Monday, November 28, 2011

A Week of Loom Knitting!

Wow, what a week!  Last Monday, on the Cricut Blog, Kristen Swain posted her Knifty Knitter project.  In her post, she mentioned completing it in an afternoon!  That little gem encouraged me to dust off the looms I have and try loom knitting!  I had been pinning loom tutorials on Pinterest, thinking I would try using my looms this winter, but her quick project spurred me to try it now! 

I am not a knitter (although lots of ladies have tried to teach me over the years and have failed!) and I have never tried crochet.  I have done weaving though-- the first time was while I was still in high school and attending a summer college program at Berea College whille working in the historical loomhouse there.  When I started thinking of this as weaving, it fell into place for me!

I already had all the looms -- in the store, they always looked like a good idea but the directions were too hard to figure out once I got home.  (Does that ever happen to you?)  I think that's why they have just been setting here, getting dusty.  So, the first thing I did after seeing Kristen's project was to get a book with a DVD to help me.  (This Boyle book was from Walmart for around $15). 

I highly recommend this one!  I watched it all the way through and then just re-watched segments as I tried new things.  I started off by making doll-sized hats and scarfs so that I could tell pretty fast if it was going to work out... and to my amazement, it did! These are my last doll-sized items.

This doll hat was made on the smallest circle loom. (This is the one for baby hats.  I did try the flower loom but it was too small for American Girl Doll heads!)  I added in a few rows of flat stitches among the e-wrap rows, giving it that shape and I learned how to do a color change.  This one had a hemmed brim and a gathered bind off.  The decorative flower was made on the spool knitter.  The scarf was made on the spool knitter as well (large end). 

I tried a similar ear wrap for my daughter like the one Kristen made on the Cricut blog ....

... while learning how to do a flat panel with slip stitch edges, flat panel bind off, and a flower loom embellishment.  Then I figured out how to do double knitting and that changed everything!  This scarf is a double knit stockinette, which is a reversible, thick weave with sides that do not roll.  I also figured out how to do fringe correctly, creating a 4" fringe by making 11" cuts.  The scarf finished out at 4-1/8" wide and 50-7/8" long (measurement does not include the fringe). 

Then I decided to try a gift!  This set was made for my 3-year-old niece.

The child's scarf was made on  the smallest long loom (pink), using a double knit ribbed stitch.  I used a diagram I found in a book called the Loom Knitting Primer.  I impressed myself by figuring out an error in her design and fixing it by twisting the yarn on the last lower peg.  (I am pretty sure I have a knitting angel that inspired the solution!) 

The scarf finished at 43" (before fringe) by 4-1/4". 

The hat was made on a round loom with a hemmed brim and gathered bind off.  I used the small adult size one (green) because this child has TONS of wild curly hair!  I made a pompom (using a small Clover pompom maker) that I placed over a flower made on the flower loom.  I made a scarf for the "Big Eyed Creature" (what my daughter calls these critters) with the large end of the jumbo spool loom, knitting until it measured 21-1/2", and using a gathered bind-off and a yarn needle to cinch the ends.

Next, I wanted something for my mom and came up with this scarf.

I used the scarf loom from Boyle (red) and Lion Brand Homespun yarn in 'lagoon'.  I love the luxurious soft hand the yarn gave to this project!  I wove this very loosely so I could keep the curliness!  I wove it until I had used the whole skein and then cut from a second one to do the tassel fringe on the end.  To do the tassels, I measured out 12", folded it, measured another 12", folded it, and continued until I had three loops on one end, two loops on the other and two cut ends. 

I took this 12" hank and folded it in half and slipped it in a stitch, pulling it through to knot it, just as for regular fringe.  I put five on each end and really love the result.

I am just shocked that all of this has happened since Monday!  I have done 11 projects this past week as I learned, in between work, family functions, cooking for Thanksgiving, cleaning, and taking my daughter places.  I have discovered a whole world of looms and have my eye on an Infinity loom that makes a 5' wide afghan! 

As a result of this week of learning, I can tell you that there are a few extra supplies you will need in addition to the looms to help complete your project.  I already had the Knifty Knitter looms and a few basic supplies.  This is what is now in my knitting chest (in case it is helpful for anyone getting started):
  • Set of Knifty Knitter long looms
  • Set of Knifty Knitter round looms
  • Knifty Knitter flower loom
  • Boyle scarf loom
  • Knifty Knitter jumbo spool knitter
  • Knifty Knitter flower loom
  • Yarn needles, loom tools that come with the looms
  • Crochet hook
  • Tape measure
  • Embroidery scissors
  • Knitting gauge and row counter
  • Notebook with pen (the best thing in my bag!)
  • Books:  Boyle- I Taught Myself to Loom Knit and Loom Knitting Primer by Isela Phillips,
  • Clover pom pom maker
  • Yarn
  • Homemade stylus and pipe cleaner threader --adapted pen to aid in wrapping yarn around pegs- check out this video (1:17 minutes into the video) to see how to make your own!
For those of you who are seasoned loom knitters, thank you for letting me show off my simple beginner projects.  I am 41 and have tried for at least 30 of those years to knit!  I have all kinds of new projects in mind and I know I have so much more to learn!  I have been a big fan of Jeannie Phillips' beautiful knitted projects; now I am sure I will look at her projects with new eyes as I try to glean some of her crafty genius.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  As always, you can see all of my projects (linked to original posts with all the how-to details) by checking out My Project Gallery at the top of my blog, or by clicking here.


Amanda said...

I want to learn how to knit soooooo bad! I adore scarves and want to make my own--I have been inspired to learn now!

Sis Patterson said...

Yay for knitting looms! Another great crafts exploration with terrific tips and techniques. I have been unable to "master" or even "apprentice" knitting - there may be hope for me yet using these little contraptions!

Sandy from Ukiah said...

WOW, I am so impressed you made all of those, cooked Thankgiving dinner, cleaned house and ran your daughter here and there... Very impressive.

Nadia ( said...

Oh, thanks Sandy. In full disclaimer, I had two Thanksgivings (one on Thursday and one on Sunday) that gave me extra hours to do this while sitting around with my husband's family. I think I was mostly just so pleased that I could learn and make stuff that looked gift-worthy (at least I hope it looks that way) so fast after trying for years to learn traditional knitting.

Carolyn/MamaC said...

As usual, I stand in awe of your talent! Nadia, thank you for sharing your creativity! Beautiful projects!

RoseAnn's Thoughts said...

How beautiful!! Such wonderful handmade gifts :)

Diane Hodrick said...

Great work, Nadia. You have great quality in yarn and paper!

Gina piazza said...

I am, always a step behind you and thankful to be that way... The looms are coming out of their packaging soon, thanks to your inspiration and wonderful photos of your awesome projects... I hope mine turn out half as well!
Thank you for a great post!

MelodyR aka Ry&MysMom said...

I ought to really stop coming here ;)! You always have new gadgets to show (or not-so-new ones but used in a new genius manner) that I want to have after leaving your blog LOL! I know how to crochet but haven't touched yarn in over ten years! But those looming gadgets look cool! I saw that project by Kristen on the CC blog too. Love the ones you made for your DD and the American Girl doll. Now off to see where I can get those looming thingys.

JennyKozar said...

OH MY GOODNESS Nadia!! Fantastic job -- you are truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing these beautiful projects.

Lori said...

I shouldn't have looked. Now I want to the Knifty Knitter, too! The things you made are gorgeous :)

JJewel said...

I really want this loom kit!! I was so going to get it for my daughter for Xmas but then the Cricut cake was $29.95. I do have a 50% off coupon and might still take the dive!!

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