How to Knit Using a Rectangular Loom
Let's learn together!
Anyone who knows me knows I love to craft, and in the past few years crocheting has become a passion of mine. It's so relaxing and fun. Plus you can make so many cool and unique gifts for people when you have a talent like crocheting.
One thing that I'm not so thrilled about crocheting though is big and monotonous projects like scarves and blankets. I typically like to stick to small and interesting projects like stuffed animals and hats. When it comes to blankets and scarves I get soooo bored after the first couple rows I never finish! It's pretty bad.
Then about a month or so ago someone recommended I use a loom to make projects such as these because it is more stimulating and helps the project go a lot faster. I was intrigued so I bought the Boye Assorted Loom Set. When I sat down to try it I recalled having something similar when I was a kid. I used to make little friendship bracelets with a small wooden mushroom shaped loom and embroidery thread (through my research for this project I learned this was called a spool loom). These memories only got me more excited to learn!
However, I'm very much a visual learner, and while the instructions the Kit comes with are helpful...they aren't exactly the best or the most interesting. So I did some research and found these great tutorials to help me learn--not just the rectangular loom but some of the others as well!
If you're learning to use the looms I hope you find this information useful too!
How to Use Rectangular Loom
Before beginning I would like to mention something I wish I had realized a little sooner. The teeth in these looms are spread a bit far apart. Because of this, even though they say that you can use 4 Medium weight yarn...but I would use 5 or chunkier or double up on 4. Otherwise your stitches will look really loose and open. Of course if this is the look you're going for--go for it!
The tutorials I've listed here tend to differ from the instructions the Loom Set comes with, but I've chosen them because I feel they are good quality, are easy to follow, and have good results.
I've tried to include a couple different techniques and ways to do things so that you can adjust and develop a method that works best for you. When it comes to crafting, I've learned there is no absolute way to do anything. If the end product is of good quality and is something you like then it doesn't really matter the path you took to get there.
These tutorials are all just the basic ways to start and finish a project and apply for scarves and blankets, mostly. For more interesting tutorials check out the Loom Knitting Pinterest board I posted below in the "Get Knitting!" section which I will update often with cool and quirky tutorials for all looms.
Flat Panel Cast On & Knit
These videos differ from the Boye instruction manual slightly. In the Boye instructions you wrap all the pegs first then pull the yarn over the pegs. In these videos you pull the yarn over the pegs as you go along. The benefit of this is that your work is more secure as you go along. When I practiced doing a single panel knit there were a couple of times where my grip slipped and my yarn came loose so I had to re-wrap it. A little annoying. However, I can imagine going peg by peg could feel a bit tedious and maybe not go as quickly as just wrapping all at once and pulling the yarn over all at the same time.
Still I think it's good to have options and choose the method that works best for you.
Alternative Flat Panel Cast On Technique
This is another way to start your rectangular loom if you have a crochet hook available. It is easy to do and will save some time. Awesome!
Flat Panel Cast Off
Use this video to finish off your Flat Panel crochet project. Watch carefully because at first glance it looks like she has a Double Panel project because she worked on both sides of the loom, but it really is flat. You may have to adjust the instructions based on your project.
On another note, her little cupcake idea at the end is pretty cute. :)
Double Knit Panel Cast On
This video describes things a little differently than in the Boye instructions that come with the loom--but it makes everything look a lot simpler and easier to understand so I really like it. Plus his wrapping technique is a bit more secure than the Boye instructions.
Fashion Stitch for Double Knit Panel
Here's a nice double knit panel stitch that I'm planning to use for a scarf for my husband. As you can see it's a bit different from the double knit panel above. Test out both patterns and see which one you like the best.
I'm really excited about this because...as much as I love crocheting, knit scarves just feel sooo much nicer in my opinion.
Triple Rib Stitch on Rectangular Loom
There are many amazing stitches you can easily create using knitting looms. So even though it's not one of the need-to-know basics of loom knitting, I included this video just to demonstrate some of the interesting ways you can use your loom.
Double Knit Panel Cast Off
This is a very clear and useful video, but when I attempt to do this myself I think I will use some of the tips from the Flat Panel Cast Off video to keep my last row of stitches from getting too tight.
How to Use Circular Loom
Working with a circular loom is a lot like making a flat panel on the rectangular loom except you connect it at the end. You can use circular looms to make hats, bags, socks, baby cocoons, tube scarves, flowers, and many other things.
As with the rectangular loom, I've only listed some basic tutorials to get you started on the loom. For more interesting projects check out the link to my loom knitting Pinterest board in the "Get Knitting!" section for more loom projects.
Circle Loom Basics
The first video here is an amazingly informative video on the basics of using a circular loom. It demonstrates techniques like casting on, finishing off, changing colours, and using a circle loom to make flat panels. It also shows how to make hats, booties, slippers, socks, and tube scarves--as well as pom poms and tassels.
My only criticism is that I got a little lost when the numbers were used to describe how to make the heel of socks and slippers instead of actual video footage. Other than that though, this is an extremely great tutorial video!
The second video has some great tips on thrifty loom knitting and includes some advice a lot of the other video makers may not have thought to include. Definitely worth a look!
Circle Loom Slippers
Since the only thing I didn't like about the tutorial I post above was how it explained how to make booties, slippers, and socks, I included this sweet video on how to make simple loom slippers. Oh my goodness, don't they look so comfy? I just want to cuddle that kitty too, haha!
To make baby slippers/booties I bet you could do the same method on a smaller circle loom.
Round Loom Flower
I'm not particularly fond of these myself (probably because I enjoy crocheting my flowers), but as they are a basic project that are described in my set I decided I should include a tutorial on how to make these as well.
They're very simple and nice to use as an accent on a hat or bag or as a brooch. I have seen them made with ribbon and folded tissue paper which can be used on cards or on gift bags or presents.
This tutorial is nice, but I don't really like how she finishes. Before trimming my ends I would weave my yarn through the project a couple times then trim the ends.
How to Use Spool Loom
The spool loom or french knitter can be used to make cords for earflaps, drawstrings, or any other projects that might need some sort of rope. It can also be used to make friendship bracelets and other very small designs.
As I mentioned before, I had a wooden one of these as a kid that I really liked, but today it seems that the ugly plastic looms are most popular. (I'm sorry, I'm sure they're great, I suppose my nostalgia is just making me biased)
The spool loom works the same as the circle loom except, obviously, on a much smaller scale. You also don't have to worry about using chunky yarn with this one.
Here are some tutorials to get you started.
Crochet Cast On
This is almost exactly the same as the alternative cast on I posted for the rectangular loom.
Spool Loom Basics
As you can see, it's as I mentioned before--round loom knitting on a much smaller scale!
As a fun (and potentially frustrating) project it might be cool to try to make miniature versions of projects you make on a round loom; like doll hats and slippers or little scarves for bears.
You could also create your own bulky yarn by french knitting thin or medium yarn and then using it on the looms. This might be an interesting way to use up scrap pieces of yarn that you may have lying around sad and unused.