Do you know how to loom knit — or would you be interested in learning how to do it?
I’m in the process of learning how to loom knit. This is a relatively recent endeavor for me. I’m an experienced machine knitter; but, as it turns out, loom knitting is a whole different thing.
I bought my first knitting machine when I was a teenager, and then I expanded my machine knitting skills by earning a degree in textile design in 1997. Then after that, I worked as a knit designer in the textile industry.
I sold my knitting machines before Mike and I moved aboard a sailboat and set sail for distant ports — an adventure I don’t regret — but, now that I am back in the USA again, I sure wish I could have my old knitting machines back.
Unfortunately for me, that isn’t a practical wish.
Mike and I made the decision that we weren’t going to make another substantial investment in old, outdated knitting machines that are difficult to find parts for — which describes the knitting machines I used to own. We talked about the possibility of buying a new, up-to-date machine, and turning it into an actual business rather than a hobby. But after about 2 minutes worth of discussion, we came to the conclusion that we are not well equipped to start a fashion business, or, really, any product-based business right now.
So, machine knitting is not an option for me at the moment. Bummer!
But when I came across some knitting looms for sale at the local thrift store for a couple of bucks, that seemed to me like a worthwhile purchase. The looms aren’t an ideal substitute for a knitting machine, but you’d be surprised at how much you can do with them.
Did you know that you can knit lace patterns, cables and colorwork patterns on humble, manual round knitting looms?
This may come as a surprise to you if you have done even one minute’s worth of research into loom knitting. You’ve no doubt come across bunches of easy, no-frills beginner-level patterns. But it isn’t every day that you find a pattern for making truly gorgeous, wearable lace knit socks on a knitting loom (for example) — or a pattern for making convertible mitts that transform from mittens into fingerless gloves — or a pattern for stranded colorwork leg warmers — or a pattern for a cable-knit hat.
But you can, indeed, make these types of projects, and many others.
Nicole F. Cox is the author and designer who has actually given me the instructions I need for making the most of simple round knitting looms. Her first book, Round Loom Knitting in 10 Easy Lessons, is the best book I currently know of on the topic.
Nicole recently released a brand new sequel called Amazing Loom Knits. I just began reading it a few days ago. I haven’t yet attempted to knit any of the patterns from the book, but I am so excited about them — these projects are totally gorgeous! And, also a plus, I am learning a staggering amount from reading this book.
I’ll be posting a book review of this title ASAP — but, in the meanwhile, I’ve read enough of it to feel confident in recommending it to other loom knitters. It is excellent.
If you’ve never loom knitted before, I would say, start with Nicole’s first book, Round Loom Knitting in 10 Easy Lessons. If you’ve already loom knitted at least one project, I think you’d be likely to enjoy either book. But if you’re hoping to learn how to knit things that are more interesting than basic jerseys and stockinette stitch, you’re definitely doing to want to check out Amazing Loom Knits. In my opinion, the book definitely lives up to its name.
More to come soon!