5 Important Facts About Knitting Looms

What Beginners Should Know About Knitting Looms

Knitting Looms Facts

Choosing the right knitting looms for your projects can be tricky. Say you want to know the right loom for a baby hat and you find a pattern that says to use a 30-peg loom can you use your 24-peg? The answer to this question is Yes. Why? Because peg count doesn’t determine loom size. A great example are the very popular Knifty Knitter looms. The extra large Knifty Knitter 41-peg is larger then the 48-peg loom. Is your head spinning? I know you expected a simple answer to the question of whether you could change the loom on a pattern. Read the rest of this post and watch the video below to help you understand this and much much more.

 

A Few Definitions for Knitting Looms

Knitting Looms

Pegs as Defined by Google: a short cylindrical piece of wood, metal, or plastic, typically tapered at one end, used for holding things together, hanging things on, or marking a position.

Gauge: The space in-between 2 pegs. The closer the pegs the smaller the gauge.

Base: The bottom portion of the loom that holds the pegs.

Many patterns, mine included by the way, assume that you are using the most commonly used knitting looms which are the plastic, mass-produced, large gauge looms. Examples are the Knifty Knitter, the Boye, Loops and Threads, Darice and other off-brands on eBayand Amazon. But that is becoming less and less common. Small gauge looms are needed for detailed and elaborate designs. The shapes of the looms are changing. It begs the questions what do you do when you just don’t have specialty looms but you want to knit a pattern –  you convert. Here are some simple concepts I want you to know to help you do just that – swap the loom on the pattern for the one you have on hand.

Note to the Reader: For now, this is just general information and nothing specific.  I’m trying to give you the tools necessary so that you can substitute looms on a pattern even when peg counts change and new knitting looms come into the market.

 

Peg Count vs Loom Size

Knitting Looms

I believe peg count verses loom size is the NUMBER ONE topic of confusion. I know I shouldn’t start with # 1 but I did because if you only learn one thing on this post, I want you to understand that a higher peg count does not mean a larger loom nor that the finished product will be larger.

So what does matter? The most important number to factor in when considering the size of your knitted item is the size of the base of the knitting loom. In other words, it’s the part that holds the pegs. A loom can just as well have 68-pegs as 24-pegs on the same amount of surface. This just requires pegs to be thinner and the spacing tighter.

In other words knowing the size of base of the loom is more important than the number of pegs. A good example is the dark wooden sock loom in the picture above. That is a 68 peg sock loom by Cottage Looms. You get beautiful socks from this loom but it doesn’t matter that it has 68 pegs, you will never get an adult hat from that loom.  On the other hand the Cindwood 48-peg Purple Loom is perfect for adult hats.

A Quick Trick: Find out the size of the base of the loom in the pattern you are wanting (email the designer if necessary), then measure your loom and if the size is comparable you can use what you have on hand. You may need to adjust the stitch pattern a bit – but that’s another post and another video. Stay tuned.

 

Size vs Stitch

Knitting Looms

That said, the stitch can totally upset that concept. You can have 2 hats made on the same exact loom, the same yarn,  with the same exact pattern (stitch count – row count) but if you use 2 different versions of the knit stitch one of them can be 2 times the size of the other.

So, it’s not always the looms fault your hat is too small. There is something I call the Stitch Effect.

You need to test your fabric. That technique is called, making a swatch. That is nothing more than knitting a small sample of the fabric. Then you measure to see how many pegs (stitches) and how many rows to you need to make say 4 inches of fabric. Yes, this means you have to do some math. It’s basic so don’t panic.

Here is a sample of a formula for the eWrap knit stitch: Click HERE

 

Row Count vs Peg Count 

Knitting Looms

Keep in mind that peg count is the vertical sizing and row count is your horizontal sizing. They are not one and the same. Having the same number of pegs and rows is not necessarily going to give you a square.

Another thing to note – thinner yarn means you will need more rows per inch so of course thicker yarn requires less rows per inch.

 

Loom Shape vs Product Shape

Oval Loom 500x350

Oval and Long can give you a round finished product and the opposite it also true. You can knit a flat long scarf on your little circular loom. It’s all about pattern design. Look at the pictures above. The hats, socks and mittens were done with the oval loom not just the oval-shaped cowl. This can get a bit confusing until you’ve knit for a while.

For this one I recommend following a few patterns exactly as written until you have captured the concept and then you can start making adjustments and maybe even designing your own patterns.

 

Even Number vs Odd Number of Pegs

Spiral Hat

This problem pledges people when its time to do a rib stitch brim. You know, the one with the Knit 1, Purl 1 pattern. Two is an even number so – what to do with that extra peg. I have a simple solution , Knit 1 more. That extra stitch will not be noticeable but if the thought is disturbing just make that the back of your hat.

The understanding that if the pattern calls for an odd-numbered loom you can not use your even-numbered knitting looms is Sometimes wrong.

Yes, there are patterns that require an odd verses an even number of pegs. I don’t know of any but it’s a big world filled with loom knitting pattern designers. Non-the-less, there are some pattern that can be tweaked to accommodate an even number of pegs.

To see the Spiral Hat Pattern: Click HERE 

The original Spiral Hat pattern was written for the 41-peg loom but our wonderful friend Lisa Werner Houser was nice enough to adjust the pattern to work with a 40-peg loom and make it available to everyone who reads this blog. Thank YOU Lisa !

 

LAST NOTE:

If you have not knitted with a loom and you’re interested in buying your first: READ THIS

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Comments: 33

  1. Drew Chatman February 17, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I just found your site and am just fascinated with looming. I tried knitting (needles) years ago and just couldn’t get into it. So here’s the question – what do I start with? A hat, scarf, try different stitches? I didn’t see another post on this topic – help!

  2. Heather Saldanha February 10, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Just saw your five facts about the loom video. You are always so clear and precise. Thank you for all your videos.

    • Denise Canela February 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Heather, Thank YOU for the Thank you – I really appreciate it !

  3. Cynthia Lopez February 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Denise I follow your tutorials , I’m on a mission since I had foot surgery can’t do much so I have decided to make the premie loom hats for donation. But I see that one of my stitches is very loose it’s actually the last one on the loom all the other ones are fine why is that?

    • Denise Canela February 2, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      Cynthia – that is where you increase your row. To correct that just pull on the stitch that follows that one – to tighten the loop. To see what I mean watch this the video for this project: Click HERE

  4. L. Harlow January 31, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Denise, I have just discovered knitting on a loom and have watched your tutorials over and over and over, I think my son’s know your voice better than mine. Thank you for all of your tips. You and your daughter are hysterical. Have you ever thought about wearing nail polish that pops against the color of yarn you are working with. With all the knitting vids I have seen lately, I have seen some nasty nails. Not yours. But since I’m looking at hands I want some INSPIRED nails looking back at me. Just something to think about. Clearly, I need to get a life if I’m giving nail advice to a total stranger on YouTube. Thanks again for all the tips. Oh my gosh, I just saw your tip on how to remember where to place the yarn, t is for knit and it goes below. So clever.

    • Denise Canela February 2, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      YOU are tooooooo funny. Thank you for the giggles !

  5. Alli January 25, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Hi Denise,
    I just started loom knitting in December and your website and videos are tremendous!! I just watched your latest post where you share the 5 tips and tricks that new loom knitters need to know. So thankful for this information! Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent! I signed up to support you monthly and wish you loads of success!

    • Denise Canela January 25, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      THANK YOU soooooooooooo much !!!!

  6. Peppy January 24, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Awesome Denise, thanks! So glad you are here, I simply adore you and your wonderful videos, please keep up all the fantastic work- HUGS back!

  7. Sonia Schlegal January 23, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I picked up a loom set at hobby lobby about a year ago (the set is a knock off of the knifty knitter set). I have since taught myself to knit with lots of help form your site! I have made hats, baby cacoons, and fingerless gloves. I like most am an Impatient Perfectionist I want fast precise results. I hate how my knit stich looks on hats or anything that gets stretched and I’ve come to realize it’s due to the gauge of my looms. Thus I’m looking to upgrade from my $15 set. I prefer to work with bulky #5 or #6 yarns and will be making lots of women’s hats and baby gear. What loom or set would you recommend? I have had my eye on the Cindwood 5/8in 4pc adult set (medium gauge) are there any comparable products to this?

    • Denise Canela January 23, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      I LOVE the 1/2 gauge loom and would use it more often if more of my followers owned it. But most people own the 5/8 gauge looms and so that is what I use the most so that my folks don’t need to spend more money to follow me. Times are tough for some folks and I can’t change that but I can use the looms they have on hand. Sorry – not trying to be dramatic. In short I love love love the 1/2 gauge loom and if you’re a perfectionist you will love them too. Here is my favorite hat done with my favorite loom: Click HERE

  8. Amy Donato January 22, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Denise,

    Can’t say enough good things about you. You have been my guru for 3 years now and will continue to be. Thank you so much!

    • Denise Canela January 23, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      Hey Amy – where have you been friend – no hear from you in a bit. Glad to know you’re still with me ! Hugs 🙂

  9. CIndy January 22, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you so much for all this information. For Christmas, I got the KB looms for Christmas.. After watching your basic hat pattern, I started my hat. I noticed that on the side of the head of the pegs, were little rough edges. My husband sanded them down and now my yarn doesn’t catch on them. I will use these for now until I become more experienced, then will look into buying better ones. These will go to my 7 year old granddaughter. Again, thanks for all you information and videos.

    • Denise Canela January 23, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      Hey Cindy – you are VERY welcome friend. And – for the next upgrade consider the CinDwood 1/2 inch gauge – VERY nice !

  10. Elida January 22, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Hi and thank you for the info. So, let me ask a quick question. I’m making 6″x6″ squares, casting on 16 stitches, garter stitch, in size 11 circular metal needles.
    If I want to make those squares in loom, I cast on the same amount of stitches and that’s it or I make a swatch with the loom and then count how many stitches per inch and that will let me know how many stitches I have to cast on in order to get the 6″x6″ square? Thanks for helping

    • Denise Canela January 23, 2017 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Elida – the # of stitches you cast on depends on stitch pattern. Here is a post that might help a bit: Click HERE

      • Elida January 30, 2017 at 6:17 pm

        I tried it, and i liked the results in the loom, but the 6×6 square in the loom is different from the 6×6 in the circular needles. The one in the circular needles is softer and fluflier. The one in the loom is stiff. Why is that? I used the uwrap in the loom. Should i use the ewrap instead? Thank you

        • Denise Canela January 30, 2017 at 10:07 pm

          Yes – that can sometimes happen – I would suggest light steam blocking: Click HERE

  11. Margaret Brandt January 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Madeleine January 22, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Excellent thank you. This gas begun to dawn on me as I started using my looms for 1st time. Thanks for the explanation. Very helpful . Madeleine

    • Madeleine Maddocks February 6, 2017 at 11:57 am

      OOps this should say, This had begun to dawn on me, but the extra clarification is very very helpful. You have a brilliant website. Love your stuff.

  13. Jessie January 22, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Thank you, you have answered pretty much all of my questions. I started with you to learn loom knitting, and you are my go to person with any problems, thanks

    • Jessie January 22, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Thank you, you have answered pretty much all of my questions. I started with you to learn loom knitting and you have been my go to person with any problems. Thanks you are a great teacher.?

  14. Peppy January 22, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Wow, Denise you just get better and better- I have decided to become a patron because you are the best out there and we need to support our teachers! You,make it so easy for a beginner or an advanced student to use your patterns. I simply adore you- keep up the fantastic work!!!!!! Could you maybe do a sock video or pattern- only thing I have never attempted- BIGGEST HUGS!!!!!

    • Denise Canela January 23, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      Hi Peppy my Friend with the coolest name EVER !!! And YES the sock pattern and video is coming can’t say when I’ve got a project list the size of the planet. Hugs-Hugs !!!!!

  15. Peggy January 22, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for all your help and videos. You make learning how to loom fun. Your videos are so helpful to show others how to loom too.

  16. Cindy January 22, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Thank you very much!!!! Really helpful!!!! You’re the best!!

  17. […] Source: 5 Important Facts About Knitting Looms – LoomaHat.com […]

  18. Julie January 21, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Thank you so much. This is very helpful! YOU ROCK! 🙂

    • Denise Canela January 21, 2017 at 11:50 pm

      Thank YOU for the Thank you Julie !

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