Loom Knitting Resources: Hat Size, Loom Gauge & Converting Patterns

I often see certain questions pop up in my loom knitting groups online, so I thought I would post a few resources for beginners (and for those experienced knitters who might like to have a few popular resources linked all in one place).

1. What size loom do I need to make a hat? How long does a hat need to be?

Whether you are making a hat for a baby, child, teen, or adult, there is a loom for that! And a hat length.

Wide Gauge Loom Hat Sizes:

To take the guesswork out of figuring out hat sizing and looms, Denise from Loomahat.com has created a handy dandy Loom Size / Hat Size Chart.

This page is wonderful because it not only includes the hat size chart, but it then goes further for each type of hat to show you what the appropriate loom looks like and what color it is! If you’ve bought a loom from one of the four main brands – Knifty Knitter, Boye, Darice, or Loops & Threads – this is extremely helpful.

Venus’ Tip: Keep in mind that if you are using say a 36-peg loom which could be used for a child’s hat, teen hat or a lean adult hat, which stitch you use can make a difference. If I’m making a child’s hat, I’m going to use a tighter stitch like the u-knit, but if I’m making a hat for an older teen or lean adult, I will use the e-wrap knit stitch.

Note: The Loomahat chart is for wide-gauge looms. If you are making a hat with a small gauge loom, you need a different way of gauging sizes.

Small Gauge Loom Hat Sizes:

According to Authentic Knitting Board, which sells small gauge looms, a child size hat is 64 pegs, a teen hat is 72 pegs and an adult hat is 80 pegs. You’re roughly doubling the amount of pegs you’d use with a wide gauge loom.

2. What gauge is my loom? What brands make 1/2″, 3/8″, or 5/8″ gauge looms?

When you’re starting out, loom gauge can be confusing. What size loom gauge do I own? My pattern calls for a 3/8″ gauge, who makes that? What is the difference between a 1/2″ and a 5/8″ gauge?

Loom gauge is determined by measuring the groove of one peg to the next peg with a ruler or measuring tape. The smaller the gauge, the finer the yarn you need.

Generally speaking, you’d use a thick yarn or two strands of #4 for a 5/8″ gauge loom, one strand of #4 for a 1/2″ gauge loom, and #3 yarn for a 3/8″ loom.

But to help you work out which brands make which sizes, here is a great reference page from Goodknit Kisses.

Some of the brands originally included in the database are no longer manufactured. But it will give you the gauge for several brands still sold today: Boye, CinDWood, Knifty Knitter (sold on eBay), Loops & Threads, and the Martha Stewart Loom. For those who have the Darice loom, it is similar to the Boye, Knifty Knitter and Loops & Threads looms.

It is worth skimming the whole page as there are updated charts at the bottom and information about knitting needle to loom comparison and additional tips.

3. How do I convert a needle knit pattern to loom knitting?

This is one that still confuses me a bit, but there are guides for this as well!

Goodnight Kisses has a needle to loom conversion guide HERE.

The Vintage Storehouse also has a conversion guide, which includes a video.

4. What the does this abbreviation mean? Help, I don’t understand!

If you have come across a pattern that uses a code word that you don’t understand, here is a list of loom knitting abbreviations and what they mean. Unfortunately, there is no link on the page to explain how to do each thing, but it is at least a start to figuring out what the heck certain pattern abbreviations mean.

Isela Phelps also has an abbreviations list that does give a short description of each loom knitting term. Isela is the author of the Loom Knitting Primer and several other loom knitting books and patterns.

5. What is the difference between true knit, u-knit, flat knit, and e-wrap?

Knitting is knitting, right? Well, sort of. There are actually four ways to create a knit stitch. Some patterns specify which knit stitch to use and some let you decide for yourself.

If you’ve wondered what the difference is between the four knit stitches and want a visual comparison and instructions on how to do them, please check out the link above, from Loomahat.com.

Sometimes patterns do not specify which version of the knit stitch to use. Most of the time, I tend to err on the side of caution and assume that the pattern needs a true-knit or u-knit unless it says otherwise (sometimes I get lazy and do e-wrap).

True knit is essentially the opposite of a purl stitch. U-knit is similar to e-wrap, but you are only wrapping around the front of the peg. Flat-knit makes the tightest stitch.

The difference between true knit, u-knit, and flat knit is basically tension on the loom – how tight do you want your stitch to be? E-wrap is very easy, but it creates a twisted stitch, which can effect the look of the pattern.

6. Where can I find free patterns to try?

YouTube is your friend. You can find all kinds of loom knitting tutorials on YouTube. Hats, Scarves, Plush Toys, etc.

Authentic Knitting Board also has a lot of free patterns on their website as well. Keep in mind that these patterns are for small gauge looms, so they won’t work on a Knifty Knitter, Darice, Loops & Threads or Boye Loom. You would need a Knitting Board, CinDWood, Cottage Loom or similar.

Loomahat has a list of free hat patterns on the website. Generally, the patterns are for wide-gauge looms.

Ravelry is another great resource. Some patterns offered there are free and some are for sale.

 

I hope these were helpful. Happy Looming!

If you have a favorite loom knitting chart or resource, let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

Black Spiral Hat for me

I took a break from my moss slip stitch scarf and decided to make a hat for myself, since we’re about to hit our rainy season in Southern California (the bulk of our rainfall hits February through April). I wanted something quick, but fun, so I opted to make a spiral hat for myself.

Since I’m a bit more experienced at making these than when I made my second knit hat a year ago, I decided to try making it a slightly different way. I marked my initial purl stitches with stitch markers, but then I wrapped my knit stitches (without knitting them off) and just did my purl stitches and continued that way around the loom, so that I had a bunch of wrapped pegs where the knit stitches were, and did the purls as I went.

At the end of each row, I went back and knitted off all of the knit stitches, except the ones right before my last purls, so I could keep track.

This way, I didn’t have to move around the stitch markers as much. I’d seen something similar in a Loomahat video last year, where the knit stitches were wrapped but not knitted off so that you can keep track of the 3 knit-2 purl or 4 knit-1 purl pattern.

black_spiral_hat3   black_spiral_hat2

Sorry about the image quality. The picture on the right is closer to the true color of the hat, but I had to take it again with the flash for the spirals to show up.

 

To make this hat, here is the basic pattern:

Tools needed:

* 36-peg wide gauge loom. I used my new Darice loom set.
Note: You need an odd-numbered loom to make the spiral, otherwise you will end up with a rib stitch pattern. Basically, a multiple of 5 plus 1. That plus one is VERY important.
If you want to knit a hat for an adult man or a woman with a larger head, use a 41-peg loom. The 36-peg will make a woman’s or teenager’s hat.
* Knitting hook / knitting tool
* Tapestry Needle for doing the bind off
* 2 skeins of yarn or you can take one skein and wind it up into two balls
(I think I used Red Heart with Love Metallic in Black)
* Optional: Crochet hook to sew in the loose ends when the hat is done.

If you want to know what looms, knitting hooks, and tapestry needles I use, you can click on Venus’ Loom Bag.


Knitting Instructions:

Cast on

(We will do 3 sets of garter stitch rows for the brim. This is NOT a thick, fold-over brim. You’ll need more rows to make a fold-over brim – you can try 6-8 sets of garter stitch)
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl

(Now for the body of the hat, which in my case has a knit 3, purl 2 pattern. You could also do a knit 4, purl 1 pattern, if you prefer). I used an e-wrap stitch.

Knit 3, purl 2 (repeat this for every row).
Note: Because you are using an odd-numbered loom, your starting peg will move with each row.

For an adult hat: Follow this pattern until your hat measures about 9″.
For a man with a large head, you might wish to do 10″. For a teenager, knit 7.5″-8″ long.

* If you are new to loom knitting or find yourself getting very confused with keeping track of your stitch pattern, you’ll want to use stitch markers around the entire loom. See my old post about how I made my first spiral hat. The processed I used was a little more time consuming, but less likely to cause errors in the pattern.

For intermediate/advanced knitters: wrap 3 pegs, then purl 2, wrap 3 pegs, then purl 2 and continue until you have completed one row around the loom. Don’t knit off, just leave the pegs wrapped until you complete your row.

Once your row is done, knit off all of the wrapped pegs. Your starting place has now moved down one peg because you are using an odd-numbered loom. As you start a new row, move your stitch marker to reflect your new starting peg.

If you are working left to right, your starting peg is now one peg to the left of the original starting point. If you are working right to left, your starting peg is now one to the right of your original starting point.

Now, move your starting peg stitch marker and go ahead and knit your next row: knit 3, purl 2 (repeat).

You want to keep track of where your starting peg is for each row. I recommend the Boye stich markers that easily open and close or a diaper-pin style stitch marker as you can remove these without taking your yarn off of the peg.

Continue knitting more rows until your hat measures around 9″ long.

Once your hat is long enough, do a gathered bind off.

A gathered bind off will keep your pattern neat. If you tried to do a decrease, it would most likely throw off your stitch pattern.

Sew in your loose ends at the top of the hat. If needed, tighten your cast on row, then sew in the tail of yarn from when you started the project.

I hope you enjoyed this spiral hat. It was fun and quick to make.

Until next time, happy looming!

black_spiral_hat5

 

 

Roman Stitch Hats

Roman-stitch-hat-closeup1

One of the projects I worked on over the holidays was a Roman stitch hat for a little girl who is like a goddaughter to us. I knitted a Roman stitch hat for her and a garter stitch hat for her sister.

I got the idea while perusing the Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary by Kathy Norris. You can find my review of it here.

I ended up making two of these because I realized the first hat I made was more of a baby/toddler hat, so I made it again on a 36-peg loom so that it would fit an older child.

You can see both hats here:

Roman-stitch-hat-sm-med1

Since I’ve only seen the Roman stitch mentioned in a couple of places, I’m not sure if this is a common stitch, so I won’t post the exact instructions here. If you’d like to make one of these, I’d recommend getting the stitch dictionary.

If you know how to u-knit, purl, and do the gathered bind off, you can make this hat.

I used the Darice 36-peg loom and made a garter stitch brim. This is a wide gauge loom. You could make this on a small gauge loom, but you’d need two strands of thin yarn or one strand of worsted weight.

For the brim, I did three sets of garter stitch, but I did it as purl one row, knit one row instead of starting with the knit row first. The knit stitches are u-knit, not ewrap. I wanted the hat to fit an older child (6-11), not a teen, so I used u-knit so that the stitches would be a little tighter.

I used two skeins of yarn and knit as one. The yarn was Red Heart Super Saver in Country Blue and I think the multi-colored one was the Monet Print colorway, but I’m not sure. It was blue with pink, purple, and yellow mixed in.

Note: The Roman Stitch works best with an EVEN number of pegs, so if you are not using a 36-peg loom, make sure you choose one with an even number.

The hat “pattern” for the child’s hat went like this:

Brim:

E-wrap cast on
Row 1: Purl across
Row 2: Knit across
Row 3: Purl across
Row 4: Knit across
Row 5: Purl across
Row 6: Knit across

Body of the hat:

Roman stitch x 6
(The Roman stitch is essentially made up of knit rows and then a combination of knits and purls. Again, for the exact instructions, see the Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary).

Last row: Knit across then do the gathered bind off. For those new to looming, you will need a tapestry needle for the gathered bind off.

Here is a close-up of the Roman stitch:

Roman-stitch-close-up1

You can see in the photo that one of the Roman stitches in the middle has an extra “knit” as I’d lost track of my count so that one section in the middle is a little longer that the rest.

And for those who are curious as to what the inside looks like, here is the reverse side (inside) of the hat:

Roman-stitch-hat-reverse1

This was a fun and relatively easy hat to make! If you’re looking for something new to try, I recommend it.

I also used this yarn combination when I made the hurdle stitch hat for my niece last year.

If you are interested in checking out the Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary, written by Kathy Norris, you can find it at Joann, Amazon, and the Leisure Arts website. The author has written several books on loom knitting.

Do you have a favorite hat stitch or pattern you like to use? Let us know in the comments.

 

Loom Review – KB Baby-Knit Looms

My Baby-Knit Looms from Authentic Knitting Board came in this past week! I was very excited to try them out.

Sometimes it is hard to gauge whether you need to use a 24-peg loom or a 31-peg loom when making baby hats (or how many pegs to use on a small-gauge loom like the All-in-One), so this loom takes the guesswork out of the process of making baby hats and baby booties.

My first impressions:

As you can see from the photos, the set comes with a 56-peg loom in a sea-green/blue-green color and a small 24-peg loom in purple. The sea-green loom is designed for infant hats and the purple loom is for baby booties. Both looms are 3/8″ gauge, so you can use one strand of thin yarn. The booklet suggests one strand of #3.

You’ll also find a knitting hook and a booklet that offers basic instructions, which includes one hat pattern and one baby booties pattern. The booklet covers basic stitches: e-wrap, true knit, purl, and u-knit and shows you methods for casting on and binding off. The instructions are written in English and in French (sorry, no Spanish).

   

According to the booklet, a hat made in true-knit or u-knit will fit infants 0-6 months and e-wrap will fit 6-12 months (up to a 17.5″ circumference).

The first thing I noticed when handling these looms is that they are sturdy. The plastic is dense and the quality is good. I tried pulling on some pegs and they are very securely attached, but they have enough give to bend a little. They don’t feel cheap like my Boye looms. They feel heavier, too. Surprisingly, the material feels very soft in the hand.

I think it might take me a minute to get used to the weight, but I’m very impressed with the quality. I have never been disappointed in the quality of any KB loom I’ve purchased.

One plus of this yarn is that you can use a fine baby yarn for a more delicate look (like you’d get with needle-knit or crochet). Of course you can double or triple a thin yarn, but this loom allows you to use one strand, which is nice if you don’t want your hat to feel too thick, such as for a newborn hat in the summertime.

 

Thoughts after knitting with it for an hour:

The gauge is pretty narrow. I think it might be a little smaller than my KB Basics 32-peg loom, but I’d have to measure to be sure as KB doesn’t list the gauge for on the 32-peg loom on their website.

When I got the Baby-Knit Looms, I didn’t have a #3 yarn handy except for a wool yarn I didn’t want to use, so I knitted with a Caron soft #4 and that worked.

So far, I like the loom and as mentioned, I think one of the big selling-points of this loom is it takes the confusion out of making baby sets.

For beginning knitters, if you don’t have an exact pattern you’re working from that calls for a specific size of loom, it can be a little confusing to know whether you should use a 24-peg or a 31-peg loom. I like that this loom can make hats for babies up to 12 months and all you need to do is change the stitch to make the hat smaller or larger. For babies older than 12 months, you’d need to use a wide gauge 31-peg loom or you can make it on the All-in-One loom. Here is a link to some of the baby patterns on the KB website. Right now, KB has 3 patterns for the Baby-Knit Loom.

I would give this loom 4.5 stars.

It’s sturdy and well-made, it takes the guesswork out of sizing, and it is very affordable. I’d like to see more patterns for it, but the product is new and I’m sure designers will start coming up with more adorable baby sets to suit this loom.

 

*Disclosure: I purchased this loom set and did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. This post does include affiliate/advertising links.

 

 

 

Sorry I haven’t posted / Loom Knit Doll Patterns

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I had my surgery in July, which went well, but during the procedure, they discovered another condition, which means I’ll be needing another surgery. If all goes well, I’ll have my second surgery this year. So I’ve been a bit distracted and haven’t been posting.

Since I my last post, I did finish my friend’s green triple knit scarf and I started another scarf in the loops & threads Barcelona yarn, but I’m not sure what the pattern’s name is called. I also made some pretty purple scrubbies for a friend’s birthday using lavender purple cotton yarn and sparkly white/clear scrubby yarn.

I don’t have any pictures to post right now, but I don’t want to leave without sharing something with you all, so I’m going to share some loom knit doll patterns!

There’s a woman in my online knitting group who makes very cool loom knit dolls in all kinds of shapes: puppies, unicorns, monkeys, zebras, sheep, birds, and more!

Here’s an example of Christie Foo’s panda pattern:

Christie Foo's Panda Pattern
(c) Christie Foo

She has many designs on Ravelry, so please check out some of her awesome work.

Here’s another one of her patterns for adorable elephants!

Christie Foo's Loom Knit Baby Elephant Pattern
(c) Christie Foo

I really love her work and I hope you’ll enjoy these patterns, too.

Christie lists all the looms and types of yarn you’ll need for each pattern. As you can see in the two pictures above, she’ll also include the looms she used in the picture on each pattern so you know what type of loom she’s referring to.

I hope you are all well and that you had a great summer.

I’d love to hear what you’ve been working on. Feel free to post about your projects in the comments.

Happy looming!

 

Fun, Easy Loom Project – Scrubbies!

Blue_Scrubbies

I was on bed rest yesterday after hurting my back and wanted an easy knitting project to do with one of my smaller looms, so I decided to knit a few scrubbies for cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom. This was my first time making them. I’d been seeing a lot of people posting pictures of scrubbies in one of my online loom knitting groups and thought it would be a fun project to try.

I found a set of blue Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn and Red Heart scrubby yarn on eBay a couple weeks ago and decided to buy it in case I got the urge to make these.

The first scrubby took me about two hours to make and the subsequent ones took me about an hour and a half to an hour and forty-five minutes. So it’s not a super fast project, but it’s definitely much faster than making a hat or scarf.

The hardest part about making a scrubby is dealing with the cotton and scrubby yarns because they have no give. Acrylic yarns have a little bit of stretch to them, so they are easier to yarn over the pegs as you knit.

Materials needed to make a scrubby:

  • 24-peg loom (or 32-peg loom)
  • 1 skein of Red Heart Scrubby yarn
  • 1 to 2 skeins of cotton yarn such as Sugar ‘n Cream or Premier Home brand yarn (you need a cotton yarn since the scrubby will be getting wet; it will better absorb the water and soap)
  • Knitting tool/hook
  • Tapestry needle

To make a scrubby, you are essentially going to knit as if you’re making a baby hat. You’re going to use the same techniques you’d use for folding over and closing a brim and doing a draw-string closure for the top of a hat. So it is a very good project for a newbie (for a video tutorial, see the links at the bottom of the post).

I made these with an e-wrap knit and I recommend wrapping a little loosely so that your yarn doesn’t get too tight as you’re working. If you are used to using a flat stitch to knit, I would recommend not doing that for this project because the yarn will be nearly impossible to work with. Even with the e-wrap, there were a few times when my wrist was getting sore from trying to yarn over when the cotton yarn got too tight.

Yarns I used to loom knit these scrubbies: Sugar ‘n Cream in Dazzle Blue, Sugar ‘n Cream in Light Blue and Red Heart Scrubby in Waves.

Here is a close-up of the scrubby as I was making it.

scrubby_loom

I made my scrubbies an oblong shape rather than round because it was easier for me rather than pulling super tight on the yarn to get it into a disc shape. I also think that the oblong shape is nice because it basically fits perfectly in my hand.

For detailed, step-by-step instructions, here are some tutorials and videos on the process of making a scrubby on a loom.

Gina Lay has a very easy video on loom knitting scrubbies. She also has another video using an alternate way of casting on with the drawstring method.

If you don’t have scrubby yarn, you can also use tulle. Here is a tutorial from Joys of Creating on making a scrubby with tulle and cotton yarn, instead of scrubby yarn.

And, if you’d prefer a written pattern, I saw this one by Brenda Myers on Ravelry.

Happy Looming!

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did. If you decide to make them, please let me know how they turned out.

 

Looming Adventure: Rib & Garter Stitch Hat

rib-garter-hat1

So last weekend, I decided to try a pattern of my own. Though it didn’t quite come out the way I envisioned, the overall concept did work out. The picture above is of a baby-sized hat.

I wanted to make a hat that combined a rib stitch and a garter stitch. I will probably make this again and write up more detailed instructions. Essentially, I used a 2×2 rib stitch and in the middle I used garter stitches. But somehow I got a little off, so I think it was more like k1, p1, k2, p1. Then I repeated the rib stitch pattern until I was ready to do a decrease.

When I was ready to start the decrease, I used a garter stitch and then I did the k2tog where you’re taking the loop off a peg and moving it to the left to knit 2 together so that you end up with a loop on every other peg. I kept decreasing until I could close the hat and then I stitched it up with my tapestry needle to make sure the top was secure and flipped the hat inside out (since the rib stitch and garter stitch are pretty much reversible).

I made the hat on the Knitting Board Loom Knitting Basics Loom, which is the small 7 inch loom with 32 pegs. You could similarly use the 10 inch KB loom, the KB All-in-One loom or one of the small KB hat looms. If you’re using a wide-gauge round loom, you could use two #4 worsted weight strands and make the baby/child-sized hat on a 24-peg loom or a 32-peg loom. You could also use a larger loom to make an adult-sized hat.

If you like this pattern, please let me know and I’ll re-make this and write up more detailed instructions for it. But it was nice to try out a different pattern and also to practice a new technique (this is my first hat using a k2tog decrease).

I used Red Heart Ombre Yarn in purple.

 

10 Tips for Beginners

I’ve been loom knitting for approximately four months. It’s been a wonderful experience, and so far, I’ve knitted close to 20 projects (I have a couple that are still in-progress).

Today, I thought I’d share a few general tips for those who are just starting out with loom knitting or who are thinking about learning to loom knit.

Tip #1 : If you don’t own a loom yet, either buy a set of looms or think about what you want to make first and then pick out a loom. If you have no idea what you want to make, that’s fine, but if you already have a knitting project in mind, it’s helpful to know what you want to make and then buy the loom, so that you can make sure that you have the right size loom for your project.

For example, if I’m making adult hats, I’m going to want a 36-peg, 40-peg, or 41-peg loom. If I buy a loom with less pegs, then chances are the hat is going to fit a child, but not an adult.

If I wanted to make a scarf, though, I could pick almost any loom. The main difference would be whether I want to double-knit or single knit. If I want double-knit, I will need a long loom (basically, a rectangular loom). If I am single-knitting, I can use round looms or long looms. Personally, I find round looms to be more comfortable if I’m knitting in bed or somewhere where I don’t have a table or desk in front of me.

If you’ve already picked out a loom knitting a pattern, many times the designer will tell you what size loom you need to complete the project.

Tip #2: Youtube is your friend! If you don’t like reading patterns or if you have a hard time understanding how a certain stitch or pattern works, there are TONS of tutorials on Youtube for loom knitting. Loomahat makes a lot of easy-to-follow beginner videos. Goodnight Kisses also makes various tutorial and product review videos. I’d also recommend the Knitting Board website and Isela Phelps’ blog as they have patterns and tutorials as well (Isela often designs patterns for KB). And there are many more tutorials out there!

If there is something you’d like to learn to make, just go to Youtube, type in the type of project (hat, scarf, cable, double-knit, etc.) and “loom knitting” and you’ll find a lot of videos available.

Tip #4: Learn a basic pattern that uses both knit and purl stitches. Some people just start out with a basic knit hat only using knit (stockinette) and that’s totally fine. But I’d personally recommend learning the rib stitch or the garter stitch as one of your first 5 projects because these involve alternating knit and purl stitches. These two basic techniques are the building blocks on which all other patterns and stitches are based.

Tip #5: Learn the different ways of making the knit stitch. A lot of looms come with a booklet that will show you what is called the e-wrap stitch. You basically wrap all your pegs then wrap them a second time and knit off/yarn over. This is the most basic way to loom knit a knit stitch. However, it makes your cast-on row and your stitches very loose.

There are alternate ways of doing the knit stitch: the u-wrap (my personal favorite), the flat stitch, the true-knit stitch and the double-knit stockinette. Each have their pros and cons. Some patterns will tell you specifically which style of knit stitch to use to make your project look closest to the picture of the finished item. If a pattern does not say, then you can use your favorite version of the knit stitch.

I find the u-wrap knit stitch to be a happy medium between e-wrap and the flat-stitch. It creates a tighter knit, but it is not as challenging to work with as a flat stitch and I just haven’t gotten the hang of the true-knit stitch yet.

Here is a good tutorial from Loomahat explaining the different types of knit stitches and how to do them. There is also a video.

The double-knit stockinette really only applies to double-knitting. Double-knitting is it’s own animal, but it can create beautiful, thick knitted projects where the front and back of the piece look exactly the same. Normally, if you e-wrap or u-wrap a scarf, the front of it will be knit, but the back will look different.

Tip #6 Sometimes you have to frog it and that’s okay. I’ve heard knitters affectionately use the term “frogging”, which basically means unraveling a project. Maybe you’re learning a new stitch pattern and you skip a stitch somewhere or you lost track and knitted where you were supposed to purl and your pattern looks wonky.

Or maybe the project you’re making is just not coming out the way you want and it’s driving you crazy. It’s totally normal to have to unravel a few rows (or sometimes a whole project). It happens to everyone, especially in the beginning as you’re learning new stitches and techniques. Again, it happens to everyone and it’s part of the process, so don’t beat yourself up if you have to start over or re-do half of your project.

Tip #7 Different looms have different gauges, so some looms require you to use a single strand of yarn, whereas other looms require you to knit two strands as one. Most round loom sets come with wide-gauge looms and if you’re using a #4 worsted weight yarn, you’ll need two strands. For example, if you have a Loops & Threads, Knifty Knitter, Darice or Boye loom, then you have a wide-gauge loom and you’ll need two or three strands of thin yarns or your project will have a loose weave. However, if you have a bulky yarn, you only need one strand of yarn.

If you are using a Knitting Board (KB) loom, CinDWood, or a loom that lets you add pegs to make the gauge smaller, then you can use a single strand of medium-weight yarn. If you have a very thin yarn, you might still need to double-up, but most yarns you’ll see at a general craft store like Michaels and JoAnn are going to be a #4 or #5 yarn. They do carry other yarns, but a lot of the yarns they carry are in this weight range.

Tip #9 You can make blankets on small looms or large looms. There are looms specifically-designed for making blankets, which are usually called S-looms, infinity looms, or afghan looms. They look like a gigantic figure 8 and have two rows of pegs that curve around the loom. I own the Knitting Board Super Afghan Loom which you can find at JoAnn and Amazon, but there are other brands like Darice, Loops & Threads, CinDWood, and Knifty Knitter that make them as well.

You can also use long looms or round looms to make blankets. Depending on the size of your loom, you might be able to make a baby blanket or lap blanket or you can make a blanket in panels. One blanket that can be made on almost any loom is the 10 stitch blanket.

If you have a long loom set, the largest loom (around 2 feet long) can make a lap-sized blanket/throw blanket.

Tip #10 Buying looms can become addictive! A couple months ago, I polled an online loom knitting group and asked how many looms everyone owned. Most people owned about 10-25 looms, some owned as many as 40-60 looms! There was even one person who had around 100!!

You can make wonderful projects with just one or two looms. It is totally doable to start out small or to just buy a round loom set or long loom set of 4 looms and make many, many projects with them. But I have to admit there is something about having different gauges of looms and different sizes for different projects. And then there are small flower looms and spool/French knitter looms that you can use for embellishments or for making knit toys for children.

Go at whatever pace is comfortable for you. Also, think about what you most want to make and use that to determine whether you want one or two looms to get started or if you need multiple looms.

You can also opt for an adjustable loom that allows you to do a lot of different projects. The three that I can think of off the top of my head are the Knitting Board All-in-One, the KB Adjustable Hat Loom, and the Martha Stewart Crafts Knit and Weave Loom Kit.

The All-in-One is a wooden loom that has different spacers that allow you to change the size of the project you want to make. Goodnight Kisses did a nice review of this loom. The KB Adjustable Hat Loom and the Martha Stewart Loom Kit have interlocking pieces that you’ll use to make your loom large or small. Please note, some users have complained about the pegs falling out of the Martha Stewart kit, so if you buy this one, you might need to glue your pegs in to make sure they don’t come out.

Bonus Tip – You can get good deals on looms if you are a bargain shopper. If you plan ahead and use coupons (and rebates where appropriate), you can often get looms at a large discount.

For my U.S. readers: JoAnn regularly offers 40% and 50% off coupons, which you can use on Knitting Board or Boye looms. You can also get really good cash-back rebates for Joann via iBotta. Michaels carries their own Loops & Threads brand and if you use a coupon, you can usually get 40% off. Amazon carries most loom knitting brands, though the best deal on Amazon right now is for the Darice round loom set, which you can often find for $10-$13.

I’ve also heard of people scoring deals on looms and yarn at the thrift store, but that is a bit hit or miss.

For my UK readers: I’ve heard that Aldi has very good prices on knitting looms (I see a round loom set for £7 on their website). eBay also has inexpensive looms, though some are directly from China, so you might save money, but have to deal with longer wait times. On Amazon UK, they have H&S looms and Tmade looms for about £14-£16. Note: I’ve never used these brands, but the H&S might be worth checking out as it has 4.7 stars on Amazon.

Bonus Tip #2 – Keeping a log of your projects is a nice way to see what you’ve done and which stitches you’ve practiced. I keep a running list of my projects in Evernote and periodically update it here on my blog. I find it helpful to remind me of what I’ve accomplished in the last four months and it’s also really useful when I’ve set aside a project for a few weeks and I need to remember which stitch pattern I was working on. I can go back on my list and see I was making a hat with the seed stitch or a scarf with a figure 8 stitch.

Sometimes I also note what yarn I used. Over time, you might not remember what stitch and yarn you used for a certain gift or project and the list is a handy way to remember what you did last time, in case you want to make that item again, or if you didn’t like the way something came out, you’ll know what not to do.

I hope these were helpful! If you have a tip for newbies, feel free to post it in the comments below! Happy looming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Making a Spiral Hat

I made a hat for a friend of mine a while ago as a belated Christmas gift. It was one of my favorite things I’ve made so far: a spiral knit hat. Though it is a project beginners can do, I would recommend not doing this hat as your very first loom knit project (unless you’re someone who does traditional needle knits or crochet and you’re used to following a pattern where the stitches change frequently). It’s too confusing for a beginner who has never done anything on a loom before.

If you’re brand new to loom knitting and looking for something easier to do, start with a knit stitch, a basic rib stitch, or a garter stitch hat pattern. But if you’ve done a few projects already, or you’re a more experienced loom knitter, here are some basic tips to help you with making a spiral hat.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a step-by-step pattern tutorial, but it does cover how I made my hat, what size looms to use, and the process I used to keep track of the pattern.

I’d recommend using a 31-peg, 36-peg or 41-peg loom (basically any loom that is divisible by 5 plus 1). In the pictures below, I used the Loops & Threads 36-peg loom. I found a spiral hat pattern on Pinterest. It was designed for the Knifty Knitter 36-peg loom. While there are multiple ways to do the spiral design, I’ve seen this basic pattern used in a few tutorials.

What you will need to do this project:

  • A round knitting loom (preferably a 31, 36, or 41-peg loom)
  • Two skeins of worsted weight yarn (use a solid color)
  • Your knitting tool / knitting hook and a tapestry needle
  • A crochet hook (optional, for working in the ends when your project is done).
  • Removable stitch markers in 2 different colors or washi tape (make sure you have at least 10-15 stitch markers of each color)  – If you don’t have stitch markers that easily open and close, then you will need to use a different method to track your stitches.

Making the Spiral Hat:

The first step in creating the hat is to make a brim. A lot of times, you’re working with some variation of a rib stitch or a garter stitch. I followed what was in the pattern above. However, you can do knit 1, purl 1 or knit 3, purl 2 if you want the lines of the rib to match the spacing of the spiral pattern.

Here’s a picture of the start of the brim of my hat.

Spiral Hat - Starting the Brim
Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting

I’m going to assume that most of you know how to make a brim already and skip that part of the instructions. This post deals with how to work the spiral pattern itself.

Basically to do the spiral, you’re working in a pattern of alternating knit and purl stitches.

A few of the patterns I’ve seen for spiral hats use a combination of knit 3, purl 2 or knit 4, purl 1. This sounds similar to the rib stitch, but the key to the spiral is that the stitches move EVERY round/row.

If you’re like me and you are bad at counting stitches, the best way to make this pattern work is to use peg markers that are removable.

My favorite peg markers for this purpose are the Boye Stitch Markers, which have a clasp that you can open and close. You could also use Clover safety-pin style markers or removable washi tape. It doesn’t matter what kind of stitch marker you choose as long as it is easily removable. The Boye ones are very flexible though, so I tend to prefer them if I’m moving my peg markers a lot. The Clover ones are rigid.

My method of creating the spiral:

If you want to try my method for the spiral pattern, you will need around 10-15 stitch markers in TWO colors if you are making an adult-sized hat (20-30 stitch markers all together).

Essentially, what you will do is mark the start of the knit stitches in one color and the start of purl stitches in another color. You have three knit, and two purl. Repeat.

Stitch Markers for Spiral Hat
Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting

In the left side of the picture above, you’ll see that I have put a yellow marker on peg 1 where the knit stitches begin. Peg 4 is the start of the purl stitches and it has a blue stitch marker (see the middle of the photo). Skip one peg to account for the second purl stitch. Then, I’ve put another yellow marker on peg 6, which is where the second set of 3 knit stitches begins. I count three down and put another blue marker on peg 9.

Hopefully this isn’t too confusing. Basically, you just mark every peg where you are switching over from knit to purl or purl to knit.

Continue this k3, p2 pattern as you work your way around. When you get to the end of the row, you will have an extra peg between your last purl and the peg where you started. This is where you are going to start your second row. Now your pattern has moved one peg to the left of where you started (peg 1).

Now move your each of the stitch markers one peg to the left. After you’ve moved all the stitch markers to their new position, you’ll then start doing your knit 3 and purl 2 around the loom.

Every time you start a new row, your starting peg will move to the left.

Note: There are other methods that you can use to make a spiral hat without using a marker at the start of your knit and purl pegs.

And, if you don’t have enough stitch markers or moving that many stitch markers every row is too time consuming, you can just mark where your purls start, if that is easier.

The main reason I use stitch markers is that I know myself and I get easily distracted. If the phone rings or if I’m watching a movie and I get caught up in what is happening, I might not realize I’ve skipped a stitch on the pattern. Having colored markers makes it so that I always know where I am on the pattern—as long as I move the stitch markers after I complete each row.

Once you get the hang of the pattern, you’ll keep going one row/round at a time until you get the hat long enough. To gauge the length, I basically tried the hat on (still attached to the loom) to see if it was long enough. I’m not good at counting an exact number of rows. I either have to eyeball the project or I need measure by inches/cm.  Since I was making a hat for an adult woman, I used my own head to test the hat until it was long enough.

[Here is a guide I found on Goodnight Kisses which gives a length and circumference for loom knitted hats]

I used the basic method for closing a hat – sewing each loop on the pegs with a plastic tapestry/darning needle and then taking it off the loom and pulling it like a drawstring and sewing it closed. You can find tutorials for this Youtube. TIP: I do use a jumbo Clover needle for a lot of my projects as it has a large eye which can accommodate bulky yarns or multiple threads of worsted-weight yarn. You can find these at JoAnn, Amazon, and Michaels.

I made my spiral hat without a pom pom, but you can definitely add one at the top.

Color Choices:

The friend I designed the hat for loves yellow, so I made this with two Red Heart Super Saver yarns in two different shades of yellow (bright yellow and pale yellow). The hat reminds me of popcorn.

For the spiral to show really well, you want to use solid color yarns rather than a multi-color/variegated yarn. You could use two similar colors as I did. But you don’t want to use a rainbow yarn as it might not pick up the spiral as well.

Hopefully this made sense! It’s a little hard to explain without a video, but I hope this was helpful.

What is your favorite method for marking stitch changes in a loom pattern?

My first loom

1st-loom-knitting-project
First knitting Project using the Boye Medium Loom

I’ve been loom knitting for about 3 months. I bought my first loom, the Boye medium round loom, during a trip to JoAnn Fabrics with my mother-in-law. It was a spontaneous purchase.

I started a hat that just wasn’t quite working. I’d chosen something more complicated with an open weave and didn’t like the way it looked, so after a few rows, I decided to look on Youtube for a scarf pattern as I figured that the round loom should be able to make scarves as well as hats. So I searched for a loom knitting scarf on a round loom.

I found a video from Loomahat for a garter stitch scarf and immediately set to work. During this time, I got very sick with Bronchitis, so I was bedridden for a week. This was good in the sense that it gave me some time to knit, but I was so sick the first 2-3 days I couldn’t do anything other than eat, sleep, and cough.

The pattern I chose was great because it taught me the basic e-wrap stitch and how to purl. I loved that the loom made it much easier to count stitches. I’ve done some crochet, but I have trouble with many patterns because I’m terrible at counting stitches. All my scarves are done long-ways rather than say crocheting 20 stitches and working my way up the scarf.

Though it took me a few days to complete, I really enjoyed making the scarf. I felt so proud of myself. After that, a loom knitter was born!

If you’d like, you can click to see which looms I own or view my list of completed projects so far.

Thanks so much for stopping by!