Browsing articles in "Techniques (How-to)"
Feb 14, 2017

Stitchology 29: Lacy Hearts

We will be changing the format just a little bit for our Stitchology Column.  Each of the featured stitches will be explained row by row via both written and video instructions.  We will be focusing on highlighting the repeating stitch pattern itself, so that you can enjoy the freedom of putting these new stitch patterns to use in your own projects as creativity strikes.  We hope you will enjoy this new way of learning new stitches with us! :)

Special Stitch Instructions

*All yarn overs (yo) are completed by laying the working yarn loosely across the front of the peg, not e-wrapping.

*For ease in reading the directions below, the steps  involving yarn overs and eyelets are placed inside brackets [ ] to let you know that they are all accomplished on just two or three pegs.

There are three ways of creating eyelets for this pattern: the Knit 2 Together (k2tog) for a right leaning eyelet worked as a knit, the Slip, Slip, Knit (ssk) for a left leaning eyelet worked as a knit, and a Knit 3 Together (k3tog), a decrease that creates an eyelet on either side.  The following dictates how to work these stitches as you will find them in the stitch pattern:

[k2tog, yo]:  Worked from right to left. Move the loop from yo peg to the k2tog peg. Knit the k2tog peg, working the two bottom loops as one. Loosely carry the WY across the front of the empty yo peg and continue to the next stitch as the pattern dictates.

[yo, ssk]: Worked from right to left. Move the loop from yo peg to the ssk peg. Loosely carry the WY across the front of the empty yo peg, then knit the next peg, working the two loops as one.

[yo, k3tog, yo]: (As seen in Row 7 of the pattern) Worked from right to left. Move the loops from the yo pegs to the k3tog peg.  Carry the WY loosely across the first empty yo peg, then work all 3 loops as 1 on the k3tog peg. Carry the WY loosely across the front of the next empty yo peg and work the next stitch as the pattern dictates.

Chart for Repeating Stitch Pattern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeating Pattern Rows for working both as a flat panel and in the round  (Begin from right to left/clockwise):

Row 1:  *yo, ssk, k6, rep from *

Row 2 and all even rows to Row 16:  knit all

Row 3: *k1, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, rep from *

Row 5:  *k2, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, rep from *

Row 7:  *yo, k3tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, rep from *

Row 9:  *k4, yo, ssk, k2, rep from *

Row 11:  *k2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1, rep from *

Row 13:  *k1, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, rep from *

Row 15:  *k2, yo, ssk, yo, k3tog, yo, k1, rep from *

 

Have questions or comments?  Please feel free to leave a message for Bethany in the comments below.

11 Comments

  • Please still include a picture of the knit square so have a reference instead of going to blog to view when knitting it. Thanks

  • Hi Bethany I love this column and am hooked on loom knitting but my previous comment regarding a picture Is just that I want to see the finished product just as you had previously. The video idea is absolutely fantastic and makes the stitches so easy to understand. Thanks so much for this column!

  • I want to continue with the 8 by 8 squares
    How many repeats should I do
    How many repeats across and what should I do for the ends
    Also how much wool
    What color and make and yardage of wool to make square
    This info was included on the other squares
    Also I would like it if you had the graphic of the entire square as before

    I love the video it is so clear
    Excellent but would appreciate the other info
    Thank you for any attention to this as I do want to continue the squares

  • Hi Maureen :)

    You are right…the photo of the square square should also be featured, and it has been added for your convenience. I’m so glad to hear you like the video!

    Bethany~

  • Hi Ginny :)

    I will let you in on a little secret: due to the extra time involved with creating the video, an entire pattern for the square will not be posted here, but the chart for an 8″ x 8″ square and yarn information is currently located at the Ravelry page for the stitch. I hope this will help you continue to make gorgeous stitches with us! :) http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lacy-hearts-stitchology-29

    Bethany~

  • I have just taken an interest in loom knitting, can you tell me what that casting on gadget is called so I can get one, and why in some patterns do you skip pegs? How do you decide which pegs to skip?

  • Hi Janice :)

    I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “casting on gadget”…do you mean the loom tool/hook that is used to work the stitches on the loom? I use a crochet hook to actually begin the project to add stitches to the loom. Either one of these tools can be found at your local craft stores, and the loom tool can be found at knittingboard.com.

    There are several reasons why you would skip a peg in a project. One is to create eyelets, which you see demonstrated here in this post. Another is to “slip” a stitch, which is simply to skip it. This is done 1) on the first peg of every row to create a nicely finished chain look on the edges of your knitted item, and 2) in the project itself to cause the loop from the row below to be pulled up and elongated a bit when it is knitted on the row following the row with the slipped stitch. Occasionally a stitch is slipped and the working yarn is actually carried to the front of the knitting instead of the back. This creates an interesting texture in your knitting, with a horizontal line across that slipped stitch in the finished piece.

  • Thank you that info was very helpful
    Also thanks for the terrific videos
    I love them all

  • I am having a problem with taking the yarn over
    I am using the u knit stitch
    It’s way too tight to move over
    Any hints how to make easier for that yarn over
    Is it the worsted wool or just my tension
    Help

  • Ginny…yep! It all comes down to tension how easy it is to move the stitches around. You’ll just want to loosen up your u-stitches by pulling the hook back a little bit extra when you knit off your loops. ;)

  • Lovely work, Sunshine!

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Jan 16, 2017

Loom FAQs: How Do I Tighten The Cast On?

 

 

 

 

 

While there are lots of ways to cast on a project, the cast on we learn first is the E-wrap Cast On.  But most people do not like to use it because it is also the loosest cast on.  Which, of course, leads to questions…  Why is my cast on edge so loose?  How can I make it tighter?

Most will answer by saying “use a different cast on”.  There really is a cast on for every type of project.  And we all have our favorite cast on.  But most of those do have have enough stretch for some projects.

I want a stretchy cast on but the e-wrap cast on is still too loose making the edge messy!   Not a question but is still a cry for help.  Let’s get going on how to work a not-so-messy-tight-and-tidy e-wrap cast on!

How do I work an e-wrap cast on?

If you think that we are learning a new cast on, then you might be a bit disappointed.  You will not be disappointed in the outcome of this e-wrap cast on when finished though.

While most already know how to work an e-wrap cast on, there are some that need to make a small adjustment in order to get a cleaner finish.  And that small adjustment is how you use the slip knot to start.

If you are new to loom knitting, then here is how to work an e-wrap cast on.

First, make a slip knot.  But do not put it on the first or last peg depending on if you are working a flat panel or in the round.  You will want to use an anchor peg.  If your loom doesn’t have an separate anchor peg, then you will need to use an adjacent peg to put the slip knot on.  Then you will take it off after you get going on your project.  Just be sure to not use it as as a loop on the cast on.

Why can I not use the slip knot as the first loop?

Besides not having a knot in your work, you will not be able to completely finish tightening up the cast on if you use the slip knot as the first loop.

Flat Panel

If working a flat panel, most patterns are written so that the first row is worked from right to left.  That means that the cast on must be worked from left to right.

 

This is my Peg 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will be the last peg for my flat panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have more pegs than being used, place the slip knot next to the last peg so you are starting your cast on on the last peg of row 1.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are using all the pegs on a round loom, then you will need to actually place the slip knot on the first peg.  Then start working the cast on to the right back around ending on the first peg.

In The Round

 

 

For hats and other projects worked in the round, place the slip knot on the last peg and then work the cast on from the first peg around from right to left.

 

 

 

 

 

How do you work the e-wrap cast on after the slip knot is placed?

 

 

Wrap each peg by bringing the working yarn around the back of the peg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to the front and around to the back again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then go the back of the next peg and wrap it in the same manner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue wrapping all the pegs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pegs look like this when the cast on is finished.

 

 

 

And how the cast on looks from the top of the pegs.

 

 

Do I need to work the 1st row on a flat panel from right to left?  Or work from right to left when working in the round?  Why can I not go in the other direction?

Generally speaking, yes.  While most of use are more comfortable working only one direction, patterns are written this way for a good reason.  Consistency is one.  Also certain stitches like cables are written this way so the stitches can be worked correctly.

A lot of patterns can be worked either way.  But remember when you want to say it’s easier working in a certain direction:  when working a flat panel, you must work in both directions.  That cannot be avoided.

Therefore the sooner you start being consistent with working row 1 from right to left and always working in the round from right to left, the easier it will be to follow patterns that require it.

Do you work a row of stitches before starting row 1?

The e-wrap cast on is just that.  Every peg is wrapped once.  Once the number of pegs are wrapped, the cast on is complete, and row 1 is ready to be worked.

The cast on is NOT considered the first row.  It’s more like the foundation to get started.

How do I tighten the cast on so it’s not messy and loose?

While you can tighten the cast on while it’s still on the loom, I wait until it’s off the loom before starting.

Now is when the magic happens.

 

On a flat panel, start on the end opposite from the tail.   I hold my panel with the tail on the left side and work from the right to the left.

 

 

 

 

 

When working in the round, find the last stitch next to the tail which was the last stitch in each round.  Then you will work from the left to the right around the piece to the tail.

 

 

 

 

 

I will continue to demonstrate on a flat panel.

 

 

 

Find the first loop and with your fingers or loom pick,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gently pull it snug from the edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then find the next loop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and gently pull it snug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue with each stitch until you get to the tail.  With each stitch, the loop you are pulling will get bigger.

 

 

Then when the tail is reached, the loop itself will disappear as it’s pulled snugly.  This is why the slip knot is not used as a cast on loop.  You will not be able to tighten up that last loop with the tail if you used a slip knot.

 

 

 

 

The cast on will then be tidier but still stretchy.

 

 

 

I preferred the yarn over (double e-wrap) cast on for the longest time when I needed a cast on that is stretchy.  But now I prefer to tighten the e-wrap cast on instead.  It gives you more control over how tight you make the cast on edge but still has stretch.

I hope this helps so that everyone has a nice, tight, and tidy e-wrap cast on!  Happy loom knitting!

2 Comments

  • Thank you for the very informative article. I am going make a small swatch and try this technique.

  • Wow, this is a great tip! I prefer double e wrapping each peg as my cast on because it is neater, but I am going to try this on my next project!

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Dec 19, 2016

Loom FAQs: Why Are There No Loom Knit Magazines? Or… The DIY Loom Knit Encyclopedia

 

 

 

 

 

Over and over I keep seeing the same question.  Why are there not any magazines for loom knitting?  Well that is a rather simple question to answer.  Because there is not enough interest.  Then that answer leads to But loom knitting is so popular right now!  Yes.  But not popular enough.

Years ago, I worked in the craft publishing industry.  And learned quite a lot about what it takes to publish books, magazines, and pamphlets.  Publishing companies do not want to invest in crafts that are not booming.  And yes.  There is a difference between popular and booming.

Just take a look at the number of published books on loom knitting.  In the scheme of things, there are very few compared to needle knit and crochet.  I own almost all of the published book on loom knitting.  I have a love of books and a “need” to own them.  There is just something about the feel and smell of a book…

But even with all the books we do have, some have different information than others.  Most only contain what information and instruction are needed for the projects in that particular book.  None of them contain everything.  Which leads me to the actual topic for today…  DIY Loom Knit Encyclopedia.  What??  Yes!  Let’s just make our own encyclopedia of loom knitting.

Years ago, I started collecting all info regarding loom knitting.  I printed off EVERYTHING.  But then I needed a way to store and organize it.  And everything that I have learned about this I will share with you today.

Where do I find information for my DIY Loom Knit Encyclopedia?

Well for starters, the Knitting Board blog is a great place to start for techniques, stitch patterns, projects, and more.  This blog is like a virtual magazine.  Each month there are articles, patterns, stitch patterns, etc., and it’s all free!  Lots of information just waiting to be printed off.

There are also lots of other websites that contain loom knitting information.  And then there are those books I mentioned.

But what about copyright?  How does that affect my DIY Loom Knit Encyclopedia?

Following copyright laws is very important.  You can learn more about copyright in  Loom FAQs:  What is Copyright? Trademark?  But the one thing that I will reiterate here is the following.

A person can make a copy off of the internet for their own personal use.  Like for their personal DIY Loom Knit Encyclopedia.

Also a person can make a copy of any book that they OWN for their own personal use.  No, you cannot make a copy of a loom knitting book at the library.  It is not considered a reference book so it is not allowed under copyright law.  But if you already own the book, you can make copies of pages that you need to put into your diy encyclopedia.  This way you can get all the instructions from those books all in one place.

What do I need then?

First of all, you will need a home printer/copier with lots of ink and printer paper.  Without that, you cannot even get started.  Got those?  Great!  Let’s continue…

3 Ring Binder

 

 

You will also need a 3 ring binder.  One large one if you want to put everything in one binder.  Or you can get the thinner ones if you want to divide up the information in separate “volumes”.  This option is great for people who like to be fancy by having a multi-volume encyclopedia.  Or for those that  just do not want to lug out a huge, heavy binder every time they want to look something up because they are not weight lifters.  Like me…

 

 

 

Plastic Sleeves

 

You will also want to invest in some plastic sleeves.  While I say “invest”, they really are not that expensive.  You can buy a package of 25 for approximately $5.  Or if you are like me and want put all the info you can find into a multi-volume set, packages of 200 plastic sleeves are about $20.  You can find them at office supply stores and even in the office supply aisle at your local discount store where you buy your 3 ring binders.

While you can just use a 3 hole punch on the paper, the pages will not last as long and sometimes even gets the holes over the printed part causing you to lose information.

 

 

Dividers

 

While you can buy dividers that that have the tabs already on them, I know from experience if you are using the plastic sleeves that the tabs will not stick out far enough on most of the 3 ring binder tab dividers.

There are tab dividers now that are plastic sleeve dividers.  This are wide enough but do cost just a bit more.

If you can find the tabs themselves that are not on dividers, then you can make your own with the plastic sleeves.

 

 

 

How do I assemble it?

First you need to print off the pages you want off the internet and copy the pages you need from the books that you own.

You will need to have some sort of idea of how you want to divide things up.  Such as a small binder for techniques with dividers for cast ons, bind offs, knit and purl stitch instruction, etc.

Maybe another small binder (unless you are putting everything into a big binder) for stitch patterns because you have printed off every one of Bethany Dailey’s Stitchology columns and want to have it in book form.

Or Jenny Stark’s Whimsical Loom Knits to go into the pattern section of your DIY Loom Knit Encyclopedia with the other patterns you have printed off the KB Blog.

Don’t forget Loom FAQs!  Although you might want to sort those out into the different categories.

Can I print front and back of the paper?

While you can print on both sides of the paper in order to use less paper, I find that the ink does bleed through unless you have purchased higher quality printer paper.  I usually just use the paper I have and print on 1 side.  But that is entirely up to you.

Now what?

Slide the printed pages into the plastic sleeves.  If printing only on one side of the page, put 2 consecutive pages back to back before sliding them into the sleeve.

Then put them in the binder.  Simple as that!

If you bought the binders that have the sleeves on the front and side, you can then print off a “cover” and “spine” as well.

But most importantly, make it your own.  Get creative with your DIY Loom Knit Encyclopedia!    Put everything in it or just the things that are important to you.

Don’t forget!

Just remember that you cannot sell it or give it away.  It is for your own personal use only.

But what if I want to make one as a gift?

You can buy the items needed and assemble it but leave it empty of printed material to give as a gift.  But the recipient will need to print off their own pages to put into it.  Along with avoiding copyright violations, this way they can make it their own and in a way that is most helpful for them.

I hope this helps you create something that is useful to you and can be added to as more information becomes available.  Keep on loom knitting!

 

1 Comment

  • This is a fabulous idea! I love it, and will try to start compiling my own soon!

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Nov 21, 2016

Loom FAQs: What is a Lifeline?

Loom FAQs

 

 

 

 

 

I cannot count the number of times I have seen the question asked How do I save my work now that I have made a mistake?  Or the emphatic statement of defeat It is ruined.

And the answer every time is You should have used a lifeline.

Which always leads to more questions…

But what is a lifeline?  How do I use a lifeline?  Do I need to put on in BEFORE I start knitting?  Can I put in AFTER I start?  What do I need to use for a lifeline?

What is a lifeline?

You are sitting there loom knitting one day, and you see a mistake you made several rows back.  OH the HORROR!!!  Then you yell out to your best friend, “Hey, Betty Sue!  My work has a hole!  I’m sinking fast!  Throw me a lifeline!”  That is when Betty Sue looks at you like you have lost your ever loving mind.  Because Betty Sue knows that is not the way a lifeline in knitting works.  And because Betty Sue is a cat…

If that is not how a lifeline works, then what exactly is it?  Well it is a safety line that will help save your work.  It is a piece of yarn that is run through all the stitches to hold them so that your stitches are safe if you need to rip your work back to that point and can be easily put back on the loom.

When do I need a lifeline?

There are different reasons to need a lifeline.  Maybe you are working on a complicated stitch pattern and just want to make sure you have that added protection so you can take the work out if you make a mistake without losing the entire piece.  Or maybe you are wanting to remove your work from the loom because you are decreasing or increasing and are needing to adjust your loom size when using the All-n-One loom or needing to change the loom entirely.

What is the best lifeline to use?

The best lifeline to use is yarn or string that is as follows:

– the same or smaller weight yarn than the yarn you are using so that it will easily go through the stitches

– a contrasting color from your work so it is easy to see

– a fiber type that will easily slide through the stitches like a microfiber or nylon

That last if very important if you are using mohair or another fiber type that easily gets tangled with itself.  Otherwise, if you are using a well spun acrylic, then you can just use acrylic of another color.

Do I need to put it in BEFORE or can I add it LATER?

While it is easier to put in a lifeline before you need it, you can add one later.  Adding it later can be trickier especially if it’s a more complex stitch pattern like cables or lace.  In the case of cables or lace, it is always better to put it in first.

How to place a lifeline BEFORE needing it

When using a lifeline before you need it, you will need to check your work periodically for errors.  If you do not find one, then you will remove the lifeline and place it again where you are.  That way if there is a mistake then you do not need to take it out quite as far.

You will first need to cut your chosen lifeline yarn several inches longer than the work is on the loom.  If you are working in the round, use a piece that will wrap around the loom twice.  If working a flat panel, use a lifeline that is twice the length of the pegs being used.  Or just wrap that yarn around the loom twice no matter if it’s in the round or a flat panel.  If using the afghan loom or another type of figure 8 shape loom, follow the pegs with the yarn around it once then cut it twice as long.

Now you will need to run that lifeline through each stitch on the loom.  There are 2 ways to do this.

You can thread your lifeline on a tapestry needle and run the needle through each stitch.

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or you can just use your loom pick to pull the lifeline through each stitch.  This is my favorite method.

1

 

I like to pull it from the bottom of the loop like a purl but it can be done from the top like a knit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

Be sure and pull the lifeline to the side and back of the peg before going to the next stitch.

 

 

 

 

5

 

Now the lifeline is running through each stitch but behind the peg so it will not interfere with your next row of work.

 

 

 

 

Once you have the lifeline place, you will continue with your work ignoring that extra strand.  When you know you haven’t made a mistake after working several inches of work, remove the lifeline by simply pulling it out.  Then put it back in the stitches that are on the pegs and start again.

How to place a lifeline AFTER needing it

Like I said previously, some stitch patterns are very hard to add afterward.  But if you are just working something simple like stockinette and discover something weird that you have no clue how you did but want to fix, you can add a lifeline into the work a couple of rows below the offending place.  Then you can rip the piece back to that point and easily place the work back on the loom and start again.

You will need to use a tapestry needle for this so thread your chosen lifeline into that needle and let’s get started!

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Find the edge stitch and run the needle though one side a few rows below the mistake.  If it’s worked in the round, start with the stitch that was worked on peg 1 so the starting stitch will still be the same when placed back on the loom.

 

 

 

 

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Then run the needle through the next stitch making sure you are staying on the same row.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

This is what it will look like when all the stitches are on the lifeline.

 

 

 

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Then you pull the previous stitches out until all you have are the stitches on the lifeline ready to be put back on the loom.

 

 

 

I hope this helps save some projects from being completely ripped out due to mistakes being found later.  We have all done it and lost projects that we tried to save.

Lifelines are truly a life saver!  And Betty Sue won’t be giving you that look…

Happy loom knitting!!

1 Comment

  • We’re writing to let you know of a new website that is launching in the coming weeks.

    http://www.k3tog.com

    We’re a knitting community hosting knit-a-longs, tutorials, patterns, and a community space for knitters to become friends and help one another (or vent as the situation calls for)

    We plan on featuring a knitter/designer a month and would love for you to contribute (a pattern, yarn, whatever you’d like!)

    We please ask if you could let your followers know we exist! It would be greatly appreciated.

    Looking forward to having you as a member of the k3tog community

    The k3tog team
    – Kendra and Sarah

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Oct 17, 2016

Loom FAQs: How do I decrease crowns of hats?

10940466_663261290449770_6723370072072730651_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the first things that people learn to knit on looms are hats.  But due to the nature of knitting looms, these hats are made as a tube then gathered at the top.  These hats are always bulky at the top due to the gathering.  I have seen people ask “how do I keep the tops from being too bulky?”  “Is there a way to decrease the top of a hat?”  “Can I make the hat top down like in needle patterns?”

So is there a way?  While there are some techniques that help keep the bulk of gathering a tube on a knitting loom, there is also a way to decrease the top of a hat so that the crown is smooth.

hat-decrease

Hat with decreased crown knit on the All-n-One loom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What loom can I use to decrease?

You will need an adjustable loom in order to decrease the top of a hat.  While it may be achieved by using various round looms, getting the peg count correct is the tricky part.  You need a loom that can adjust the exact number of pegs you need after each decrease round.

The All-n-One loom is one such loom.  The sliders make it easy to adjust to any peg count as you decrease.

Can I just start at the top of the hat and increase instead of decreasing?

Yes.  But I feel that decreasing is easier than increasing.  Therefore, I will demonstrate how to work a hat from the brim up then decrease the top.

Is it hard to decrease the top of a hat?

It really isn’t that hard to decrease on the All-n-One loom.  It does take a bit more effort and time to do it.  But that smooth crown is worth the effort.

How do I decrease?  

While there are various stitch counts and methods of decreasing a crown, there is one gradual decrease that I like best.

The decrease can be worked with a stitch count that is divisible by either 6 or 8.  While I prefer to work the gradual decrease when the stitch multiples are 8, a stitch count with a multiple of 6 can be done as well.  It is personal preference.  I will include instructions for both.

What does a multiple of 8 stitches mean?

If the total stitch count can be evenly divided by 8 then it is a multiple of 8.  Common hat sizes in small gauge using medium/worsted weight yarn that are multiples of 8 are 72 and 80 pegs for adults, 72 and 64 pegs for youth, 56 and 64 pegs for toddler/child, 48 and 56 pegs for baby.

Gradual Decrease

The loom will need to be adjusted down in size BEFORE each decrease round.

Remove the work by placing each stitch on a lifeline.  A lifeline is a piece of yarn that is about 40 inches for a hat that is in a contrasting color.  Run the lifeline through each stitch starting with peg 1 and ending with the last peg.  Then remove the work from the loom.

Adjust the loom to the smaller size.  Then place each stitch back on the loom following the row that you are on.  Place each stitch that is to be knitted one by one then placing 2 loops for the K2tog (knit 2 together).  Continue until all the loops are back on the loom.

When placing the stitches on the peg for the K2tog, always place the stitches in the same order.  If the stitches are not always placed on the peg in the same order, the decreases will not all slant in the same direction making the finished product not a clean looking.

Then work the round.

The loom can be adjusted with the work still on the loom.  If this is done, I would recommend using a yarn that has some stretch to it.  First you will need to move all the stitches for the K2tog.  Then start from the slider ends and move the stitches inward while moving the sliders to fill in the empty pegs.  If using stitch markers, they will need to be moved as well so that the k2tog will always happen in the same place each time.

The loom will be at the smallest before the last decrease round.  It will be fine to have the stitches every other peg for that last decrease round.  Just be sure and bring the working yarn behind the empty peg before working the next stitch.

The last rows will be worked in stockinette.

Here are the abbreviations.

K – knit

K2tog – knit 2 together

Rnd – round

Rep – repeat

Multiple of 8 Stitch Count Decrease

Start your decrease when you have 14 rounds left on your hat.

Rnd 1:  *K6, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 2:  K all

Rnd 3:  *K5, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 4:  K all

Rnd 5:  *K4, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 6:  K all

Rnd 7:  *K3, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 8:  K all

Rnd 9:  *K2, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 10:  K all

Rnd 11:  *K1, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 12:  K all

Rnd 13:  *K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 14:  K all

Gather remaining stitches and secure.

Multiple of 6 Stitch Count Decrease

Start your decrease when you have 10 rounds left on your hat.

Rnd 1:  *K4, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 2:  K all

Rnd 3:  *K3, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 4:  K all

Rnd 5:  *K2, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 6:  K all

Rnd 7:  *K1, K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 8:  K all

Rnd 9:  *K2tog, rep from * around

Rnd 10:  K all

Gather remaining stitches and secure.

hat-decrease-crown

 

 

Now you have a nicely domed crown for your lovely knitting hat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never be afraid of trying something new!  Enjoy the knit!

6 Comments

  • Thanks for the info! Can’t wait to try it with my next hat!

  • Hi I have a question on the k2tog say like example
    You knit 4 pegs then do you take one of the stitches
    From the next peg after you knit 4 and move it over to
    The next peg and then knit that peg and the keep repeating
    Knit4 the k2tog together to decrease and continue the the other
    Instructions as follow for each row I just get mixed up about the k2tog
    Thing

    Sherri Ristow

  • I am so glad you can decrease stitches by using your loom. I have avoided making hats because I didn’t like the tube style hats was all you can make. Now to find some patterns. Thank you for the tutorial.

  • How did you know I had been trying to figure this out?! Thank you so much for helping my brain. Now can you tell me how to increase.

  • Sherri,

    When you k2tog, you are literally knitting 2 stitches together. How you do that is, as in the first round of decreases that you mentioned, you knit the stitches on pegs 1 – 4. When you get to peg 5, you move the stitch from peg 6 to peg 5 so that there are 2 stitches on that peg and knit both loops over as one. If you are using the lifeline method to remove the hat, adjust the loom, and then replace the stitches, you will do as follows. After the hat is off the loom and the loom is adjusted to the smaller size, you will put the stitches back on pegs 1 – 4. Then you will place the next 2 loops on peg 5. Continue with the next 4 stitches on the next 4 pegs, pegs 6 – 9, and then 2 stitches on the 10th peg. Continue around the loom. After all the stitches are back on the loom, knit then entire round, treating the pegs with 2 loops as 1.

    I hope that helps clarify the k2tog for you.

    Renita

  • Thanks for this, I am going to give it a try. I have been making hats and have released the bulk at the end by making the last 8 rows an k3 p3 or k4 p4 repeat depending on the design multiples. and then cinch off the purls first then pick up the knits to finish off the closure.

    This style will be much nicer of a finish.

    Thanks again

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Sep 19, 2016

Loom FAQs: I Need to Crochet??

Loom FAQs

 

Crochet??  What??  I thought this was a loom knitting blog…  Fear not.  It is still a loom knitting blog.  And yes.  This is still a loom knitting article.

While I know that most people that loom knit do not know how to crochet, it has been brought to my attention recently that most loom knitters, especially beginners, find crochet borders on loom knit items as “deceptive” since it is a loom knit pattern.  And while these borders can be left off, it will not look like the picture.  Hmmm…  Never really thought if it as deceptive to have a crochet border on a loom knit project, but I can see where she was going with it.

Most loom knit patterns do not have anything crochet at all.  But occasionally there are.  And not everyone was a fortunate enough to have a grandmother to teach them to crochet like I was.

Of course, this would be the reason I see all those questions about how to make convert a certain crochet project to loom knit.  Which of course you can’t…  Please refer to my previous article on converting for more about that.  But even something like a crochet border is just as complicated as a complete crochet project to some.

On that note, I would like to do my best to help instruct loom knitters on how to crochet a border on a flat panel.

What do you mean by “flat panel”?

When you loom knit a blanket, dish cloth, or anything else that is not worked in the round like a hat, it is a flat panel.

Why would I need to crochet a border?

Borders are needed to keep pieces from curling if the project is all knit.  Crocheting a border onto a finished flat panel will help keep it from curling.  Not all flat panels need to have a crochet border though.  Borders can be created by changing the stitch pattern while working the piece.  You can find out more on that here.

Sometimes the edges are just ugly or do not match.  While there are ways to work the project so that all the edges match, sometimes it is preferable to just crochet a border instead.   You can learn more on making the edges match while knitting here.

How do I crochet a border?

While there are lots of ways to crochet a border, today I will only demonstrate how to work a single crochet border onto a flat panel in the interest of keeping it simple.

I have worked a simple small square in all knit or stockinette in pink.  I will be using red for the border.  This square was worked on the Hat Loom in small gauge using worsted/medium weight yarn.  I am using a US 7/4.5mm hook for the border.

How do I know what size hook to use?

The easiest way to know what size hook to use if the pattern doesn’t specify is to use the hook recommended on the label of the yarn you are using.  If you are using more than one strand of yarn to create a bulkier yarn, you can refer here to know what weight yarn it is equivalent to.

Here is a rough guide to what size hook to use with each yarn weight that is commonly used in loom knitting.

Yarn Weight            Crochet Hook Size (US/metric)

3/light, dk, sport              7  t0  I-9  /  4.5 – 5.5mm

4/worsted, aran                I-9  to  K-10 1/2  /  5.5 – 6.5mm

5/bulky, chunky               K-10 1/2  to  M-13  /  6.5 – 9mm

6/super bulky                   M-13  to  Q  /  9 – 15mm

7/jumbo                             Q and larger  /  15mm and larger

Or you can just use whatever size will easily fit in the stitches without forcing the hook through.  That is usually what I do…

What if I am left handed?

Simply work everything I show in the other direction.  I do realize that most left handed people can use their right hand just as well as the left.  My sister is one of them.  While she writes with her left hand, she loom knits and crochets with her right as well as lots of other everyday activities with her right hand instead of her left.

Where and how do I join the yarn onto the piece?

You can join the yarn anywhere you like.  I prefer to join at the top right corner in the stitch next to the corner so that the last thing worked is the corner.

2-first-stitch

 

To do this, hold the project with the right side facing you.  I have worked a small flat panel with an e-wrap cast on and a basic bind off.  I am holding the bind off edge at the top.  You can use the cast on edge if you prefer.

I am pointing to the first stitch at the corner with my hook.

 

 

 

 

1-slip-knot-on-hook

 

First make a slip knot and place on the hook.

 

 

 

 

3-second-stitch

 

 

 

 

Insert the hook into the second stitch.

 

 

 

Join the yarn with a slip stitch by doing the following:

 

4-yo

 

 

Yarn over by hooking the working yarn with the crochet hook.

 

 

 

5-pull-loop-through

 

 

Pull working yarn through the stitch.

 

 

 

 

6-pull-loop-through-slip-knot

 

 

Then pull it again through the slip knot.

 

 

 

 

7-snug-up-tail

 

 

Pull on the tail to snug up the joining slip stitch.

 

 

 

 

 

Now the yarn is joined to the piece, and you are ready to start your border.

How do I work the single crochet stitch?

8-work-in-tail

 

Before starting, you can hide your tail from your panel by bringing it across the edge and working the crochet stitches over the tail.  This is optional.  Just one less tail to weave in if you do.

 

 

Now you are ready to chain 1.  You must do this in order for the single crochet stitch to stand  up.

9-yo-for-chain

 

 

Yarn over.

 

 

 

 

10-chain-1

 

 

Pull through the loop on the hook.

Chain 1 complete!

 

 

 

 

Now for the first single crochet stitch.

11-insert-in-same-stitch

 

 

Insert hook in same stitch as the join.

 

 

 

 

12-yo

 

 

Yarn over.

 

 

 

 

13-pull-loop-through

 

 

Pull through the stitch so that there are now 2 loops on the hook.

 

 

 

 

14-yo

 

 

Yarn over.

 

 

 

15-pull-through-both-loops

 

 

Pull loop through both loops on the hook.

Single crochet stitch complete!

 

 

 

16-insert-hook-next-stitch

 

 

Now you are ready to insert the hook into the next stitch and repeat the instructions for the single crochet stitch until you get to the corner stitch.

 

 

 

Where do I insert the hook for each stitch?

On the cast on and bind off edges, each crochet stitch goes into each stitch as you go since the size of the crochet hook should match the gauge of the knitted piece.  Those 2 edges are the easy ones.

The sides are a different story though.  When you look at a swatch gauge, there are more rows in an inch than there are stitches.  When working a crochet border, you need to take care that you do not work too many stitches or not enough stitches.

How will I know how where to put the stitches on the sides?  To be honest, it’s a guessing a game for the most part.

 

What happens if I do not space my crochet stitches evenly?

While working across the cast on and bind off edges is stitch for stitch as mentioned before, the sides is where a person can mess up the border by not having the stitches spaced evenly.

If you work too many stitches, the edge will ruffle like this.

too-many-stitches

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you do not work enough stitches, the body of the project will gather with the edge being too tight like this.

not-enough-stitches

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you use too many or not enough stitches on the edges, blocking will not fix it.  You will need to take the stitches back out and try again.

 

What do I do at the corners?

Corners need extra stitches so that the border will lay flat.  Each corner stitch requires 3 stitches of single crochet in the same stitch on each round.

17-corner-stitch

 

When the corner is reached,

 

 

 

 

18-first-stitch-in-corner

 

work the first single crochet in the corner.

 

 

 

 

 

Then work 2 more in the same place.

 

22-three-stitches-in-corner

 

All 3 stitches in one stitch will look like this.

 

 

 

 

23-next-stitch-in-side

 

Then continue on with the next side.

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat the 3 stitches in one space at each corner.  The last corner should be your last stitch.  You will join the round after the last corner.  How you join will depend on if you are only doing 1 round or continuing with another round.

What if I want to work more than one round?

If working more than one round of single crochet for the border, you will need to join the first round with a slip stitch.

 

28-slip-stitch

 

 

When you reach the first stitch, place your hook through the top of that stitch.

 

 

 

 

29-yo-for-slip-stitch

 

 

Yarn over.

 

 

 

 

30-pull-through-stitch-and-loop-on-hook

 

 

Then pull the working yarn through the stitch as well as the loop on the hook to complete the slip stitch.

 

 

 

31-chain-1

 

 

Then chain 1 and start the next round in the stitch where you joined.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue as before until you get to the corner.

Work a single crochet stitch in the first corner stitch in the row below.

Place the 3 single crochet stitches in the middle stitch of the 3 at the corner on the round below.

Then work a single crochet stitch in the last corner stitch of the row below.

 

34-three-stitches-in-middle-stitch-for-corner

 

 

Now you have worked your corner.  Continue as before.

 

 

 

 

How do I finish so the join is not seen?

After completing the last stitch, do not join with the slip stitch.

 

36-cut-working-yarn-remove-hook

 

Cut the working yarn with a tail long enough to weave in and thread it onto a tapestry needle.

 

 

 

37-thread-tapestry-needle

 

 

Thread tail on tapestry needle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

38-insert-tapestry-needle-in-loop

 

 

Thread needle through the loop in the direction you were working.  Since I was working right to left, I inserted the needle into the loop from the right side of the loop to the left.  Pull the yarn through.

 

 

 

 

39-insert-needle-through-next-stitch

 

 

Run the needle through the stitch you are joining from the back of the work to the front making sure you catch the entire stitch so it will look like the needle is under 2 strands of yarn.  Pull yarn through.

 

 

 

40-insert-back-through-loop

 

Run the needle back through the last loop in the opposite direction than you did the first time.  For me, I went from left to right making sure the needle came out the back of the work.

Pull the yarn through.

 

 

 

41-finished-join

 

Now you are ready to weave in that last end for a nice seamless join.

 

 

 

 

 

 

finished-border

 

Crochet border complete!

While you can see the other color between the stitches on the sides, this will not happen when using the same color for the border.

Blocking will also help even out those stitches as well.

 

 

 

 

While the majority of loom knitting patterns do not require any crochet knowledge at all, some do.  A person does not need to proficient in crochet in order to work a simple border in crochet.  But once you learn, you may be hooked!  I find a mixture of loom knitting and crochet a fun and satisfying project.  Brings together 2 of my favorite things.

Hope this helps!  Happy loom knitting as well as crocheting!

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Jun 20, 2016

Loom FAQs: What Are Selvages?

Loom FAQs

 

 

 

 

One of the most commonly questioned topics in loom knitting is edges.  How do I get my edges to match?  How do I keep my edges from curling?  How do I make pretty edges??  

While there are are different ways to keep those edges clean and pretty (some of these ways are discussed in Loom FAQs:  To Slip or Not To Slip?  and Loom FAQs:  Why Do Knits Curl?), there is one word that popped up that I never associated with knitting.  Only with sewing.  And that word is “selvage”.

So let’s talk edges and what they have to with a selvage.

What is a selvage?

A selvage is the edge of a woven fabric that will not unravel.  It is different from the rest of the fabric making a narrow border.  Usually is it a bit thicker than the fabric itself.

While most people are familiar with the selvages on fabric in sewing, a selvage can be knit on the edges of any flat panel project creating a nice, clean, slightly thicker edge.

The word selvage comes from the combining of the words “self” and “edge”.  The word originates in late Middle English of the mid 1400’s.

How do I work a selvage in knitting on a loom?

There are 2 different selvages that we will discuss:  double selvage and triple selvage.  Either one can be worked with any stitch pattern.  I will show each selvage on stockinette and on garter stitch.

Sometime this method is called an i-cord edge.

Each method is worked over 2 rows and repeated for the entire project.

Each method will be written first then demonstrated with pictures.

Before we get started, please do not read the written and think it is too hard.  Nothing is too hard.  Please remember that you just need to sit down and work it stitch by stitch.  Do not let the abbreviations intimidate you.  YOU CAN DO THIS!  I believe in you.

Abbreviations for written instructions:

k:  knit

p:  purl

s:  slip/skip

wyif:  working yarn in front

wyib:  working yarn in back

st(s):  stitch(es)

Double Selvage

Double selvage with stockinette stitch – front

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double selvage stockinette stitch - back

Double selvage stockinette stitch – back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double selvage with garter stitch body

Double selvage with garter stitch body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When working the double selvage on a flat panel, you will need to add 4 stitches to whatever stitch pattern you will be working, 2 for each side.

Written Instructions:

Row 1:  s1 wyib, k1, (work the row in desired stitch pattern until the last 2 pegs), s1 wyib, p1

Row 2:  s1 wyif, k1, (work the row in desired stitch pattern until the last 2 pegs), s1 wyib, k1

Repeat rows 1 – 2 for the length of the project.

 

Now for some photos…

Row 1:

sl1wyib

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 1:  slip the stitch with working yarn in back (sl1 wyib) by bringing the working yarn BEHIND the peg, leaving the stitch on the peg unworked.

knit peg 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 2:  knit the stitch on the peg

 

Work desired stitch pattern until last 2 pegs.

 

slwyib

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next to last peg:  slip stitch with working yarn in back (sl1 wyib) by bringing the working yarn BEHIND the peg, leaving the stitch unworked

 

purl last peg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last peg:  purl the stitch on the peg

 

Row 2:

sl1wyif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 1 on row 2:  slip stitch with working yarn in front (sl1 wyif) by lifting the loop off the peg, bringing the working yarn in front of the work, and replacing the loop back onto the peg.

 

knit next to last peg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 2 on row 2:  knit the stitch

Work desired stitch pattern until last 2 pegs.

slwyib row 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next to last peg on row 2:  slip stitch with working yarn in back (sl1 wyib) by bringing the working yarn BEHIND the peg leaving the stitch unworked.

 

knit last peg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last peg on row 2:  knit the stitch

 

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for the entire project.

 

Triple Selvage

Triple selvage with stockinette stitch – front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triple selvage with stockinette stitch - back

Triple selvage with stockinette stitch – back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triple selvage with garter stitch

Triple selvage with garter stitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When working the triple selvage on a flat panel, you will need to add 6 stitches to whatever stitch pattern you will be working, 3 for each side.

Written Instructions:

Row 1:  s1 wyib, s1 wyif, k1, (work the row in desired stitch pattern until the last 3 pegs), k1, s1 wyif, p1

Row 2:  s1 wyif, p1, s1 wyib, (work the row in desired stitch pattern until the last 3 pegs), s1 wyib, p1, k1

 

Now for some photos…

Row 1:

sl1wyib

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 1:  slip the stitch with working yarn in back (sl1 wyib) by bringing the working yarn BEHIND the peg, leaving the stitch on the peg unworked.

 

peg 2 sl wyif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 2:  slip the stitch with working yarn in front (sl1 wyif) by lifting the loop off the peg, bring the working yarn in front of the work, and replace loop back on peg leaving the stitch unworked.

 

knit peg 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 3:  knit the stitch

Continue with desired stitch pattern for the body of the work until the last 3 pegs.

 

2nd to last peg:  Knit stitch on peg (not shown)

 

slwyif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next to last peg:  slip the stitch with working yarn in front (sl1 wyif) by lifting the loop off the peg, bring the working yarn in front of the work, and replace loop back on peg leaving the stitch unworked.

 

purl last peg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last peg:  Purl the stitch on the peg.

 

Row 2:

 

sl1wyif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 1 on row 2:  slip the stitch with working yarn in front (sl1 wyif) by lifting the loop off the peg, bring the working yarn in front of the work, and replace loop back on peg leaving the stitch unworked.

 

purl peg 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 2 on row 2:  Purl stitch on peg.

 

sl back 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg 3 on row 2:  slip the stitch with working yarn in back (sl1 wyib) by bringing the working yarn BEHIND the peg, leaving the stitch on the peg unworked.

 

Continue with desired stitch pattern until the last 3 stitches.

 

slip back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd to last peg on row 2:  slip the stitch with working yarn in back (sl1 wyib) by bringing the working yarn BEHIND the peg, leaving the stitch on the peg unworked.

 

purl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next to last peg on row 2:  purl stitch on peg

 

knit last peg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last peg on row 2:  knit stitch on peg

 

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for the entire project.

 

For those of you who like to find the patterns in life like I do, here is something that may help.

For the pegs that have knit stitches, the slipped stitch is in the back on the next row.

For the pegs that have purl stitches, the slipped stitch is in the front on the next row.

This is for the selvage only.  This will not apply for whatever stitch pattern used for the body of the work.

 

Well I hope you are as excited about selvages as I am!  Happy loom knitting!

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Jun 20, 2016

Loom FAQs: What Are The Tricks To Knitting Socks?

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Socks are a project that is intimidating even to the most experienced knitter.  I never had the desire to even knit my own socks although I knew all the techniques used except for the Kitchener stitch to seam to the toe.  THAT is what intimidated me more than anything.  But questions are asked often regarding loom knitting socks.  How do I knit sock on a loom?  What loom is best for knitting socks with sock yarn?  How do I keep my stitches from getting too tight?  How do I keep from having holes when working short rows on the heel and toe?  With all those questions and more, let’s talk socks!

I have recently started knitting my own socks.  AND I LOVE IT!!  Completely surprised me how much I have enjoyed knitting my own socks on the extra fine gauge sock loom.  And now I would love to share with you some things I have learned along the way.

Why would I want to knit my own socks when I can buy them?

While it is easier and cheaper to buy socks, you don’t have that same sense of accomplishment and pride as when you make your own socks.

Are socks hard?

Not as hard as you might think.  Socks are fun to make.  While there are lots of different patterns out there and the combination of stitch patterns, cuff, toe, and heel types are limitless, the basic sock itself is really not that hard.  There are only 4 techniques you really need to get started making your own socks.  Knit and purl stitches, short row shaping using the wrap and turn technique for the heel and toe, and closing the toe with the Kitchener stitch.

What kind of yarn do I use for socks?

You need to use the yarn that is best suited for the type of socks you are making and the type of loom.  You will want to use a wool blend yarn.

Yarn that is labeled as sock yarn is a 1 weight yarn.  It usually has a fiber content of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon.  Why?  This blend of yarn helps give the sock memory when it gets wet.  There are some brands that do make a wool-free sock yarn for those that are wool sensitive.

What is superwash wool, and why is it different than plain wool?

Superwash wool will not shrink or felt when washed in warm or hot water.  This yarn is machine washable.  While most superwash yarn says it can be dried in the clothes dryer, I prefer to just shape my socks and let them air dry on a towel.

Do I need a sock loom to make socks?

No.  You can use any loom as long as you can get the fit you need.  I will say this though.  If you are wanting to make socks to wear with shoes, you will need to use sock yarn on a fine or extra fine gauge loom.  The larger the weight of yarn you use, the thicker the sock will be.  Worsted weight and bulky yarns make wonderful slipper socks to wear around the house.

I will also warn you that not all companies that make looms use the same terminology for loom gauge since there are no universal guidelines set up for this.  It gets confusing for people, when new looms come out , when the looms are listed as fine gauge when another company that has been making them for years has that same gauge loom listed as small gauge.  You can refresh your memory on loom gauge in Loom FAQs:  What is gauge?

Is there only 1 way to work a sock?

No there isn’t.  A sock can be worked from toe up where you start at the the toe and work work your way up to the cuff or from top down where you start with the cuff and work down.

What are the parts of the sock?

There are 5 parts to a sock.

Cuff – This is the top of the sock.  Most patterns use a 2×2 ribbing for the cuff since it has the most stretch and helps keep the sock from falling down the leg.

Leg – This is between the cuff and the heel.  It can be any length and any stitch pattern preferred.  I love to wear ankle socks so I only work about an inch and a half between the cuff and the heel.  Different people like different heights of socks.  The leg part of the sock is where you make the height of your sock to your liking.

Heel – This is the part between the leg and foot.  Tube socks won’t have a heel so they will bunch up in front of the ankle.  Turning the heel will give the sock shape so it will be no bunching at all.

Foot –  The foot is between the heel and the toe.  Seems a bit obvious…  But still.  There are actually 2 parts of the the foot.  The top half of the foot is the instep.  Lots of patterns will work the instep in the same stitch pattern as the leg.  The bottom half of the foot is the sole.  It is almost always worked in stockinette or plain knit stitch so it’s more comfortable to walk in.

Toe –  The toe of the sock is just that:  The part where the toes fit.  It is shaped so that there is not extra knitted fabric around the toes.

How many ways are there to turn a heel or work the toe?

I know of at least 16 ways to turn a heel.  There are probably more.  And almost as many ways to shape the toe.  Everyone has their favorite way to work the heel and toe.

What does it mean to “turn” the heel?  This just refers to the way the heel is worked to cause the heel to bend into the shape of the sock.

Which knit stitch do I use?

It depends on which gauge you are using.  The finer the gauge, the harder it is to use the true knit stitch.  Lots of people do use the flat knit for fine and extra fine gauge socks since it’s less time consuming.

I do NOT recommend e-wrap knit at all for socks of any kind.  I do know lots of people do for slipper socks on large gauge looms.  But you must remember that when you use e-wrap knit while working in the round, the twist of the stitch while going in the same direction each round will cause a laddering effect between the columns of stitches.

What is laddering?  This is when you can see a bar of yarn between each stitch instead of each stitch sitting nicely side by side.  You can learn more about that in Loom FAQs:  What is Laddering?.

For more information on the different knit stitches and how they are worked on the loom, please refer to Loom FAQs:  Which Knit Stitch??

How do I keep my stitches from getting too tight?

This is very common when using the flat knit or even the u-wrap knit stitches.  Here is how I keep my stitches from getting too tight while using the flat knit stitch while making socks.

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I hold the working yarn taunt across the front of the pegs so that the yarn is not pulled over the peg with the loop I am knitting over.

 

 

 

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When I pull the loop over the top of the peg, I let go of the working yarn and gently pull back on the loop to the middle of the loom causing the stitch to loosen.

 

 

Even if you loosen the flat knit stitch, it is still the flat knit.  It is the method of carrying the yarn across the front of the pegs instead of wrapping it around the peg that makes it the flat knit.  You are just controlling the tension by loosening each stitch as you go to keep it from being too tight.

How many pegs do I use?

The number of pegs depends on which loom you are using.  If you are using one of the KB sock looms, the instructions that came with the loom includes how to measure the foot to determine how many pegs.

Otherwise math is involved more heavily…  And working a swatch…  All those evil things that make me laugh like a mad scientist…

Um huh…  Pardon me for getting distracted.  Back to calculating peg count.

First you will need to work a dreaded swatch for a stitch count.  If you need a refresher course on working a swatch, you can find it about the middle of Loom FAQs:  What is Gauge?

Once you find how many stitches per inch you get with your yarn on the loom you are going to use, you need to measure your foot or the foot intended for the sock.  Using a sewing tape measure, wrap the tape around the ball of the foot at the widest part.  Do not squeeze it tight.  Take that measurement in inches and subtract 15% of that measurement.  This is what is called negative ease.   Otherwise the sock will be too big.  If you multiply the number of inches by .85, you will get the same answer as if multiplying the measurement by .15 and subtracting that number from the original measurement.  What???  Give me a bit and I will put into an equation…

Now multiple that number by the number of stitches you got in an inch with your swatch.  That is the number of pegs you will need to cast on.

Now to put that into the equation.

A = measurement of foot around the ball in inches

B = number of stitches in an inch from the swatch

A  x  .85  x  B = number of pegs to cast on

Is there a formula to making socks?

Oh!  I am so happy you asked!  I love formulas.  I love math.  I think you know this by now unless you are new to reading my articles.  For those who keep saying that they never use algebra as an adult, I will talk to you later….

YES!  There is a formula for making socks on any loom.  I will go through the process of working top down.

First of all, you will need to know which loom you want to use depending on yarn weight.  Please refer the previous section on peg count to calculate the number of pegs you will need to knit a sock to fit the foot you desire to sheathe.

Which peg is the first peg?

When working on any loom, you need to decide which peg is first.  It really doesn’t matter.  Just so long as you mark it and use that peg as peg 1 throughout the pattern.  When using any of the adjustable sock looms, I always use the peg on the side next to the slider.  This is how I know I have finished a round after working the pegs on the slider.  It also makes it easier to know where the 2 halves of the loom are.

Now you are ready to cast on.  I would recommend casting on with a method that will stretch and work well with ribbing.  I like using the YO cast on.  This method gives the stretch needed without the need to tighten up the cast on when using the e-wrap cast on.  Some people refer to the YO (yarn over) cast on as the double e-wrap cast on.

Now you are ready to work the cuff.  Work the cuff in whatever method desired.  There are several different cuffs depending on what look you are going for.  Most common is the 2×2 ribbing.  It has the best elasticity to help keep those socks from sagging.

On to the leg, work it in any stitch pattern you desire for whatever length you desire.   It is your sock after all.

Now for the heel,  this is where the math come into play.

Formula for working a short row heel on any loom

While there are numerous ways to work a heel, I will be only instructing you on how to work the short row heel so that this article won’t run on for days.

First the loom will need to be divided into half.  Divide the total peg count by 2.

# of pegs / 2 = half the peg count

13499860_10209059107769952_2107441800_oThe first peg to the middle is the the pegs the heel will be worked over.  As the foot is worked, these are the pegs that are the sole.

 

 

Peg 1 on this loom is marked with the green stitch marker on the right.

The last peg of the first half is on the left marked with the purple stitch marker.

While you work the heel, the other half of the pegs from the middle to the last peg are left unworked.  These pegs are the stitches that are the instep on the foot section of the sock.

To work a short row heel, the half of the loom you are working over needs to first be divided into thirds.  It will not always be divisible by 3.  If this is the case, you will either have 1 section that has either 1 peg more than the other 2 sections or 1 less peg than the other 2 sections.  This section will always be the middle third of the heel.

Either mark the loom or keep up with the rows.

Since you will be working a flat panel now, you will need to do a wrap and turn at the end of each short row.  If you don’t do this, you will have a holes where you start back in the other direction.

Wrap & Turn 

Wrap and turns are abbreviated in patterns as W&T.

Work the first short row in knit until you reach the last peg of the heel portion.  This is how you work a W&T:

1

 

 

Holding the yarn to the side of the peg that the working yarn is on,

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

lift the loop off the peg.

Bring the working yarn behind the peg in front of the loop to the other side of the peg.

 

 

 

4

 

 

Place the loop back on the peg bringing the working yarn around front of the peg.

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

Knit the next peg leaving 2 loops on the wrapped peg.

 

 

 

 

Continue back to the first peg.

1

 

 

 

Wrap the first peg in the same manner as before

 

 

 

2

 

 

by lifting the loop off the peg

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

bringing the working yarn behind the peg and placing the loop back on the peg.

 

 

 

 

Knit back until you reach the peg next to the wrapped peg and wrap that peg.

Continue going back and forth wrapping the next peg over until 1/3 of the pegs are wrapped on each side leaving the middle pegs unwrapped.

1

 

 

 

 

Now to work your way back out…

2

 

Knit until you reach the first peg with 2 wraps.

 

 

1

 

 

Knit both loops over.

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

Wrap and turn on the next peg by lifting both loops and placing the wrap under them.  Be careful that both loops are placed back on the peg over the wrap.

 

 

 

4

 

 

Now you have 3 loops on that peg.

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

Knit back again repeating the W&Ts until all the pegs have been worked leaving 3 wraps on the first and the last of the first half of the pegs.

 

 

On the first round of the foot, you will start with peg 2 after completing the W&T on peg 1.  When you reach the last peg of the first half that has 3 loops on it, knit over all 3 together and continue on the instep side.  When peg 1 is reached again, knit over all 3 loops together.

Do I need to lift the top loop for the W&T?

Some people prefer not to lift the loop and just wrap the peg above the loop.  This does create a more seamless join.  But it does leave holes.  Also it will put those wraps on the inside of the sock creating a seam that can be irritating to the heels and toes.

Continuing on…

After the heel, the instep and sole of the foot is worked.  The first half of the stitches will be the sole and is usually just worked in stockinette.  The second half of the stitches is the instep.  Usually the stitch pattern used for the leg is continued on the instep half of the stitches.

Measure the foot you are fitting from the back of the heel to the end of the longest toe.  Then subtract 1.5″ or 2″ (depending on how snug you like your socks) from that length.  Work the foot until the foot measures the length just calculated from the heel.  I usually just stick a ruler into my sock with the end at the heel and measure at the short end of the sock loom.  Despite the work still being stretched out on the pegs, this method of measuring is fairly accurate.

Then work the toe.  Use whichever toe method preferred.  I use the short row that is the exact same as the heel.  If you prefer the seam to be on top of the toes, work the short rows over the first half of the stitches exactly like the heel was worked.  If you want the seam under the toes, knit the first half of the stitches then work the toe on the second half of the pegs.

Does the Kitchener Stitch require knowing how to needle knit?

No it doesn’t.  Only thing the needles are used for if to hold the stitches.  You actually use a tapestry needle to sew the loops together to create a seamless join.

What does DPN mean?

DPN knitting needles are what is used for the Kitchener stitch.  DPN stands for Double Point Needles.  These needles have points are both ends and are used in needle knitting to knit in the round.  These needles are sold in sets of 5.  You will only need 2.

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What size DPNs do I use?

I recommend using the next size needle down from the needle equivalent to the loom gauge you are using to make your socks.  You can find the rough needle equivalents close to the end of my article Loom FAQs:  How Do I Convert?

What exactly is the Kitchener Stitch and what does it have to do with kitchens??

The Kitchener stitch is a method of joining or grafting 2 rows of live stitches in a nice seamless manner using the working yarn on a tapestry needle.  And it has nothing to do with kitchens…

Why is it called Kitchener stitch?

Well history has it that an Englishman by the name Horatio Herbert Kitchener, First Earl of Kitchener of Khartoum, developed the seamless graphing join during World War I to prevent the damage done to the soldiers feet because of the seam on the toes.

While this is when this technique first came into being and while Lord Kitchener did head up the campaign of getting women in Britain, America, and Canada to knit comfort items from a booklet of patterns during WWI that included socks using the seamless join, there is actually no concrete evidence that he actually developed the seamless join himself.  But it was named after him, and he will forever be joined to the knitting community.  Way to go, Lord Kitchener!

How is the correct way to load the stitches onto the needles?

The stitches do need to be loaded or put on the double point needles in a certain manner, or the join will not be seamless.

1

 

 

Start loading the stitches from the last stitch on the first half and work back to the first stitch.

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

Lift the stitch off the peg and put it on the DPN by running the needle from the front of the stitch to the back.

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

Then repeat that with the next stitch working back to the first peg until all the stitches on the first half of the loom are on the needle.

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

Now all the stitch on the first half of the loom are on the needle.

 

 

 

5

 

 

Then repeat on the second half of the stitch by starting with the last peg and working back to the first peg of the second half.

 

 

 

 

6

 

All stitches are on 2 DPNs with the working yarn on the right.  The first half of the stitches are the needle closest to you or the front needle.  The last half of the stitches are on the back needle.

 

 

 

If you are left handed or just work in the opposite direction, just reverse what I did.

Do I have to use needles to close the toe for the Kitchener Stitch?

No.  There is a way to work the Kitchener stitch while the stitches are still on the loom.  While I prefer to use the needles to hold my stitches while I work the seam, it can be done on the loom.

Currently there is a video out there that demonstrates how to do the Kitchener stitch on the loom.  I find it confusing since none of the stitches are removed as you go making it harder to see where you are and easier to miss a stitch.

I have come up with a way to use the loom to work the Kitchener stitch in the same manner as using needles where the stitches are removed as you go.  This makes it easier to see if all the stitches are being worked in order, and none are being skipped.

How do I set up the loom for the Kitchener stitch?

To work the Kitchener stitch on the loom, you will need to move the first half of the stitches over onto the second half of the pegs.  This way the first half of the stitches are sitting on the pegs above the second half of the stitches.

 

4

 

Load all the stitch from the first half onto something to hold them.  I use a DPN.  You can use a stitch holder or even a yarn lifeline.

 

 

Now move them over to the other side of the loom.

2

 

 

Place the each stitch onto the peg on the opposite side.

 

 

 

 

3

 

Continue with each stitch making sure the stitches are not twisted until all the stitches from the first half are on the pegs from the second half.

 

 

 

4

 

All stitches are on the same side of the loom.

 

 

 

5

 

In order for the Kitchener stitch to be worked on the loom exactly like it’s work on needles, the loom needs to turned upside down so the first half of the stitches is closest to you and the last half of the stitches are further from you.  The working yarn on the right.

 

How do I work the Kitchener stitch?

Now let me show you how to work the Kitchener stitch on needles AND the loom.  I will show the same thing on the needle first then show how on the loom.

When working the Kitchener stitch, whether on the loom or needles, each stitch must be worked twice in the opposite direction in order for the join to be seamless.  Now let’s get started.

Let’s first discuss what the terms “as if to knit” and “as if to purl” means.  This is the direction the yarn will be threaded through the stitch.

1

On needles, “as if to knit” means to run the tapestry needle through the stitch from the left to the back of the stitch.

2

On the loom, “as if to knit” means to run the tapestry needle through the stitch from the top of the peg to the bottom.

3

On needles, “as if to purl” means to run the tapestry needle from the right through the stitch to the front.

4

On the loom, “as if to purl” means to run the tapestry needle through the stitch from the bottom of the peg to the top.

Now to start the Kitchener stitch:

6

The front stitch is on the needle closest to you.

The back stitch is on the needle at the back.

5

The front stitch is the stitch at the end of the peg closest to you.

The back stitch is the stitch at the bottom of the peg.

To set up, insert the tapestry needle as if to purl on the front stitch.  Pull the working yarn completely through the stitch pulling snug.  Leave the stitch on the needle or peg.

3

From right to left.

4

From bottom to top.

Then insert the tapestry needle as if to knit on the back stitch pulling the working yarn snugly all the way through the stitch.  Leave the stitch on the needle or peg.

1

From left to right.

2

From top to bottom.

Now to actually start removing stitches from the needle or loom as the Kitchener stitch is worked.

Insert the tapestry needle as if to knit  through the front stitch REMOVING that stitch from the needle or peg as the working yarn is pulled all the way through the stitch that is removed.  Be careful not to pull the neighboring stitch off the needle or peg.

1

From left to right.

2

From top to bottom.

Now insert the tapestry needle as if to purl on the next stitch on the front LEAVING the stitch on the needle or peg pulling the working yarn all the way through.  Do not get the working yarn twisted around the needle or peg.

3

From right to left.

2

From bottom to top.

Now we will work the stitches on the back.

Insert the tapestry needle as if to purl in the stitch on the back REMOVING the stitch from the needle or peg and pulling the yarn snugly through the stitch.

1

From right to left.

2

From bottom to top.

Now insert the tapestry needle as if to knit in the stitch on the back LEAVING the stitch on the peg while pulling the working yarn snugly though the stitch.

3

From left to right.

4

From top to bottom.

Now you can see how 2 stitches are worked on the front removing the first but leaving the second then working 2 stitches on the back in the opposite way removing the first but leaving the second.

Here is how I keep up in my head as I work the stitches.

Front:  as if to knit, remove the stitch, as if to purl, leave the stitch

Back:  as if to purl, remove the stitch, as if to knit, leave the stitch

Then repeat.  Over and over and over…

5

You can see how the seamless grafting is looking as I go.

Continue in this manner until there is only 1 stitch each left on the front and back.

Insert the tapestry needle into the front stitch as if to knit REMOVING the stitch while pulling the working yarn snug.

1

From left to right.

2

From top to bottom.

Insert the tapestry need into the back stitch (only stitch left) as if to purl REMOVING the stitch while pulling the working yarn snug.

3

From right to left.

4

From bottom to top.

Look how pretty!!

5

Now there is what seems to be a rather large loop left.

6

Just run the tapestry needle through the the last stitch into the middle of the sock pulling that loop through and weave in the end.

7

Whew!!!  That is a lot to cover for something that only covers feet….  Once you make that first pair, there will be no stopping you!  Do not be afraid to try different heel and toe methods.  Different ways will fit differently.  Each foot is unique so our socks should be just as unique as our feet.  Best to have unique socks is to knit those unique socks ourselves!

As always, I hope this helps.  Happy sock loom knitting!

1 Comment

  • The wrap and turn was always my least favorite part of looming socks – sometimes I would lose my loop – especially when doing the increase and you have to be sure to get two loops back on the peg – the yarn is so tiny! ? I have come up with a solution that makes it unnecessary to lift your loops but still gets the turn beneath the existing loop. Sounds like magic, but it’s not. The idea came to me one time when I messed up a purl. So, you hold your working yarn beneath the existing loop. Then, as if to purl, put you loom hook down thru the existing loop and grab the working yarn. Up to this point it’s just like a purl. But now, instead of slipping off the existing loop, simply slip the working yarn over the peg. Ta da!! Now your working yarn is beneath the existing loop and you can turn and go back. I hope I explained that well. But that little trick totally takes the dread out of looming heels and toes. Enjoy!

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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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