Tuesday 14 June 2011

Learning to Loom Knit - Round Looms

Since learning to knit with a loom some months ago, I've been asked many times to give a run down on how to do it. So finally here it is...

- I am not a professional. I've only been looming a few months but I do pick things up very quickly.
- Everyone has their own style. As with knitting and crochet, everyone has their own way of doing it. Don't like how you're meant to do it? Switch it up to suit yourself. If you think I'm doing something wrong, don't tell me. I don't care. I'm doing it to suit me. You can do it your own way.
- I don't know all the different stitches and I probably don't care to learn. I pretty much only want to know how to do versions of flat panels. There are a million things you can learn on looms , like hats, socks, scarves etc, but I won't be doing them.
- I do looming for yarn bombing as it's much quicker than normaly knitting and crochet. I hate how slow normal knitting is and crochet is my first love but I wanted something quicker.
- Don't just take my word for it. Check out other resources; other websites/blogs; other youtube videos.

I find that most people learn far more quickly and with less stress if they can see steps first hand, so youtube is a wonderful tool for learning. This blog will refer to youtube learning only, except for one "How To" manual. If you want written instructions then you can happily google them yourself.

This blog entry is about looming on "round" or "circle" looms.
There are also "long" or "straight" looms but we'll deal with them another time. You can still do flat panels on round looms.
Please be aware that different kits have different colors for their sizing. For example, the Knifty Knitter kit in America has the second smallest loom as red, whereas the kit sold in Spotlight in Australia is green. For nearly all my yarn bombing panels, I use the smallest round loom, which is generally a blue color.
A note about the youtube videos: I have picked the ones I like. You may find others that suit you better. I prefer to go with Kristen from GoodKnitKisses as I find her videos are much more clear and "learner" friendly.

Here is the only written reference I'm giving you. It covers a lot and is good to keep referring back to.

PART 1 - INTRODUCING THE LOOMS - http://youtu.be/7u43wfnmb3M
PART 2 - YARNS TO USE & IDEAS ON WHAT TO MAKE - http://youtu.be/WxPRjXBbs28

There are two main ways to cast on the round loom. The e-wrap is the easiest but can leave a loose edge, and the crochet hook or chain method is a little harder but gives a more classier and tighter edge. It's up to you which one you want to use.

FOR TUBE OR HAT - http://youtu.be/NVJBi6MS0Jo [I use a slip stitcerh on the anchor peg or on the first peg. I don't wrap the yarn around the anchor peg as I find it falls off.] 
FOR FLAT PANEL - http://youtu.be/HgNMT727w5M [I know this is on a long loom but it's the best that I can find for a flat panel. It's exactly the same process when you wrap a round loom.]

- http://youtu.be/XBZKk9wAgbA
- http://youtu.be/Njr2h4aZ240 

The most common stitch on a loom is the twisted knit stitch and it's the one I use all the time for yarn bombing as it's the easiest. You can use either one strand or two stands of yarn, depending on the thickness of the yarn you have.

ONE STRAND - http://youtu.be/pIdNuGMa438
TWO STRANDS - http://youtu.be/3Uzx2SbK8oA [Don't worry about him talking about where to stop and start unless you are doing the hat pattern - it doesn't apply to a flat panel.]

ON A STRAIGHT LOOM - http://youtu.be/pq-24nX4QRE [Again it's on a straight loom but everything is exactly the same for a round loom.]

ON A STRAIGHT LOOM - http://youtu.be/kr5zOVRt9eI [Again it's on a straight loom but everything is exactly the same for a round loom.]

ON A STRAIGHT LOOM - http://youtu.be/s5JbEyr5fNk [Again it's on a straight loom but everything is exactly the same for a round loom.]

There are many different versions of cables on looms as there are with knitting and crochet. You can youtube all the different kinds.
- http://youtu.be/a9nIuCMyrzA

I like the skip stitch but can't seem to find any good videos for it. You basically skip a peg - so don't wrap it and it ends up leaving a groove in the work. Here's a video for a scarf that has skipped pegs in it.
- http://youtu.be/vn1QkSdrGbs

Just like casting on, there are two main ways to cast off with looming. The knit off method is easiest but there's also the crochet bind off method. It's up to you what you use.

- http://youtu.be/2eMhEPb1TQY [The lady in this vid holds her loom a different way than me but hopefully you still get the idea of how to cast off.]
- http://youtu.be/kX1xZtFdXYM 
- http://youtu.be/vl8GVnyUgTU

PART 1 - http://youtu.be/PPpewf8zgoQ
PART 2 [HAS CROCHET CAST OFF METHOD] - http://youtu.be/cCY-Zq62G_E

DROP STITCH SCARF OR PANEL - http://youtu.be/-uQFukKClrs
2 HOUR SCARF - http://youtu.be/vn1QkSdrGbs
Of course there are many many videos on youtube, as well as communities and pages on facebook and websites out there to help you.

Here are a few things I've made with a round loom:
Parking meter using two strands [bright pink and a multicolor] and rainbow fuzzy yarn.
Pole piece using two strands of black and crochet flowers sewn on top.

Pole piece with one strand of red yarn and crochet flowers sewn on.

So I hope this has helped those that are wanting to start looming. Give it a try and see how fast you can knit a piece up. You'll be very surprised! Have fun.

Luv Bali.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Light Heart Installation Contributions

Well it's the night before the start of the Light In Winter festival in Federation Square, Melbourne and we're all madly trying to get everything in order. I've just been on a three day bender, trying to get the lighting frame all covered and finished. Here is the finished product:
I don't think the photos really give you the best idea of how big this thing is. It's HUGE! Hence it took us so long to finish it. A massive thanks goes to my awesome yarn bombing friends JK and Mr Anonymous for their contributions, especially JK who just killed it with making panels and flowers for this.
I must also say a big thanks to everyone that contributed flowers to the frame. I believe that would be the following people: Grace, Sophie, Bethel, Mairi, Celicia, Kat and Crochet/Knit Bomb Appreciation. If I have left anyone out, please let me know. I still have a few of your flowers left over as I didn't want to overload the frame, so those will be added to the rest of the installation.
Of course the biggest thanks goes to my supervisor Mish, who you can see chilling out on the bean bag after three days of watching my progress. :p

Now on to the important stuff... I have had confirmation that you will be able to continue to contribute to the installation through out June. So if you're thinking of making something to attach to the structure, then go for it! If you're international or can't get into Melbourne, then send the pieces to me and I'll attach them in your honor and take photos for you. Remember the info for requirements is here:

If you're in Melbourne, then why not save it up and bring it along on International Yarn Bombing Day on June 11 where we'll have a get together at noon. Bring your yarn and hook/needle/loom and some lunch and we'll have a grand old time. :)

Also a reminder that if you are in the Melbourne area and have children, then Fed Square is holding Lantern making workshops every Saturday specifically aimed at children. Each lantern made will then be hung up on the installation so the children can be a part of it. This is a free event. There are many many events taking place for the festival, so come check it out.

I'll be going down tomorrow at 10am to put up my yarn bombing tags and the ones sent in for contribution. Of course I'll take photos so stay tuned for those.

Luv Bali.