Hello everyone! My name is Adrian. My dear friend Isela recently introduced me to loom knitting, and we thought it could be useful, educational, and probably pretty entertaining for me to document and share my learning curve along the way. Over the next few months you will be hearing from me about the hiccups, the troubles, the funny stories, and the lessons (life or knitting) that crop up. I’ll try to keep the inspirational quotes to a minimum, but when the mood strikes…!
I’ll give you a tiny introduction before I tell you about my first day on a knitting loom. I have been crafting of some sort since I was a child. I grew up in a very crafty environment in a family of people whose hands were always busy. My father’s family are long-standing “mountain people” who are never idle while we sit and “visit.” So, it was extremely common to always have something in my hands to work on or play with while talking, riding in the car, watching tv, or just intentionally sitting and crafting together on a rainy afternoon. I learned to crochet from my Aunt Jane when very young, and did loads and loads of cross-stitch over the years. My mother is a phenomenally talented and world-renowned hand weaver and seamstress with a lovely home studio where I was lucky enough to receive all sorts of “lessons”. Needless to say, there has been fiber and yarn around me my entire life. It was always easy to find some sort of project around to keep me busy. However, despite all of this, I have never tried my hand at loom knitting, so here we are!
Step 1: open loom. I picked the 10” Knitting board to play with first. It’s small enough to take with me places, or just hold in my lap while watching tv. Rather than immediately jump into a specific project, I just thought I would play around with a loom to see what it felt like and get comfortable with all the pieces. I’ll be really honest with you guys here… My ego got knocked down a peg right away. Not because this is an overly complicated process, but because I was a bit too arrogant and thought I knew what I was doing without really, fully reading the directions. Well that wasn’t the best choice. Just because I’ve done other crafts doesn’t exempt me from reading the very straight-forward, helpful instructions, haha! I know, we all learn that in kindergarten, but sometimes we all need a reminder. So, lesson #1… don’t forget the anchor yarn. This is what happens when you think you don’t need it:
Loops everywhere! No way to straighten it out! Eep! The anchor yarn is really important to be able to pull the knitting down through the center and even out all the stitches. So I pulled it out to start again.
After casting on again, with an anchor yarn this time, and tugging gently down on the anchor yarn between rows, everything looks much better! Yes, I know this is basic… but really… sometimes those are the easiest things to screw up.
I continued knitting in plain stockinette all the way around for a few more rounds. I started to see as my knitting got long enough to extend below the loom that something wasn’t right! My bottom edge was longer and looser on one side than the other.
Luckily, with this situation I found an answer on the frequently asked questions from Kblooms.com: “This happens when the end stitches are larger at one end from the other. This is very easy to correct. When you hook your stitches over, be sure to work from one end towards the center of the knitting, and then change to the other end and knit towards the center. Be sure to loop over all the stitches. Do the same thing to the other board. Be sure to vary the spot that you change direction so that you do not create loose stitches in center. The center does not need to be exact so vary it with each new row.”
After reading that, I kept going with another dozen or so rows, changing each time where I started moving my loops and everything sorted out quite nicely. After changing my method for the next rows, I now can’t even tell which side was too long. I decided that after this initial “testing” of loom knitting, I want to now get cracking on a project that I will want to keep… but that will be the next post.
All around, I’m pretty pleased with my first foray into loom knitting! The first row or two were hard for me, but I very quickly picked up a rhythm for my hand, and comfort with the board, and a better understanding of how knitting itself works, particularly knitting double layer fabric like I was here. On to bigger and better adventures/projects/lessons in the next post!
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‘Bricolage- something constructed or created from a diverse range of available things.’
Gather a variety of colorful beads, cotton thread, and a few toggle clasp sets; then have a marvelous time creating an assortment of beautiful, unique bracelets.
Knitting Loom: Sock Loom EFG
Yarn: Approximately 6.5 yards of a size 10 thread weight cotton yarn. Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Thread was used in the samples.
Beads: at least 160 beads in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Choose beads with an opening that will easily slide onto the cotton thread. The smallest beads used in the samples were size 6/0. The largest measure about ½” in diameter.
Notions: Knitting tool, scissors, needle, a toggle/clasp set for each bracelet, superglue.
Finished Size: Finished bracelet measures about 6” (including toggle and clasp)
(If a longer bracelet is desired, increase the length of the cotton thread and string additional beads. Every other row has 5 beads in it, so string additional beads in a multiple of 5.)
Gauge: 2 pattern repeats (4 rows) = approximately ¼” in length.
Placing Beads: To place a bead, slide the bead along the working yarn until it reaches the pegs. For this project, the beads will always be placed behind the pegs, between the peg most recently worked and the next peg to be worked.
Once the bead is in place, bring the working yarn around to the front of the next peg to be worked and complete the stitch, locking the bead in place.
Larger beads are added in the same manner as smaller beads. There will be a little extra thread used when adding larger beads. This is accounted for in the amount listed in the materials. The larger beads also take up a bit more space, but they do fit and the added variety makes the bracelet more interesting.
Note: This project is a little bit unique because the right side of the bracelet will actually be facing the inside of the loom, rather than facing toward the knitter. Here is a view looking into the center of the loom at a bracelet in progress:
Take one end of the cotton thread and dip about 1” of it into the glue, then allow it to dry. Using the stiffened end, string 160 beads onto the cotton thread.
Leaving a 5” tail, cast on 6 stitches using the double e-wrap method.
Row 1: P6.
Row 2: K1, [place bead, K1] 5 times.
Row 3: P6.
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until all the beads have been placed. Bind off using the basic bind off method. Leave a 5” tail when cutting the thread after bind off.
Thread the needle with one of the thread ends. Whip stitch along the end of the bracelet, until the thread is at the center of the end. Sew through the connecting loop of the toggle, then sew through the end of the bracelet. Sew through the connecting loop again and into the end of the bracelet again. Sew through once more, then continue to whip stitch along the end of the bracelet. Weave the thread end in on the back of the bead work. Repeat this process to sew the clasp to the other end of the bracelet.
Now gather up a new selection of beads and knit a second beautiful bracelet. And a third. And a fourth…
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