Knitting with needles can look quite daunting, mostly when you have seen many intricate projects and the nitty-gritty steps that you have to go through to achieve them. But another method which looks less intimidating is loom knitting, which is known to be a faster technique than hand knitting.
Some knitters who have tried both methods can confirm that loom knitting is usually done faster than hand knitting. Loom knitting is, in fact, a great and easy way to introduce kids to knitting. Using only a few easy, fast and fun steps, kids and adults can create the same types of projects that traditional knitting can form, such as scarves, hats, socks, and even big projects like blankets.
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Is knitting with a loom easier?
Knitting with a loom is easier to learn than knitting with needles if you are just a knitting beginner. According to knitters who are comfortable doing both techniques, knitting with a loom seems more straightforward because it requires less coordination and focus, which is also the reason why kids are introduced to knitting with a loom. Loom knitting is also easier for kids and people with limited mobility because there is less tendency to drop a stitch as compared to holding stitches in knitting needles.
You can also say that knitting with a loom is more comfortable because you can create projects that you can do with traditional knitting, but the procedure is kinder to the hands. If you are suffering from chronic pain on your hands like tendonitis, knitting on a loom will be easier to do if you want to continue knitting. Loom knitting involves very gentle movements, so there is no need to rest your hands as often with needle knitting, making you work your stitches faster and easier.
Is loom knitting cheating?
Loom knitters, at some point in their knitting life, will encounter a needle knitter who will tell them that what they are doing is not real knitting, and worse, get reproached that loom knitting is cheating.
Crafters must understand that loom knitting is not cheating because, just like in needle knitting, every stitch is also worked by the loom knitter. Loom knitting can be considered different craftwork using a unique set of knitting tools or can be thought of as another approach to knitting because loom and needle knitting produce the same types of projects.
Each technique may have its own limitations, such as if your projects require increasing and decreasing stitches, the better way would be to knit with needles. The advantage of loom knitting, on the other hand, is that it is easier to learn and kinder on the hands.
If you prefer to do loom knitting and traditional knitters still judge you for choosing this craft, here are some facts about loom knitting that you can use to rebound.
- The definition of knitting is the act of forming a fabric by looping a continuous yarn. It does not say anything about the tools used in creating a knitted fabric, and loom knitting definitely fits the definition.
- The earliest knitted items are socks from Egypt, which dates back to 11th Century AD. The artifact socks were of very fine gauge, colored, and have turned heels. These ancient knitted articles prove that knitting is craftwork that goes a long way back, and there are no traces yet how it was established and what tools were used in the process. No knitting method can claim what started the knitting movement.
- Loom knitting is not a new craft; in fact, it dated back centuries ago. Loom knitting was called many other names such as peg frame knitting and stocking frame knitting in the early 14th and 16th Centuries. It has also been called French, rake, spool, wheel, or ring knitting, depending on the location and era where it was practiced.
- The popularity of loom knitting was again stirred in the past two decades, where technology development played a big part in making this craftwork known. The looms and materials were easier to access through the mail but mostly were kits made for children. Now adults are equally interested in a hobby called loom knitting as looms and patterns available in the market increased. It is easier to find video tutorials and written instructions online, making loom knitting all the more an attractive hobby.
- Loom knitting has the same stitches as needle knitting, and the end goal is practically the same thing, a knitted item; the main difference is the tools used to go about the knitting.
- Loom knitting is a bright option for knitters who cannot navigate stitches on needles due to restricted mobility from illness or physical capacity.
What are knitting looms used for?
Knitting looms are the tools used for knitting instead of using knitting needles. Knitting looms come in different sizes and shapes like long and rectangular looms or circular with a specific number of pegs.
The knitting projects you plan to make typically depends on the kind of loom that you are using. Round or circular looms are best for making hats, socks, or any knitting project that has a tube structure while the long or rake looms are excellent for flat panels like scarves and blankets.
Many variations have been done on the modern knitting looms of today to adjust with loom knitters’ needs. Some sock looms available these days include an adjustable gauge to create increases and decreases to make the perfect sizes of socks for different family members.
Loom knitting produces the same stitches that needle knitting creates. Knits and purls made on looms look precisely the same as when you knit with needles. Creating stitches in loom knitting basically depend on how you wrap around the pegs. Learning different wrapping techniques will allow you to produce various textures and designs ranging from traditional stitches to complicated and intricate designs such as cables or lacework.
The advantage of learning loom knitting is the variety of patterns and types of easily accessible projects online. But loom knitting stitches may have different names than those of needle knitting. Loom knitting is yet to establish standard guidelines in terminologies and pattern writing so that every loom knitter can understand what fellow loom knitters suggest and recommend.
What can I make with a knitting loom?
You can do just about anything with a knitting loom that you can do with a knitting needle. Common examples of loom knitting projects are socks, hats, cowls, scarves, and blankets. Basic wrapping techniques used in loom knitting can produce these simple projects.
But just as any hobby to flourish, you also need to challenge yourself to go beyond the simple projects. As opposed to popular beliefs, loom knitting can also create projects with intricate designs. All you need is a little creativity and grit. Loom knitting has a significant advantage over hand knitting, which would take countless hours of practice to grow comfortable with the needles. In contrast, loom knitting uses a simple tool and technique which you can quickly learn in a matter of minutes.
In the end, what is essential in crafting is not the tools you use or the number of hours you spent in doing your projects but the incredible feeling of creating something beautiful with your hands.