Good Loom Knitting Habits

It's important to develop good loom knitting habits right from the start. It is much more difficult to break bad habits than to start good ones. Here are some tips to get you started. If there are others that you'd like to see added, please feel free to contact me. All contributions will be properly credited.

Please use your own judgment when trying out these tips. What works well for one person may not work well for another.

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Don't knit tightly!
Knit a Swatch
Use a Yarn Guide
Knitting Tool Ergonomics

The best way to work even stitches is by wrapping the yarn loosely. It is really important that you wrap your yarn loosely so you will knit even stitches and will make it easier to knit off each peg. Try wrapping a few rows tightly some time and see how difficult it becomes to knit! Also by wrapping loosely, you will create an environment that will help you knit cable and lace stitches where you may need to move the wrap from one peg over to another.

So how do you not knit tightly? Here are some ideas:

  • Use a yarn guide.

  • Do not wrap the entire loom and then knit off. Instead wrap and knit off each peg as you go. If you wrap all the way around the loom, there is a great chance that you will pull the yarn making it tighter as you go.

  • Keep the yarn between the loom and skein loose. If you don't, you may use the loom to pull the yarn which will make the stitch too tight.

  • Hold the previous peg while wrapping the current peg. If you really want to wrap the entire loom, this trick can work too. By holding down the yarn on the previous peg while you wrap the next one, it will help keep you from wrapping the current peg too tightly.

  • When knitting off each peg, the action with the knitting tool should not be straight up but away from the loom and then over the peg. This will also help keep the stitch from being too tight.

  • This tip come from Nels Wiberg of Babe's Fiber Garden: Lift the wrap over the peg and then use your right thumb on the inside/back of the loom to push in the yarn. This will move a little of the yarn through the loop and will help keep you from knitting too tightly.

This is a good knitting and loom knitting practice. Before you begin your project, always be sure to knit a swatch with your yarn to determine the gauge. See gauge for more information.

One of the easiest way to wrap yarn loosely is to use a yarn guide.

  • You can purchase ready-made yarn guides from both Provocraft (makers of the Knitty Knifty) and also through Decor Accents (makers of the AJAL looms).

  • You can cut a straw to 4 inches and use that as a yarn guide. There are some drawbacks to using a straw, however. The straw will only work with double-knit yarn weight or lighter and it's easy to bend a straw if you hold it too tightly. But if you do bend it, you can also cut another one

  • Check out your local hardware and craft store for tubes. You can buy plastic tubes in various sizes for the different yarn weights.

It's important to use a knitting tool that fits your hand properly. This will help cut down on fatigue, cramping and possible complications such as carpal tunnel.

  • Ergonomic knitting tools are available for purchase through Decor Accents. If possible, try out the knitting tool before purchasing it. Make sure to knit at least a swatch (20 stitches by 40 rows) with the tool to see how it fits in your hand while using it. What is perfect for one person may not fit another person very well.

  • You can make an ergonomic knitting tool with one of the Knifty Knitter's tools and some Fimo or Sculpy. Take the plastic covering off of the knitting tool (it will slide off) and then wrap a the Fimo or Sculpy around the knitting tool to create a handle. You may even wish to grip it to form a hand molding that matches your own. You can make the handle as wide or as narrow as you'd like. Have fun with it and mix two colors together to create a marbling effect. Once you have the handle created the way you'd like, follow the directions on the package to bake and set it. Don't forget to let it cool before you use it!

  • Buy a comfort foam handle adaptor to put on the tool. Organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation may be able to help you find a place to purchase one in your area. Some craft and hardware stores sell them as well. Don't forget to check eBay and other locations on the Internet for them as well.