Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Right Tools for the Job

Needle knitters have their tools by needle size, in US and European, and by millimeter. They have needles in different textures such as plastic, glass, bamboo, wood, nylon, metal etc. Crocheters have their hooks in the same wonderful array of sizes and materials , and a choice between Tunisian style and conventional hooks. Pattern designers and stitchers alike recognize that there is a tool for every stitch and yarn combination in these needle arts, and as a result, they have a bounty of patterns to choose from, and the choice of yarn is unlimited. Why then, are some loom knitters and some pattern designers resistent to loom knitters having the right tools and access to the same variety of patterns and yarns as needle knitters and crocheters?
Do loom knitters have a choice of tools? Yes, we do, although it may take more than a trip to the local yarn or craft store to find them. Currently, (just a sampling here) there are metal pegs made by Authentic Knitting Board, Kiss and Markman Looms; nylon pegs made by CinDwood, DA Looms, and Knifty Knitter; Wooden Pegs by Markman Looms; hard plastic by Knifty Knitter and Martha Stewart, and soft plastic by In The Attic. In sizing, there are fine/extra fine gauge looms made by Markman Looms, AKB, Kiss and DA Looms; 1/2 inch made by CinDwood, DA Looms, Markman Looms, Martha Stewart, and Kiss; Large and Extra Large made by Knifty Knitter, Martha Stewart, Markman Looms and CinDwood; and super size for rug making by Markman Looms. Plus, many more looms are made by wonderful small loom crafters. Do loom knitters have a wide variety of tools to choose from? Yes, we do.

Do loom knitters have a choice of patterns? Not as many as we should, but one look at the design files on Ravelry shows that the variety of pattern design has and is continuing to expand for loom knitters, and that many loom pattern designers offer their patterns for free. Do these patterns use a wide variety of yarn? Again, not as much as is possible. There is room for improvement, because we have the tools.

So, back to the original question. Why are some loom pattern designers now claiming wrongly that patterns should only be designed for one brand of loom? Why are they trying to limit loom knitting to only large gauge looms? Some of them are or have recently been employed by manufactures of those looms to promote them. They have had books, phampletts, and patterns published by manufacturers of those looms, and will be continuing to promote and write for those companies. But, they are not saying this. I hope loom makers and pattern writers who work for them will be more forthcoming before they disparage other brands and sizes of looms and worse yet, claim that any stitch or pattern may be made on their gauge of looms. How disappointed will the loom knitter be who believes this and tries a pattern only to have it fail? Stitchers know that there are a variety of tools and yarn, and with the right tool, the right yarn, and the right pattern they will make a beautiful creation. There is no reason that loom knitters should be told anything different.

Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Completely agree with all you have said here Renee 150%, I didnt get involved with the discussion and indeed removed myself from the individual email delivery I had set up because of the loom-a-long this month because the volume of messages all saying more or less the same thing was pointless and I have better use of my time than reading pointless messages, like designing more interesting patterns which can be performed on any loom :)

    The way forward is already here, there are a couple of us not affiliated with any company who put designs out there, the problem is the pairing of people and the designs, maybe we can find a way of making our designs more well known in the future.

    Helen x

  2. Wow! What is the gorgeous white lace thing you're making in the first photo, and what loom are you using? I'm really impressed... had no idea one could do that with peg looms.

  3. I've been thinking the same way. I think I would have lost interest in looming after a couple years if I had not discovered all the different looms types. I would like to see MORE looms easily available. That is less likely to happen if pattern makers only design for the large gauge looms.

  4. What is the pattern of the 2nd to last picture?

    1. The shawl is in the e-book Loom Knit Shawls: From Simple to Sublime. The pattern page links are on the right upper hand side of this blog.


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