Getting Started with Loom Knitting

December 31, 2014

knitting loomsGetting started with loom knitting? Here's what I've learned since using looms the past couple of years! The more popular round knitting looms oftentimes come in a set of four starting with the smallest size for making preemie hats up to the large adult size. The kit also comes with a knitting tool and a plastic tapestry needle. These are the ones I started out learning.

For people who have hand troubles like carpal tunnel or arthritis, loom knitting is a nice alternative. It is fun, but it takes a bit of a learning curve. So, let me share a few tips I've learned from my experience working with looms.

Knitting looms come in different sizes and shapes from very small round ones to spools to rectangular, and boards. I own the Boye 4 looms set which is how I started. I shifted over to the Knifty Knitter set and I just recently got the 28" knitting board with peg extenders for Christmas. I'll talk more about arsenal later in this post. Rectangular knitting looms also come in various sizes for double and flat knitting.

TIP #1: How to Cast On

When you cast on any loom, typically there is an anchor peg or what's called the "beginning peg", this is where you start to cast on. So, when you begin to work your pattern, you will want to always start your next row or round (if you're knitting on a round loom making a hat for example) on this same anchor peg. Tip: I recommend using a bulky #5 or super bulky #6 yarn with these larger gauge looms OR use two strands of a #4 medium worsted weight yarn to prevent holes in your work. The smaller gauge looms like the All-in-One from Knitting Board are great choices to knit with one strand of any yarn you choose.

TIP #2: Working the Loom

When using a round loom to knit anything circular like a hat, be sure to always work in the same direction for the duration of your pattern, so if you start casting on counterclockwise, continue knitting in this direction, don't change and go in the opposite direction. Doing so can cause your hat to have an unattractive seam that will show up in the final product.

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TIP #3: How to Knit

Don't Knit too Tightly. I think this is a problem for the beginner. When I first got started loom knitting, I wrapped the pegs really tight which made it hard to pull the yarn over the pegs, however wrapping too loosely can make unattractive holes in your work. So, you'll have to play and practice to find a happy balance of how loosely you wrap so that it's not too tight or too lose.

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Tip #4: Loom Hat Sizes

Thanks to Loom-a-Hat.com, I found this useful chart when I started knitting hats, this is just a standard chart, but I think it'll really help you as a guide especially if you're just beginning.

Loom-a-hat Sizes Diagram


Tip #5: Loom Uses




Thanks again to Loom-a-Hat.com, these next two graphics lists the sizes of different looms and what you can make from them.

Looms

PictureUnfortunately, the Knifty Knitter 48 peg circular loom is unavailable. I have not seen it even on eBay recently. However, the CinDWood company sells a 48 peg loom very similar to this one. And I bought it and like it very much.


Tip #6: Continuing Education


PictureUse YouTube to Learn how to Loom Knit. If you're visual learner like me, watching video tutorials is a God-send. There are several channels that I follow that have taught me a lot about loom knitting from stitches to patterns! When you subscribe to these channels, you can set it up where you'll get an email every time they upload a new video. Below is a list of the channels I follow:


  • Good Knit Kisses. Kristen does a fabulous job of teaching different stitches, knitting loom reviews, and she has knit-a-long video tutorials as well as give-a-ways.

  • Loom-a-Hat. Denise is my next favorite channel to follow. I learned how to make my first hat watching her video tutorials.

  • Caring Caps. I learned how to loom knit stuffed animals from this channel. She can tend to go a bit fast so if you decide to follow her, my recommendation would be to watch the video first and take notes before you try out any patterns and pause and rewind the video as much as you need to.

  • PurlingSprite. This is a new channel I found while watching another video tutorial and she teaches patterns easy to follow as well.

  • Tuteate. This channel is one that I recently followed. Although the tutorials are done with background music and English instructions on the screen, it's still easy to follow and you can knit patterns from this channel.




I would also suggest joining Facebook groups on loom knitting, Ravelry, and also Google blogs on the subject, I have learned a ton from just talking with other crafters more than buying pattern books. Other loom knitters are so willing to share their knowledge and experience as well as projects they're making. You will definitely find inspiration!


What Looms do I Use?




There are many types of looms available and while I haven't used all of them, I'll name the ones I have and/or use:

  • Boye. I started with these looms and made many items with it. These are the more popular ones sold in stores.

  • Knifty Knitter. I've switched to the Knifty Knitter set, because I like the peg design better. The yarn doesn't catch on the Knifty Knitter like the Boye. This is the most used loom set in my arsenal. I even have the long loom kit and the purple rectangle loom as well. I bought my sets on Amazon and every now and then I will catch a loom at my local thrift store.

  • CindiWood. I own a 48 peg hat loom, because I couldn't find the Knifty Knitter brand. I've made several hats on it. I really like the wooden design and you can custom order your peg in different colors to mark them for certain stitches.

  • Knitting Board. I own two different looms from this company: the Afghan and the 28" loom with peg extenders (similar to the All-in-one). I admit I haven't played with these too much, because I'm so used to the larger gauge looms and these are smaller. They're great for single knitting though.

  • Martha Stewart Loom Knit Kit. I own 2 of these and mainly I bought them for weaving. They work great for the pillows I made, however I wouldn't recommend these for loom knitting. The idea behind it is wonderful cause you get all the pieces to assemble different types of looms like if you want circular, rectangle, square, and even a heart shape. However the pegs tend to fall out and even when I stuck yarn into the peg holes, I still found that my pegs would come out. You don't want that happening in the middle of a pattern. I don't use this set much except for the weaving.

Have you used a different loom than what I listed? Or, have you learned other tips you'd like to share? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear about them! Crafting is so wonderful, because we all learn from each other and there's no right or wrong in designing and creating beautiful items that you can sell or gift!




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