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!

 

 

 

 

 

Patience is a virtue (and the Moss Slip Stitch)

 

 

The past few weeks, I’ve been working on a new stitch pattern called the Moss Slip Stitch from the Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary (you can read my review of the book here). The Moss Slip Stitch is a beautiful stitch, especially in small gauge. I have to say it’s the most beautiful stitch I’ve knitted thus far and my KB round looms make it look really nice because of the tight 3/8″ loom gauge. The pictures don’t do it justice.

The problem is that I started out with a knit stitch for the selvedge and I didn’t realize it would make the whole scarf curl in. I should have done a garter stitch. While there are purls in this pattern, it was not enough to stop the curling. I think I will need to make this thing double length so that I can loop it around twice and make it a nice infinity scarf/cowl scarf.

Here’s a picture of my recent progress. I still have a long way to go to get this done.

This project requires a lot of patience as more than once, I’ve done 1-2 rows incorrectly and then had to figure out which row I should have done and then unravel the mistakes and start that section over again. And whenever I set the project down and start up again, I tend to lose my place.

It is a lesson in patience.

How can it be that the most beautiful stitch I’ve knitted thus far has resulted in a project I’m hesitant about finishing?

And yet, because the stitch is so lovely, how can I not finish it? The knitter’s moral dilemma.

I will persevere!

For those wanting to try the moss slip stitch on a loom, I would suggest getting a copy of the Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary. This pattern is a slightly different version of the moss stitch and I haven’t seen it in other tutorials, or I’d post the pattern instructions here.

It’s similar to the Irish moss and the double moss, but there are stitches that you skip over and slip behind the peg.

I did find a needle knit tutorial of this stitch on YouTube, but the finished piece looks a little different because the video shows how to knit the moss slip stitch in two colors rather than one. However, it is essentially the same pattern (if you follow the video, you’d just need to convert for the loom).

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.

 

 

 

Loom Review – Knitting Board All-in-One Loom

I bought the Knitting Board All-in-One Loom several months ago, but didn’t have a chance to play with it until April. The All-in-One Loom is designed to be a single loom that can accomplish multiple projects of different sizes – hats, scarves, blankets, socks, baby clothes and various double-knit and round-loom projects.

The loom is 18 inches and is set up with wooden spacers, bolts, washers, and nuts so that you can adjust the spacing of the loom. You can use the really small spacers for double-knits, and you can use the larger spacers with pegs on them for knitting in the round or for doing blanket panels.

The loom has a smaller gauge than the typical inexpensive, plastic looms you might buy from your local craft store or Amazon. You can knit hats and scarves without having to double your yarn (unless you’re using a fine yarn). A single strand of #4, worsted-weight yarn works great.

The All-in-One is long, so turning it and knitting the little spacer pegs can be a bit awkward until you get used to it (especially if you’re making a smaller item where you have to reach in between the long side pieces to get to the spacer that’s in the middle. Check out the pictures below. I’ve positioned the spacer as if you were making baby booties or something really small.

    

So far, I’ve made a double-knit scarf and a basket-weave hat on the All-in-One loom. Overall, I like it, though initially, I didn’t like that there were only two of the small spacers.

Note for double-knitting:

The small, skinny spacer juts out a little no matter which direction I install it and depending on where you place these spacers, your loom may wobble, especially if you’re knitting on a table or desk rather than in your lap. I asked Knitting Board if it was possible to order an extra spacer to make the bottom of the loom more balanced (they did oblige me and I was able to get two more small spacers). I just need to buy the extra bolts and nuts for them from the hardware store.

Here is an example of how the small spacers jut out at the bottom when you’re using them for double-knitting. This happens even if I turn them in the other direction where they are wider rather than taller.

Oh, I should also mention: when you first change the loom size, it might be hard to get the bolts out. To get my bolts out, I set the loom on its side with the tail/screw end of the bolt on the table and the head of the bolt in the air. I then rock the loom a little and tap it against the table and then the bolt pops out. You could potentially use a hammer or other object to gently tap on the bolts to loosen them from the wood. Just be careful not to damage the loom.

My overall thoughts:

I think the loom is a good buy if you can’t afford to get lots of different looms or you have space constraints and you want one loom that does almost everything. Or if you prefer a small gauge loom and don’t mind the length.

Those with severe arthritis or other dexterity issues might have a harder time with the loom because of the narrow gauge and the awkward size.

Quality-wise, the loom is good. I really like Knitting Board’s looms because they are sturdy, easy to assemble and they are well-constructed.

Overall, I do like the All-in-One loom and will consider it a staple in my collection, but for smaller items, I like my Knitting Board Basics loom because it is more portable, easy to hold in your hand and I don’t have to worry about it wobbling if I’m using a small spacer. I think the basics loom is the same as the 10-inch loom (if you don’t need the booklet and crochet needle). I also have the adjustable hat loom, which is lighter and while it’s also fairly long, it’s a little easier to manipulate when working in the round.

Rating: I give this loom 4.5 stars.

 

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