Learning to Love the Loom

Contributed by Renee Van Hoy

Why would you want to try loom knitting?

Well, it is fun, but that’s not the only reason. People who are challenged by reading patterns for crochet or knitting often find they can loom knit without difficulty. People who have trouble with their fingers, hands, and wrists often find loom knitting causes less pain, which is a huge plus. People who want simple and fast can find projects that suit them and so can people who like projects that are detailed and complicated.

How can you start?

Looms come in a wide variety of sizes and materials. They also come in different gauges just like knitting needles and crochet hooks. Most loom knitters start with the Knifty Knitter, a set of 4 round rings found at local craft stores. This basic set is a good way to try loom knitting for a small investment. When you find that you love to loom, you can expand your loom collection dramatically.

Where can you find patterns?

Although there are not nearly as many patterns and tutorials available for loom knitting as for other needle arts, there are enough to keep you busy for a very long time.

For books about loom knitting, Bookshare is a great resource. Here are some titles to start with:

• The Loom Knitting Primer
• Learn New Stitches On Circle Looms
• Learn to Knit Cables On Looms
• Round Loom Knitting Patterns
• Loom Knitting Pattern Book
• Learn to Knit On Circle Looms
• Knifty Knitter Booklet 2
• Knitting With The Knifty Knitter

For contact with other loomers, there is a very active on-line community ready to help the new loomer. The Knifty Knitter Loom Group at Yahoo Groups is hosted by a talented blind loom knitter from the UK, Helen Jacobs-Grant. Helen spins her own yarn, dyes it in natural dyes, and looms it into wonderful creations. She also writes and shares many of her patterns, and gives freely of her loom knowledge.

For an online looming reference, go to Loom Knitting Help. While there are many other tutorials for loom knitters on the internet, most of them use video clips or PDF files. Loom Knitting Help has tutorials that can be accessed with a screen reader. There is so much information that the site can be overwhelming at first, but it’s worth getting to know as it’s a great place to find looming tips and instructions.

For individual patterns, check loom knitting blogs or Ravelry. The majority are free, with some of the more complex offered for sale. The patterns often come as PDF files. Some of these files are accessible as is, but if my screen reader cannot work with them, I can often access them by using the “read aloud” function in Acrobat Reader. If I still can’t access the content, I have found that the pattern authors are usually happy to send me a plain text file on request.

These are some of my favorite pattern writers:

The Loom Lady: Brenda specializes in patterns for small toys and decorations, and has created “loomchet” a loomed version of crochet.

Kelly Knits: Kelly has written wonderful patterns focusing on Intarsia and designs within the loomed fabric.

Bev’s Country Cottage Loom Page: Bev has put together some great lists of loom patterns, and has an especially nice collection of baby patterns and patterns for the beginning loom knitter.

Invisible Loom and Craft: Well, this is my own blog. I focus on loom knitting for the visually impaired and blind, and offer over 30 patterns. The patterns come as large print PDF files, but just contact me and I will send a plain text version. My goal has been to push the boundaries of loom knitting, and I have focused on lace patterns for the past year.

As with other stitch arts, loom knitting can be as easy or as complex as you want it to be. There are many reasons to try it, inexpensive looms to start with, and lots of resources to get yourself going. So why not give it a try?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helen
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 19:10:44

    brilliant post Renee, thanks for the mentions too, I’ve entered you into the competition 🙂


  2. Ana
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 17:14:28

    Press enter on the Loom item under Categories to bring up a list of posts on looming. I know we have one with good info for people who are starting out.


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