February 2010

What is Loom-Knitting?

Loom-knitting is an ancient art form which creates fabric similar to knitting. The only difference is that in loom-knitting you use a loom, frame, rake, or something similar instead of two needles. With the resurgence of knitting in the recent years, loom-knitting has gained more popularity. A beginner knitter can get a consistent gauge using the loom, which needs more practice than with two needles.

Looms were popular in Europe during the middle ages. People used looms to knit shawls, scarves, blankets, bags, and many other items. In paintings of that era, you can see women knitting with looms.

There are three different types: looms, rakes, and knitting boards.

  1. The Loom can be a circle, square, triangle, or any other shape. There are pegs around the loom. The most important issue is that the pegs should be equal distance from each other without any starting or stopping points. Therefore, the shape of the loom is not important. The distance between the pegs determines the gauge of the knitted item.

  2. The Rake is a piece of board with one row of pegs on it. You can only knit flat items on the rake. There is a starting and a stopping point for the pegs. I believe the rake was the inspiration for knitting machines. Just like the loom, the gauge is determined by the distance of the pegs from each other.

  3. The Knitting board is two parallel rakes across from each other. The gauge is determined not only by the distance of the pegs, but also by the distance of the boards from each other. You can create double knitted fabric using the board.
Knitting looms are simple weaving tools. They are made of wood or plastic. Some believe that people who suffer from arthritis that have a hard time using needles can enjoy knitting using the loom.

For more information about loom-knitting, check out:

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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