A Guide to Loom Knitting

Browse our beginner’s loom knitting guide where we’ll introduce you to the wonderful world of knitting looms, give you a tour of some essential stitches and even get you started on your first pattern! Unlock the joys of going needleless!

Viridian All In One Board

What Is Loom Knitting?

The iconic ‘loom’, which simply refers to the crafty contraption used to weave together yarn (or thread) to produce fabric, has widespread origins from Europe in the Middle Ages to the intricate craftwork of the Amerindian tribes of the Americas. Today loom knitting remains a celebrated technique that can be used to create anything from gorgeous wall hangings, hats, scarfs, blankets and beyond!  

Easy on the hands, beautiful material is produced using a loom instead of needles. Loom knitting is especially brilliant for those who experience sore hands, such as those with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s also a wonderful alternative for those who simply favour a needleless approach to their projects, not to mention that the technique is incredibly fast so you can whip up marvellous creations in record time. With a variety of knitting looms and a broad spectrum of techniques available, loom knitting provides the basis to create diverse and showstopping projects. But first, let’s talk looms!

Choosing Your Knitting Loom

There are many varieties of loom available depending of the project you are embarking on. While rake (long) looms are excellent for flat panel projects such as blankets, circular looms are joyously compatible with hats and cowls. Here are some of the types of loom you are likely to encounter on your adventure! 
Viridian Afghan Loom

Rake looms

Rake looms, also known as long looms, are characterised by a single row of pegs, generally used to create flat panel projects such as blankets and scarves from single knitting. When two rakes are set aside one another you then have what as known as a knitting board. Some rake looms on the market may include two rows with an additional peg on either end of the loom allowing you to work in the round if you should so wish. Just like regular knitting, fabric produced from a simple rake loom will have a knit side and purl side. The gauge of the long knitting loom is determined by the distance between each pin, so the closer together your pins the finer your knitted fabric! 

Round Looms

Round knitting looms generally refer to a loom where there is no stopping point, (unlike its cousin the rake).  A round loom refers to a device where you can continuously weave and this might appear in a menagerie of wonderful shapes and sizes, including oval, square, triangular and even heart-shaped looms.

Circular looms

Circular looms are fabulous for creating cosy hats and joyous embellishments, such as beautiful ornate flowers, while triangular looms work a treat for angular shawls, ponchos and gorgeous geometric homeware. Oval looms lend themselves well to opulent cowls and beanies, meanwhile, if baby blankets and head turning homeware have captured your imagination - the square loom is your rightful companion!
Boye Round 'Circular' Loom Set

Afghan looms

S-loom, or the serenity loom, has an ‘infinity’ figure of eight structure, and is the perfect knitting loom for crafting large panels of fabric which can be sewn together to create dreamy afghans and blankets.

Sock looms

Sock looms include an adjustable gauge so you can easily create increases and decreases to knit the perfect size for your whole family, whether you’re creating grown up socks or baby booties.

These cosy slipper socks by Joanna Brandt are sure to keep your toes toasty.

Knitting board

For double knitting, the knitting board creates fabric where both purl sides of fabric face inwards, meaning that the knitwise fabric appears on the outer sides. The knit board is composed of two parallel rake looms connected so you can double knit gorgeous fabric. The gauge of your knitting board depends on two factors: the first is the distance between each peg and the second is the distance between each rake - these two measurements will determine the gauge.

Understanding Gauge on your Knitting Loom

The gauge will determine how tightly your fabric is woven together, whether extra fine to extra large. The gauge is usually calculated by the size of your pegs and the distance between each peg on your knitting loom.

Loom Knitting Stitches for Beginners

Your favourite knitting stitches can be created on your loom according to how you wrap the yarn around the pegs. Different wrapping techniques will produce different textures and designs to produce satisfyingly plush projects! It’s important to bear in mind that often loom knitting stitches have different names to those created by needles.

No wrap stitch (nw)

In loom knitting this might be referred to as a flat (stockinette) stitch, and when knitting with needles this is known as the basic knit stitch (k). Just like the gorgeous basic fabric produced when knitting with needles, the no wrap stitch creates sturdy yet beautifully adaptable material which can be transformed into fabulous accessories and homeware. As one of the most basic stitches, the no wrap stitch is a staple for the avid loom knitter and can be used on a long loom or round one! And that’s a wrap!

Purl stitch (p)

Just like in traditional knitting, the purl stitch is the reverse of the knit stitch, meaning that the backside of your fabric will be knit material the frontside will be purl. Both knit and purl stitches are fantastic starting points to launch you into a world of glorious textures and designs as you learn to loom knit.

Garter stitch (gs)

The garter stitch traditionally sees alternate rows of knit and purl stitches. When loom knitting, substitute the knit stitch with the EWrap (ew) stitch for a fabulously rich and easy to create textured stitch.

EWrap (ew)

Better known as the twisted stockinette stitch when knitting with needles (tw St st), the EWrap works a treat on both long and round looms.

Single ribbed stitch or ribbing stitch (rib)

Perfect for gloves and garments with the iconic ribbed effect, the single ribbed stitch sees ewrap stitches alternate with purl stitches on each row creating glorious ridges of yarn.

Loom Weaving

Itching to get started on your first loom project? Why not fashion a fabulous wall hanging using a free pattern from Christine Leech on our blog.

Free Loom Knitting Beginner Pattern

Why not try making your very own City Slouch Hat with this fabulous free pattern from Joanna Brandt?

We hope you've enjoyed our tour of loom knitting! Don't forget to share you loom knitting projects in our community!

youtube knitting videos

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