Kelly's Blog

Loom Knitting!

my first loom knitting project: hat and scarf set

On a whim I got a 36-peg knitting loom (how I got it is a really long story but mouseover for the explanation… looking for sublets in Toronto for my upcoming co-op → someone suggests me to use an FB page called “Bunz Home Zone” and I’m like wtf is Bunz → find out it’s a really popular trading app (kinda like the buy/sell groups but focusing on trading items rather than monetary exchange) → this is cool! I download it so I can list some of my old clothes and hopefully get rid of some of them → someone messages me about trading for one of my items → take a look on their profile and they have a loom → flashback to my previous failed attempts at knitting and contemplate my long-repressed inner desire to finally knit something nice → and that’s how I met your mother started on my loom knitting story!) a few weeks ago and have really gotten into knitting with it since then.

I think there are a lot of reasons I like knitting with a loom:

Of course, there are downsides too. Mainly, the limitations on what you can knit. Most patterns out there are for needle knitting or crochet, and the patterns that do exist for loom knitting are usually hats, scarves, socks, headbands or mittens (although there are a few creative ones, such as for sweaters and bangle bracelets).

I still want to challenge myself and push the limits of loom knitting—my current project is knitting a lil cozy for my wireless earphones—but seeing the diversity of objects that can be knit with needles has made me consider making another foray into that world as well.

Clearing up confusion

Although getting started with knitting (casting on, basic stitches) is easy, going deeper can be rough because of how confusing the terminology is. A typical knitting pattern can include instructions like: slip the first st (to avoid a hole) and knit 10 sts past the other side of the MT, turn * slip the first st, past the MT and knit 10 sts more than previous turn*, repeat from * - * until 20-14-28-22-16 left mid front. Tbh, I’m still struggling to decipher patterns myself and I rely on video tutorials a lot. But it’s pretty easy to Google the terms you don’t know, and doing more simple items like hats and scarves at the beginning and practicing different stitches is the most pain-free way to improve before moving on to complicated patterns.

Something else I felt overwhelmed by when beginning to knit was all the different kinds of yarn. What do the big numbers on each skein mean? Should I use cotton, wool, polyester, acrylic, or something else for my project? Does more expensive = better quality?

So far, I’ve only used acrylic yarn and t-shirt yarn (which is mostly cotton), so I can’t comment on these questions, but I’ll be getting some answers next week when the yarn I ordered gets here! However, the numbers you usually find on new yarn skeins refer to the weight of the yarn, that is, how thick the strands are.

lace 0 crochet thread; fingering
super fine 1 baby; fingering; sock
fine 2 baby; sport
light 3 DK; light; worsted
medium 4 afghan; aran; worsted
bulky 5 chunky; craft; rug
super bulky 6 bulky; roving
jumbo 7 jumbo; roving

Source: Craft Yarn Council

For loom knitting, I think yarn with medium weight or higher (i.e. 4–7) is best. But I’ve knitted with fine before (doubled up in two strands, so maybe it’s closer to a medium?) and it turned out ok. I’m going to try experimenting with different weights of yarn and see how it makes a difference in the product. I think a thicker yarn will produce something stiffer.

Yarn retailers that ship to Canada

Finally, I’ve compiled a big list of Canadian online yarn shops! Knitters really love their LYS (local yarn stores) but I’m kinda lazy to drive out 15 minutes to the nearest brick and mortar that in my city, so I’ve only done online shopping for yarn so far. I’ve only tried and Yarnspirations, so I can’t give reviews for the other places, but the great news is all of these companies are Canadian(!) except for Yarnspirations, I believe. I also hate shipping fees so most of these businesses have free shipping options as well.

All prices are in CAD and apply to Canadian addresses. (Updated 12/12/2018)

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(c) kelly zhang 2018