitch pattern can be used.  Use the e-wrap cast on and work until the length is twice that desired for the brim.

Bring the cast on edge back up and place on the pegs so that the brim is folded up on the inside of the loom.  There will be 2 loops on each peg.

Knit the bottom loop over the top loop and continue working the remainder of the hat.

Ribbed/Garter/Other Stitch Pattern Brims

TweedCableBeanie Rib Brim

 

These brims are just worked in whichever stitch pattern desired that is different from the rest of the hat.

While rib and garter are the most common stitch patterns to use for brims, any stitch pattern that doesn’t curl may be used.

How to work a stitch pattern brim:

Cast on and work the desired length of the brim in whichever stitch pattern desired.

Then continue with the remainder of the hat in another stitch pattern.

 

 

 

Brims can be just as varied as types of hats.  A different brim will change the look of a hat as well.  Each person prefers something different which is what makes life so varied and interesting.

Here’s to all the brims and variations that make our lives complete!  Happy loom knitting!

6 Comments

  • Great article. As always I learn some thing very useful and explained very well

  • how do you get lattice look like on the rainbow hat with black ? or ive seen some with hearts and different designs

  • Katie Leeck, if you click on the picture, it will take you to the free pattern.

  • thanks Renita

  • I was just coming to this site to ask this very question! How would I do a brim in a different size than the hat itself? Using the A.I.O loom, and let’s say the brim in a 60 peg, but the hat itself in an 80 peg. Would I just add a M 1 on each round 5 pegs each side of the short side?

  • This is a very great concise article. Thank you for writing it. I always look forward to your articles. Hats were always frustrating for me. Things were looking awesome and after all that work it would eventually start to curl. I finally conquered it and I have made many cute hats for my grandkids. Easter is just around the corner. Maybe I’ll make the hats out of cotton.

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Jan 18, 2016

Loom FAQs: What Yarn Is The Best Value?

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Money has been on my mind lately.  Or rather the lack of it in my life.  I know I am not alone in that.  What with the Powerball jackpot at a record high, the U.S. 1894-S Barber dime selling for almost $2 million, and bills needing to be paid, it’s not a wonder that money is always on everyone’s minds.

Unfortunately, the love of all our lives is not free.  No…  Not talking about Adam Levine or Idris Elba.  Yarn.  Yes.  Yarn.  THAT love of our lives.  How do we know we are getting a great deal if it’s not on clearance?

You have a pattern you want to make.  Don’t want to buy the yarn used in the pattern because it cost way too much.  You are on a yarn budget.  Oh the horror!  Oh!  Here is a yarn that is rather inexpensive per skein/ball!  Wait…  It doesn’t have as much yardage as this other that cost more.  Hmmm…  How do you know that you are getting the best deal with your money?  On just hold on a minute…  Was math just mentioned?  Well not yet technically.  But yes.  It’s math lesson #3.  Now I have mentioned it.

For all of you who claim you have yet to use algebra as an adult, you are wrong again.  Here is more algebra all explained step by step to help you compare yarn prices so you too can get the best deal for that next project.

Yarn selections:

Here are 2 examples of yarn for your next project.

Let’s say the project needs 1100 yards of yarn.

First selection of yarn cost $6.99 per ball and has 150 yards per ball.

Second selection of yarn cost $12.99 (WHOA!) and has 400 yards per ball.

Let’s see which is cheaper for this project.

How do I compare yarn by price per yard?

You only need 3 things to calculate this.  The price of the yarn and the number of yards/meters in the ball.  Yes that’s just 2.  The 3rd thing is the calculator.  Lucky calculators are included on smart phones.  Or you can download one.  Hang on to that calculator.  You will need it later…

All you do is divide the price by the number of yards.  Huh?  Ok, I will break it down for you.

Each letter will represent something.

A = the price of the ball of yarn

B = number of yards or meters in the ball

C = the answer

The equation is as follows:

A / B = C

What does / mean?

/ is the symbol used for divide.

Example:  Lets calculate using the first yarn which cost $6.99 and has 150 yards.  How much is the yarn per yard?

A = the price or 6.99

B = number of yards or 150

Let’s put those numbers into our equation.

6.99 / 150 = .0466

This yarn costs $0.05 per yard.

But the second selection of yarn cost $12.99 but has 400 yards.  Is it cheaper than the first we calculated?  Let’s see.

A = 12.99

B = 400

Using the equation above

12.99 / 400 = .0324

The second yarn cost $0.03 per yard.

The second yarn is cheaper per yard than the first.  Therefore you will need to buy less of the second than the first.

How many balls do I need to buy?

Going by the example, the pattern calls for 1100 yards.  You will just need to divide the amount of yarn needed by the number of yards in the ball.  For this equation, we will use

D = number of yards needed for the pattern

E = number of yards in the ball of yarn you will use

F = number of balls of yarn needed

Now for the equation

D / E = F

Same equation.  Different numbers for a different answer.

Let’s do both examples from before.

The first had 150 yards per ball.

D = number of yards needed or 1100

E = number yards in ball or 150

1100 / 150 = 7.33

Since the answer is over 7, you will need to buy 8 balls in order to have enough.

For the second, it has 400 yards

D = 1100

E = 400

1100 / 400 = 2.75

So you will need to buy only 3 balls of the second yarn.

Which is the better deal?

I suspect you already know which is the better deal, but let’s discuss why.

To see how much total you spend, you will just multiple the cost of the ball by the number of balls.

G = cost per ball

H = number of balls

J = total cost of the yarn for the project

The equation (x means to multiply)

G x H = J

For the first yarn,

G = 6.99 cost per ball

H = 8 balls needed

6.99 x 8 = 55.92

The first yarn will cost you $55.92 for this project.

Now for the second yarn.

G = 12.99

H = 3

12.99 x 3 = 38.97

The second yarn will cost you a total of $38.97.

Wait…  What??

Even though the first yarn was cheaper per ball, the second yarn is the cheaper for the entire project.  You will save $16.97 by buying the more expensive yarn.

What have we learned from this little lesson other than math is still confusing and what on earth did she mean by that??  Hopefully we have learned that just because some yarns cost more than others, we save money by buying the more expensive yarn because it has more yards.  Some don’t.  Some do.  Just be sure to check that label for the yardage before ignoring a pricier yarn.  And never leave your calculator at home!

Never have an empty loom and Happy Knitting!!

3 Comments

  • Thank you for this information! Most of us need some helpful tips!

  • Thank you for the formulas or is that formulae? I forgot my Latin too.

  • Not all costs of WOOL yarn can be calculated simply with math. I own sheep and in no way can I compete with cheap overseas yarn, I’m not talking about the quality of the yarn, but the costs to produce it. I raise and shear my sheep humanely, the hay farmer and shearer make a living wage, and the environment is not negatively impacted. So, my yarn costs twice that from Peru etc. Not complaining (well maybe a little) just trying to shed a little light on the issue. Dye dumped in rivers, shearers that can’t feed their children, and sheep that are mishandled produce wool for 5 bucks a skein.

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Dec 21, 2015

Loom FAQs: How To Make Holes? On Purpose

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While working various patterns, holes are sometimes needed.  Sounds odd.  Who wants holes in their knits?  But I have seen questions like How do I make a thumb hole?  How do I made eye holes for a ski mask?  How do I make buttonholes?  Ponytail holes in hats?  Hole are needed.  Shovels are not.  So let’s toss that shovel aside and talk about how to work some holes into your knits.

While there are many variations of holes, there are basically only 3 methods to working a hole in knits.  Eyelets which are small and great for buttonholes, vertical holes which are great for thumb holes in fingerless gloves, and horizontal holes which are good for eye holes in ski mask and ponytail holes in hats.

Eyelets

Aren’t eyelets only used in lace stitch patterns?  Well eyelets are for more than just lace work.  They are great for making buttonholes in knits when the stitch pattern isn’t open enough for buttons.  While buttonholes can also be made using the horizontal or vertical methods for larger buttons in smaller gauge knits, there are 2 ways to make eyelets for buttonholes.  The first is with a 1 stitch decrease and the second is with decrease using 2 stitches.

– 1 stitch decrease eyelet

eyelet1When working a 1 stitch decrease eyelet, you just need to work a k2tog (knit 2 together) or an ssk (slip slip knit) depending on which direction you are working leaving an empty peg.

Move the stitch off the peg where the eyelet is to be.

 

 

eyelet2

 

Place the stitch on the next peg.  Then knit both loops together for the k2tog or ssk.  1 peg is left empty.

 

 

 

Then work a yo (yarn over) on the next row or round to replace the stitch on the empty peg.  There are 3 sizes of 1 stitch decrease eyelets depending on how the yo is worked.

There are 2 ways to work a yarn over.

eyelet flat

The first way is to lay the working yarn in front of the peg straight across the peg like working a flat knit.  This method will leave the smallest eyelet hole.

 

 

 

eyelet4

The other way is to wrap the peg like an e-wrap.  If you wrap the peg, there are 2 sizes of eyelets.  One is to leave the peg wrapped and just work that stitch with it wrapped.  This is the middle size eyelet.

 

 

 

eyelet5

To make the largest 1 stitch decrease eyelet, wrap the peg for the yo, but unwrap it and lay the working yarn in front of the peg when working the stitch on the next row.  It will be loose which is why it makes the bigger hole.

 

 

Eyelet using flat yarn over.

Eyelet using flat yarn over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eyelet with e-wrap yarn over.

Eyelet with e-wrap yarn over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eyelet using unwrapped e-wrap yarn over.

Eyelet using unwrapped e-wrap yarn over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 2 stitch decrease eyelet

big eyelet1

With the 2 stitch decrease eyelet, you will work a k2tog and an ssk leaving 2 pegs empty

 

 

 

 

big eyelet2

 

 

 

 

 

big eyelet3and then working 2 yo to replace the stitch on the empty pegs.

 

Same thing applies with the yo methods on this eyelet version as with the 1 stitch decrease eyelet.

 

 

Eyelet with 2 stitch decrease.

Eyelet with 2 stitch decrease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vertical Holes

Fingerless mitts or gloves are all the rage these days.  Especially with all of our touch screen electronic devices.  It’s easy to leave off the fingers of mittens or gloves.  But how do you work a hole for the thumbs?  Especially when working the mitts in the round.  It’s a great question.  And an easy one to explain.

Basically, all a person needs to do to work a vertical hole in their knits when working in the round is to stop working in the round and work a flat panel for several rows before starting to work in the round again.

Huh??  Yeah…  Easier said than done!  Or easier with pictures with step by step instructions instead of trying to explain in 1 sentence.  Let me show you how…

vhole1

 

The hole will be between the pegs with the stitch markers.

When making the vertical hole in a mitt or other items worked in the round, just start working a flat panel at this point by slipping the first stitch

 

vhole2

and knitting back the other direction

 

 

 

 

vhole3

with the last peg being worked is the other peg with the stitch marker.

 

 

 

 

vhole4

Then slip this stitch and work back in the other direction.

 

 

 

 

Work in rows until you get the length needed for your hole and start working the round again to close up the top of the hole.

Vertical hole worked in a circular piece.

Vertical hole worked in a circular piece.

 

You can see that the top and bottom of these holes are not the sturdiest so you may want to whip stitch the top and bottom for strength.

By slipping the first stitch, you get a nice chain edge on each side.

 

 

 

 

Horizontal Holes

Anytime I see someone asking how to make the eye slits in a ski mask, I always have just one thought.  Somewhere there is a bank waiting to robbed…  But then I live in the South of the USA where the winters are not that cold.  I do realize that up north and other places around the world have very harsh winters, and ski masks are very lovely to wear to keep a persons cheeks and nose from freezing when working and playing outdoors.

Also hats with ponytail holes are great for those who like to wear hats and still wear a ponytail.  Especially runners.  And those of us who are too lazy to fix our hair or don’t want hat hair when it’s cold.

Horizontal holes are best for these types of hats.  These type of holes require binding off several pegs and then working in a flat panel for however tall the hole is needed before casting those pegs back on so working in the round can be resumed.  Still confused?  Well back to that step by step photo tutorial…

hhole1

For this demonstration, I am working in the round, working right to left, and want to work the horizontal hole between the pegs with the stitch markers.

 

 

 

First I will bind off those 4 pegs between the stitch markers using the basic bind off.  First knit the first 2 pegs to the left of the stitch marker on the right.  Then move the second stitch to the peg on the right and knit over.

hhole3

Then move the stitch on that peg over to the peg on the left leaving that peg empty.

 

 

 

 

hhole empty pegs

Then continue with the basic bind off method until all the pegs are empty between the stitch markers.

 

 

 

 

Now work in rows like in the vertical hole until the hole is the size needed.  For this demonstration, I worked 3 rows until I was back on the right side of the empty pegs.  Now to cast back on those empty pegs.

hhole ewrap co

You can just yarn over those empty pegs with by wrapping the pegs with an e-wrap to cast those stitches back on.  Then continue working in the round again.

 

 

 

If you prefer the chain edge like I do, you can work the chain cast on.

hhole cco1

In order for the cast on to be joined, the first loop needs to be drawn up through the last stitch worked.

Put the crochet hook down through the stitch.

 

 

 

hhole cco2

Then catch the working yarn and draw the new loop up through the stitch.

 

 

 

 

hhole cco4

Work the chain cast on until all the pegs are cast back on.

 

 

 

 

hhole cco5

Then place the last loop on the next peg and knit over.  Continue working in the round.

 

 

 

 

hhole cco6

Horizontal hole complete!

 

 

 

 

 

Holes are fun because they break the boredom.  Now to figure out exactly where to put them in your work!  It’s always something, isn’t it?  Happy knitting!

 

 

1 Comment

  • I really like these informational / learning posts. Thank you for taking the time to help us!

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Nov 16, 2015

Loom FAQs: Is it a Knit or Purl?

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Usually a beginner loom knitter learners the e-wrap knit stitch first.  They zip along nicely with just that stitch for ages.  Then they get adventurous.  They learn the purl stitch.  Most of them HATE the purl stitch because it takes them longer.  But after time, they pick up speed with the purl stitch.  But then comes the questions…  How can I tell the difference between a knit and purl after it has already been worked?  And what a great question it is too.  And an important one.  Especially if you are working ribbing or seed stitch, lay down the project, and forget which one is next when you get back.  Or you are really zipping along on some ribbing and then realize that you got off somewhere and need to know how far back to go.

Let’s talk some knits and purls!

 

How do I tell the difference between a knit and purl?

Here are a couple of ways to tell the difference in the stitches when they are still on the loom.

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You can look at how the stitches sit on the pegs from the front.

-Knit stitches lay low on the pegs

-Purl stitches rise to the top of the pegs

 

 

This is usually when the work has not been pulled or pushed down on the pegs.  Some yarns are more obvious with this than others.  Not a guarantee way to tell so there is another.

 

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You can also look at the way the stitch is at the back of the peg.

-Knit stitches have a straight bar across the back of the peg

-Purl stitches look like a point

 

 

 

This is actually the reverse of what it looks like on the front of the peg, but the front is harder to see.  Also different types of yarn make it harder to tell which is which as well like boucle’ and eyelash yarn.  Those types of yarns can hide a multitude of mistakes.

Is that all??

Why yes.  That is all there is being able to tell the difference between the knit stitch and the purl stitch.

But what if I am using a different knit stitch?

It doesn’t matter which knit stitch you are using.  All knit stitches will do the same thing on the back of the peg and sit the same way on the peg.

But why doesn’t the pattern tell me which knit stitch to use???

Well now we are getting off topic for this article.  But you can always refer to my previous article Loom FAQs:  Which Knit Stitch??

Generally speaking though, if a pattern doesn’t say whether it is e-wrap or just a knit stitch, you can tell by looking at the finished product to see if the designer used e-wrap or not.  If not, then you will need to use whichever knit stitch will achieve gauge.

Are you finished already?

Fear not!  While this month was a short one, I will be back next month with another exciting episode of These are the Looms of Your Life!  Wait…  No…  I mean Loom FAQs…  Yes.  That’s the one.

Until then, Happy knitting!!

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Oct 19, 2015

Loom FAQs: Why Do Knits Curl?

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Why do the edges curl?  This is a question that is asked by almost every single new knitter.  The next question that follows is always how do I do to keep it from curling?  or what can I do after it’s finished?

It really is a simple answer and a simple solution.  And a rather short subject.  But there are times that having the edges curl is a good thing although most people do not want their flat panels like blankets and scarves curling.

Why do knits curls?

When you use all knit stitches to create a flat panel,  12171585_10207195681145451_2132208363_o

the bottom will curl up while the top curls down

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the sides will curl under.  12171329_10207195699825918_266049588_o

This is from the back so you can see it curl under.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the nature of the knit stitch.

The horizontal knits or rows will pull the top and bottom of the stitch together toward the front of the stitch causing it curl up from the bottom and down from the top.

The vertical knits or columns will pull each side of the stitch together toward the back of the stitch causing the work to curl under on the sides.

What if I use all purls?

Then the work will curl in the opposite direction.  Purl is just a backward knit.  Turn the knit over and watch the magic happen.  I mean the curling…

12169832_10207195709226153_1688637427_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then what do I do to keep it from curling?

If you take the info I just shared about how knits and purls curl in opposite directions, you will have your answer.  You will need a combination of both stitches together to counter act each other to keep the work flat.

What stitches can I use?

Garter, seed, and moss stitch patterns are common borders for flat panels while rib and garter stitch patterns are common brims for hats or cuffs.  I would not recommend using ribbing on a blanket since it draws inward.  Works great for hat brims and cuffs on sleeves and mittens.  But there are a variety of knit/purl combination stitch patterns that will work for borders.

You do not need to do the entire work in any of these stitches.  You can just work a border for a flat panel or a brim for a hat.

For a border, you will need one on all 4 sides.  Not just at the top and bottom because those sides do curl as well.

How do I work a border for a blanket or flat panel?

Using the stitch pattern of choice, start with a border of 3″ – 5″ for a blanket depending how how long you like it or how long your tolerance for purl stitches last.  Smaller projects do not necessarily need wide borders.

If you haven’t worked a swatch to know how many stitches across equals the length of the bottom border, then measure how many stitches is in an inch and mark the pegs at that count on each side for the side borders.  I love stitch markers.  They help remind you when to start and stop that border.

Work each side in the same stitch pattern as the bottom and work the middle in all knit which is called stockinette.

Then when you get the blanket finished within the length of the bottom border, make the top border the same as the bottom border.

Why does my border curl up still?

Sometimes you will still get a curl if the border or brim is too narrow like this hat is doing.

12168537_10207196258439883_194158605_o

This hat is still on the loom.  There is only 4 rounds of ribbing for the brim so it turns up. The ribbing isn’t curling but has turned up where I started my all knit rounds.  But once I get it finished and blocked, it won’t turn up.  There may be a few other questions about this picture.  Shhhh…  You will find out soon enough.

The wider the border, the less likely it will curl since you have gravity in your favor.  The weight of the yarn is what keeps the middle flat on a flat panel and only the ends and sides curl.  Just make sure your border or brim is wide enough.

Can I just use a different cast on?

It doesn’t matter which cast on you use.  It’s the knit stitch itself that curls.  The cast on will not counter that.

What other ways can I use to flatten a flat panel that is already made?

If your project is already finished, you can block it.  You can learn more about blocking here.  I will say that if it’s 100% acrylic, you may not even want to attempt blocking.  Blocking acrylic is tricky.

There are also loom knit borders you can add to a finished project by just picking up the edge stitches as you work the border.

Or if you know how to crochet, you can crochet a border on just like you add a border on a crochet project.

Why would I want my knits to curl?

Personally, I love a rolled brim hat for babies and kids.  If you just knit all those first rows, then the bottom of the hat will roll up making a cute rolled brim.

Having a border of all knits that curl will make the edges softer on certain projects especially when the stitch pattern for the middle doesn’t curl.

I also love a rolled cuff on a super bulky over-sized sweater.

Well I hope this helps with the curling problem.  No perms or straighteners needed.  Only a combo of knits and purls.  And please don’t hate the purl stitch.  It gets very sad when ignored.

Happy loom knitting!!

3 Comments

  • I don’t understand on a flat panel you indicate the middle stitch is knit and the sides in what ever era stitch you wantt. Then you indicate something about how long you can tolerate doing a purl stitch and you mention the stockinette stitch I amnew to this and am confused. Can you help clarify this for.me Thanks

  • When working a flat panel, you can either work the entire thing in the stitch pattern of your choice. Or you can work it with a border so that the border is in that stitch pattern of your choice that does not curl and area inside the border is all knits. All knits is called the stockinette stitch. All knits is what causes the work to curl on the ends and sides like I mentioned earlier in the article.

    A stitch pattern is a combination of stitches to get a certain look. If you knit 1 row and purl the next row then repeat those 2 rows, it is called the garter stitch which is a stitch pattern. There are a lot of knit/purl combination stitch patterns.

    When I mentioned “or how long your tolerance for purl stitches last”, I was just saying that a lot of people do not like working the purl stitch and prefer not to use it. So if you don’t like purling, work the border as long as you can stand working those pesky purl stitches.

  • Thank you so much for your response It clarified my confusion i am new to this and I know my questions may be dumb But again Thanks a Ton

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Sep 21, 2015

Loom FAQs: Which Loom For What?

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When it comes to loom knitting, the most important thing is the loom itself.  And everyone has their opinion of which loom brand is the best.  My favorite looms are made by KB.  I have liked their looms long before I came to work with the company.  I use their looms for the patterns that I write because the looms are my favorite, not because KB wants me to use them.

But no matter which looms are bought by the beginner loom knitter, the questions are all the same.  What can I make on this loom?  If I want to make a certain item, which loom is best?  What yarn can use with this loom?  Do I need to 2 strands or just one?  How can you make a round hat on a loom that is not a circle?  Can I use super bulky weight yarn on a small gauge loom?  These types are questions are endless.  But they all pertain to the same subject.

So let’s discuss looms.  I think most will surprised at what you can make on and what yarn you can use with some of these looms.  And before we get started, I would like to say that all these looms are made by KB.  It is the KB blog after all…

Single Knitting vs Double Knitting:  What is the difference?

Single knitting is done on a loom with 1 row of pegs.  These looms come in various shapes.  Circles, rectangles, ovals, and straight rails.  Single knitting can be worked in the round like hats and tubes and also as flat panels like scarves and blankets.

Double knitting is done on long looms where you work the stitches across both sides at once.  These looms are called boards or rakes.  Flat panels are worked on these looms.  The resulting fabric is thicker and most stitch patterns are the same on both sides.  Stockinette will not curl when double knit since both sides are the same .

What is the difference between a loom and a knitting board?

All knitting boards or rakes are knitting looms.  Not all knitting looms are knitting boards.  Still confused?  They are all looms.  Some are just for single knit and some are for double knit.  And then there are some that you can do both.

Why do some have metal pins and some have nylon pegs?

The metal pins are on the knitting boards only.  These are only for double knitting.  Some may say you can still single knit on one side of these knitting board with metal pins.  But I will say that it is very difficult to single knit with these pins.  But if you want the challenge, go for it!

The looms with the nylon pegs are for single knitting as well as double knitting.  They have a nice little groove down the side of the peg that the tip of the loom pick can slide in to catch the loop.

Other loom manufacturers use different types of pegs.  Some are easier to work with than others.  I like the pegs that have a little knob or bump at the top so that the stitches do not come off too easily.  I don’t like the knob at the top to be too big because then it is hard to get the stitch over the top of the peg.  I also like pegs with grooves in them.  Makes it easier to pick up the loop with the loom pick.

What is Loom Gauge?

I will discuss the different peg spacing on each loom.  Loom gauge is determined by the space from the center of the peg to the center of the next peg.  I go into more detail on loom gauge and swatch/stitch gauge in the article Loom FAQs:  What Is Gauge?

*Note:  I have provided links throughout the article that will take you to the product page on the KB website of the item I am discussing.  The extras that I mention like the extra sliders, peg extenders, and connectors are not in stores and can only be purchased directly from KB.  I am not trying to sell you looms although I can see where this may come across as a sales pitch.  Most likely you already have some of these looms already.  Nobody asked me to write this particular article although I have had several ask me why I love the All-n-One loom so much.  Now let’s talk looms!

Sock Looms

KB makes 4 sock looms.  We will discuss the 3 that are adjustable.  The fourth sock loom is the Sock Loom 52 Peg which has metal pegs and the same gauge as the Sock Loom Original and is not adjustable.

What I like so much about sock looms is that they are for more than just socks.  Please do not assume you must make socks on a sock loom.  They are perfect for small projects.  And since they are adjustable, they are perfect for knitting amigurumi or stuffed animals.

sockloomefgSock Loom EFG

Love this little loom.  It has an extra fine gauge which is perfect for fingering and sock weight yarns.  Socks work up beautifully on it as well as any other pattern.  It is made with high grade plastic with elastic bands on each end instead of the bolts and screws that the other sock looms have.  Don’t let the word “plastic” or the elastic bands deceive you.  It’s a very study loom.

I can get a 17″ flat panel in stockinette using all the pegs.  How can you use all the pegs if the slider doesn’t go all the way to the end of the loom?  Well, you will need to take the end piece out and put the slider in it’s place.  Yes it can be done.

How do I replace the end piece with the slider?

First you place the slider at the middle or other end of the loom.  Then you use your fingers at the end to pull apart the loom enough that you can grab the elastic band.  You may need to use a sturdy loom pick, knitting needle, or crochet hook to grab the band.  Then you let the loom go back together and pull the band off.  Remove the end piece and replace it with the slider.  Make sure the slider is placed with the grooves in the pegs facing outward.  Replace the band.  Now you can work all the pegs in a flat panel or in the round.  Perfect size for a baby/toddler hat.

Won’t the elastic band stretch out if it’s replaced often?

Good question.  Not sure.  Good excuse to buy 2.  That is my plan.  One to use as a fixed loom with the slider at the end and the other to use as as an adjustable loom for socks and stuffed animals.  Cannot have too many looms…

What can be made?

Anything you want.  Obviously socks.  But even if you want to make something wider than approximately 17″, you can seam panels together.  Lace scarves, stuffed animals, hats, gloves, shawls…  The list goes on and on.

Peg spacing:  3/16″ extra fine gauge

Stitch gauge:  8 – 9 = 1″

Appropriate yarn weight:  fingering, sock

Peg count:  adjustable with a total of 112

sockloomSock Loom Original

This fine gauge loom still has metal pegs, not metal pins like the knitting boards.  Not sure if they will start making them with the nylon pegs.  But this is a very sturdy little loom with the wood base.  It’s KB’s first sock loom which is also the first single knit loom they sold.  It is adjustable so you can make socks in any size.  But don’t think that is the only thing you can make on this loom.  Just like the Sock Loom EFG, you can also work flat panels as well as working in the round.  You can seam panels together to make larger pieces.  Do not let the number of pegs limit the size of your project.

What can be made?

Anything you want.  Obviously socks.  But even if you want to make something larger than the peg count allows, you can seam panels together.  Lace scarves, stuffed animals, hats, gloves, shawls…  The list goes on and on.

Peg spacing:  5/16″ fine gauge

Stitch gauge:  7 stitches = 1″

Appropriate yarn weight:  sock, fingering, lace

Peg count:  adjustable with 60 pegs maximum

Sock Loom 2Sock Loom 2

This little loom I use quite a lot.  I use it to make small items with worsted weight yarn.  It has the same gauge as the All-n-One loom and is adjustable.  Wonderful to work with and easy to carry with you.  It has nylon pegs and a wood base.

Some people have taken this one apart and made a small knitting board.  No need to do that anymore once you see the new and improved 10″ Knitting Board.  Look for details next…

What can be made?

Anything you want.  Obviously socks.  Using worsted weight yarn makes wonderful slipper socks.  So comfy!  Making on some right now with this loom.  But even if you want to make something larger than the peg count allows, you can seam panels together.  Scarves, dish clothes, coasters, stuffed animals, hats, gloves, shawls…  The list goes on and on.

Peg spacing:   3/8″ small gauge  *Note:  KB lists it as regular gauge on this loom’s page but lists this gauge as small gauge everywhere else.*

Stitch gauge:  5 stitches = 1″

Appropriate yarn weight:  dk, sport, worsted

Peg count:  adjustable with 54 pegs maximum

10″ Knitting Board10" Knitting Board

Now that this knitting board has the nylon pegs and same peg spacing as the All-n-One loom, it is perfect!  It is still sold as a knitting board without 5 peg sliders or 20 peg extenders.  Those 2 things can be purchased from KB to turn this knitting board into a wonderful gem of a loom!  I already have extra sliders and the 20 pegs extenders for my All-n-One loom so I am ready to go with the new and improved 10″ knitting board.  This knitting board is not just for double knitting anymore.  You can single knit flat panels and in the round as well.  It’s fully adjustable with the extras.

Since this version is still new, the older ones with the metal pins can still be found in stores.  The sliders and peg extenders will not work on the metal pin version of this loom.

What can be made?

Anything you want.  Seeing a theme here?  You can double knit and single knit.  It’s small and portable.  Great size for double knit scarves.  Or small items.  All the things you can do on the Sock Loom 2 since they are the same gauge but so much more.

Peg spacing:  3/8″ small gauge

Board spacers:   The spacer turns to 3 settings, 1cm, 2cm and 3cm, adjusting the space between the board rails. *Note: With the 2cm spacer setting, the gauge will be the same as the 10″ Knitting Board with metal pins.*

Stitch gauge for single knit:  5 stitches = 1″ with worsted weight

Stitch gauge for double knit:  varies with spacer and yarn weight used

Appropriate yarn weight:

  • single knitting:  worsted, dk, sport
  • double knitting:  depends on the spacer setting so anything from lace to super bulky

Peg count:  24 pegs on each board for double knitting

Maximum peg count with extras:  fully adjustable up to 88 pegs with the peg extenders

Extras:   5 peg sliders and 20 peg extenders

18″ All-n-One Loom

Let’s save this loom for last…  My all time favorite loom.  Ever.  Need I say more?  Yes, I will later…

28″ Knitting Board with Peg Extenders28" Knitting Board with Peg Extenders

First of all, this is NOT a 28″ All-n-One loom.  The All-n-One is 18″ long.  The 2 should not be confused although I will say that if you buy the sliders for the 28″ loom it will do all that the All-n-One can but with 28 inches in a slightly larger gauge.

The first 28″ Knitting Board that was made came with metal pins and was for double knitting only.  The 6 peg sliders and peg extender will not work with that loom.  Now that the pegs are nylon, you can single knit on it as well, and the peg extenders make it very nice to make large projects in the round.  It has bolt holes so that the peg extenders can be placed for 4 different sizes for projects made in the round.  The sliders from the All-n-One should not be used with this loom as they are 2 different gauges.

What can be made?

Anything you want with less seaming.  Double knit or single knit, the possibilities are endless.  Great for shawls, afghans, cowls, infinity scarves, sweaters, etc.  Weaving is also an option on this loom.

Peg spacing:  7/16″ regular gauge

Board spacers:  3 adjustments for double knitting, 1cm, 2cm and 3cm   *Note: The new 28″ Knitting Board with spacer set at 2cm, has same gauge as original 28″ Knitting Board with 1/2″ spacing.*

Stitch gauge for single knit:  4 stitches = 1″ with worsted weight

Stitch gauge for double knit:  varies with spacer and yarn weight used

Appropriate yarn weight:

  • single knitting:  worsted, dk, sport, bulky (tight, thick stitches)
  • double knitting:  depends on the spacer setting so anything from lace to super bulky

Peg count:  64 on each board for double knitting with a maximum of 168 pegs for single knitting

Extras:  6 peg sliders to turn it into a fully adjustable loom

38″ Knitting Board38" Knitting Board

One of only 2 knitting boards that has not been redesigned with the nylon pegs is the 38″ knitting board.  This board is for double knitting only.

What can be made?

Afghans, shawls, sweaters, rugs, etc.  And anything else you want to make….

Pin spacing/distance between boards:  5/16″ between the pins and 1/2″, 1″, and 1-1/4″ spacer sizes

Appropriate yarn weight:  varies with spacer setting so anything from lace to super bulky

Pin count:  112 on each board totaling 224

Tadpole Knitting BoardTadpole Knitting Board

This is a great little fixed gauge knitting board that is perfect for scarves.  It has the metal pins instead of pegs.  The perfect size for your project bag so you can work on projects on the go.

What can be made?

Scarves, hot pads, dish cloths, bags, and anything else you heart desires if you are willing to seam it together.

Pin spacing:  5/16″

Appropriate yarn weight:  worsted

Pin count:  16 pins on each side totaling 32

32 Peg Loom included in Basics Kit and Skarf Kit32 Peg Loom

Love, love, LOVE this little loom!  A very nice loom to make all kinds of great projects on.  You can double knit on it and single knit flat panels and in the round.

What can be made?

The possibilities are endless as well on this little loom as well.  Scarves, bags, hats, headbands, dish cloths, mitts, small socks, etc.

Peg spacing:  7/16″ regular gauge

Stitch gauge for single knit:  4 stitches = 1″ with worsted weight

Appropriate yarn weight:  worsted and bulky

Peg count:  32

Hat LoomHat Loom

A great loom that can be configured in 4 sizes.  If you buy the extra connectors, then you can connect all the pieces in the kit to make an extra large oval so actually more than 4 sizes…  All the pieces snap together so no loose pegs or connections.  It’s so well put together that sometimes I have trouble getting it back apart!  Nothing loose or wobbly.  Those pegs snap down in there and hang on for dear life.

Just take care when assembling for small gauge.  You have to make sure that the connectors are put in the correct way.  The fixed pegs are grooved on both sides on the connectors.  For large gauge, that isn’t a problem.  But for small gauge, I recommend putting in the extra peg first then connect it to the other pieces making sure that the grooves on all the pegs are facing outward.  Otherwise you cannot get that extra peg in that hole with the groove facing outward.  Even the so-called experts had trouble with that when they first set up the loom.  I won’t name names but we know who we are….

Along with the multiple sizes, you have the option of 2 gauges which is very handy.

What can be made?

Hats of all sizes but don’t stop there!  Scarves, cowls, anything with flat panels.  Did I mention whatever you like?  Yes?  Good.  Didn’t want you to forget.

Peg spacing:  3/8″ small gauge and 3/4″ large gauge

Appropriate yarn weight:  dk, sport, worsted, bulky, and super bulky

Peg count:  ex-sm: 28/56  small: 34/68  medium: 40/80  large: 42/84

Maximum peg count with extras:  60/120

Extras:  Hat Loom Connectors

Afghan LoomAfghan Loom

This infinity afghan loom can make a flat panel up to 60″.  Some people have problems with the curves, but I can say from personal experience that the gap between the curve and the other pegs is larger than other infinity looms.  This loom is designed for single knitting although you can find information online on how to set it up so you can double knit.

What can be made?

Afghans, blankets, bedrunners, quilts, wait….  Anything large.  Also anything small.  And also anything in between.

Peg spacing:  7/16″ regular gauge

Stitch gauge:  4 stitches = 1″ with worsted weight

Appropriate yarn weight:  worsted and bulky

Peg count:  198

ZippyZippy Loom

Chunky knits are all the rage and so is instant gratification.  Another great loom for beginners and experts alike.  Everything works up very quickly with this extra large gauge loom.  Only 4 pegs??  Yes!  Each peg is larger than my thumb with a diameter of 3/4″.  Each loom is over 5″ long.  And they connect together so the number of pegs are unlimited as long as it will fit in your house.  Or just knit outside.  Just make sure it’s ok with your neighbors if you want a loom that is bigger than your yard and it sticks out into theirs…

What can be made?

Guess what?  I will say it again.  ANYTHING YOUR HEART DESIRES.  Grab some jumbo yarn and make some magic.

Peg spacing:  1.5″ extra large gauge

Stitch gauge:  1 stitch = .75″ – 1″

Appropriate yarn weight:  super bulky and jumbo, don’t forget you can use multiple strands of worsted and bulky

Peg count:  4

Maximum peg count with extras:  As long as you keep buying more Zippy looms, you can keep adding 4 pegs to your loom.  It goes on and on and on and on….

All-n-One Loom:  All the details and why I personally think this is the best loom on the marketAll-n-One Loom

Without a doubt, my absolutely favorite loom EVER is the All-n-One loom, which is often abbreviated as AIO.  When people buy one and ask What can I make on this?, my response is ANYTHING YOU WANT.

You can single knit or set it up as a board with the spacers and double knit.

It is fully adjustable so you can set it at any peg count over 14.  You can increase and decrease items that are worked in the round.  Don’t like the extra bulk at the top of a hat?  Decrease the crown!  You can adjust the size as you decrease.  I have made a hat off a needle knit pattern where I decreased down to 4 stitches.  It was tight at the end but it worked.  You want the brim to be smaller than body of hat for a baggy slouchy?  Increase after the brim.

What can be made?

You think I was being too pushy with the “you can make anything you want” with all the other looms?  Brace yourself.   With this loom, you can not only make anything you want, but you can also do all those increases and decreases while working in the round that is impossible on other looms.  Stuffed animals can be made since you can shape heads, legs and arms.  Odd sized hats are possible on this loom.  Mitts and leg warmers of all sizes can be achieved with ease.  But wait!  There’s more!  Buy an extra set of sliders, and you can make 2 socks at the same time!  Ok….  Now I am beginning to sound like an infomercial.  Seriously.  ANYTHING YOU WANT OR NEED CAN BE KNIT ON THIS LOOM.  Not big enough?  Seam those panels and pieces together.

Peg spacing:  3/8″ small gauge

Board spacers:  3 adjustments for double knitting, 1cm, 2cm and 3cm

Stitch gauge for single knit:  5 stitches = 1″ with worsted weight

Stitch gauge for double knit:  varies with spacer and yarn weight used

Appropriate yarn weight:

  • single knitting:  worsted, dk, sport
  • double knitting:  depends on the spacer setting so anything from lace to super bulky

Peg count:  48 on each board for double knitting with a total of 106 when using the 5 peg sliders for single knitting

Maximum peg count with extras:  136

Extras:  5 peg sliders and 20 peg extenders

But wait again….  I am not finished.  You can also use bulky and super bulky yarn with the AIO as well.  And achieve different gauges by just changing how you use the pegs.   You can also use these techniques on the other looms to change your gauge.  Just remember that the following numbers may be different depending on the loom.

3/4″ gauge on the AIO?

You can just skip every other peg on the AIO to achieve a large gauge of 3/4″ so you can use bulky and super bulky yarns.  Want an adult size hat using super bulky yarn?  Set the loom to 80 pegs and only use every other peg for 40 stitches.

5/8″ gauge on the AIO?  Say it’s not so!!

Yes, it’s true!  You can use 2 pegs as 1 on the AIO loom and get the same gauge as the coveted Knifty Knitter 48 peg hat loom which is 5/8″.  Just set your AIO to 96 pegs and treat 2 pegs as one so that you have cast on 48 stitches.  Or any other stitch count by doubling your peg count on the set up.

What else?

Go ahead and get saucy by using every 3rd peg for a gauge of 1-1/8″.  Or get out your inner rebel and use every 4th peg for a gauge of 1-1/2″.  Grab some jumbo yarn and have some fun.

And in conclusion….

What do you want to make?  Please don’t ask “what can I make on this loom”.  Just decide what you want to make.  You can make ANYTHING YOU WANT on ANY LOOM YOU CHOOSE.  You just need to pick the gauge of loom that best suits the item you want to make or the yarn you want to use.

While seaming panels and pieces together may be a lot of work, it opens up a whole new world for each and every loom.  Large looms are not necessary to create large pieces.  Do not let a limited number of pegs limit you and keep you from making whatever you want.

Confused about yarn weights and how many strands will achieve a heavier weight?  Check out my article Loom FAQs: What Is WPI and Yarn Weights?

Hope you are no longer confused on what can be made on each loom.  I hope I haven’t forgotten anything that gets me excited about any of these looms.  Still have another loom by a different company as your favorite?  That’s ok!  I don’t expect you to agree with me on what’s the best loom.  But for now, the All-n-One is my favorite.  Now if I had a  loom like the AIO in extra fine gauge…  Oh yes.  That’s right.  I can use the Sock Loom EFG and seam some panels…

Now go grab a loom and knit anything you want!  Happy knitting!

3 Comments

  • I have a knitting board, didn’t buy the sock loom, also have a knifty knitter loom. I have made many scarves and stocking caps on them. I haven’t tried the knitting board yet but you are inspiring me to do so. It is getting towards fall and winter so will try it then. Thanks for all your information. Love the Blog.

  • What’s up, I check your blogs daily. Your humoristic style is witty,
    keep up the good work!

  • Every time I think of some question, someone answers it. I was just having a conversation about the looms and their uses and here you are writing an article about them. I feel exactly the same way about my AIO too! Knit picks brava yarn comes in bulky (5) and I use it all the time. It’s not any thicker than any worsted weight (4).

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Aug 17, 2015

Loom FAQs: What is Copyright? Trademark?

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There are a couple of topics in all yarn arts that people fail to understand, get confused, or just flat refuse to follow.  Copyright and trademark.  Some people avoid the topics altogether.  Or have misinformation.  Exactly what is copyright?  What is a trademark?  What are the differences?  How does either affect patterns that are being written?  How does either affect translating or converting needle knit patterns to loom knit?  How does either affect sharing patterns?  What can be shared or how?  Why are there so many questions regarding this topic??  Let’s start with the definitions of each.  Then discuss how each affect loom knitting.

Copyright as defined by Dictionary.com

noun
1.  the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.
adjective
2.  of or relating to copyrights.
3.   Also, copyrighted. protected by copyright.
verb (used with object)
4.  to secure a copyright on.
Trademark as defined by Dictionary.com
noun
1.   any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. A trademark is a proprietary term that is usually registered with the Patent and Trademark Office to assure its exclusive use by its owner.
2.   a distinctive mark or feature particularly characteristic of or identified with a person or thing.
verb (used with object)
3.   to stamp or otherwise place a trademark designation upon.
—–
What makes them different?
Copyright covers the written pattern, the design itself.  This doesn’t cover a basic design like the shape of a hat, sweater, scarf, etc.  It covers the design elements and the written pattern even if it’s in video form.  Everything that makes one pattern different from another.  The meaning is really in the compound word.  Copy and right.  There is no such thing as copywrite.  That is just a misspelled word.
Trademark covers names, images, logos, characters, etc.   Cartoon character hats and scarves fall under trademark for the image of the character, not copyright.

And neither copyright nor trademark is a patent.  A patent is a completely different critter altogether.  You cannot get a patent on a written pattern.

Can I share patterns?

When someone asks if they can share a pattern, my first thought is What is their definition of “share”?   Social media has made the world a much smaller place.  We are connected in ways our parents never dreamed could be possible.  We have groups on these sites that bring like-minded people together to discuss, share, ask for help, etc., on various topics.  As for loom knitting and other fiber related endeavors, we want to show off and share our creations.  And people will inevitably ask for a pattern.  Some quite rudely, unfortunately.

So can we share the pattern we used?  Depends on the method of sharing.  You can always share the link to the pattern if it is online.  Share the name of the book or magazine it came from.  You cannot share the written pattern itself.  Even if it’s free.  The other person must get that pattern in the same manner you did.

But the pattern is free so it’s ok to give and share the written copy, right?

No.  Free patterns are also covered by copyright in the same manner as paid.  Free patterns can always become paid patterns.  It is still the intellectual property of the designer or publisher that obtained the copyright.

Can I copy patterns?

You are allowed to make copies of a pattern from a book or magazine that you own or off the internet for your own personal use.  If copies are made to give away or sell, it is a violation of copyright unless you have permission from the designer/publisher.  Even when giving a class on loom knitting, you cannot give out printed patterns unless you have permission.  Or it’s your pattern.

You are not allowed to make copies from a book or magazine from the library.  These types of books and magazine are not considered resource materials.  Resource materials are the only thing you can make copies from in a library.  Resource materials include encyclopedias and other books that cannot be checked out that are located in the resource section.  If in doubt, ask the librarian.  I have seen several people on social media tell others to just go to the library and make copies out of the pattern books.  This is wrong and takes money out of the designers pockets.

Can I translate or convert patterns to loom knit and can I share them when I do?

Everyone is looking for new and more loom knitting patterns.  More and more are learning to convert needle knit patterns to loom knit.  And want to share the finished pattern with others.  But….  Unless you have permission from the designer of the original pattern, it is still a copyright violation.  Even if it’s free.  It doesn’t become your pattern just because you converted it.  But the pattern is changed more than 10% by changing every other row so it can be considered a new pattern, can’t it?   Yes it’s changed by 50 % BUT it’s still the same exact pattern.  Besides, if you are designing and writing loom knit patterns, would you want someone to convert it needles and claim it as their own?  Try putting yourself into their shoes.  It really comes down to common courtesy which actually isn’t all that common…

10% Change?

I hear a lot about the 10% or more change makes it a different pattern.  As far as I can find, that clarification is not in the actual copyright laws.  It’s just a general guideline to go by.  Usually if it’s a 10% change, it’s not close enough to be considered a copyright violation.

But this opens the door for people to take a new technique by another designer, change the stitch pattern from stockinette to rib, change the cast on and bind off, then claim it as a new design.  In my mind, it’s still WRONG.  But what’s a girl/guy to do?  Not much.  Always makes it worse when yours is a paid pattern and theirs is free.

But different countries have different laws?

Some will try to justify that they live in a different country and/or speak a different language so the copyright in another country doesn’t apply to them.  Well that isn’t true either.  Most countries honor other countries copyright laws.  And the internet in global so it isn’t like the original designer cannot find it.  If your country has copyright laws, then most likely your country honor the copyright laws of other countries, and therefore you should honor them too.

Can I make a video or ask someone else to a make a video on another person’s pattern?

I see on social media A LOT people who are asking for a video or for another person to make a video on a pattern that isn’t theirs.  I realize that a lot of people consider themselves “visual learners”.  Well here’s something to think on….  Almost ALL people are visual learners.  Very few people can just learn a new thing by reading words.  Almost all need to see how it’s done first.  Which is why there are so many pictures in how-to books…  Once the techniques are learned, that is when a person is able to read the written patterns to make items.

But what about making videos?  Same as writing out the pattern.  It cannot be done without violating copyright if the designer/publisher’s permission has not been given.  A video is just a different medium of sharing a pattern.

There are several designers that allow another person to make videos.  These people will and should acknowledge the permission given that allows them to make these videos.

What is the difference between a pattern and a stitch pattern?

A stitch pattern is the actual stitch itself, like garter, seed, and rib, just to name some common ones.  A stitch pattern does not include instructions for a finished item.  These are not protected by copyright and may be used in any pattern written.  If it’s a new stitch pattern that someone has created, it is common courtesy to acknowledge them in your pattern.  If they have made a pattern with the stitch pattern, then you cannot write a pattern that is exactly like theirs since that would fall under copyright.

A pattern is the instructions that include the stitch pattern, cast on, bind off, and all other information to actually make an item like a hat, scarf, shawl, etc.

A person is allowed to convert and share a stitch pattern without violating copyright.

But really isn’t it true nothing new is created?

I hear that a lot.  Nothing new.  Ever.  Well in a sense that is correct.  The shape of a hat.  The fact that a sweater has a neck opening and arms.  That all blankets are either a square, rectangle, or round.

But we are not limited in our imagination that prevents us from mixing different combinations of stitch patterns or techniques to create a hat, scarf, etc. that is completely different from anything that has been seen before.  New stitch patterns and techniques are thought up all the time.  This is why we keep moving forward in the creative world.

Other patterns inspire us to create something new.  Nothing wrong with taking inspiration from someone else’s pattern as long as you are not stealing their exact ideas.

And nothing keeps 2 people from independently creating the exactly same item.  The invention of the radio is a prime example.  But before you publish, make sure someone hasn’t beaten you to it by a few days or weeks.  And if you have created something but haven’t published it then someone else does the same type of item/idea, please don’t talk about how you did it first but never released it.  That just sounds petty and like sour grapes.  If you want your pattern out there before someone else does, then just do it.  Don’t use an excuse for your lack of doing something.

Can I write patterns for trademarked characters?

There are a lot of character items that are being made and sold due to the popularity of the character due to a movie or show.  While any pattern that is written would be yours, you do not have the right to use the image of a trademarked character unless you have permission from the trademark owner.  Most times they will not grant permission because it would be money they are losing on merchandising.  Large companies have been known to go after people for selling items that they make using trademarked images.  This is why a lot of people who do write patterns so not sell the patterns and claim the items made are for personal use and not be sold.  They also use the word “inspired” a lot as well so they can claim it isn’t that character.  Or just use a name that is completely unrelated to the character.

To answer this question?  No.  Technically you are not allowed to write patterns for trademarked characters or logos.  It happens a lot though….

But I have yet to see you actually site your references…

For those of you who like references, you can and should always double check what I have said or what anyone else says by going to the following websites for the official information from the government.

Copyright:  www.copyright.gov

Trademark:  www.uspto.gov/trademark/laws-regulations

Any questions?  While I sit here giggling like a loon at myself over that last question, I wish you all creative thoughts and the proper knowledge of sharing your new ideas and creations.  Happy loom knitting!!

5 Comments

  • Is there wing nut covers for the all in one loom?
    Thank You, Judy

  • Great article and thank you for writing it. I was wondering how “fan art” fits into this, I have done a few articles of clothing with trademark characters as gifts and always received the “you should sell these” comment. An example that many would recognize would be the “Jayne” style ear flap hat. I have tried to research the “fan art” for sale concept and have found very little on it other than it is a hit and miss on who does and does not allow their trademark to be sold as “fan art” or “inspired”. An example of this is this website https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2010/05/13/the-messy-world-of-fan-art-and-copyright/.

    Any further thoughts on this?

    Thanks
    H. R

  • Heather, that is a great question. Fan art does fall under trademark. If an image is trademarked, it cannot be sold in any form by an unlicensed individual. Licenses can be obtained but I am unfamiliar with the process.

    I know that Fox owns the trademark for the Jayne Hat and gets very defensive about it. Which is ironic considering how Fox felt about the Firefly show to begin with and that hat was only in 1 episode. But Fox cannot keep someone from making and selling ugly orange and yellow ear flap hats. It really is the name in that example. There is nothing “special” about the style or color of the hat. This is why so many people use the word “inspired”. But even that can get the attention of the trademark owner because they are using the trademarked name as well along with “inspired”.

    Another interesting thing is all the trademarks that are owned by the BBC that are Doctor Who related. All but the blue phone box… While the name of the TARDIS is under trademark, the BBC cannot trademark the police phone box image since it’s not their original idea. It’s free game as far as fan art goes since it is not under trademark.

    Therefore you would need to check and see if an image is trademarked. Not all of them are that would seem obvious.

    I hope this helps a bit.

    Renita

  • Hi Judy,
    They are for all the knitting looms that have the little wing nuts at the end, so yes.

  • Beautiful. Can’t wait to make this project. Please continue your monthly blog I enjoy it so much.

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Jul 20, 2015

Loom FAQs: Why Not Knots?

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I really do not like weaving in the ends or tails after my work is complete.  But.  The one thing I detest even more that in knitting is knots. Despise them. Only time I do use a knot is to secure a gathered bindoff. And it’s a square knot all the way. But even then, I leave long enough tail to weave in. I don’t use knots to join a new ball of yarn or to change colors.   I don’t even place the slip knot on the first peg. I always cut out the knots in balls of yarn and treat the ends like joining a new ball. I always weave in my ends. Or as they say in the UK, I sew them in.

But every time I say this, I get the questions: Won’t the ends come out if not knotted? How do you secure the ends by weaving them in? Why do you not use other methods of joining yarn like the Russian join?

Let’s answer some of those and other questions about how to weave in those ends.

Why?

First let me answer that most pressing of questions: Why? Well, it is a very simple answer. Knots come undone. And when the yarn ends have been clipped too close to that knot, the work unravels. I have had more than one person that said that they have never had a knot come untied. Well I am not that lucky. Learned the hard way. And with more research as I developed my craft, I learned that the professionals do not use knots either.  Another “why” is I can always feel the knot in the work.  Drives me crazy.

Why not use the slip knot on the first peg?

Won’t the cast on row unravel if the slip knot is not placed on the first peg? No,  once the work is started, it will unravel.  Then that end is woven in as well.

Then how do you start without a slip knot?  I do use a slip knot but use an anchor peg. Usually I place my slip knot on 2 pegs from my starting peg so that I will not accidently work it as the cast on when I work the first row. Then I work the cast on like normal. I take the slip knot off the peg after working the first row. If I am working in the round and have cast on that peg, then I only work the cast on stitch on my first round and remove the slip knot by carefully lifting off the top loop and replacing it after the slip knot is removed.

Why not use other methods of joining like the Russian join?

When you use a Russian join, there is a section on each side of the join that is twice as thick as the rest of the yarn that will show on the work.  I have also found that the Russian join will not work on certain yarns.

Other methods of joining that are utilized by some all have some sort of drawback as well depending on fiber, thickness, etc.

Won’t the tails come out if they are only woven in?

If the ends or tails are woven or sewn in properly, the strand is locked into place and it won’t come undone.

How do I properly weave in ends?

Different people have different methods of weaving in the ends.  But it all comes down to the same concept:  the tail is woven in on a diagonal zig zag, or in the case of the garter stitch, replicating the stitch itself.

Zig zag?

Yes, when I weave in the ends on stockinette, I weave them in on the wrong side of the work.  In order for it not to show on the right side, the end must be woven in on a diagonal.  I will demonstrate this one on the end tail.  Same method is used when joining a new ball or changing colors.  Just make sure that with the color change that the end is woven in on the same color.

So the first pass will look like this:

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Just carefully catch the purl side stitches with the tapestry needle on a diagonal.

Then you will come back down on the same diagonal along side the first pass.

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After a couple more passes, you have woven in the end.

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Now the end may be clipped.

Duplicate stitch?

This one I like to use on garter stitch.  The end is woven in duplicating the garter stitch.  I will show this one with both ends in the middle of the work where a new ball is joined.  Same method is worked for the end tails.

When joined in the middle of the row, there is a hole.

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So the ends must be crossed to close up the hole when weaving in the ends.

First cross the first end across the other and bring the tapestry needle up through the next stitch.

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Then back down following the original stitch.

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After a few stitches, start back the other direction on the row below or above.  Then repeat a couple of times.

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Then you will do the same with the other end going in the other direction.

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You can go down through 2 stitch to the next row down.

Once enough passes are done, the strand is locked into the stitches and will not come out and the rest of the tail may be cut off.

I always look to see if I can see the tapestry needle on the other side of the work when weaving in the ends.  If it can be seen, then the tail can be seen as well.  If it can’t, then the tail won’t be seen either in the stitch pattern.

I am not an expert at weaving in ends.  There are other sites that give a more detailed or various methods.  These are the ways that I weave in my ends.  Which I don’t like doing…  But hate knots even more…

Keep asking those questions!  Happy loom knitting!

 

1 Comment

  • Thanks you! This is the best & clearest explanation I’ve ever read about weaving in the ends. I also love the advise on how to start a cast on without leaving the slip knot at the edge of the fabric. That always bothered me & now I know how to remove it :)

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Jun 15, 2015

Loom FAQs: How Big? How Wide? How Long?

Loom FAQs
 

To call these next questions frequent would be an understatement.  How long do I make a scarf or shawl?  How wide is a shawl?  How long is a hat?  How wide should a brim be on a hat?  How big is a blanket?  But for beginners, these are some of the most important questions.  Let’s break it down into types of items.

 

Hats

Hats are usually the first item a person knits.  More times than not, the very first hat will be too short.  And sometimes the second will be as well.  So exactly how long should a hat be?  Does that include the brim?  How wide should the brim be?

As you have probably already guessed, the length will depend on the age of the person it is intended.  These lengths are from the bottom of the brim to the top of the head.  The brims are included in the length.

Preemie (depending on birth size):  2″ – 4.5″

Newborn:  4.5″ – 5″

Baby (up to 1 year):   5.5″ – 6.5″

Toddler (1 – 3 years):  7″

Child (3 – 10 years):  7.5″

Pre-teen:  8″

Teen:  8.5″

Adult Woman:  9″

Adult Man:  10″

Add 2″ – 3″ to create a slouchy hat.

Brim widths vary depending on personal preference.  Most are about 1″ – 2″.  If you are working a brim where you turn up the cast on edge and place it back on the loom, then you need to work the brim twice as long as you want the brim to be.  If you want to just turn up the brim, then make the hat the length for the size then add the extra for the brim.

And the question always arises as well, how many pegs?  The Hat Loom is quite easy since you only have 4 sizes to chose from.  The All-n-One is more versatile with peg counts since you can set it to any peg count.  You can find the handy peg count chart for the All-n-One by clicking here.  And always remember that your peg count will always depend on your tension, fiber type, and knit stitch of choice.

 

Scarves

Scarves should be as long as a person is tall.  But that is not always easy to do if you are making them to sell or don’t know exactly how tall someone is.  The most common length for scarves are as follows.  Please note that it is not safe for a baby, toddler, or small child to wear scarves due to strangulation hazards.

Older Child:  4′

Pre-teen/teen:  5′

Adult:  5.5′ – 6′

Width of scarves is usually a personal preference.  But the most common widths of scarves are 4″ to 6″.

 

Shawls

Length of shawls are the same as length of scarves.  In other words, as long as a person is tall.  Most people don’t like the ends of a shawl to be longer than their fingers.  Fun fact:  The length from fingertip to fingertip with your arms held out sideways is about the same as your height.

How wide should a shawl be?  That is personal preference as well.  Depends on if you want it to completely cover the back or not.  The average width of shawls is about 2′.

 

Blankets

Baby blankets are the most popular blankets to make, but knowing how big is still a frequently asked question.  Here are the standard blanket sizes.

Cuddle:  24″ square

Baby:  30″ x 36

Lapghan:  36″ x 48″

Twin:  48″ x 72″

Full:  60″ x 84″

Queen:  72″ x 92″

King:  84″ x 92″

The bed sizes are larger than actual mattress sizes so there is plenty of room to cover the person and the entire bed.

 

Now that you know what size to make things, you are most likely asking how many pegs do I cast on?  Well never fear.  I have already worked that out for you as well in my previous article What is Gauge?  Everything you need to know about calculating peg counts is in the second half of the article.  Just click here, work that swatch, and plug your numbers into the equations.  Ok.  Maybe still fear.  There will be math involved…

As always, I hope you find this helpful.  Happy loom knitting!

2 Comments

  • How do I make potholders and what type of yarn should I use?

  • Is there any way a ruffle scarf can be made using the zippy loom? I’ve attempted making it on a rectangular loom but can’t imagine how it would be done on the Zippy Loom. Since the pegs are so large with this type of loom I think it would be helpful with some of the larger fishnet skeins like Starbella.

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May 18, 2015

Loom FAQs: How much yarn?

Loom-FAQs1Another question I see often is How much yarn do I need to complete a blanket of a certain size?  Or…  I have 2 balls of yarn and will it be enough to make a scarf?  But mainly what triggered this topic is the question I asked myself after not writing down the amount of yarn I used when writing a pattern:  How much did I use??  Discovered this past week that I did that with 3 patterns I am working on.  THREE!!  Sigh…  So in the interest of helping myself, I will try to help you calculate yardage needed.  Or used…

Before we start, here is the cheat sheet to what is written in the equations.

  • When you see a lower case x in the equation, it means to multiply.
  • When you see a forward slash /, it means to divide.
  • Grab a calculator and solve!

If you use the metric system, all you need to do is just replace yards with meters, and you are good to go!

How do I calculate how much yarn BEFORE I start a project?

In order to calculate the yardage needed before you start, you will need to work a swatch.  Before starting the swatch, measure 5 yards of yarn or use a little device that measures yarn as you go and cut.  If you don’t want to cut it, place a pin or something else at the 5 yard spot.  You will then work your swatch with the stitch you are going to use in your project until you have used all of the 5 yards.  Count your stitches.  You can calculate the total by counting how many worked across and multiply that by how many rows you worked.  The equation will look like this:

(number of stitches) x (number of rows) = total number of stitches

Now you know how many stitches you worked with 5 yards of yarn.  Now you divide that by 5 to get how many stitches are in a yard.

(total number of stitches in 5 yard) / 5 yards = number of stitches in 1 yard of yarn

You can work the swatch with just 1 yard.  It will be tiny though.  Remember that you will also need to measure for gauge as well.

Now you measure how wide and tall it is just like you do when measuring gauge.  When you know how many stitches are in an inch, you can calculate the total number of stitches needed to create the size you want.  Which will also give you the number of pegs to cast on when you do start your project.

First, you will multiply the number of stitches in an inch by the total inches for the width.

(number of stitches in an inch) x (total number of inches wide) = total number of stitches across

Second, you will multiply the number of rows by the total inches in the length desired.

(number of rows in an inch) x (total number of inches long) = total number of rows long

Third, multiply the 2 previous answers together to get the total number of stitches in your finished item.

(total number of stitches wide) x (total number of rows) = total number of stitches in the project

You will now divide the total number of stitches by the number of stitches in a yard to get how many yards you will need to work this item.

(total number of stitches) / (number of stitches per yard) = total yards of yarn

If you need help with gauge in general, you can reference my previous article on gauge by clicking here.

How do I calculate how much yarn I used AFTER I completed a project?

If you have the item on hand, you will just need to weight the item and do some simple calculations.

I use a postal scale to weight my items.  You can also use a food scale or other scales that weight small amounts.

First you need to know how much your yarn weights per yard.  The amount is usually so small that you cannot just weight a yard of yarn.  You will either need to weight 5 yards and then divide by 5 or you can just get a rough calculation from the skein of yarn itself.

If you still have the band or label from the yarn, there are 2 key pieces of information that will help you in this.  The weight of the skein or ball and the yardage in that skein or ball.  All you will do is this:

(Weight in grams or ounces) / (amount in yards) = how much a yard weighs in grams or ounces

Now that you know how much a yard of the yarn you used weighs, you then weight your completed item and divide the total weight of the item by how much a yard of the yarn weighs.  Which is this:

(Weight of item) / (weight of a yard of yarn) = how many yards you used

If you don’t have the item but needing the yardage because you are writing a pattern and forgot to write it down before shipping it off because your name is Renita and you are forgetful, you will need to use the same method as calculating before starting a project.

Or you can just calculate how much yarn you have left over using the method of weighing the yarn left over and subtract it from the total number of yard in the skein.  If you used more than one skein or ball, just add the total used before the partial skein by adding the total yards in each skein based off of the yards listed on the label then add the yards used in the partial skein to get the total yards.

Well that was deep and about as clear as mud.  If we are lucky, all the math has been covered now.  Maybe…

Questions lead to answers which is knowledge.  Knowledge is power.  So be powerful!  Keep asking questions and keep on loom knitting!

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Apr 24, 2015

A Fledgling Knitter: Assumptions, Thoughts, and Lessons

In the month since my last post, I have done a lot of different things with loom knitting. I have learned to match my needle gauge with my loom gauge, I have written a pattern, and I have been humbled by busting through a few of my assumptions about the projects that are possible on the loom.

First off, I have played around a little bit with the different gauges I can create when knitting on the loom. Step one, back to basics: I needed to learn the difference between a true knit stitch and simply a loop over stitch. I thought I knew all about that (plays into the assumptions I need to learn not to have), and was simply hooking my bottom loops over the yarn on the pegs. I think this is because I used to do spool knitting when I was a child and that’s kind of what I remembered about how it worked… well, apparently I didn’t remember as much as I thought. I was not picking up the loop underneath with the tool and then removing the previous loop to replace it with my new loop. This meant that I was having some really painfully tight swatches that were disheartening and frustrating. Well, if I had just read the directions I would have realized I wasn’t doing a true knit stitch. I didn’t take a photo of this stage because I was so frustrated that I just ripped the whole thing out! After switching to real knit stitches (insert hook under the bottom loop, pick up the top loop and remove both from the peg, replacing the new loop on the peg), what a difference! It still looked tight to me on the loom, but I think that was because I was expecting it to look the same as it does on needles, which it wouldn’t until it’s removed from the loom.

Adrian 1

This little mistake/learning opportunity led to my second lesson of the month. After this realization, I took the time to do some comparison gauge swatches to calibrate my own opinion about the capabilities of the loom. I am so glad I did this. I will admit: I originally assumed that the only projects that were possible on the loom were large bulky projects. I have been pleasantly surprised to find out that this simply isn’t true. For those of you that don’t needle knit, this part might be boring, but for others… I learned that I have a whole new range of projects that I can expect to be able to work on the loom! With a little effort I can convert lots of needle-knitting patterns to loom patterns!

To try and match my needle gauge to my loom gauge, I did two swatches to match the loom to the needles. For this I was working on the 18” All-in-One loom with dk weight, single-ply yarn. Since this creates a standard gauge, I needed to do the loom swatch first and then find a needle size to match. Each yarn and each pattern act a little differently, but since I had no real idea what gauge the loom is spitting out and I still think in terms of needle sizes, I wanted a comparison. One great thing I noticed is the even quality and neat stitches that are possible with the loom. (Note: these swatches have not been blocked, so they look a little sad) Because you are only working from the knit side doing the stockinette stitch, this keeps the stitches very even. When working on the needles, because I was working back and forth in stockinette, the rows that I was purling have stitches ever so slightly looser, creating a less even fabric. I’m confident this would even out with blocking, but it’s a good comparison of the types of stitches that are possible on the loom. (The photo on the left, from the loom, has e-wrap stitches at the bottom before the knit stitches start.)

Adrian 2

Finally for this month, I decided to jump in with both feet and write a loom knitting pattern. My dear friend Isela helped teach me how to convert a pattern into loom knitting terms. Although increases and decreases are not as easy to do on a loom; that certainly doesn’t mean you have to avoid shaped items! The chubby bunny was born last month and I think he came out quite cute. I tried to avoid all increases and decreases as much as possible and instead used sewing methods and cinching methods to turn simple straightforward panels into a round, plump, loving bunny! I would love to hear your feedback on my first pattern. ? This can be found under the free patterns tab.

Once again, I found all sorts of new lessons while adventuring into loom knitting. Thanks for reading! I am now starting my first fully loom knitted item with a purpose, so I will hopefully have that finished for you next month. I’ll keep it a secret until it’s done. Stay tuned!

1 Comment

  • I loved reading your article! I too had the same assumptions. Thanks for clarifying those assumptions. Now I have a newfound excitement for trying out some other loom projects!

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Apr 20, 2015

Loom FAQs: To Slip or Not To Slip? That is the Frequently Asked Question.

Loom-FAQs1

 

Edges.  That topic seems to be recurring.  How do I get a nice edge all the way around?  Why does the edge on one side look different than the other side?  How do I get my cast on, bind off, and side edges all the same?  What does it mean to slip the stitch?  Why do some patterns say skip instead of slip?  Why is it all so confusing??  Well that last one goes with every topic…  Let’s try to take the confusion out of the topic of edges on flat panels.

Whether you are making a blanket, a dishcloth, a hand towel, a scarf, or any other flat panel in single knit, you will have 4 edges.  Well, unless you are working a triangle…  Or a circle…  Or a pentagon…  Or any other geometric shape…  Moving on.  The first edge is the cast on edge.  The last edge is the bind off edge.  Matching those 2 edges are hard enough.  But then there are those 2 other pesky side edges.

Some people do not care if they don’t match.  I am not one of those people.  And I know I am not alone in this.  I like all 4 edges to have a nice crochet chain look to it.  And that is very easy to accomplish without knowing how to crochet.  It is all in the techniques you use.

How do I match my cast on and bind off?

A lot of people have trouble with this so there is no need to feel like the only one.  Not only do you need to find a cast on and bind off that matches, it also takes patience and learning to control your tension.

I like using the chain cast on and the basic bind off.  They both give a nice crochet chain along the edge.  The crochet bind off will also give you a chain edge but is harder to control your tension.

What is a provisional cast on?

Sometimes you will come across a pattern that will use a provisional cast on to provide matching ends.  This is a cast on that uses waste yarn.  Then after casting on with waste yarn and working a couple of rows, you change to the yarn specified for the project.  After the bind off, you then pull out the waste yarn and put the project back on the loom and bind off that edge.

Basically you are binding off ends so that they match exactly the same.  This is one way of getting around matching your cast on and bind off.  It does create extra work.  I prefer to just use the chain cast on and basic bind off since I have learned how to control my tension for both.

How do I use my tension to make them match?

When casting on, I have learned that I need to pull on the working yarn with the chain cast on to get it tight enough.  While most people I hear talk about their knitting, their knitting is too tight but their cast on is usually too loose.

When casting on, pull the working yarn so that each chain is tight.  It will make that first row harder to knit off but will make the cast on look nicer and not loopy.

11160294_10205888530067491_797192069_n

You can see how I work the chain cast on by clicking here.    I also demonstrate the crochet cast on and compare the two.  I discuss first learning the chain cast on and how it was called the crochet cast on so that is what I called it for years before realizing that the method I was using is most commonly called the chain cast on.  Hopefully I can clear up some questions regarding that as well.

 

Now for the bind off.  Most people bind off too tightly causing the bind off edge to draw in more than the work itself.  And if the cast on is too loose, then you have an odd looking square.  This is why I like the basic bind off better than the crochet bind off.  The end effect is the same, but it is easier to control your tension with the basic bind off.

Keeping your tension loose when binding off can be tricky, but it’s not that hard.  When you bind off using the basic bind off, you will need to work each stitch so that the loops are larger than normal to the point you will think it is too loose and will not look nice.  Just knit each stitch and pull the loop larger than usual when you move the loop over the previous stitch to bind it off.  Then place that larger loop back on the empty peg next to the next live stitch and continue.

You can see how I work the basic bind off by clicking here.    I also demonstrate the crochet bind off as well and compare the two.

With patience and practice, you will be matching your cast on and bind off in no time.  Now let’s talk sides….

 

 

Why do I need to slip a stitch?

You can just work each row with the written stitch all the way to the end of the row from the beginning.

Your edge will look like this for stockinette.

 

 

 

 

11127668_10205888528947463_1802493741_n

And this for garter

 

 

 

 

But if you are wanting that nice chain edge to match your cast on and bind off, then you will need to slip that first stitch.

11156987_10205888529907487_1347446952_nWhen you slip the first stitch, you create a chain on the edge because that stitch or loop that was skipped will be carried up the edge of the work.  Each chain covers the edge of 2 rows.  You can count your rows easily by counting the chains on the edge then multiplying by 2 to get the number of rows you have worked.

 

 

What is slipping a stitch?

To slip a stitch is simply to skip it.  This is why some loom knit designers just say skip instead of slip.

Slip is a needle knit term and is more applicable when done on needles since you literally slip that stitch from the first needle over to the other needle without working it.

On a loom, you don’t slip it over to anywhere since each peg on the loom holds a stitch.  You just skip it.

To keep consistency with needle terms, several loom knit designers use slip instead of skip.

How do I slip a stitch?

Just skip that peg altogether.  If it’s in the middle of the work, you will bring the working yarn behind that peg and just work the next stitch unless the pattern indicates to carry the working yarn to the front of the peg.  For the edge, you will just start on peg 2 instead of working peg 1.  Make sure the working yarn does not come in front of peg 1 unless the pattern specifies to do that.

Why does one side edge look different than the other?

Sometimes the side edges do not match.  Especially when working the garter stitch.  There is a simple reason and fix to this problem.

When working any stitch pattern that involves a purl stitch at the end of the row, the edge will not match the edge that has a row ending in a knit.  Any time you are working a flat panel and are slipping the first stitch of each row to create the chain edge, you will need to always knit the last stitch of every row.  Since garter stitch is the most commonly used flat panel stitch that involves purls, I will use it to explain.

11158105_10205888529547478_22388986_n

 

This is the side where the knit row ends and the purl row begins after slipping the first stitch.

 

 

 

11158143_10205888529387474_841447213_n

This is the side where the purl row ends and the knit row begins when you slip the stitch after purling the last stitch.

 

 

Garter stitch for a flat panel with any number of stitches is as follows:

Row 1:  Knit all

Row 2:  Purl all

Repeat rows 1 – 2

Now let’s make them match.

11156987_10205888529907487_1347446952_n

This is the side where the purl row ends and the knit row begins when you slip the stitch after knitting the last stitch of the purl row.

 

 

 

11158105_10205888529547478_22388986_n

 

And again, this is the side where the knit row ends and the purl row begins after slipping the first stitch.

 

 

 

Since you want to slip the first stitch of every row, you will need to knit the last stich of every row as well, even on the purl rows.  Therefore, the garter stitch for any number of stitches will now read like this:

Row 1:  Slip 1, Knit all

Row 2:  Slip 1, Purl all except last stitch, Knit last stitch

Repeat rows 1 – 2

By knitting the last stitch on every row, both side edges will be almost the same and will match the chain cast on and basic bind off.  

So why do they still not match exactly?  This is due to the twist you have when you slip the first stitch then purl the second.

11156987_10205888529907487_1347446952_nYou can knit the second stitch on the purl row so it will look like this on both sides.   This will make all 4 sides match exactly.

 

 

 

11158105_10205888529547478_22388986_nOr you can e-wrap knit the last stitch on the purl row before slipping the first stitch on the knit row for the edge to look like this.  Then each side has a twisted chain edge that is just a little different than the cast on and bind off edges.

 

 

 

As I said previously, it takes patience and practice controlling the tension to get a matching cast on and bind off.  But it is worth the effort.  And when combined with slipping that first stitch, you will get a lovely chain edge on all four sides of your flat panel project.

I hope this helps take the confusion out of matching the edges.  Happy loom knitting!

 

 

 

8 Comments

  • That makes so much sense when you explain it! Lol I am soooo happy I found this site. I look here before I even have my morning coffee everday ! Lollol

  • Very well explained, Renita! :)

  • This is most helpful and very well explained. Thank you!

  • Excellent! Don’t forget to adjust pattern by 2 stitches when you start each row with a slip or so I have found. Probably an easier way but still learning. Thank you I forget the knit at the beginning of the pearl.

  • I had a question on the slipped side edge of let’s say a scarf for example. If the written patten for row 1 reads: k2, p2 to slip the first stitch it would be worked as: sl1, k1, p2? Also if the pattern reads cast on 16, would I cast on 17 to allow for the slipped first stitch? Thank you for answering my question.

  • Thanks. That is the most concise and understandable explanations I have read.

  • I’ve bean searching for this information for years ! Well explain and thank you

  • CindyB, Sorry about just seeing your question now. But yes it is how you wrote but if you are adding stitches, you will need to add 2, not 1, one for each side. You will just add the s1 to the beginning of the row and k1 at the end of the row. It’s not necessary to add the stitches in most cases.

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Mar 20, 2015

A Fledgling Knitter: Loom Knitting 101

Hello everyone! My name is Adrian. My dear friend Isela recently introduced me to loom knitting, and we thought it could be useful, educational, and probably pretty entertaining for me to document and share my learning curve along the way. Over the next few months you will be hearing from me about the hiccups, the troubles, the funny stories, and the lessons (life or knitting) that crop up. I’ll try to keep the inspirational quotes to a minimum, but when the mood strikes…!

I’ll give you a tiny introduction before I tell you about my first day on a knitting loom. I have been crafting of some sort since I was a child. I grew up in a very crafty environment in a family of people whose hands were always busy. My father’s family are long-standing “mountain people” who are never idle while we sit and “visit.” So, it was extremely common to always have something in my hands to work on or play with while talking, riding in the car, watching tv, or just intentionally sitting and crafting together on a rainy afternoon. I learned to crochet from my Aunt Jane when very young, and did loads and loads of cross-stitch over the years. My mother is a phenomenally talented and world-renowned hand weaver and seamstress with a lovely home studio where I was lucky enough to receive all sorts of “lessons”. Needless to say, there has been fiber and yarn around me my entire life. It was always easy to find some sort of project around to keep me busy. However, despite all of this, I have never tried my hand at loom knitting, so here we are!

Step 1: open loom. I picked the 10” Knitting board to play with first. It’s small enough to take with me places, or just hold in my lap while watching tv. Rather than immediately jump into a specific project, I just thought I would play around with a loom to see what it felt like and get comfortable with all the pieces. I’ll be really honest with you guys here… My ego got knocked down a peg right away. Not because this is an overly complicated process, but because I was a bit too arrogant and thought I knew what I was doing without really, fully reading the directions. Well that wasn’t the best choice. Just because I’ve done other crafts doesn’t exempt me from reading the very straight-forward, helpful instructions, haha! I know, we all learn that in kindergarten, but sometimes we all need a reminder. So, lesson #1… don’t forget the anchor yarn. This is what happens when you think you don’t need it:

Loopy mess

Loops everywhere! No way to straighten it out! Eep! The anchor yarn is really important to be able to pull the knitting down through the center and even out all the stitches. So I pulled it out to start again.

After casting on again, with an anchor yarn this time, and tugging gently down on the anchor yarn between rows, everything looks much better! Yes, I know this is basic… but really… sometimes those are the easiest things to screw up.

Doing better

I continued knitting in plain stockinette all the way around for a few more rounds. I started to see as my knitting got long enough to extend below the loom that something wasn’t right! My bottom edge was longer and looser on one side than the other.

 

Uhoh

Luckily, with this situation I found an answer on the frequently asked questions from Kblooms.com: “This happens when the end stitches are larger at one end from the other. This is very easy to correct. When you hook your stitches over, be sure to work from one end towards the center of the knitting, and then change to the other end and knit towards the center. Be sure to loop over all the stitches. Do the same thing to the other board. Be sure to vary the spot that you change direction so that you do not create loose stitches in center. The center does not need to be exact so vary it with each new row.”

After reading that, I kept going with another dozen or so rows, changing each time where I started moving my loops and everything sorted out quite nicely. After changing my method for the next rows, I now can’t even tell which side was too long. I decided that after this initial “testing” of loom knitting, I want to now get cracking on a project that I will want to keep… but that will be the next post.

All around, I’m pretty pleased with my first foray into loom knitting! The first row or two were hard for me, but I very quickly picked up a rhythm for my hand, and comfort with the board, and a better understanding of how knitting itself works, particularly knitting double layer fabric like I was here. On to bigger and better adventures/projects/lessons in the next post!

3 Comments

  • Welcome! I’m bookmarking this post of yours so I can give it to a few people :) Thank you for sharing your experiences, and happy looming!

  • welcome to club,

  • Hi Adrian,
    Welcome to the wonderful world of looming. Lucky you to have such a good friend to help you along. I remember my first experiences over 9 years ago and can laugh about them now. All I had was a board my husband made and few instructions. The figure 8 was all I knew! Can’t wait to read more of your learning experiences. Thanks for sharing with all us.
    Sue

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Mar 16, 2015

Loom FAQS: What is WPI and Yarn Weights?

Loom-FAQs1

 

The one thing all yarn arts have in common is the yarn itself.  And what a variety of yarn there is!  All the different weights or thicknesses of yarn can be overwhelming.  It can be confusing as to what can be made with certain weight yarns if you have never used it before.  Questions always abound when it comes to yarn weights.  What is yarn weight?  Which weight yarn do I use?  How many strands do I use to equal a heavier weight?  Is 4ply and worsted the same?  What in the world is WPI???

Let’s start at the beginning.

What is yarn weight?

Well first of all, yarn weight has nothing to do with the net weight of the hank, skein, or ball of yarn.  It has nothing to do with the yardage either.  When yarn weight is discussed, it is referring to the thickness or diameter of the yarn.

Here in the USA, yarn is labeled by a number system to differentiate between the different thicknesses of yarn although there are other terms or common names associated with those weights as well.  The yarn weight can be found on the label of the yarn.  It is a symbol of a yarn skein or ball with a number on the label like this one.

images

Not all yarns will have this since it depends on where the company is actually located.

Yarn weight is actually determined by the wraps per inch or WPI instead of the actual diameter of the yarn.

What is WPI?

WPI stands for Wraps Per Inch.  You can easily determine the weight of “mystery” yarn you have in your stash that has lost its label, handspun yarn you either spun yourself or bought, or mill ends by counting how many wraps are in an inch.  There are different ways you can do this.  You can buy a WPI tool or just use a pencil and use a ruler to measure.  Or you can just use the ruler to wrap the yarn and measure at the same time.

The WPI tool is a very neat tool that has the inches marked on the round stem with a notch at the end to hold the yarn so you can wrap the stem.  It usually comes with a card that has the instructions on one side and the yarn weights with WPI on the other.  Very handy but not necessary.

You can use a pencil or pen to do the same thing.  Then measure and count the wraps in an inch by using a ruler.  In the picture below, I wrapped more than an inch and started counting from the second wrap until I reached the 1″ mark.  There are 9 wraps in an inch.

11074301_10205632486226555_2094561041_n

You can also just use a ruler to wrap the yarn around.  The problem with this method is the possibility of twisting the yarn while wrapping which will stretch it so care is needed when using just a ruler.  I would recommend starting at the 1″ mark and wrapping to the 2″ mark on the ruler instead of starting at the end of the ruler.  If you start at the end, it is harder to keep the end wraps from falling off the ruler.  As you can see below, it is harder to read the marks on the ruler when the yarn is wrapped on it instead of a pencil.  There are 6 wraps in an inch.

WPI on Ruler

When you wrap the pencil or ruler, you need to make sure the yarn is not pulled tight or pushed together.  It needs to be relaxed.  You just roll the pencil or turn the ruler to wind the yarn on whichever you are using.  Rolling instead of just wrapping will keep the yarn from being twisted which will cause the yarn to pull tighter and be thinner than it actually is.  Do not pull on the yarn at all.  Tension will stretch the yarn and cause it to be thinner than it is.  Let each wrap rest next to the previous wrap without being pushed together.  If the yarn has a halo, like mohair, you will need to give the yarn more room between wraps for the “fuzzy” hairs to expand.  This is why mohair yarn always has a heavier weight than it would appear to be.  It is not measured by just the diameter of the yarn but also how far the halo extends as well.

Count the number of times the yarn is wrapped around for 1 inch.  Some instructions will say to wrap 2 inches, count the wraps, and divide by 2.  This is not necessary unless you are measuring yarn with “character” like a thick and thin yarn.  Then you would need to wrap 3 inches and divide by 3 to get a good count.

The number counted in 1 inch is the WPI.  Then compare that number to the chart below to find your yarn weight.

 

What are the different weights of yarn available?

Since the new weight classification has been added, there are now 8 different categories in the USA yarn weight system.  Some of the common names overlap depending on location and how it was taught.  Please note that some people will include aran as a bulky weight yarn.  While it is thicker than worsted, aran is still included in the medium weight category due to it’s WPI.  Also, Caron Simply Soft and Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable are considered medium weight as well even though both are thinner which can make the entire medium weight category confusing for some people.

Weight #                          Common Name                                       WPI

0 – lace                           Cobweb/Thread/Lace/Sock                  23 and greater

1 – super fine                  Lace/Sock/Fingering                              19 – 22

2 – fine                            Baby/Sport/Lace                                    15 – 18

3 – light                           Sport/DK/Baby                                        12 – 14

4 – medium.                    Worsted/Aran                                           9 – 11

5 – bulky                          Bulky                                                        7 – 8

6 – super bulky.               Super Bulky                                              5 – 6

7 – jumbo                         Jumbo                                                      4 and less

 

Why are the weights different other places?

Not all countries use the same names for yarn weights.  It can sometimes get confusing since the internet makes the world smaller.  There are pattern writers all over the world that use the yarn classifications of their country.  I have bought yarn from the UK on several occasions.  You will need to know what the names of the yarn weights are so you can buy the correct yarn.  For example, 4 ply is NOT 4 weight yarn.  It is a lot thinner.  Yarn weight is not determined by the number of plies.  And that leads us to our next question…

 

What are the yarn weight equivalents between the USA and UK?

USA Weight                  UK Term

0 – lace                            1 – 3 ply

1 – super fine                  4 ply

2 – fine                             5 ply

3 -light                             DK/8 ply

4 – medium                     Aran/10 ply

5 – bulky                          Chunky/12 ply

6 – super bulky              Super Chunky

7 – jumbo                        unknown

 

What weight yarn do I use with certain looms?

A lot of times, the weight of yarn you use with certain looms will depend on the stitch pattern or the way you want the finished project to look.  Each person has their own idea of what is too tight or too loose.  Tension is a factor as well since each person’s tension is different.  It is sometimes hard to say what weight yarn is best for each gauge loom, but it can be helpful to have a starting place until you learn which is best for you.  If you are unsure what gauge loom you have, you can learn more about gauge here.

Extra fine gauge – lace/super fine

Fine gauge – super fine/fine/light

Small gauge – light/medium

Regular gauge – light/medium/bulky

Large gauge – bulky/super bulky/jumbo

Extra large gauge – super bulky/jumbo

 

How many strands will equal a heavier weight?

Needing a heavier weight yarn than you have in your stash?  All you need to do is use more than 1 strand.  But how many strands will equal what you need?

If you use 2 strands of yarn, it will be equivalent to the next heavier weight.  So if you have a 4 weight yarn and need a 5 weight yarn, use 2 strands together as 1.

Here is an easy way to see what you need:

2 strands of 1 weight = 1 strand of 2 weight

2 strands of 2 weight = 1 strand of 3 weight

2 strands of 3 weight = 1 strand of 4 weight

2 strands of 4 weight = 1 strand of 5 weight

2 strands of 5 weight = 1 strand of 6 weight

2 strands of 6 weight = 1 strand of 7 weight

But what if I only have 4 weight and need a 6 weight?  Since 2 strands of 4 weight equals 1 strand of 5 weight and 2 strands of 5 weight equals 1 strand of 6 weight, then 4 strands of 4 weight will equal 1 strand of 6.  3 strands of 4 weight will be a heavier 5 or a lighter 6 weight yarn.

Hopefully this will help in trying to decide which yarn weights are best for which looms and for finding out what weight that mystery yarn is that keeps getting pushed aside.

Keep asking questions!  Questions lead to answers, and answers lead to knowledge.

5 Comments

  • Even after reading this I’m still very confused I use number 4 all the time unless the materials are given to me and for the gauge how to tell I still don’t understand

  • I’m doing the Mystic Shawl out of the Knitting Board Basics book. Its done in open braid stitch. On the back piece the last 8 rows has to be decreased. It says to maintain open braid pattern as you decrease. How do you do that? Thanks in advance!

  • I am not understanding your question, Tracey. Are you needing to find the gauge of your loom? I wrote an article about loom gauge and swatch gauge earlier. I put a link in this article that will take you to that one. You can just use more than 1 strand of 4 weight yarn on the plastic large gauge looms.

  • Two of the headbands call for cdd after you have moved the yarn to different pegs
    What is cdd. If I read it right, you do something on one peg that has 2 loops?
    Thank you for your help

  • It stands for central double decrease. Move loop from peg 1 to 2. Knit peg 2. Move loop from peg 3 to 2, lift bottom loop over.

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