Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Check it out! I can knit!

One of this year's resolutions was to learn and/or do 33 new for each year I've been around. I passed the mark quite a few months ago, but there are some new things that have been more impressive than others. Since I'm a bit of a crafting nut, (I seriously could do this full time...if only the pay would support me) I made sure that some of these new things were crafty.

A couple of months ago, I messaged my friend Jen over at Two Frogs and a Grasshopper. She is a seamstress extraordinaire and is handy with a skein of yarn. I decided that she would be the best on giving me advice for how to learn to knit and crochet. The tips she gave me were marvelous. I haven't yet braved the crocheting, but I did start knitting about a month ago. Jen's best tip on knitting? Don't use knitting needles. Use a loom.

Now if you're like me, you hear the word loom and think of some giant contraption., like me, would be wrong. This was the kind of thing she was talking about.

This makes knitting ridiculously easy. Yes, it still takes time to complete a project, but there isn't the frustration that I can foresee myself having with needles.

I went out and purchased a set of round and a set of rectangular looms. This way I can make anything from hats to scarves to afghans. Fantastic!

I started out with a hat. My first hat took me just a couple of hours, but I made a fatal error. Not having done this before, I had no idea which size would work. The initial plan was to make one for one of the little girls. Ya...size fail. Here's who it ended up fitting.

He doesn't seem to think this is fashionable.
All kitty torture aside, here's the basic instructions for knitting on a circular loom. If you get one you might want more specific instructions, but this will give you an idea of how straightforward it is.

Get your loom, a skein of yarn and your knitting hook (these typically come with the looms).  Loop your yarn around the start peg on the loom (the only peg that is on the side of the loom instead of the top. Starting with the peg to the left of the start peg and working clockwise, wrap your yarn counterclockwise around each peg. Do this until each peg has two loops.

Once everything has two loops, pull your yarn down and loop it again on the start peg or hold it fast. Starting with the peg to the right of the start peg use your hook to pull the bottom loop over the top loop and off the peg. Continue this clockwise. When each peg is back to one loop start the process again.

Once you have a few rows (somewhere around 5ish) you can release the yarn around the start peg and let it just drop through the center of the loom. Continue row after row until you've get the length you like (I created a brim on my hat - that will require an extra step - but let's keep it simple).

Once you have the length that you like you will use your needle (also usually included with the loom). Cut the yarn (leave the end long enough to wrap about 1 time plus a little slack around the loom). Thread this yarn up through the loops one at a time in the same order this time pulling the last loop of the loom as you go. When you get to the end, pull the yarn tight, tie a square knot and clip. Done.

See...that wasn't that bad.

Once I figured the process out, I broke out the next sized loom and went to town. This time it did fit one of the original intendeds. She was a semi-willing model.

Her blue steel look needs a little work.
The process for making a rectangular object is slightly different, but the skill level is about the same. Now granted, there are some more advanced projects that I haven't really tried my hand at, but I was pretty proud to be able to complete a wearable product in my first attempt. I don't call that half bad.

Happy knitting to you! I'm off to work on some more Christmas Projects!


  1. I've been curious about looms since I saw them on Design Mom. Knitting makes my hands ache, so this is on my to-do list to try.

  2. How did I miss this before?! Thanks for the shout-out. Looks like it was a success! The first time I ever used the tiny round loom, I had a similar problem. I was trying to make little leg warmers for my daughter, but it was so narrow, now it's (I stopped at one) a sleepsack for her little teddy bear. ha! All the Christmas scarves turned out great! Isn't it fun how different yarns can change the look so much?


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