Sunday, November 13, 2016

Product review: knitting loom

Full disclosure: I've been knitting since just after I turned thirteen, so almost twenty-five years.  Started with a pair of stainless steel size 8, and worked through scarves, blankets, and into socks, sweaters, hats, and other things.  I've used size 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 13, and 15 needles, in straights, double pointed, and in circular. 

I've been knitting long enough that I can carry on most patterns without paying attention, and have been able to do that for the past fourteen years.  Current projects include a blanket in seed stitch, a washcloth in cotton yarn in seed stitch, a sweater, and a striped scarf in school colors.  The small projects get stuck in my purse, while the larger ones reside in a backpack or next to my recliner. 

Recently, I got curious about knitting looms.  I didn't want to waste a lot of money on one, so I ordered a Boyle brand small long loom.  It has 26 pegs (for 26 stitches), and is a narrow rectangle a bit under nine inches long by about an inch wide.  I read the included instructions, and got started. 

Once I got the hang of it, it was dead easy.  Stupid easy.  Anybody can make something on the knitting loom.  It's quick, too, satisfyingly so.  I've seen these things in many different sizes in stores, from little round ones the perfect size to make a preemie baby's hat, to long ones almost big enough to do a sweater in the round.  I'd say you could probably knock out a hat in a few hours worth of work.

However. 

It does require that I pay attention.

The knitting loom functions by wrapping yarn around the pegs, and making sure you don't miss one, and that the yarn doesn't come unwrapped.  Then, you push the first set of loops down, and wrap a second.  After that?  Take the little hook tool, snag the bottom loop, pull it over the top and off the peg toward the back. 

That takes paying attention to the yarn, to the loops themselves, to the pegs, and to the hook (which is sharp enough to smart if you're not paying enough attention and jab your finger with it instead of what you're supposed to be doing). 

And for someone that's been knitting so long that it's an autopilot fidget?  Not so much fun as it otherwise could be. 

That said, the product itself is great: it's sturdy, it does what it's supposed to do, and it makes knitting go super fast and really simple. 

And, if you shop around, you can find one to try for between five and eight bucks, so you're not out a lot if you hate it. 

There's also the factor that if you've never knitted at all, this is a really easy way to make some of the things you've always wished you could make. 

4 comments:

  1. When I was at school at UNM, in Albuquerque, we used to go into town sometimes and they had stores that sold Navajo rugs, etc. In some of them, the women were weaving. It looked pretty complicated to me, because I didn't know anything about it.

    My wife sews, but she doesn't knit. I don't know why because her mom does.

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    1. I've seen weavers at work. I don't think I could handle something that complicated.

      Knitting, though...knitting is mindless fidgeting. And it's productive mindless fidgeting. I've made several sweaters for myself, shawls, vests, hats, scarves, blankets, and a whole host of other projects, small and large.

      Knitting looms...not so mindless. It may just be that I don't have the practice, but whatever. I have to pay attention, and watch what my hands and fingers are doing, in ways I haven't needed to do with traditional knitting for more than a decade and a half.

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  2. Nope, I'll just sit over here and watch... I know my limits :-)

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    1. Dude. This is no more fiddly than cleaning certain battle rifles. Less than most. I have full faith that, did you wish, you could handle a knitting loom. ;)

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