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What is Loom Knitting?

By Page Coleman
Updated: May 17, 2024

Loom knitting is a handcraft that uses a piece of equipment called a loom, yarn, and a special needle with a hook. The looms are available in several styles. Using looms for knitting may be easier than needle knitting for children or seniors. Despite its ease, this craft is not as popular as needle knitting.

In loom knitting, the crafter wraps yarn around pegs and uses a hook style needle to create the stitches which make up the fabric. Knitting looms come in several variations, and there are round knitting looms, rake looms, knitting boards, and sock looms. A round style is ideal for creating hats without side seams. Round looms come in sizes to match child and adult head sizes. The round looms can also be used to create handbags.

When the knitter would like to create flat panels, she will want to use a different type of loom. Rake looms can be used to create flat panels of knitted material. A third type of loom, the long board knitting loom, also creates flat panels. These create double-sided fabric, and the panels are usually wide.

Sock looms are another specialty loom. These looms are designed for crafting socks. The pegs and yarn will be fine-gaged, as the finished project must be fairly thin to be comfortable for the wearer.

Regardless of variation, looms can be made from an assortment of materials. Plastic and wooden knitting looms are both popular. Looms can also be fashioned from tin cans or spools and nails. When using a loom, a knitter uses the purl stitch and the traditional knit stitch used by needle knitters. Stitches can be alternated or modified to add designs and texture to the item, and the finished product of loom knitting can look quite similar to that of traditional needle knitting.

Loom knitting offers several benefits to crafters. It can be easier to manipulate the yarn around the loom pegs compared to using knitting needles. This makes this craft an ideal choice for children or older adults who may have trouble handling knitting needles. Those who are concerned about repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel, will also appreciate loom knitting. The motions are less repetitive than needle knitting, so less likely to cause or aggravate injury.

Even though loom knitting may be easier than needle knitting, it is less common. A crafter may find fewer patterns are designed for loom knitting projects. Some needle knitting patterns can be converted to loom knitting, though it may be difficult to do so.

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Discussion Comments
By SarahSon — On Jun 16, 2012

For some reason I have always wanted to knit my own socks. There is something about a nice warm, pair of socks that you made for yourself. I had completed a few other knitting projects before I attempted to knit my first pair of socks.

There are so many different kinds and colors of yarn you can choose from, but I stuck with a basic color and style of yarn since this was my practice pair.

I bought myself a sock loom that contained a couple different patterns. Many of the loom knitting patterns for socks are pretty much the same, and I didn't find much variation in the patterns. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my first pair of socks turned out.

They didn't take too long and are the warmest pair of socks I own. I don't think I will knit any socks to give as gifts, but will probably make a few more pairs for myself.

By Mykol — On Jun 15, 2012

My grandma was always an avid knitter, but got to the point where the arthritis in her hands bothered her too much. I thought loom knitting would be one way she could continue doing something she enjoyed so much.

I hesitated at first because thought an experienced knitter like her would not be that interested in a knitting loom like this. When she realized the loom knitting stitches were so similar to traditional knitting stitches, and it was much easier on her fingers, she got excited about it.

She started knitting items for friends and family members again. I am glad I didn't let my initial hesitation stop me from trying out the loom. I also found some unique knitting patterns online that weren't in the book that were a little bit more challenging for her.

By John57 — On Jun 14, 2012

I have found some of the best loom knitting videos online. When I bought a knitting loom, this was the first time I had ever tried something like this.

I found the pattern difficult to follow in some places, but when I watched someone on a video, it made all the difference for me. Some people are easier to understand and follow than others, so I have my favorites that I go to again and again when I want to learn how to do a new stitch.

When I bought this plastic loom at the store, the clerk told me she learned how to knit like this when she was a young girl. She used a wooden board and nails for her loom. I think the nails could be pretty dangerous, and will stick with my bright colored plastic loom.

By LisaLou — On Jun 14, 2012

I really enjoy using my Knifty Knitter. I volunteer at an after school program for junior high girls, and this was a perfect project for them.

Using a round loom like this is easy and I was surprised that the finished product looked like it had been knitted with needles.

We used a round loom and started out making hats. After this, we used a smaller round loom to knit matching scarves. This gave them a matching hat and scarf set they could keep for themselves or give as a gift.

It also gave them the satisfaction of knowing they made it by hand and it was a great experience for all of them. They gained confidence and knew this was something they could do over and over again.

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