I am getting the distinct impression from the comments on the last few knitting-related posts, that I may have influenced a few people to give it a try, which I think is very cool! But there are questions, and I read somewhere that for every person who asks, there are 10 others who want to know the same thing but have kept quiet. Or something like that. Anyway, I thought I’d share some of the resources I’ve been using. As you probably know, I’m new at all of this, too, so there’s been a lot of reading and looking-up of things online…
This is by no means an exhaustive list – these are just the resources I’ve found helpful so far.
Provo Craft – They make the Knifty Knitter series of looms. I think I have all but the teeny tiniest of looms that they make. They are relatively inexpensive, made of plastic, and perfectly sufficient for anything you might want to do with worsted-weight or chunky yarns.
Decor Accents – These guys make their looms on demand, using wood for the base, and nylon for the pegs. I have a small adjustable loom from them, which is beautifully-made, although I haven’t really used it for anything yet. The benefit to these looms, in my mind, is that you can get them in smaller gauges, which allows you to use thinner yarns or to get a tighter knit.
Loom Knitting Primer by Isela Phelps – This is the first book I bought, and the only book that is full-size (the others are all 32-page project books). I have found it very useful in learning to understand the technical aspects of knitting, including knitting paterns, gauge, standard yarn sizes, and which looms correspond most closely to which needle sizes. I haven’t made any of the projects exactly as written (I rarely do…), but the hat I made my brother for Christmas was essentially the “Winter Hat” project, with a fat stripe replacing the snowflake pattern.
I will admit that I found the explanations of the various stitches hard to understand. I don’t know if they really were, or if that is just a personal problem of mine… In any case where I was confused, though, I was able to visit the author’s website (see below) and see her demonstrate the stitch on a video. The videos always cleared up any questions I had.
Learn to Knit on Circle Looms by Denise Layman – This project book was a Christmas present from Neil. The instructions are clear, and there are a few appealing projects. I really like the afghan on the cover, and will probably turn to that project if I ever feel ambitious enough to tackle a project of that size.
The blue and pink socks on the cover are the project which was the basis for my sock puppets (pictured above).
Learn New Stitches on Circle Looms by Anne Bipces – My parents got me this project book for Christmas, and I haven’t done anything from it yet. There are some intriguing stitches covered, including a bobble stitch and a chevron stitch. I think the versatility of knitting looms is underestimated, but this book does a lot to prove that there is more to loom-knitting than stockinette stitch.
Learn to Knit Cables on Looms by Isela Phelps – This is another book that proves what knitting loom are capable of. Can you imagine making yourself a cable-knit sweater on a knitting loom?? I didn’t realize that was possible until I saw this book. I haven’t tried any of these techniques yet, but I’m pretty sure I will. Pretty much anything I’ve made so far could be made with a cable pattern enhancement, I’d say.
Purling Sprite – Isela Phelps’ site, which is full of very helpful video and pdf tutorials.
Decor Accents – There is a library of video tutorials available here, most seem to be by Isela, but are not necessarily the same as the ones on her personal website.
YouTube – Anything I haven’t been able to figure out from books or from Isela’s tutorials, I was generally able to find demonstrated on YouTube.
Happy New Year!
I hope this has been helpful. To those who have been asking about my fingerless mitt pattern, I have edited that project. I’ve made several mitts since publishing that post, and I had some observations/changes that I thought needed to be made.
Now, I’m off to do a little Wii Fit workout, and then make a big pile of fun finger foods for our New Year’s Eve celebration.
Happy New Year, my bloggy friends! Hope to see you all back here in 2009 🙂
[edited to add: I keep an updated list of favorite books and tools here.]