A Guide to Loom Knitting
Loom knitting uses a wood or plastic knitting loom instead of needles to knit fabric from yarn. Knitting looms come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. In loom knitting, the yarn is wrapped around the pegs of the loom in a simple weaving technique. Different wrapping techniques result in different stitches and patterns on the fabric.
The pegs on a knitting loom correspond to stitches held on the knitting needles. The gauge of a knitting loom is determined by the distance between the pegs and the size of the pegs. Most knitting looms come with a metal hook or “pick” which is used to grab and pull the yarn over the pegs.
Loom knitting requires less dexterity and causes less strain on the hands than needle knitting. This simplicity makes loom knitting ideal for children and those suffering from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Loom knitting can create flat items, such as a scarf or afghan, and round items, such as a hat or sock.
If you are especially handy, you might consider making your own knitting loom. At simplest, you will need a smoothly sanded wood board, metal nails to create the pegs, a precise ruler and a pencil. You will space the pegs from ½ inch to ¾ inch apart depending on the types of projects you want to make. For specific instructions on how to make a knitting loom, see links below.
Knitting Loom Types
Rake- A rake is simply one line of pegs. You can only do flat knitting on a rake loom, and the fabric will have a right and wrong side. Gauge for rake looms is determined by the distance between pegs.
Round- Unlike a rake, a round loom has no starting or stopping point and can be worked continuously. This stitch continuity is the important distinction for this loom rather than the shape. “Round” looms can actually come in different shapes like triangle, square or oval. Circle looms are often used to make hats. Triangle looms can be used to create triangle-shaped shawls. Gauge for round looms is determined by the distance between pegs.
Afghan Looms- Simple afghan looms can be oval-shaped, while many afghan looms are curved into an S-shape or figure 8 to take up less space. They come in single and double-rake varieties, like knitting boards. Some have an adjustable peg to allow for creating round-tubes on each side of the figure. Small looms allow you to create afghan squares which are sewn together later.
Sock Looms- Sock looms come with a very fine gauge and many are adjustable, allowing you to create different size socks for the whole family.
Knitting Boards- A knitting board is two, connected parallel rakes used to create double knit fabric, or fabric that is finished on both sides. Unlike rake loom knitting with a right (knit) and wrong (purl) knit side, knitting boards create a fabric with the purl sides hidden inside, facing each other. Knitting boards are often adjustable to create different width between the two rakes. The gauge for knitting boards is determined by the distance between pegs AND the distance between the rakes.