Tag Archives: knitting

Martha Stewart Knitting and Weaving Loom

Martha Stewart Loom

I bought a Martha Stewart Knitting and Weaving Loom, mainly because I wanted the flexibility to make different sizes. Plus, I liked that the smaller pegs created a small gauge loom with the pegs measuring 3/8″ apart. So far, I’ve used it in three ways: the big square (13″?) to weave some “Weave-It” style potholders out of super bulky yarn; the small square (7″) to weave a continuous weave potholder; and a circle, to begin knitting a garter stitch washcloth… dishcloth. We’ll see how it goes.

Although it’s nice that it breaks into pieces, which is always a plus, the negative is that the pegs are removable, and they do pop out. I tried very hard to keep them secure, but the blue (smallest) pegs were very irritating with purling a stitch, which puts some tension on the peg as you lift the loop off.

I imagine using this when I’d like the smaller gauge or playing around with the squares. If I had to do a larger project, I think I’d try the slightly larger pegs first to see if that would help.

Martha Stewart Loom

Scarves in Trees

 

  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

 

It's true. Scarves have taken to the trees, and here are the pictures to prove it! 

The first, a bright orange mohair/merino scarf which was knitted on the blue Knifty Knitter loom with the garter stitch, literally jumped off the wearer's neck and wound itself around this branch. 

The second, a lovely rayon multicolored woven scarf, made on the Glimakra Emilia with a 10 dent heddle, scrambled away from the person attempting to photograph it and took refuge in a nearby Elm. 

Although the mohair scarf was captured and is now safely tucked into an arm of a jacket, the colorful rayon scarf is still a bit wild and will most likely be mailed out to a niece, who had recently requested a "blue, purple, red, yellow, white, and green" scarf. (Okay, there's not much blue or white, but it's close!) It is hoped she will be able to train the scarf to stay around her neck, which is where it belongs.

Spool knitters

Spool knitters have been around for ages. Also known as French knitting, when a strand of yarn is looped around the pegs, eventually a length of knitted cord appears. I've had a few spool knitters, or "Knitting Nancies," but only in the plastic Knifty Knitter variety. When I found my vintage Nancy at an antique shop a week ago, I decided to investigate them. Lo and behold, I discovered an entire blog on them, with information about the history, different makers, and projects, as well as modern uses.

Please visit Spool Knitter, the blog, and get your fill of everything related to these tiny knitters. 

An update from the home office

I actually did organize my office… and then it got messy again… and then it was so hot I didn't want to weave… But now it's a lovely 75 degrees and I was inspired to tidy it up. I bought an shelf organizer thing from Target and have found it a good place to store yarn and supplies. It's a little bit cluttered but I don't mind in the least. I like having my chicken pincushion, all my Weave-Its, and yarn handy. Speaking of yarn, that's all of it, with two of the square bins also about half-full. I've never purchased yarn for yarn's sake–I tend to buy it for projects and use it up. The bins are full of small amounts left over. Any full skein was purchased for a project that never materialized. Now that I have a loom, though, I think a little differently, and I can see myself purchasing ahead of time.

I found a goldmine of discarded library books on weaving and needlework. There were nearly 30 of them! Happy me! I particularly enjoy the older weaving books like The Joy of Handweaving, Your Rugs, and Weaving Tricks. I found myself with not one, but two copies of Visual Instructional Macrame by Joan Michaels Paque. I did get a little enthusiastic in grabbing up these old books.
Also new-to-me the past few weeks, a homemade rake loom. It's a really lovely loom with close-to-small gauge pegs. The pegs are places in a staggered pattern that I haven't quite figured out. It's missing a few pegs but I think it will do nicely as a dishcloth loom. I also snagged a $1 deal, an EZEE knitter, used for fine panel knitting, with an unfinished project on it. 

Authentic Knitting Board Projects

AKBribbedscarf
AKBshawl1
AKBshawl2
Here are the two projects I finished for Christmas presents. The first is a simple ribbed scarf made on the 10" AKB. I used Cascade Vintage yarn, about 1.5 skeins. The entire project went fairly quick since there aren't any tricky patterns to follow, just a ribbed wrapping. I used three washers as spacers on the board to keep the stitches a little snug. After it was finished, I hand washed and blocked it, and the scarf "grew" about half a foot, which was just what I hoped.

The second project was a shawl, made with a worsted weight, hand dyed wool/bamboo blend. I had purchased about 600 yards and used most of it. I followed the pattern for Faith Schmidt's Lacey Scarf pattern, found on the AKB site, and the 28" board. I used 51 pegs and repeated the pattern five times. For this shawl, I put the spacers at the 1" width, and I knitted two sides, then sewed them together. If I had to do this over, I would shrink the width to 41 pegs, make it one piece, and add an additional 6" or so. I did block it with an iron and spritzes of water from a spray bottle. I didn't want to tackle washing and blocking it so close to Christmas in case I had a disaster on my hands. 
It was fun to make projects with these boards. I've already started a third project, this time for me.

Testing the knitting board

Last night, I knitted a small sample on the 28" Authentic Knitting Board using just 22 pegs (and 22 pegs on the opposite side, too). I used some Berroco merino and followed the beginning of the pattern for the Luxurious Alpaca Scarf. What I learned is that I need to tighten the gauge because the knitting was a little bit too loose and the ribbing, which starts after six rows of stockingette, was not very distinct.

This board can be adjusted. Do you see the bolt on the end? There's another one on the other end, too. You may remove the bolt, take out the spacer in between each side, and then put something smaller in between, such as a washer. I'll have to scrounge around in the toolbox tonight for something appropriate. The closer the two sides of the board, the tighter the gauge. So, if you're working with a chunky or bulky yarn, or if you want a very loose knit, you would actually put more space in between the two sides instead of keeping it snug.

I was brainstorming last night and came up with a way to, possibly, turn this two-sided loom into a round loom by adding my own type of spacer (a piece of wood with two metal pegs). That way, I could knit socks or other small-gauge items in the round. We'll see how it goes.

Authentic Knitting Board

I caved and purchased the 28" small gauge (84 pegs!) Authentic Knitting Board today from Hobby Lobby. However, I waited until Hobby Lobby had a 40% off weekly special and so the $37.00 board was purchased for just about $20. Not a bad deal. Why do I need another loom, you may wonder? Especially, when I already own…

  • The Knifty Knitter round loom set (four looms)
  • The Knifty Knitter flower loom and spool knitter (two looms)
  • The purple Knifty Knitter rectangle loom
  • Five 4" Square Looms: Two 4" Weave-its, One 4" Simplex loom, One 4" Hazel Rose Multiloom, One 4" Wonder Weave
  • One Weave-it Rug loom
  • One Regular Gauge hat loom
  • One 24" Homestead Hideaway triangle loom
  • Two potholder looms
  • One extra fine gauge DecorAccents oval sock loom
  • Three small flower looms

Someday, I'll take a picture of them all 🙂 . All 22 of them…

But back to the question–why do I need another loom? In this case, the answer is pretty simple–I don't have a small gauge loom. At all! Plus, I really like double-knit. So, there. That's why I plotted and planned and waited and finally purchased my new knitting board today. I have plans for two Christmas presents to be knitted on this board, so I'd better get knitting.

As far as patterns, there are some free patterns on the Authentic Knitting Board website. I discovered a few more on the Lion Brand pattern site, and there is a fairly new Yahoo group for the knitting board, not to mention the other sites, boards, listservs, and Ravelry groups that include knitting board information along with knitting looms, so I think I'll have more than enough to think about. What I'm most excited about is moving away from super bulky yarn for a few projects.

Dishtowels

I just spotted these simple and antique-y dishtowels on the Purl Bee's website, and I wonder if a similar towel could be knitted on a loom. Aren't they lovely? I've knitted a few dishcloths in the past, but I've never been pleased with the large-gauge finished product; however, if I use the garter stitch throughout, I bet they would come out fairly nice, especially with the stripes. I also think these would be perfect as a double-knit project with a rake or knitting board, especially something in the small to fine-gauge size. Something to think about!

Yellow Loom Hat

Yellowloomhat2
Yellowloomhat1

In the past, I knitted a hat with the large gauge yellow Knifty Knitter loom, but it turned out too big. The yarn was an acrylic mix that didn't have much stretch, and so the hat was droopy. However, I feel the green loom is a little too small, so I tried the yellow loom again, this time using Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick. I decided to make a very long brim so I could fold it up. I did a K2, P2 brim, but because the yellow loom has an uneven number of pegs, I had to do a K3 on the final three pegs to keep the ribbing even. I knit about 4" (or 20 rows) for a brim, and then switched to the regular e-wrap stitch.

On the Yahoo Knifty Knitter group, I had read about finishing off a hat without doing the typical gather and I wanted to try it, so when I got near the top, I divided the loom into four sections with stitch markers (10 pegs, 10 pegs, 10 pegs, and 11 pegs), and decreased one peg as I knitted back and forth. For example, I knitted Peg 1 through Peg 10. On the way back I decreased one loop, and then knitted Peg 9 through Peg 1. Then I decreased another loop and knitted Peg 2 through Peg 9. When I got down to the final peg, I wrapped it with the working yarn, cut the yarn to about 12", and knitted the peg off, pulling the yarn through the final loop. Decreasing in this manner creates a triangle. I then did the final three sections (on the fourth section, I decreased two pegs on the first row because it has 11 pegs, not 10 like the others.) I turned the hat inside out and stitched the triangles together on the seams using the mattress stitch. 

I really like my new hat. It's warm, fits just right, and looks great on a pumpkin.

EvenKnit Sock Loom

Here's a new item for my wish list, the EvenKnit Sock Loom from DecorAccents Looms. Isela and her husband developed this item to please loom sock knitters–you can make socks for your entire family on this loom instead of purchasing different sizes for little feet or big feet. Also, instead of the e-wrap, this loom uses a zig-zag method. Instead of wrapping each peg, you simply weave the yarn in front of the pegs and behind the pins, then knit off! Super knifty! (Here's her .PDF instructions. Knowing Isela, a video tutorial isn't far off.)

I think at over $90, this may be a future Christmas gift and not just a little splurge. However, I must say that the DA Looms are lovely, well-made, and something a future loom knitter will be ecstatic to find in a treasure box 100 years from now, so the price is worth it, but with my budget, it does rank as a "super special" gift.

Besides, my one try at using a sock loom was pretty disastrous. I started out with my lovely EFG DA Oval Sock Loom, but didn't get past the toe. It seems that my eyes and very close, tiny knitting don't get along, and as a result the loom has been gathering dust for over a year. I've often considered swapping it with someone who owns a FG sock loom to see if a larger gauge would keep me interested. It's possible I'm simply not a sock knitter; but with an entire skein of bamboo sock yarn waiting for a purpose in life, I feel compelled to try again.

Crazy Daisy Winder

This winter I ventured outside of loom knitting by first purchasing a cheap, plastic potholder loom and then, after a few disasterous attempts at making my own, a professionally-made 4" square loom from Hazel Rose. With the potholder loom, I made a potholder (gasp!) and also a scarf. With the Hazel Rose 4" multiloom, I made several squares with different yarns, but then became focused and made a hat from the 1936 Weave-It pattern book. I also made several dolls.

Along the way, I discovered this cool, retro plastic loom in a thrift store, the 4" Wonder Weave! I liked it so much that my  husband and I made a video, which is nearing 6,000 hits on Youtube. I know that isn't a huge number, but considering I didn't think it would have 100 hits, it's pretty remarkable.

The idea of looms got me dreaming enough that my Christmas present was a 2' triloom from Hideaway Homestead. It's lovely, and it works like a charm. Within just a few days, I made a shawl!

So, that all led into my new interest–flower looms. The first time I saw flower looms, I yawned and turned away. But then… I just became interested, all at once. Much to my surprise I realized I owned one–the small flower loom Knifty Knitter. (So that's why the pegs come out!) And then, while walking through an antique store yesterday, I saw this interesting little box marked Crazy Daisy Winder. It was $.10. Yes, that's ten cents… a dime. The small, round brass disc has a knob in the center that, when twisted, makes 12 tiny metal rods come out. Those little spikes hold your yarn/thread/metal while you wind on your "petals." Then, you secure the center with a series of clever stitches (the backstitch), and viola! You have a flower. A second twist of the knob, the metal spikes disappear, and the flower comes off the loom. Pretty nifty. From what I can find out, these tiny flower looms were made in the 1940's.

Because my box and loom were missing instructions, my first attempts are pretty sad, so I'll share them with you another day. In the meantime, I've I discovered many wonderful sites dedicated to flower looms. Here are a few:

Coming soon: A Winter Recap (those felted mittens, a really floppy hat, a real picture of my shawl, and a slanted cupcake.)