Looming, or loom knitting, is the process of knitting with the use of a loom (a set frame with pegs affixed to one side of it that may or may not be removable). It can be used to make many things that are made on traditional knitting needles, but is limited to the size and shape of the loom being used. Gauge is also limited by the size of the pegs which standard per loom manufacturer (all looms are not created equal). You can find a fair estimation of gauges types for looms at KnittingforCharity.org's page - Loom Knitting - Understanding Gauge.
Looms, or knitting boards, are available in many shapes and sizes including circular and rectangular, large and small. To use your loom you can use various cast on and wrap methods and the use of a special hook for working yarn off of the loom. Most looms come with basic instructions and there are several manufacturers that have released small pattern books with starter patterns, stitch patterns, and techniques for specific kinds of stitches.
Some common loom options are:
- Boye (circular & rectangular) - available at Walmart
- Provocraft/Knifty Knitter (circular & rectangular) - available at Walmart
- Darice (circular) - available at Walmart
- Loops & Threads Knit Quick - available at Michaels
- Classic Knit - available at Hobby Lobby
- Martha Stewart Crafts - Knit & Weave Loom Kit (custom shapes & sizes!) - available at Michaels
- Flower Loom (circular) - available at Michaels
- Serenity Loom (S shaped) - available sparsely online, if you are considering getting one watch this video!!!
I have noticed a gain in the popularity of looming over the last few months to year. I believe this is in part because of the resurgence of handmade, and thereby of DIY, and an appreciation for "easy" ways to craft.
Among many traditional knitters looming is sometimes looked down upon as "cheating". I can say honestly I felt that way a bit, but I must say I've fallen in love with the ease at which one can loom.
*Note: The looms featured in this post are not to be confused with Hairpin Lace Looms or Beadweaving Looms.
Some additional loom references (patterns and information)...
- Knitting for Charity (search "loom")
- Loom Knitting Central
- Loom Knitting Central (different from previous site)
- Loom Knitting Help
- Loom Knit
- Loom Knitting
- Authentic Knitting Board
- Knitting Help (search "loom")
- Loom Knitter's Circle
- The Loom Room
- Loom Knit Lab with Isela Phelps the Purling Sprite
- Lion Brand Yarn Channel - Martha Stewart Knit & Weave Loom Kit
- Knitting Looms (pdf)