Personally, I enjoy knitting and learned with knitting needles, however having 3 kids, and a busy life, knitting needles proved to be difficult to not lose count or have things not unravel as constant interruptions occur. I can't begin to tell you how many times I put my needle knitting aside and found my kids playing drums with my knitting needles.... which were suddenly no longer in my project; or how often I would see the dogs discovered my knitting needles (that were in the project I was working on) make great substitute bones. I am going to review how to utilize a loom to knit, which I have found to be much easier to just drop what you're doing, (as is required by moms) without losing your place.
A loom is essentially a block with pegs that you can wrap the yarn around. There are grooves in the center of the loom for the pick/hook to fit in when making your stitches.
There are many different types of looms for different knitting needs. Below are pictured three examples of common loom types. The double-sided rectangular looms are great for double stitches, gloves, or socks. The round looms are commonly used for hats. The one to the far right that looks like a S, or 8 is great for blankets.
Casting on to the Loom
To "Cast on" or get your knit started, tie a knot around the first peg. Then, starting from behind the second peg, wrap around clockwise. Then repeat this pattern down the loom, until you've reached your desired length. Be sure to always keep the yarn behind the pegs.
When you get to the last peg, wrap it twice, and begin working your way back to the beginning peg, wrapping each peg twice. Since you are working in the opposite direction, in order to keep the yarn behind the peg, you will need to wrap each peg counterclockwise.
Now that each peg has 2 wraps on it, you can begin your stitches. There are two basic stitches, the Knit Stitch, and the Purl Stitch.
The knit stitch to me, look like little V's
This is the easiest stitch to complete on the loom.
Take your hook, and grab the bottom wrap, and bring it over the top wrap, and off the peg. Push the wrap left on the peg down to the bottom. Thats it! You did a knit stitch. Now just repeat that all the way down the loom. Once you reach the end, wrap the pegs again, just like in step 1, and repeat the stitch.
Purl stitches are the opposite of knot stitches. If you look at something you completed knit stiches for - the underside of the knit, is purled. Purl stitches to me look like little minus signs, or little lines.
If you're anything like me, you'll ask yourself "why would I need to purl anything, if I can knit it, and just turn it around?" - Good question. Purl stitches become important when you want to start incorporating designs in your knitting. If you want to do honeycomb, moss, or rib stitching, you need to alternate knits and purls. There are tons of really cool knitting patterns you can do and ultimately, they are just different combinations of purls and knits.
In a Purl, we still want the bottom wrap to be cast off, but instead of going over the top wrap, we want it to go under the top wrap.
Pull the yarn to the front of the peg. Lift the Yarn currently wrapped on the peg, so it becomes the top wrap. Pull the yarn across the peg, below the wrap.
Put the hook through the top of the upper wrap, and hook the yarn, and pull it up through the upper wrap.
Once you have a good-sized hoop, that you can handle easily, remove the hook. Using your fingers, pull the wrap off the peg (don't lose hold of your loop). Place the loop on the peg and pull the yarn to tighten it. You've done it! That is a purl.
Now that you can do the two basic stitches, once you get them down well, you can do all sorts of designs.
Casting Off the Loom
Once you've finished knitting your project, you need to cast off, and get the project off the loom.
You should have one row wrapped around each peg. Starting on one end, lift the wrap off the peg, and place it on top of the peg next to it. Now you have 2 wraps on the peg.
This time you want the bottom wrap to stay on the peg, and the top wrap to cast off. (If you do it the other way around your last row of stitches becomes very tight)
Scoop the tool under the top wrap, turn the tool around, grabbing the bottom wrap and pulling it through the top.
Pull on the wrap, to create a hoop on the hook. Pull upwards, to get the wrap around the peg off (while being careful to keep your hoop on the hook)
Once the wrap is off the peg, place the hoop on your hook down onto the peg. Push wrap to the bottom and repeat until you have no more wraps on your pegs.
Once you get to the last wrap, tie off with a knot.
Find a Project!
Now that you know how to loom knit it's time to search Pinterest and find a project to start. Let me know what you tried and post some pictures!!