Start My Stitch Patterns – How I Do It and Why You Shouldn’t

How I Start My Stitch Patterns

Start my Stitch Patterns

So I’m constantly asked how I start my stitch patterns. I am going to explain how and why you should NOT do the same.  I’m doing this because some people have gotten genuinely confused and others have even gotten angry because my videos immediately start with the stitch and not the cast-on. Well I don’t want those people to think I don’t care because I do.

So below is my step by step process in text, picture and video. Hope the helps.

The Loom I Almost Always Use

Adjustable Hat loom KBMy loom of choice for most of these lessons is the KB Adjustable Hat Loom. I use it because stitch patterns show up much nicer when you use  small gauge looms.  Plus this one happens to be available in a lot of your local brick and mortar stores like Joann’s where you can get it with a coupon as well as on-line through eBay (best price) and Amazon.

Please note that lot of these patterns will work on any gauge loom but the detail might not show up in the same way.


How and Why I Mark my Loom

First let me remind you that I have ADD so I can’t focus very well. Marking my loom is essential even with simple of patterns

I use Rainbow Loom rubber bands. They’re good quality bands and the come in a large array of colors. With them I mark my anchor peg. The KBAHL does not have an anchor peg so this lets me know not to knit the slip knot that I placed on that peg.

Then I mark out my edges and my multiples . So let me explain that a bit better. I mark 2 pegs at the beginning for a slim edge. Then if the pattern is made up of say 6 stitches – I mark every 6th stitch for the length that I want the fabric and end by marking 2 pegs at the end for another slim edge.

Mark the Start: Anchor Peg and Edges

Start my stitch patterns

Mark the Multiples: The Number of Pegs Needed to Create the Stitch Pattern. I Mark the Repeats

Start my stitch pattern

Mark the End: Edges

Loom Marks 3


Knit 2-3 Rows for a Thin Edge

Start my stitch patterns

I e-Wrap all my pegs then use the U-wrap to knit the cast-on. The edge will consist of 2 – 3 rows of the knit stitch. How many is determined by the yarn which is usually left over or chosen more because of color then any other reason. I do try to keep the edge as thin as possible so that it doesn’t distract from the pattern. I tighten that first row of loose loops to make sure I have a clean edge.


Why You Shouldn’t Do This

Start Stitch Pattern

A stitch pattern is NOT a project.  When I show you a stitch pattern there are several things you have to keep in mind.

On the Videos I’m Knitting Flat 

This means that with some projects like say a hat, some stitches are not going to be knitted in the same exact way that I’m knitting. That is the reason that in my videos I send you to the website for  patterns. So that if you’re knitting a hat you can use the pattern that says in the round.

The Stitch Does Not Determine the Start

The start, which is actually called the Cast-on, is not determined by the stitch pattern but instead by the project. I can use the Double Basket Pattern for a hat and a blanket but I’m going to start them very differently. The brim of the hat will determine how I begin and the edge of the blanket will decide the cast-no for that project.

In fact 2 hats may have very different starts even when using the same stitch pattern. I start a rib stitch brim with an e-Wrap cast-on and a flap-over brim with a chain cast-on. Once I finish my brim I can choose to continue my hat with ANY stitch pattern.



Start my stitch patternsPick the project, pick a cast-on (start), then pick your stitch pattern. The decisions should be made in that order.

AND PLEASE, PLEASE don’t think I wrote this because I was bothered by the questions. No way. Never worry about asking questions – I love questions ! If you thought about it someone else did too. When you ask you will be helping others and me too.

Listen, I even like critiques. Many have helped me BIG time.  So it’s the motivation behind the comment – not the comment nor the question.

To see a listing my stitch patterns Click HERE


A Quick Video



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Comments: 33

  1. Gina November 26, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I have diffrenet looms except your go to KBAHL. I even have the KB afgan 198 peg one, never used yet, but would a rectangle loom work for the the beautiful basket weave pattern for a scarf? As for knit stiches I love the U-stitch and I learned it from you. I don’t know chain cast on but e-wrap I know. I too love thin clean edges. Marking pegs should be done fir many reasons. Sorry you felt the need to say why you do it. Any person looming detailed stiches should mark pegs. Anyway please let me know is rake loom ojay for that project.

    • Denise Canela November 26, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Hi Gina, thanks for all the kind words I really appreciate it. As for the loom – any loom will work with any of the stitches. There are several basket weave patterns on this website so I’m not sure which you are specifically speaking of but the shape of the loom does matter for the stitch – that is determined by the project. You mentioned a scarf – yes you can make a scarf on a rectangular loom – or any shaped loom. I mostly use round looms for everything I make including scarves again not because of shape but because of availability. Most people have round looms. Now the reason I use the KBAHL on my stitch patterns for the site and the video channel is not because of the shape but the gauge. Its a small gauge loom (pegs are closer together) and some stitches just “look” better with that type of loom.

  2. Cheryl Benefield October 23, 2016 at 2:59 pm


  3. Helen October 20, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this is so awesome for loom knitting. Thank you so much for all the fantastic information that you provide.. I can say that I appreciate all the work that you put on the web.

    • Denise Canela October 20, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      You are Veeerrryyy Welcome Helen !!!

  4. Jeannine McKee May 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Denise is there a rule of thumb for the cast-on’s depending on the project you pick? Is there a better cast-on for a blanket among all of the ones to choose from?

    • Denise Canela May 11, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Jeannine – there really isn’t a standard. It really is more about preference and the designers intent for the finished project. I tend to like the e-Wrap cast on because I can tighten my Loose Loops.

  5. Betty April 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Denise, What were the total number of pegs that you used or a hat on the KBHL. I can not get any configuration to come out even in sets of 3 I end up with 2 extra. Do I do K2 or P,1,k1? Thanks for your help

  6. Theresa February 24, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    How do I cast off a flat panel on single row loom

  7. Judy Byers February 2, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I have watched all of your stitch videos and I really enjoy them. I am pretty new to loom knitting and can use your help with something. I am knitting for a charity called Operation Gratitude which is for the military. I want to make some easy scarves and I have been doing some double knit on the KB loom boards. I would like to make some flat panel ones and use some of your stitches but I am not sure which stitches would work best for a scarf and look good on both sides. Could you please help me with this. The scarves have to be 6″ wide and only 48″ long. Thank you so much for your ideas.

    • Denise Canela February 9, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Stitches act differently and for exact measurements you would need to make a swatch with the stitch pattern, loom and yarn you want to use for your pattern

  8. Debbie Gilliam November 8, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I completely agree with what the others have said. You do great videos and make everything so clear. Your site is the first place I go when looking for a pattern. I’m on here today looking at hat patterns. There is a lady who walks by our house every day, taking her grandkids to school. We’ve had some really cool mornings here and I’ve never seen the kids with a hat or scarf. So I made both of them a set. On their way home I met them when they were walking home. The kids were all smiles when they saw what I made for them. There is usually a male friend walking with them. So I asked the grandmother and the friend if they would also like a set. My goodness but their smiles just warmed my heart. So I’m on here today looking for a hat/scarf pattern for the grandmother. I know I will find something beautiful among your patterns. I so appreciate everything you do.

    • Denise Canela November 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you Debbie – you are ALWAYS sooooooo super sweet. I want you to know that I really appreciate you and your story here is a hugr blessing for me. Sometimes I get a bit exhausted and a need a kind word or a really cool story for a boost. Thanks for taking the time.
      Hugs !!!

  9. Monica S October 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for the response. Another question: for the little heart stitch, if I am planning to do an afghan of that one, which cast on do you recommend?

    • Denise Canela October 13, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Monica, I tend to default to a Uwrap cast-on because I can tighten my loose loops better. Here are some links you should consider.
      How I start my stitch patterns: Click HERE
      Tighter Loose Loops: Click HERE
      e-Wrap cast-on : Click HERE

      Hope this helps

  10. Monica S October 10, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful videos. I bought the KB Super Afghan Loom and was about to give up on their instructions when I discovered your videos. I am working on an afghan that requires ewrap cast on (got it down with your video), and a knit and purl combination of stitches. My question is: is there a video that illustrates how to turn around when I get to the end of a row? I got the stitches down from your knit and purl video, but need help on what to do at the end of the row. Thanks!

    • Denise Canela October 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      When making anything that needs a clean edge – I turn then slip (skip) the first stitch and continue knitting in the opposite direction. Here is a video of a scarf pattern : Click HERE .

      It shows how I turn around. You can use this with any stitch pattern

  11. Crystal wilson October 7, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Where i can found these at

  12. DorothyW. October 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    You had mentioned a while ago and included a video on the chain cast on for the first row. I LOVE IT ! it makes a really nice edge, …. not loose and loopy. I have showed some of my friends who are also new at looming and they liked it also.
    Thank you so much for that ……I really really love it. I even tried it on the new Zippy looms.

    • Denise Canela October 2, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks for the Thank you Dorothy – I really appreciated !

  13. Trina Reid September 28, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Thank you very much for this….makes perfect sense to me!

    • Denise Canela September 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      You are VERY Welcome Trina – and Thank you for the Thank you !

  14. Jennifer L September 28, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I was wondering that, thanks for explaining!

    • Denise Canela September 28, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      I’m glad to know it made sense – was worried I was just creating another question. No problems with question – just like to know that I can answer them once in a while.
      Hey and Thanks for the Thanks !

  15. Jenn September 28, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I experiment with different stitch combos and your videos/posts give tons of info and suggestions. Thank you for all the info you provide on your site

    • Denise Canela September 28, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks for the Thanks Jenn. Experimenting is exactly what I’m hoping you guys are busy doing. 🙂

  16. Peppy Brooks September 28, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Denise- it is your patterns that I swear by! I am left handed, so I use my loom upside down, because it works for me, I even do the crochet bind-off completely different because, like you, it works for me! Thanks for the clarification but because of you I stayed with looming and have shared the art with another ‘lefty’ using your techniques. I get very excited when you come up with something new and always advise my friends to watch the entire video you provide! You AND your patterns are simple marvelous! Keep it up!

    • Denise Canela September 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Peppy – I know I’ve told you this before – but EVERY TIME I see you’re name it makes me happy. I LOVE IT ! Peppy Brooks – just tooooooooo awesome and to top it off – you’re left handed, like my father, my husband, my brother and my VERY dear friend. You guys are soooooo smart it’s scary. But I love my Leftys. I’m glad I’ve helped in anyway – life is hard enough in a world filled with people working on the other side of everything.
      Big Hugs Friend. Thanks for sharing my work with others. I really appreciate that.
      Hope to see your name again soon – giggles are always cool !

  17. Patricia Wojcik September 28, 2015 at 3:51 am

    I love the work and suggestions you give. I have learned so much about loomknittiing and stitches as a result. It helps me to experiment as well.
    Thanks for all your help and sharing.
    Sr. Patricia

  18. Paulette Carlson September 28, 2015 at 2:55 am

    I appreciate this post and am thankful for all the tips and insights you present!

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