Love it or hate it, most loom knitters started with a hat on the big yellow ring of the Knifty Knitter round loom set. We complained about its bulky pegs, limited size, and the need to double our yarn, yet it has always been a staple of loom knitting.
Now, the Knifty Knitter looms are gone, and I am a little sad about it. Yes, I've hoped for more inexpensive options, and especially more sizes, and a better nylon instead of the scratchy plastic, but I never hoped that the Knifty Knitter would disappear altogether.
What are the new options? For the original round set, Michaels has a version that is very similar, and in some ways, better for the vision impaired. The round set has the same number of pegs, and is made in a brightly colored plastic that is much better for working with light colored yarns. The gauge on these is still "large", but the pegs have been moved slightly to the center of the ring, changing the overall position of the pegs a little, and making the gauge slightly smaller than the old KK. The plastic appears smoother than the KK looms, but only time will tell as to how they hold up.
Boye is producing a set of rings as well, with the peg count changed so that all the rings have an even number of pegs. The difficulty with these looms is that the looms come with all the pegs loose, and they have to be inserted into the looms. Martha Stewart also has put out a loom (looking much like the old "Dream Loom") with multiple pieces for different loom configurations. This set also has the pegs loose. The pegs in the Martha set have a very small "top", which lets the yarn slip off very easily.
As for my favorite KK loom, the 48 peg purple hat loom in the nice, smooth nylon, 5/8 inch gauge, it looks like this loom is not being replaced. What a shame, as this was a very nice loom to work with!
The KK long oval looms have also disappeared. Michaels has a new set with squared-off ends, that look like they are a wider gauge than the old KK looms. Boye is putting out a set with ends that unlock and open to allow for single knitting. I have not seen these yet, but they sound like a very nice option for loom knitters, and would help with some of the awkwardness in single knitting on a long loom.
If you have used any of these new looms, I'd love for you to share your comments with us.
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All rights reserved.