I hope you had a wonderful holiday. This holiday season, I’ve mostly been resting and recuperating from a recent surgery, so it’s given me time to knit! Recently, I’ve been working with a few stitch patterns from the Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary by Kathy Norris. It is published by Leisure Arts. Kathy has written several other loom knitting books as well.
I bought this book early on in my loom knitting adventures, before I really knew what to do with it. When I first opened the book and looked inside, it was a bit overwhelming. Now that I’m an intermediate loom knitter, it’s very useful for coming up with my own creations and learning new stitches.
So I will say this book is better suited for someone who has already loom knitted a few projects rather than someone who is completely starting from scratch. It is not suited for beginners. If you’re looking for really easy to follow instructions for knitting your first or second project, then I would recommend going to YouTube or Loomahat.com. Or, you can try one of these books:
Loom Knitting Primer by Isela Phelps or Round Loom Knitting in 10 Easy Projects by Nicole F. Fox. Both books assume you know nothing about loom knitting and explain the tools you need, loom gauge, casting on, binding off, knit vs. purl, and they include patterns.
Back to the Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary. If you have already knitted a few items and you know how to read a pattern (or you have experience with needle knit patterns), then you can follow along in this book.
It presumes that you already know how to create knit and purl stitches.
I should clarify because the first chapter assumes that you know how to create a “true-knit”, which is different from the e-wrap knit stitch that most of us learned when we started loom knitting. There are some pictures of this in the very back of the book. I think the instructions should have been at the beginning because new knitters who have only used e-wrap aren’t going to know that knit does not mean e-wrap unless they read the book in order. Ms. Norris does mention at the beginning of the knit and purl chapter that she’s using true knit, but it would be easy to miss if you’re skimming and choosing a pattern by looking at the pictures.
If you’re like me and you prefer a simpler stitch, you can u-knit where it asks for knit (true knit).
In this book, e-wrap falls under the chapter on “Twisted Stitches”. The code in the book for e-wrap is EWK. So patterns will either say K for true knit or they will say EWK. Purl stitches will say P.
Here is a picture of the Table of Contents:
And here are some of the stitch patterns you can create:
* These photos were taken of my personal copy of Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary, but I do not own the copyright for the original photographs. These photos were taken for review purposes only.
The book does include patterns for using multiple colors and explains how to change colors and how to skip stitches. I haven’t tried any multi-color patterns from the book yet, so I can’t comment on those. It also gives instructions for decreasing (which you’ll need to understand to create the lace patterns).
For the most part, Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary is easy to follow, once you know how to read patterns, and it includes instructions for working on a flat panel (i.e., a scarf or blanket) or for circular knitting (such as a hat or cowl). This is very useful as some stitch patterns have to be worked differently depending on whether you are knitting in the round or not.
For each stitch pattern, you’ll find a picture of the stitch, the name of the stitch, and then instructions for how to knit the stitch in a flat panel or in the round.
I think it would have been helpful if there’d been an index so you could find a stitch right away without flipping through. It’s not too much of an issue since the dictionary is short. I just think it would be helpful for those who want to look up a stitch by name, but don’t know exactly what it looks like.
Note: This book contains stitch patterns only and a few loom instructions. It DOES NOT show you how to make a hat, scarf or other finished items.
It is a reference book designed to: 1. Help you find new stitches 2. Look up a stitch by the picture to find out the name of the stitch and how to knit it.
To use this book, you need to know how to cast on and bind off and understand what loom size and yarn weight you need for your project. Though, thankfully, there is a chart on yarn weight in the beginning of the book, on page 5, and another one at the end on page 91.
This is why I say Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary is not for beginning loom knitters, unless you already have experience with needle knitting or crochet. If you’re an intermediate or advanced loom knitter, you’ll get a lot more out of the dictionary.
I like the portable size of the book. It’s light weight and easy to take with you, though it is not pocket-sized. But it will fit in a medium to large purse or a yarn bag.
I accidentally spilled something near my copy, so the top edge of the book got wet, but since the pages are nice and thick for the photographs, the book is still in good condition.
The review score and my final thoughts:
I vacillated on the score because I was tempted to give a lower rating. The reason: I wish it was more accessible for beginners. If it had a few more pictures of looming techniques and maybe a glossary of loom knitting terms, I’d probably give it 5 stars. However, there are other books that are specifically geared for people who are new to loom knitting. This book isn’t trying to be a catch-all book to teach you everything.
It is first and foremost a dictionary of stitches and in that regard, it does exactly what it intends to do – give a name and picture of each stitch and a basic pattern for how it is knitted.
I’d give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Overall, this is a great reference book for intermediate to advanced loom knitters and Kathy Norris has taken the time to convert various needle-knit stitches to loom knitting so that you don’t have to sit and figure it out yourself. Thank you, Ms. Norris!
You can find this book, and other books by Kathy Norris, at LeisureArts.com, Joann.com, Amazon.com, and you might be able to find one at Michael’s (in-store), but they generally have a smaller selection of knitting books.
* Disclosure: This book was purchased by me and I did not receive any compensation from the author or publisher. All opinions are my own. This post does include affiliate links, so if you purchase via the link, I would receive a small commission, which helps me keep the blog running.