Loom knitting is a handcraft that uses a piece of equipment called a loom, yarn, and a special needle with a hook. The looms are available in several styles. Using looms for knitting may be easier than needle knitting for children or seniors. Despite its ease, this craft is not as popular as needle knitting.
In loom knitting, the crafter wraps yarn around pegs and uses a hook style needle to create the stitches which make up the fabric. Knitting looms come in several variations, and there are round knitting looms, rake looms, knitting boards, and sock looms. A round style is ideal for creating hats without side seams. Round looms come in sizes to match child and adult head sizes. The round looms can also be used to create handbags.
When the knitter would like to create flat panels, she will want to use a different type of loom. Rake looms can be used to create flat panels of knitted material. A third type of loom, the long board knitting loom, also creates flat panels. These create double-sided fabric, and the panels are usually wide.
Sock looms are another specialty loom. These looms are designed for crafting socks. The pegs and yarn will be fine-gaged, as the finished project must be fairly thin to be comfortable for the wearer.
Regardless of variation, looms can be made from an assortment of materials. Plastic and wooden knitting looms are both popular. Looms can also be fashioned from tin cans or spools and nails. When using a loom, a knitter uses the purl stitch and the traditional knit stitch used by needle knitters. Stitches can be alternated or modified to add designs and texture to the item, and the finished product of loom knitting can look quite similar to that of traditional needle knitting.
Loom knitting offers several benefits to crafters. It can be easier to manipulate the yarn around the loom pegs compared to using knitting needles. This makes this craft an ideal choice for children or older adults who may have trouble handling knitting needles. Those who are concerned about repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel, will also appreciate loom knitting. The motions are less repetitive than needle knitting, so less likely to cause or aggravate injury.
Even though loom knitting may be easier than needle knitting, it is less common. A crafter may find fewer patterns are designed for loom knitting projects. Some needle knitting patterns can be converted to loom knitting, though it may be difficult to do so.