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.

 

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.

 

 

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!

 

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!