Apr 11, 2016

Primrose

Whimsical Loom Knits – April 2016

Designed by Jenny Stark

IMG_3500

Celebrate the arrival of Spring with this sweet little flower.  This fun project is a quick and easy way to use up small yarn remnants from other projects.  Use these pretty blossoms to embellish anything from hats, hair bows, headbands, afghan squares, refrigerator magnets, wreaths, etc.  

Knitting Loom: Sock Loom 2

Yarn: Approximately 5 yards of worsted weight yarn.

Notions: knitting tool, scissors, yarn needle.

Gauge: Not critical for this project.

Finished Measurements: about 2″ diameter

Abbreviations:
K: knit
M1: make 1 (to increase)
K2Tog: knit 2 together (to decrease)

 

Instructions

Cast on 3 stitches.

Rows 1-2:  K3.

Row 3:  M1, K3.

Row 4:  K4.

Row 5:  M1, K4.

Rows 6-7:  K5.

Row 8:  K2, K2Tog, K1.

Row 9:  K1, K2tog, K1.

Row 10:  K3.

Row 11:  Using the basic bind off method, bind off 2 stitches.  (One stitch will remain on the loom.)

Row 12:  Skip the stitch on the loom and cast on 2 new stitches.

The first petal of the flower is now complete.  Repeat rows 1-12 until you have a total of 4 petals.

Repeat rows 1-10 once more.  Bind off all stitches, leaving a long yarn end.

The knitted piece will look similar to this:

IMG_3488

 

Finishing

Thread the long yarn end into the yarn needle.  Work a running stitch along the full length at the base of the petals.

IMG_3490

Pull the yarn end to tightly gather the center of the flower.  Use the yarn end to join the base of the last petal to the base of the first petal.

IMG_3491

Weave in the yarn ends and the little flower is done!

 

Check this out – Try this project out in a super fine or fingering weight yarn.  Use the same loom and follow the pattern as written for a slightly more delicate flower:

IMG_3486

Happy Spring!

 

4 Comments

  • How on earth do you knit the hoxey cowl please share the method.
    Desparet to learn.

  • Hello Maureen. I see that this is a pattern from Interweave Knits. Have you tried sending a message to Interweave Knits, or to the designer of the Hoxey Cowl?

  • Hello. This is a random question, but do you sell any of your work? If so, how to you calculate the price of each piece? Thanks.

  • I calculate my work per hour. If I design the item, I calculate a design fee, then if I have to knit the item, I charge a set fee per hour. Consequently, my knitted items have a design fee+knitting fee+yarn cost.

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Apr 4, 2016

Stitchology 20: Spring Bunnies Stitch

Spring Bunnies Square

I’ve been pleased as punch with the way this month’s stitch turned out…so sweet!  There’s something special about the pairing of bunnies and spring, and this new stitch exemplifies them both quite nicely. :)  Wouldn’t this be a fantastic  stitch for a little girl’s jumper, or a baby layette? There is a bit of an unusual method for working the bunny ears, but it really is very simple to do.  I have included a tutorial video for this one, since the technique may be new to you.  Let’s dive in and learn this pretty design while whipping up an afghan square…

In this monthly column we’re going to be working on some exciting new stitch patterns, as well as a few new techniques thrown in for good measure.  My intention for our yarn play is to provide all the know-how for you to be able to work the new stitch; any charts, photos, or videos you may need; as well as a pattern to create an 8” x 8” square.  As we go along in our looming journey, we should be able to create lovely pieced afghans with our squares, as I like to know that we’re going somewhere while swatching, don’t you?  You can think of it as our Stitch Sample Afghan—a stitch dictionary right at your fingertips, keeping your legs warm, lol. ;)  To find all the previous stitches in this column, simply click here.

Spring Bunnies Square

 

Spring Bunnies close up

Items Needed

Loom: Authentic Knitting Board Adjustable Hat Loom: 2 rounded pieces + 3 peg connectors, with pegs in all holes for a 3/8” gauge.  The Sock Loom 2 or the All-n-One Loom could also be used.

Yarn: approx. 75 yards Worsted Weight (Sample uses Berroco Vintage sakura)

Notions: Loom tool, crochet hook, yarn needle, scissors.  (Also helpful: peg markers, row counter, and blocking pins)

Pattern Notes:

To work this pattern in the round, such as for a hat, use the Repeating Pattern Rows chart, and make sure to read it from right to left for each row, rather than alternating sides each time.  Also, cast onto your loom in a clockwise direction, using a number of pegs that is divisible by 8—the number of stitches required for each pattern repeat.

For flat pieces of a greater size, simply increase the number of Repeating Pattern Rows inside the garter stitch edges for the length and width required, then complete with the Finishing Rows.  The border edges may need to also be increased to coordinate with the number of increased Repeating Pattern Rows.

When the pattern uses the term “knit” or “k”, please use the true knit stitch or the u-stitch, not the e-wrap.

*All yarn overs (yo) for this stitch are completed by e-wrapping the peg.

*For ease in reading the pattern’s directions below, the steps  involving eyelets are placed inside brackets [ ] to let you know that they are all accomplished on just two pegs.

There are two types of decreases for creating the eyelets in this pattern: the Knit 2 Together (k2tog) for a right leaning decrease worked as a knit, and the Slip, Slip, Knit (ssk) for a left leaning decrease worked as a knit. The following dictates how to work these stitches as you will find them in the stitch pattern:

[k2tog, yo]:  Work over 2 pegs: Move the loop from the yo peg to the k2tog peg. Using the working yarn, u-stitch knit the k2tog peg, knitting off the 2 loops as one, and then e-wrap the empty yo peg.

[yo, ssk]: Work over 2 pegs: Move the loop from the yo peg to the ssk peg. Using the working yarn, e-wrap empty yo peg, then u-stitch knit the ssk peg, knitting off the bottom 2 loops as one.

Making the Bunny Ears:

Where you see the symbol in the below charts for “Make new drop loop”, this is the peg which the bunny ears will be created and secured.  The steps to do so are as follows: (The “bunny ears” pegs are worked from right to left, with the numbers in this direction: 1, 2, 3, 4.)

—Knit the first 2 pegs of the 4 bunny ears pegs (pegs 4 & 3).

—Insert a crochet hook between pegs 2 & 3 of the 4 and poke it through the eyelet directly below.

—Wrap WY around crochet hook and pull a new loop though the eyelet and out the front of the pegs.

—Lift the loop 3 and pass newly made loop behind the peg.  Replace the loop 3.

—Lift the loop 4 and pass the right side of the newly made loop over the peg.  Replace the loop 4.  Cinch newly made loop in, but not too tightly.

—Knit pegs 2 & 1 of the 4.

—Again insert the crochet hook between pegs 2 & 3 and poke it through the same eyelet directly below.

—Wrap WY around crochet hook and pull a new loop through the eyelet and out the front of the pegs.

—Lift the loop 2 and pass newly made loop behind the peg.  Replace loop 2.

—Lift the loop 1 and pass the left side of the newly made loop over the peg. Replace the loop 1.  Cinch newly made loop in, but not too tightly.

—Continue with the rest of the row.

—The next row will work all pegs 1 and 4 of the bunny ears pegs as 2 over 1.  Make sure that these 2 pegs are worked without much tension throughout.

Repeating Pattern Rows

Here are the Repeating Pattern Rows for the stitch itself, based on the chart above:

Row 1: p1, , k2, p1, k2tog, yo, yo, ssk.

Row 2: k8.

Row 3: k4, make a new drop loop (see above instructions in Pattern Notes), k2, make a new drop loop.

Row 4: k8, working drop loop pegs as 2 over 1.

Row 5: k2tog, yo, yo, ssk, p1, k2, p1.

Row 6: k8.

Row 7: make a new drop loop, k2, make a new drop loop, k4.

Row 8: k8, working drop loop pegs as 2 over 1.

Here is the entire pattern chart for the 8” x 8” square:

 

Bunny Ears Square

Everything you need to know about knitting your square is included in the above chart.  Believe it or not, you can actually create your square without looking at another thing!  For help with reading charts, please see the Stitchology I post for a detailed explanation, and you’ll be ready to go!

But, don’t worry…I am also providing you with the step by step instructions below. ;)

Step by Step Instructions:

 

Spring Bunnies Square angle

Cast onto your loom from left to right, using a total of 38 pegs. (Sample uses Chain Cast On)

Set Up Rows

Row 1: p38.

Row 2: k38.

Row 3: p38.

Row 4: k38.

Main Pattern Rows

Row 5:  p2, k5, *k2tog, yo, yo, ssk, k4, repeat from * to last 3 sts, k1, p2.

Row 6:  k38.

Row 7:  p2, k5, *make a new drop loop, k2, make a new drop loop, k4, repeat from * to last 3 sts, k1, p2.

Row 8: k38, working drop loop pegs as 2 over 1.

Row 9: p2, k1, *k2tog, yo, yo, ssk, p1, k2, p1, repeat from * to last 3 sts, k1, p2.

Row 10: k38.

Row 11: p2, k1, *make a new drop loop, k2, make a new drop loop, k4, repeat from * to last 3 sts, k1, p2.

Row 12: repeat Row 8.

Row 13: p2, k1, *p1, k2, p1, k2tog, yo, yo, ssk, repeat from * to last 3 sts, k1, p2.

Row 14: k38.

Rows 15-54: repeat Rows 7-14.

Rows 55-59: repeat Rows 7-11.

Finishing Rows

Row 60: k38.

Row 61: p38.

Row 62: k38.

Row 63: p38.

Bind off all stitches loosely. (Sample uses the Basic Bind Off)  Weave in ends and trim close to work.

Block to an 8” x 8” measurement.

Afghan Notes:

Stitchology Squares If you are intending this square to be part of an afghan, you may wish to make up to 3 or 4 additional squares.  We will be sharing at least 24 of these patterns for you to use in your blanket.  Use the following general measurements to decide how many of each of the 8″ x 8″ squares you will need, rounding up as necessary:

  • Baby Blanket: 30″ x 36″
  • Children: 42″ x 48″
  • Lapghan: 36″ x 48″
  • Twin Bed Afghan: 60″ x 85″
  • Queen Bed Afghan: 90″ x 95″

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a note for Bethany Dailey below in the comments! :)

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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 25, 2016

Spring Mountain Shawl

Designed by Bethany A Dailey

bethany_shawl

With the first seasonal turns of winter into spring, warming winds wrap themselves around mountain peaks, sending waters of thawing snow caps cascading downwards into the welcoming valleys below. The craggy rocks beneath the crests begin to peek out through the ice and snow, bringing with them the hope of wildflowers and new life after the season of cold.  This asymmetrical shawl embodies this feeling of winter giving way to spring…a little bit blanketed, a little bit revealed, just like those thawing mountain peaks.

Knitting Loom: Zippy Loom, 20 pegs used.

Yarn: Approximately 465 yards of bulky weight yarn, two strands held as one. Sample used Charisma Tweed (5 skeins in the color Gray) 93 yds/85 m.

Notions: knitting tool, 6mm crochet hook (for cast on and help with possible missed stitches, etc), stitch markers, scissors, knitting pins, yarn needle, row counter, one or two large decorative buttons.

Gauge: Approx 3 sts x 1.75 rows= 4 inches (in Figure Eight Stitch) **Note: This is a very stretchy stitch, so all measurements are approximate.

Finished Measurements: Width from neck to elbow: 15″, Length before seaming: 74″, Length at longest point while worn: 36″  (The size of this shawl can easily be adjusted by changing the number of pegs used and rows knitted.)

Skills Needed: E-wrap, Figure Eight Stitch, Chain CO (or CO of your choice), Basic BO, seaming method of choice.

Abbreviations:
CO: cast on
EW: E-wrap stitch
KO: knit off
WY: working yarn
BO: bind off

Pattern Notes:
This pattern uses 2 strands of yarn held throughout.

*Create the Figure Eight Stitch (in single knitting):

  • —To begin, wrap around the outside of peg 1, then around peg 2 as if to EW. Your WY will travel in a sort of figure 8 motion, hence the name of the stitch. KO these 2 pegs.
  • —Carrying the yarn behind peg 2, wrap around peg 3 as if to EW, then back around peg 2. KO these 2 pegs.
  • —Carrying the yarn behind peg 3, wrap around peg 4 as if to EW, then back around peg 3.  KO these 2 pegs.
  • —Continue in this manner to the end of the row.

See tutorial video for more details:

Instructions

Set loom to work in a flat panel using 20 pegs.  CO onto all 20 pegs. (Sample used Chain CO)

Rows 1-52:  Work Figure Eight Stitch on all 20 pegs.

**Note: Due to the loose nature of this stitch, when adding a new skein, tie the end of the WY and the beginning of the new skein securely into a square knot.  Thread one of the tails onto a yarn needle and work into the strands of the WY at one side of the knot, parting the plies in the yarn to help the end remain secure.  Repeat for the 2nd tail. 

Loosely BBO all 20 pegs.

Finishing

Being careful not to pull too tightly which will cause puckering, neatly stitch the inside edges of the panel together, starting at the bottom edges, for approximately 21″ (sample uses the mattress stitch). Stitch the button(s) in place as desired onto the back side of the remaining opening.

Weave in all ends and block lightly as desired.

To leave a question or comment for Bethany Dailey, simply add your comments to the section below! :)

Figure Eight Stitch on Zippy

13 Comments

  • Is there any audio with the video on the figure 8 stitch on the zippy?

  • Nope. I figured it was very self explanatory without any verbal explanation. ;)

  • Hi thanks so much for this pattern, it’s beautiful and it is just the type of shawl that I love. I looked everywhere for a airy type of Shawl pattern a beginner can do and this is perfect. I also wanted to tell Gin that if you check out YouTube you can find verbal institutions to the figure 8 stitch. :)

  • Hi Britt! :) Thank you so much for your lovely comment…I’m so glad you like it!

  • Do you use the figure 8cast on?

  • I actually used the Chain Cast On. :)

  • Thank you Bethany I can not ain’t to get started I am a beginner and hope I will be able to make this beautiful shawl Again thanks a million

  • You are so welcome, Gin…any time! :) I believe that you will have great success with this one, as it is really just the same stitch repeated throughout…perfect for a beginner loomer. Enjoy!

  • I have another dumb question Sorry about this but is this worked on 5 zippys without any corner piece. I don’t know the video shows the corners and I am new to this looming

  • You can choose your own configuration of 20 pegs, as it is worked as a flat panel…can be 5 Zippys on a line or 4 Zippys and 4 corners. ;)

  • Thanks again for the help

  • Beautiful pattern intro, Bethany! The shawl is lovely, too – and Emily is just as pretty as can be :)

  • Oh, thank you so much, Jenny! :D That is so sweet to hear!

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Mar 21, 2016

Loom FAQs: Is Loom Knitting Cheating?

10940466_663261290449770_6723370072072730651_n

 

 

 

 

 

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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