For my U.S. Loom knitters, two popular craft stores to buy yarn, looms, and accessories are JoAnn and Michaels. But did you know that you can get big discounts at these stores?
If you’re a regular shopper, than you probably know that both stores offer coupons on their website, usually for 40-50% off one item or 20-30% off of your purchase. If you haven’t been checking for coupons when you shop, now is the time to start! 🙂
Both stores also have member rewards coupons when you sign up for their newsletter. At JoAnn, you can also get additional coupons which are not in the emails or on the website by downloading their app on your phone. What some people might not realize is that you can combine email and app coupons or website and app coupons if you are buying multiple items. You can also sign up for coupons by text message! JoAnn actively encourages coupon shopping and their staff will often help you to get the best deals because they want you to come back.
But that is not the only way to save at JoAnn. JoAnn regularly offers rebates for in-store shoppers through iBotta. IBotta is a popular phone app that lets you take a picture of your receipt and get money back for grocery, drugstore, and other purchases. JoAnn periodically has REALLY good rebates (this week, I can get 15% cash back by shopping in-store). Yes, that is fifteen percent, not 1.5% like most rebate offers. The trick is that you have to turn in your receipt within 7 days or you won’t get the rebate. Sign up here using my link (or type in the referral code jnblwkn) and we’ll both get a bonus when you claim your first rebates. You can also use iBotta for online shopping, too.
Ebates is a similar app, and you can use it to get rebates when you shop online at Michaels. It’s not as good of a deal as the in-store rebates that JoAnn offers, but if you are planning to shop online anyway, you will get 1-5% cash back on your purchase. You will also see coupons for Michaels in the app and sometimes sale items. The rate of the cash back varies. Ebates also has cashback for JoAnn.com, but if I’m shopping at JoAnn, I prefer using iBotta for in-store purchases to get the better deal, if I can get to the store.
Another way to save at Michaels is by looking for their clearance aisles. I usually find good yarn there, and recently, I scored some deals on the Loops and Threads Barcelona yarn, which is being discontinued. They were about 65% off the regular price. If your Michaels store is anything like mine, the clearance aisle is hidden away and you wouldn’t find it unless you ask – or you browse through every aisle. It is worth looking for the clearance rack!
Side tip: I’ve been told by several loom knitters that you can get good yarn at the Dollar Tree. I’ve seen people post about scoring Bernat blanket yarn there. I’ve never spotted any at mine, but I don’t know if they stock it in the big metro areas like Los Angeles and New York. It’s worth taking a look if you have one near you.
Once in a while, you can score yarn deals at Amazon, but I typically find better savings going to Michaels and JoAnn in person. One deal at Amazon I do recommend is their Darice Looms. You can get a good round loom set for $10-12 and I have seen them offer the really small flower looms for very cheap as well and they carry a set of Darice long looms, too. These looms are a great deal if you want to get started loom knitting and have a limited budget. You can make scarves, hats, and even blankets on them.
Where do you like to bargain shop? Do you have any tips for scoring deals at the major craft stores?
Last weekend, I decided to try my first double-knit project. It is a double stockinette stitch (where both sides of the panel are knit (rather than having a knit on the front side and a purl on the back). The double stockinette looks like a zig-zag pattern on the loom where you zig-zag across in one direction and then zig-zag back in the other direction.
I used the anchor yarn cast on. I’ll have to neaten up the edge at the end.
Here is a link to the instructions for knitting the double stockinette on the Knitting Board website. I followed the stitch pattern from the book that came with my KB Loom Knitting Basics Kit. You can purchase this kit at Joann, Amazon, or the Knitting Board website. Or, if you’re an intermediate knitter and don’t need the book or accessories, you can purchase the 32-peg loom by itself from KB.
I’m nearly done with my scarf and so far, I really love double-knitting. The project comes out so clean and pretty and the stitches have a smooth, finished edge and seem to be very uniform.
The scarf is made with one strand of Red Heart Super Saver Ombre (in Purple). I’d originally single-knitted a few rows with 2 strands of ombre yarn, but since the two skeins were starting with different shades of purple, I didn’t like the mixed color effect. Sometimes I love that, but for the scarf I was making, I really didn’t want it to have that speckled look that you get when you use two different colored strands as one.
I found the double-knit stockinette stitch to be very easy to do and I plan to make more projects with it. I also love my new KB 32-peg loom. It’s easy to hold in your hand and it’s small, so it’s a loom you can take with you anywhere. You can also make hats on it, but I haven’t tried that yet.
The scarf will probably be roughly 5 ft long when finished. I only have about a foot left to go!
Do you like double-knitting or single-knitting? Or does it depend on the project?
Last weekend, I went with a friend to JoAnn to finally buy the Knitting Board Afghan Loom that I’ve been coveting. I have a Loops & Threads Long Loom (which you can read my review of here), but I’ve been wanting to get the KB Afghan loom because it will make a blanket suitable for a queen/full-size bed. You can make large blankets on other looms, but generally you have to work in strips or panels.
I also scored several skeins of yarn, another KB ergonomic knitting hook (my favorite), a Susan Bates digital stitch counter that goes on the fingers, and a smaller KB loom kit suitable for hats, scarves and making those cute little amigurumi-style animals. Oh, I grabbed a set of Clover pom pom makers, too. I tried making a cardboard one last month, but I don’t think it will hold up for long-term use.
So far, I am not fond of the Susan Bates stitch counter that goes on the fingers. It loses the count if I move around too much and randomly adds a number. It seems to work better on the thumb, but I may have to just lay it on the table instead of wearing it. I was tempted to return the stitch counter, but I’m not sure when I’ll make it back to JoAnn. I’m not convinced it’s much better than the counter I already had, which is the kind you have to wind up or down whenever you add a row. I probably should’ve gotten the more expensive red Clover counter that you can hang on the neck.
I’ll probably post a review later or maybe put up a comparison of some of my looms.
Right now, I’m still working on knitting the cover for the top of my office chair and I’m making a spiral knit hat for myself in purple. If you haven’t seen my other post about spiral knit hats and want to learn how to do them, click here.
I’m looking forward to trying out the bright purple and blue striped Red heart yarn.
This weekend, I’ll be visiting a friend and teaching her a little about loom knitting. She is a crocheter and also likes to weave. She was going to buy a loom when we went to JoAnn last weekend, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to make her own knitting loom in her woodshop. So I’m going to show her some basics and see if she likes it enough to try making a loom of her own.
Have you purchased any fun new looms or accessories? Let us know in the comments below.
This President’s Day holiday weekend, I started a new project on my large long loom, the Loops & Threads 62-peg long loom (this is the green one). I bought this knitting loom from Michaels as part of a set of four long looms. If you don’t have a Michaels near you, you can find similar long looms from Darice on Amazon.
I’ve been coveting an S loom (either the Authentic Knitting Board Afghan loom or the Darice infinity loom), but since I don’t have one yet, I thought I’d try out this loom. Most of my projects are done on round looms, and the one long loom project I tried (with the shortest one in the set), made me hesitant to use my other long looms.
But despite my initial hesitation, and the couple of bad reviews I saw about this loom, I decided to give it a go and I was pleasantly surprised.
The issue I had with the shorter, blue long loom from this set was that it was more awkward to use than my round looms, and I felt some hand strain after using it for a while. I didn’t have that problem with this green loom because it is so long that I have to use it on a desk or a table, which minimizes me holding the loom for long periods of time. I’m only picking it up when I have to turn the loom. It is 58 cm (about 22 7/8 inches) in length.
There is a 1/2 inch space between pegs (3/4 inch if you count from the center groove of one peg to the center grove of another). It also has anchor pegs on either end of the loom. There is no “starting peg”, so I marked it with a Clover safety-pin stitch marker to help me keep track of my knits and purls.
The project I’m knitting is a cover for the top of my office chair because my cat Nix likes to sit on top of my desk chair when I’m at the computer. Her sharp, little claws dig tiny holes all over the faux leather fabric. Before she totally destroys it, I figured I should make some kind of chair cover.
I probably won’t make a full slip cover, just something long enough to cover the top of the chair all the way around so that when she jumps on it, it will stay in place and provide a cushion between her and the faux leather material.
Here’s a pic of her sitting on the chair behind me (lately, I’ve been keeping a towel on top of the chair to stop her from clawing it until the chair cover is finished).
I used a #5 Bulky yarn also from Loops & Threads brand. I got the Barcelona yarn in the Peony color. I love the yarn! The #5 yarn works great on the 62-peg loom because you only need one strand. I am so used to using worsted-weight #4 yarn, that I expected to have to double my strands for this project, but it looks perfect with just one strand of #5.
Here’s a picture of the chair cover so far. If you’re wondering which loom knit stitch I’ve used, it’s the garter stitch (alternating knit and purl rows).
Pros of the Loops & Threads green long loom:
It is fairly light-weight and the spacing of the pegs feels perfect. It’s not too wide, nor is it too close.
The pegs feel fully anchored in the holes, so I’m not worried that pegs are going to suddenly fall out or break off.
The plastic feels fairly sturdy for the most part.
You can make baby blankets, lap-sized throw blankets, or you can make panels for a large blanket. You could also use this for knitting adult-sized clothes.
Cons of the Loops & Threads green long loom:
It is a little too flexible. I saw reviews that complained that this loom bends or bows when making a blanket. While I had no problem with this loom using a #5 yarn, I could see the bending/bowing issue being a problem if you’re using a very thick, bulky yarn or you’re doing a lot of double-knit projects. If you press on the loom, you can see it bend in the middle (see my photo below) or if you stick your hand inside and wiggle it, you can see it bow outward. You can also bend it up and down if you press at the sides. This could be a problem if the loom is getting heavy use or you’re trying to double-knit thick yarns.
It’s long, but still not long enough if you want to make full- or queen-sized blankets without sewing panels together. You’ll need an S-loom (an infinity loom or an afghan loom). Darice, Loops & Threads, and Knitting Board make larger afghan looms (see the links at the top of this post). Knitting Board also has a 28″ long loom if you want something in-between this loom and the infinity/afghan looms.
See how the loom bends in the middle when I press on it:
This loom will get you by, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it for doing a lot of double-knitting. If you’re mostly single-knitting in a flat panel, this looms seems fine and I don’t think the bending would be a problem. However, doing a lot of double-knits will cause the loom to bend in the center, which will throw off the spacing between stitches over time. If you’re mostly knitting with thinner yarns, then you might be fine to try a double-knit on this loom.
Overall, I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars based on my current experience (4 out of 5 if you’re only going to use it for single knits). You can make scarves, blankets, and other projects. I think this loom would work well for knitting adult-sized clothes, though you might have to knit flat and sew the sides together.
The Loops & Threads Long Loom Set is affordable, especially if you have a 40-60% off coupon from Michaels. So it definitely a good option if you can’t afford an S loom and you want to do blankets, scarves, and hats (though for hats you’d use the smaller looms in the set). If you are interested in seeing reviews about the other looms that come in the Loops & Thread set, please let me know in the comments.
Do you knit with long looms? If so, which ones are your favorites?
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.
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.
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.
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 niece’s birthday is this weekend. Happy Birthday, Alayna! So in honor of her birthday, I decided to loom knit a hat in one of her favorite colors (blue). I wanted to make something new that I’d never tried before. In the past, I’ve made garter-stitch, rib-stitch, and spiral-knit hats.
As I was browsing for something new to try, I saw a hat pattern posted on Knitting with Looms and thought it would make a cute hat. I had a skein of blue Red Heart with Love yarn and some multi-colored Red Heart Super Saver yarn so I decided to combine them. I used my Loops & Threads 36-peg round loom.
I used a basic rib stitch for the brim (knit 2, purl 2). The body of the hat uses an alternating knit and purl stitch pattern (see the link above for the exact pattern). It’s called the Hurdle Stitch. To track my stitches, I used my Boye stitch markers. If you’re new to loom knitting, stitch markers are your friends! It’s very helpful to mark your pegs in some way so that you can track where you are in the pattern and where you left off.
You can use actual stitch markers such as the Boye stitch markers or Clover stitch markers or you can use a rubber band or washi tape. I tried using a sharpie on my first loom, but after a while, the sharpie color wears off. Some people just tie a piece of yarn on the loom (in a different color than the project).
Tip: If I am marking pegs for a pattern that changes during the project, I like the Boye ones because they snap open and closed and you can remove the stitch marker and place it on a new peg at any point in the project. This is helpful for a pattern where you have to change the stitches in the middle.
For this hurdle stitch hat, you could use rubber bands, tape, or closed stitch markers because you’re basically just marking every other peg. You don’t need to remove the markers until the project is over.
The hurdle stitch pattern is suitable for beginners, though if you’ve never knitted before, I would probably start with a basic knit or garter stitch pattern until you get the hang of the knit and purl stitches.
I like the way it came out. Hopefully my niece will like it too!
If you like to loom, what is your favorite stitch pattern?
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!