Blue Sky Friday!

This title has nothing to do with the post I am about to write. I'm simply so struck by the fact that the weather is acting normal for the first time in a week that I can't let it go by without remarking on it.

A few years ago at Knitsmiths we received a sample of a knitting loom. I think that Dava brought it in, and all of us stared at the loom quizzically.

"What does one do with a knitting loom?" we asked. Knit stuff, was the answer.

"What kinds of stuff?" we wondered. Apparently you could knit everything with the loom that one could knit with needles (although we saw no evidence of that in the materials we had in front of us).

"Really?" we replied. "How?" And then we looked at the instructions and our faces blanched. One by one we silently picked up our projects and returned to knitting the way that we knew: with needles.

Needless to say, I do not struggle with conventional needles. I like the way that they feel in my hands, the way that they gently poke my fingertips, and I like feeling the fabric grow as I loop, loop, loop my way through a cardigan, or socks, or a scarf. I find that needles fill my hands and give them something to do. Knitting, one might say, is my own personal therapy.

You can probably infer that I don't have any issues maneuvering needles and yarn. Heck, I do it standing up on the subway. Stockinette? I don't even need to look anymore.

So where am I going with this? Having exposed my personal bias, I find myself with a copy of No-Needle Knits: Loom Knitting Pattern Book by Isela Phelps. Here, at last, was the proof I sought to show me that one can, indeed, knit anything with a loom that can be knit with needles.

Loom Knitting Pattern.JPG

I don't own a loom, and I have no experience with the technique, so I can't tell if these patterns are easy to understand. From my own perspective as a needle-based knitter (or, NBK) they certainly look straightforward. In fact, I think that all of these designed could be easily converted to needle-based instructions without too much thought.

And, if I were to pick up a loom, this book has a series of instructions to get me started.

Once I figured that out, I started to peruse the patterns.


The one thing that struck me immediately about this book is how good the photos are. Jonny Thompson, you are one heck of a photog--especially with the kids. Maybe you can take my picture someday--I bet that would be a fun photoshoot. I like how they're captured using the garments: yanking off booties, pushing up sleeves, and just generally being little kids in handknits (or, loomknits?).


I apologize for the craptastic-ness of my photos of these photos.

So, as you can see, it's an enjoyable book to browse for ideas. For those of you who might want to try something new, a copy of No-Needle Knits and a brand-spanking new knitting loom, might just be your answer.


I remember having a knitting loom when I was... ten? Nine? I couldn't quite get the hang of needles (I have no idea why; I could play the violin, and that's about the same level of manual dexterity), but oh, I loved that loom. I knit an entire blanket of squares of bright colors, and then edged the whole thing in white - it wound up being about 4' x 5', which is a pretty big commitment for a kid. I recall it was quite enjoyable at the time, rather like needle-knitting is for me now.

I wonder where that blanket is now...?

I have been working on teaching some kids to knit. One couldn't "get the needles to work right" but took to the loom like a duck to water. She now calls when she finds a sale on yarn to let me know about it! I suspect it has to do with what one starts working on, but I'm glad to see they now have pattern books to support loom knitting too. My young friend has been stuck knitting mostly scarves for a year now. Think I may get the book for her the next time I am buying her a gift. Thanks!

I work with a woman who uses a loom--she is convinced that knitting with needles is beyond her, but she turns out beautiful stuff on that loom, and fast, too!!

The loom still looms--If you want to give these patterns a try, I'll send it to you!

I prefer needle-wranglin'.


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