From Spool-Knitting to Loom Knitting

14 May 2007

Sometimes I wonder whether I should just change the tagline of this blog to read: "the blog and podcast all about Spool Knitting."

I was teaching a class recently, and got to chatting with some students about -- what else? -- spool knitting. And someone mentioned that she makes great big "spools" -- or more accurately, looms -- for the kids she teaches. She used coffee cans and nails. And I got all excited, and headed for Lowe's.

I found PVC couplings in the plumbing section. They come in lots of diameters and cost only a dollar and change. I also picked up a few skinny wooden dowels.

Making a knitting loom from these was super-easy. First, I divided the coupling into roughly equal sections, using a Sharpie.

Next, I cut my dowels into equal lengths. I used my garden pruners, which worked nicely. And then, I sanded the ends of the dowels smooth with a little sandpaper.

. . . Okay, I was too lazy to find the sandpaper. Really I used an emery board.

Next, I busted out the E-6000 and proceeded to glue the dowels to the outside of the coupling. See the length of the cut dowels here? They're nearly as long as the coupling is tall, plus about an inch to stick up over the rim.

I had intended to follow the gluing with some duct-tape. But actually, the E-6000 made a strong enough bond that the tape wasn't necessary. Those sticks aren't going anywhere.


So you thread this loom pretty much like a spool, except that the way you deal with the loose ends of the yarn is much simpler. Just hold them against the side of the loom as you work. You'll be able to let them go as soon as you've knitted the first row.

I did invest in a 99-cent loom-knitting hook at Jo-Ann. It's blunt, and has a 90-degree curve that makes pulling the bottom loops over the top loops much easier.

These looms work best with chunky yarns, or several strands of worsted together. (Which, if they're all different colors, makes a wonderful sort of heathered look.)

Scanning the web for loom-knitting info, I found Anne Bipes, whose website and blog are loaded with great tips. There's also good material here and here.

My favorite bind-off method comes from Anne Bipes -- it involves adding single crochet as you remove the loops from the loom.

I used a 2" coupling to make this little cuff. This would also be a good loom-size for making knitted flowers -- you could bind off by gathering the center, and then add a cute button and a felt leaf.

I'm also working on a 4" loom, using paper clips rather than dowels. I'm thinking it will be nice for small knitted drawstring bags. More on that one later....

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Comments

this is an awesome craft to do with kids. thanks so much for posting. I've added you to my rss and my podcast list.

thanks oodles.

Love and Laughter,
Amy


I really like this. Which size coupling did you use to make the bracelet cuff? Thanks!

Julie


Hi, Julie - I used a 2" coupling for this cuff. It fits snugly around my wrist, and is even a little tight to pull over my hand. You can also get a 3" coupling, if you like something a little looser. Happy knitting!


I have just recently ordered some spools for my kids. But I like this project. I want to get myself a glue gun to make this projects and others. Really crafty.


Hello,

I found this very interesting. I loom knit but never thought of making one like you did. My granddaughter started knitting on a round loom I spent a small fortune on. This is much better. Thanks for the idea.

Linda

http://www.knitting-n-crochet.com


THIS IS A GREAT IDEA, SOFAR IVE BUILT TWO. THEN IT DIDNT STOP THERE. I TOOK 2 BY 1 BOARD, WOOD PEGS, AND HOT GLUE, TO MAKE A KNITTING BOARD. I COULDNT BE MORE HAPPY THAT YOU CREATED YOUR DESIGN, WHICH LED ME TO MORE POSIBILITES. THANK YOU.


I learned to spool knit a really long time ago when thread came on wooden spools. But as I remember it, once I wrapped the yarn around each "nail" the first time, I then didn't make another loop areound the nail but instead just laid the yarn over and across the loop already on the nail and then caught the first stitch and drew it up and over what would be the new one. I didn't have two sets of wrapped stitches on the needle at any time. What would be the difference? The way I learned is very different from the instructions in the large plastic looms. What do you think?


i am trying to find knifty knitter patterns can u help


I stumbled-upon your site tonight. I was just thinking about the
'spool-knitting" tecnique I learned as a kid, using wooden spools. But I wanted to make a larger one to make a cover for a cane. I coouldn't figure out what to use to make a knitter with a larger hole. Thank you for the great idea.I just have to measure the cane's diameter and find something rhar size. I can;t wait to try it.


This is a great idea. I love that you could quickly and easily create a loom of any size you needed.

Thanks for the inspiration.


Marilyn- I learned the same way you did and taught my kids the same way. It all seems to work out the same. And having been taught this way, and doing it for more years that I want to mention just now, I find it much easier.


The actual spools you buy in craft stores to do this are called Knifty Knitters. Search using that term and you'll find all kinds of patterns and such. You can even make sweaters and afghans with the largest. I use the child size one to make hats for kids in the hospitals locally.


ALSO CAN USE TOILET PAPER & PAPER TOWEL ROLLS (CUT TO DESIRED LENGTH). GLUE POPSICLE STICKS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE TUBE (AFTER ENJOYING THE POPSICLE FIRST, OF COURSE) . USE GLUE ON STICKS & WRAP A RUBBER BAND ON UNTIL THE GLUE DRIES.

MY GREATNIECE GLUED SOME RIBBON & LACE ONTO HERS. CROCHET HOOKS WORK WELL ALSO.

FROM: SHAR @ HHTP://SHAWLSBYSHAR.COM


Saw yesterday at a local hobby expo a book about loom knitting, paged through it, put it down, walked around.On return to the stall, it was already sold. saw initially just enough to fancy my interest. But I do have internet connection..... thanks for your idea on DIY. Ithink, by using things liek sosatie-sticks (or tooth picks) bought from grocery store and space them a bit closer to each other, would make using thinner yarn possible. But I like the coupling you used. Seem to be very solid. Tis loom knitting remind me a lot on the French Knittin we did as kids... just on a bigger scale.


this is an awesome craft to do with kids. thanks so much for posting. I've added you to my rss and my podcast list.

thanks oodles.

Love and Laughter,
Amy


I really like this. Which size coupling did you use to make the bracelet cuff? Thanks!

Julie


Hi, Julie - I used a 2" coupling for this cuff. It fits snugly around my wrist, and is even a little tight to pull over my hand. You can also get a 3" coupling, if you like something a little looser. Happy knitting!


I have just recently ordered some spools for my kids. But I like this project. I want to get myself a glue gun to make this projects and others. Really crafty.


THIS IS A GREAT IDEA, SOFAR IVE BUILT TWO. THEN IT DIDNT STOP THERE. I TOOK 2 BY 1 BOARD, WOOD PEGS, AND HOT GLUE, TO MAKE A KNITTING BOARD. I COULDNT BE MORE HAPPY THAT YOU CREATED YOUR DESIGN, WHICH LED ME TO MORE POSIBILITES. THANK YOU.


Hello,

I found this very interesting. I loom knit but never thought of making one like you did. My granddaughter started knitting on a round loom I spent a small fortune on. This is much better. Thanks for the idea.

Linda

http://www.knitting-n-crochet.com


I learned to spool knit a really long time ago when thread came on wooden spools. But as I remember it, once I wrapped the yarn around each "nail" the first time, I then didn't make another loop areound the nail but instead just laid the yarn over and across the loop already on the nail and then caught the first stitch and drew it up and over what would be the new one. I didn't have two sets of wrapped stitches on the needle at any time. What would be the difference? The way I learned is very different from the instructions in the large plastic looms. What do you think?


Marilyn- I learned the same way you did and taught my kids the same way. It all seems to work out the same. And having been taught this way, and doing it for more years that I want to mention just now, I find it much easier.


The actual spools you buy in craft stores to do this are called Knifty Knitters. Search using that term and you'll find all kinds of patterns and such. You can even make sweaters and afghans with the largest. I use the child size one to make hats for kids in the hospitals locally.


I stumbled-upon your site tonight. I was just thinking about the
'spool-knitting" tecnique I learned as a kid, using wooden spools. But I wanted to make a larger one to make a cover for a cane. I coouldn't figure out what to use to make a knitter with a larger hole. Thank you for the great idea.I just have to measure the cane's diameter and find something rhar size. I can;t wait to try it.


i am trying to find knifty knitter patterns can u help


This is a great idea. I love that you could quickly and easily create a loom of any size you needed.

Thanks for the inspiration.


ALSO CAN USE TOILET PAPER & PAPER TOWEL ROLLS (CUT TO DESIRED LENGTH). GLUE POPSICLE STICKS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE TUBE (AFTER ENJOYING THE POPSICLE FIRST, OF COURSE) . USE GLUE ON STICKS & WRAP A RUBBER BAND ON UNTIL THE GLUE DRIES.

MY GREATNIECE GLUED SOME RIBBON & LACE ONTO HERS. CROCHET HOOKS WORK WELL ALSO.

FROM: SHAR @ HHTP://SHAWLSBYSHAR.COM


I love this idea! It's remind me of the knitting spool and the Inch-Worm Knitting Spools that we use as a kids. But I never got to do any knitting as a kid. Started a few year ago and now I like to knit on a loom. This would be good around a coffee cup. I'm thinking about doing some for christmas gifts.


thanks, its so use full since my school don't have any budged for buy an expensive loom. thanks


Wat size would I need to make to make hats


What size yarn or what size loom? Do you have a pattern in mind? Does that specify a loom size? Or maybe you could look for readymade knitting looms in craft stores or online, measure them, and use that information to size your PVC tube.


Could you use a quilting hoop and hot glue wooden dowel for the pegs? I want to make, like socks and beanie hats too! Something on a larger scale!?


I'm not sure about the hot glue - the bond it makes might be too brittle to stand up to the constant tug of the knitting process. But if you were to use wood glue, and brace those pegs, in place while they dry, that might be worth a try.

Keep in mind, too, that the dowels and the hoop need a fairly large contact area to keep that bond strong. I do worry that a quilting hoop might not be quite deep enough to give a glue bond that amount of contact area. However, maybe you could attach those dowels in another way, like with nails or screws. Hope that helps!


The instructions for the Knifty Knitters are on their site along with instructions for more stitches and projects. http://www.provocraft.com/products/index.products.php?cl=knifty%20knitter.

I've also found many YouTube videos that show you the basics and how to do many projects.

I'm not sure that people have to pay a fortune for regular looms. You can buy a set of 4 looms with the hook and needle for about $10 on sale. I bought my sets for $7.99 each at Ross. I found the round 4-loom set and the long 4-loom set. I also found the scarf loom for $3.99. You can use larger long loom for any smaller project since you just use as many pegs as you need. I only need the small flower loom and loom clips for a complete set. I spent only $20 so far on looms.

Having said that I like the idea of a DIY project for the kids. They would love it. I too had been thinking of making my own loom, but haven't used all the looms that I bought yet. Made two scarfs and two hats. However, I am interested in making something small like the one that is in this post!


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