Knitting looms come in several styles. The basics include rake, round and knitting board styles. A rake is a knitting loom made up of a line of pegs while a knitting board is two rakes that run parallel to each other. A round loom is a group of pegs arranged in a circle. Different looms require different knitting loom patterns. Rakes and round looms, which only have one row of pegs, use similar patterns while knitting boards have their own pattern style. Knitting loom patterns also vary depending on whether the knitter is doing circular or flat knitting.
One thing most knitting loom patterns have in common is that they are typically read from left to right by the knitter. The bottom of the pattern serves as the starting point. Additionally, the right side of project faces the knitter for all patterns. The language used on knitting loom patterns is the same no matter what style of knitting is being done. Generally, the letter "K" stands for knit and the letter "P" for purl.
Knitters who are making a tube-shaped object, such as a hat, on a round loom or rake would most likely use a circular pattern. A circular pattern may simply look like a series of letters, with one line being a single row and each subsequent line a new row of stitches. If the pattern is written as a chart, though, new rules apply. Instead of reading left to right, the knitter reads the chart instructions from right to left. The first row on the chart remains the bottom row on the project.
If a flat pattern is written as a chart, the rules are even more complex. Instead of reading the chart left to right, the knitter needs to read the chart from right to left for the first row and then from left to right for the second row. If a flat patter is written in regular pattern form as opposed to chart form, however, all the rows would read from left to right.
Knitting loom patterns designed for knitting boards are also known as stitch patterns. Stitch patterns generally feature instructions for creating a specific stitch, repeated through the length of a row. A person using a knitting board may also be able to convert a pattern designed for knitting needles to a loom pattern. A needle pattern can be converted into a loom pattern by reversing all the "wrong side" rows so that the right side of the project always faces the knitter.