Category Archives: Knitting

Who Wants to Learn How to Do Loom Knitting?

Amazing Loom Knits by Nicole F. Cox, published by Stackpole Books

Amazing Loom Knits by Nicole F. Cox, published by Stackpole Books

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Mike and I made the decision that we weren’t going to make another substantial investment in old, outdated knitting machines that are difficult to find parts for — which describes the knitting machines I used to own.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.

Round Loom Knitting in 10 Easy Steps -- a beginner level pattern and instruction book by Nicole F. Cox, published by Stackpole Books

Round Loom Knitting in 10 Easy Steps — a beginner level pattern and instruction book by Nicole F. Cox, published by Stackpole Books

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!



Crochet & Knitting Video Classes for Free

Get in on Some of the Best Crochet, Knitting and Craft Classes at CreativeLive — For Free!

My favorite website,, is going to be broadcasting some really cool knitting, crochet and other classes for free in the next couple of weeks — including some of Vickie Howell’s classes that you’d normally have to pay $29 each to access. There are too many interesting classes at CreativeLive to list them ALL, so if you want to see more of the classes they’ll be streaming soon, go here. They have classes on all kinds of topics, from pumpkin carving to personal finance. Here are a few of the classes that I’m hoping to take; perhaps they’re classes that you might also be interested in:

Crochet 101 with Vickie Howell: This is a crochet class for total beginners and also for crocheters who are new enough to the craft that an overview of the basics would be helpful. The class will stream at no charge on November 12-13, 2018.

While I am not a beginner to crochet (Far from it), I am planning to watch this class. I get many questions about crochet from total beginners, and I find it useful to familiarize myself with as many of the available beginner’s resources as I possibly can.

Crochet 102 with Vickie Howell: This is a crochet class that could help you get a better understanding of some advanced beginner and intermediate crochet techniques. This class will help you understand more about crocheting in the round and other topics. The class will stream at no charge on November 13-14, 2018.

Knitting 101 with Vickie Howell: This is a basic introduction to knitting for complete beginners. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to knit, but haven’t taken the plunge yet, this is a great opportunity to dive in and do it! November 14-15 is when the no-charge broadcast of this class will be taking place.

Knitting 201 with Vickie Howell: Would you like to learn how to knit socks? If so, tune into the free broadcast of Vickie Howell’s class called Knit Maker 201: Knit Socks at Creativelive. The free broadcast of this sock knitting class will take place on November 15-16, 2018. I caught part of this sock knitting class when they broadcast it last year, and found it worthwhile — although I still can’t exactly claim to be a sock knitting expert. In fact, I’m planning to watch the class again when it airs this month. I RSVP’ed for the class and am looking forward to it. 🙂 If sock knitting interests you, I hope you’ll have a chance to check it out, too. This isn’t usually a free class; the regular class price is $29. So getting in on the free broadcast is actually a really good deal.

Making Fabric and Yarn With Sweaters — Blair Stocker Is the Instructor: I think this is going to be a useful class for any of you who a) have good thrift stores within easy traveling distance or b) have sweaters that are no longer useful in their current form — perhaps they’re out of style, outgrown by the children they were made for, or they have stains that make them unwearable in their current form.

The point of the class: You’ll learn 2 different ways to transform these unwanted sweaters back into usable craft supplies. You’ll learn how to make felted fabric out of sweaters; you can use this fabric for making felted flowers or other projects. You’ll also learn how to transform the sweaters back into usable yarn for crocheting, knitting, tassel making, pompoms or whatever other yarn crafts you have in mind. This class broadcasts for free on November 16-17, 2018. Otherwise, the class is usually $39, although at the time I’m writing this it is temporarily on sale for only $33.

Here’s my understanding of the situation: If you want access to any of these broadcasts on the days they make them available at no charge, you’ll have to RSVP for each of the classes you’re interested in before it starts to air on its broadcast date. If you haven’t yet registered for membership at the CreativeLive website, you’ll have to take care of that beforehand; then log into the site so you can RSVP.

Tip: After you click through to the course description page, look up at the top right-hand side of your monitor for the black button that says “RSVP”. If your RSVP was successful, you’ll get an email confirmation from CreativeLive letting you know.

I’ve been a member of the CreativeLive website for several years (since 2015!) and I can vouch for the site; I’ve learned a TON from watching their videos and reading their blog posts and emails. Overall, I think they do a great job with finding interesting and knowledgeable instructors. I really enjoy their website, and I hope you’ll find it helpful, interesting and enjoyable, too.

Poll Regarding Your Favorite Knitting and Crochet Pattern Formats

Surprising but Inconclusive Poll Results

In my last knitting and crochet newsletter, I invited my subscribers to vote in a poll and give me feedback regarding which pattern formats they prefer. I don’t know why on earth it didn’t occur to me to post about it here sooner. To those of you who knit and crochet, I’d like to extend the same invitation: Please vote! I’d love to know which pattern format(s) you’re finding most valuable right now.

I’m actually pretty surprised with how the poll results have been shaping up so far. As of the last time I checked, it appears that pattern books are the format that many of y’all prefer. On one hand, not enough of you have voted for the data to be statistically significant at this point — so I’d definitely like to have more data. But on the other hand, enough votes have been posted in favor of pattern books that I’ll definitely devote more time in the future to writing pattern book reviews and submitting my own patterns to pattern books (although don’t worry, I don’t plan to stop posting my patterns on the internet any time soon).

It would really help me out if more of you would be willing to vote in the poll. With there only being so much time in the day, it’s important to me to understand what’s most important to you right now — so I can focus my energies in the right direction when working on which content to post and share with you in the future. I really value your feedback. Thanks in advance for any insights you have to share.

Related Resources

It All Started With Crochet…

Amy Crocheting

Me crocheting; when I crochet using dark-colored yarns, I often use a light-up crochet hook like the one you see pictured. It helps me see my stitches better.

Crochet was the craft that first sparked my interest in textile design.

When I first learned to crochet, it wasn’t because I specifically set out to do so. No, it was because my Aunt Nancy enjoyed crocheting, and she decided to teach me how to crochet too. It was her idea, but I went along with it, and I am glad I did!

In the 1980s, I used to go to the library in search of interesting crochet books. Unfortunately, the library’s selection was limited, and most of the library’s available crochet books did not appeal to me. I am sure that, in hindsight, all those books would now appeal to me. But at the time, I wanted new books, and the available selection consisted mostly of books from the 1970s. I appreciate the 1970s aesthetic more now than I did at the time.

Anyway, the knitting books and crochet books were shelved together, and the library’s selection of knitting books was more up-to-date and appealing than the selection of crochet books. So, I kept taking home knitting books. As a result of that, I taught myself how to knit.

Later, when I decided to make textile design my career, I learned how to machine knit. I later went on to design circular knits – mostly t-shirt weight fabrics – for public consumption through big-box retailers. I also designed prints (many of which were printed on top of my circular knits) and then later wovens.

But it all started with crochet…

It’s interesting that I’ve come full circle as a textile designer. I’ve designed just about every type of fabric there is to design, and I love them all. But crochet was my first love, and I couldn’t be more excited to be focusing my full-time efforts on crocheting, writing about crocheting, and designing crochet patterns.

Free Knitting and Crochet Stuff for You

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at, and Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-3-2019.

Vintage 1920’s Patterns for Knitting Beaded Bags

Bead knitters, take note: I just found 2 copies of the December 1924 issue of Modern Priscilla Magazine listed for sale on ebay. That particular magazine issue has several patterns for original flapper-era beaded bags, plus lots of other fun contents. You can click here to see many photos, plus links to the ebay auctions — they are linked at the very bottom of the page.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at , and Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.