knitting loom

Loom Knitting a Baby Hat: Stitches

by Crystal Kennedy

  So, you've cast on to your knitting loom using the double e-wrap cast on. You're almost ready to start the hat, but first you need to know what stitches to use throughout the project!

First, you'll notice this pattern does not use rows. Since a hat is round, each time you knit around the loom is called one round. The rounds are given consecutive numbers, so you can keep track of them while you're loom knitting. You can use a row/round counter for this, or just mark them off on a piece of paper.

Next are the three stitches you need to know for this particular hat. There are thousands of stitches! But this hat only uses double stitch, flat stitch, and purl.

Double stitch is really easy. Remember the e-wrap from the cast on tutorial? Well, all you do is keep e-wrapping around the loom until each peg has three loops. Do not knit off each peg like you did for the cast on.

In other words, you start with one loop on each peg from your cast on round. E-wrap all the way around the loom once, creating two loops per peg. Now e-wrap each peg again, and you have three loops on each. Finally, knit off--not one loop over one loop--but one loop over two loops. That is, pull the bottom loop over the top two loops, letting it fall to the inside of the loom. For the next round, then, you only have to wrap once around the loom to create three loops per peg, because you left off with two loops on each peg. Really, it's not as hard as it sounds!

Flat stitch is simple, too. At the front of the loom, lay the working yarn strands above the loops on the peg you're working on. Then, without wrapping the working yarn around the peg, knit off, this time taking both loops over the working yarn. The resulting stitch can get pretty tight if you don't pay attention. So, make sure it moves up and down the peg easily before moving on to the next peg.

The purl stitch looks just like a needle knit purl stitch. To create this stitch, lay the working yarn strands below the loops on the peg, at the front of the loom. Then, pull the loops away from the front of the peg, creating a small space. Now, grab the working yarn strands with your fingers or a loom pick tool, and pull them through the space you created. This creates a loop. Hold this loop with your fingers or the pick. Then, take the loops off the peg, letting them fall to the inside of the loom. Finally, still working from the inside of the loom, put the loop you're holding on the peg in their place. This stitch takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be purling like a pro! Remember that although I call the purl stitch itself one loop, it is a double-stranded loop.

Practice these stitches until you're comfortable with them. You can tink (or un-knit) them each time if you like, so you don't waste yarn. When you feel good about the stitches, you can learn to bind off, or finish the hat. Then, you can get to actually loom knit the thing!

Sources

Phelps, Isela. Loom Knitting Primer. St. Martin's Press, New York: 2007

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