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!

 

 

 

 

 

Loom Knitting Stitches – Resources

 

My current obsession is finding new loom knitting stitches. If you’re a beginner to intermediate knitter, you might be wondering what other stitches are out there to try and where to find them. So I’ve put together some online and printed resources where you can find stitch patterns for your loom.

ONLINE

Isela Phelps Blog – Isela writes books on loom knitting and she also creates patterns for KB (Authentic Knitting Board). She has two loom knitting guides that will show you how to do stitches such as garter stitch, 2×2 rib stitch, basketweave, moss stitch, a diagonal herringbone, slip stitches and more.

Loomahat – You can find a lot of stitches on both the blog and the YouTube channel, as well as buy downloadable stitch booklets, which are sold on Amazon and Etsy. Denise’s blog and videos are VERY beginner-friendly. Pretty much all of the stitch tutorials that she makes also have a video, so you can follow along step-by-step. Examples of stitches include: bamboo, Andalusian, basketweave, double moss, farrow, linen, tiny heart, open weave, waffle, and more.

KB Looms Blog – on the Authentic Knitting Board website, they have some stitch patterns (as well as beginner tutorials) available. This link will take you to the Stitchology page which has 39 stitch patterns, including eyelets and cable knits. They offer instructions for knitting an 8×8 inch square in each pattern.

Keep in mind that the instructions for the squares are designed for a small gauge loom, so if you have a Knifty Knitter, Boye, Darice, Loops & Threads or other large gauge loom, your finished product would be much bigger than 8×8 inches.

Loom Knit Central – They have tutorials for double knitting (also called double rake knitting). Examples of stitches include the stockinette (knit), rib, box, ladder, honeycomb, star, brioche and even a cable stitch.

 

BOOKS

Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary – This book gives you 90 stitches that can be made on the loom, including basic knit and purl stitches to eyelets and cables. It gives you instructions for flat knitting and knitting in the round. It’s a handy go-to book for practicing new loom knitting stitches. I’d recommend this for the intermediate to advanced knitter or a beginner who is comfortable reading knit patterns without a step-by-step tutorial.

Loom Knitting Primer – This book by Isela Phelps is basically a bible for loom knitting. It has instructions for just about everything a beginner needs to know to get started with loom knitting. It includes project patterns and there is a list of stitch patterns in the back. This is the book I’d recommend for a beginning loom knitter. Intermediate knitters can skip to the back to see a list of stitches, which includes knitting charts.

Loom Knitting Stitches: My Top 10 Volume 1 – This book is written by Denise Canela from Loomahat. The book includes written instructions for the bamboo stitch, celtic knot stitch, basketweave, and several other stitches. It is similar to what is on her blog, but is handy if you want to have the stitch instructions in one place. She gives you instructions for flat knitting and knitting in the round.

If you get lost while trying out the pattern, Denise does include links to her Youtube Tutorials. This book is also available as a PDF from Etsy.

The Easier Way To Knit: A Guide to Double Rake Loom Knitting for All Skill Levels – I haven’t tried this book yet (as of Jan 2019) but it’s been on my list of books to try. It is a tutorial for double knitting, which you can do on a long loom (the rectangular looms). The back of the book has a stitch guide.

The Knitting Bible – Okay, so it’s technically not a loom knitting book, but if you can read a knitting chart (or if you know how to convert a pattern), you’ll find a lot of stitches in here. I’d recommend this for the intermediate to advanced loom knitter. Every stitch has a picture of the stitch, instructions and a knitting chart.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Book Review – Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary

Loom-Stitch-Dictionary

Hi everyone!

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:

Loom-Stitch-Dictionary1

And here are some of the stitch patterns you can create:

Loom-Stitch-Dictionary2Loom-Stitch-Dictionary3Loom-Stitch-Dictionary4

* 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.

 

 

Make your own knitting looms

I stumbled across an article a month ago explaining how to make your own knitting looms and I thought that was a cool idea! I was looking for a friend of mine who is just getting into loom knitting (and who has a table saw and woodworking equipment at home).

Are you, or your partner, very handy with tools? Do you have a saw or a sander? If so, then this post is for you. (Or, if you want to do a kid-friendly craft project and make a smaller loom/french knitter, scroll to the bottom)

I will admit that cutting wood and sanding is not my forte. That is the domain of my fiancé who is very good at making things like wooden pens, mugs, boxes, bookcases, etc. He’s the one who can look at a piece of wood and know what tree it is from and who can wax on about different types of nuts, bolts, and screws and what you’d use them for.

While I am not confident enough with these things to make my own looms, I love the idea that with a few pieces of wood and certain nails or screws that you can have a knitting loom! So I wanted to share some resources with those of you who are far more adventurous than I am.

Wooden Loom Tutorials (Written Instructions)

Instructables – Make an Adjustable Knitting Loom

This Instructables tutorial shows you how to make a knitting loom similar to the KB All-in-One loom, where you can adjust the side pieces to the size you want. You can use it to make a hat, socks, or scarves and flat-panel items. What I like about this loom: 1. It is adjustable. 2. The pegs have grooves in them. 3. You can make it in different gauges (there are two versions/instructions for the loom, depending on the spacing you need). There is even a tutorial for making a knitting tool/hook!

The only potential drawback I see is that over time, the pegs might get worn down from the loom hook scraping the wood. I suppose you could put some sort of epoxy or finish on the wood to minimize this or just make the pegs replaceable.

This tutorial is probably a little more advanced than some of the other tutorials.

Knitting Naturally – Make Your Own Knitting Loom

Knitting Naturally covers making a basic knitting loom with wood and nails. It uses more basic tools, so if you don’t have a fancy table saw and router table or a drill press, you can still get the job done if you have sandpaper, a hammer, nails, wood, and a saw. While the instructions are not too complicated, the only drawback to this tutorial is that there aren’t pictures of what each step looks like, so you’re just reading the instructions.

Video Tutorials

I know some of you are visual learners and need to actually watch someone do each step, so here are some video tutorials that I saw on Youtube which teach you how to make wooden looms.

Alison Russell has a tutorial on making a rake loom with wood and nails.

Alison Russell’s Craft Channel – How to make a long knitting loom. Rake loom.

Note: a rake loom only makes a single-panel item like a scarf or a dishcloth. You wouldn’t be able to knit a hat on this loom as it is. However, you could follow the instructions on one of the other tutorials above and make a second rake and add spacers to be able to make double-knits or hats.

She makes each peg with two nails, so the space in between the nails is the “groove” that you’d find on other looms, rather than having to run your knitting tool on the surface of the nail with no groove – or having to use a tool to scrape a groove into the nails.

Living Wilderness Bushcraft School –

This tutorial shows you how to make a round loom and then how to knit a hat on that round loom.

Workshop Series part 1: Making a hat loom

Workshop Series part 2: Making a woolen hat

The instructor, Johnny Walshe, uses plywood and cotter split pins. Make sure to read the description of the video as he offers a link to a template to help you make the loom. He doesn’t give the exact spacing for the pegs in the video, so you’d have to decide that for yourself or use his template.

Johnny shows you an example of knitting looms made with nails and looms made with the cotter pins (which have an open groove in the middle). I love that he offers various ways to make the loom, depending on what tools you have available. He does it with hand tools and with electric tools.

The style of loom he makes is very similar to looms offered by Cottage Looms.

Easy looms for kids / Simple looms with household items:

If you’re not good with woodworking, but you want a kid-friendly craft project, or if you just want to try making an impromptu loom with household items, this section is for you!

In my search, I did see a couple of kid-friendly tutorials on making a knitting loom with things like Popsicle sticks and a toilet paper roll (or similar cardboard tube). These are what I would call french knitter or spool knitter looms. They are designed for small projects or for knitting an i-cord, which you can then work into other projects.

Hands Occupied – How-to: DIY a Knitting Loom & Knit with it

This is a kid-friendly and simple tutorial on making a loom with Popcicle sticks and a tube (could be a toilet paper roll or another similar tube). The tutorial is long, but she does show you how to actually knit on the toilet paper loom. She also gives examples of things you can make on this style of loom.

Knit Chat – Make Your Own Knitting Loom

The Knit Chat tutorial shows you how to make two looms: 1. a small loom with a toilet paper roll and Popsicle sticks and 2. a loom made out of a plastic bottle/plastic container.

I hope that was helpful. And if you’re like me and you love the idea of a wooden loom, but don’t have the patience, or the skill, to make one, you can find wooden looms like this from Knitting Board, Cottage Looms, and CinDWood looms. Keep in mind that wooden looms tend to be more expensive, so a single loom from these companies will run you between $11-$80 depending on the size of the loom.

You can find Knitting Board looms on sale at JoAnn, Amazon, and eBay (or you can get 10% off your first order if you sign up for the Knitting Board newsletter and order off of their website). Cottage Looms are sold on Etsy and CinDWood sells on their website. Once in a blue moon you can find a used one on eBay.

If you’ve made a loom of your own, please show us a picture in the comments or let us know what you made!

Happy Looming!