Monday, November 14, 2011

Tutorial: Loom Knitting a Simple Cap

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I'm so excited today to do this tutorial on how to loom knit a basic cap! There are 3 reasons I chose to do this tutorial over anything else.
  1. I have a knitting ministry called Knit Together by Love that you can read about here. I wanted to share a piece of it with you because it's really been on my heart these days.
  2. Making these are EASY! And they're a great thing to make as a thoughtful gift because they do require time. It's my hope that you'll take this tutorial and use it to spread love. Or it will encourage you to use your own talents to spread love. (and I don't mean to sound like such a hippie...lol!).
  3. I have been seeing so many amazing handmade gifts in time for the holidays on some of my favorite blogs (like here & here for example)! I mentioned above that these take time to make, but once you get the hang of them you can whip up a cap in a few hours and it can be used as a delightful gift!
This is going to look like a lot, but it's mostly because I took a lot of pictures to get good visuals for you. Truth be told, there are dozens of loom knitting YouTube tutorials and I won't be offended if you prefer those to my blog tutorial. Either way, feel free to email me if you have any questions or need any help along the way.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional in any way, shape, or form. I knit as a hobby and I loom knit because I know almost nothing about real knitting. I don't use knitting terminology and don't do anything super fancy. I fully accept, understand and admit that people who knit and crochet with needles are superior to me in talent. I am being serious. I just want to get that out now because I don't want you to think I think anything different! :)

I have broken everything down into 9 sections but a LOT of the steps are repetition. I pinky swear it's easy, money back guaranteed.

Read this post to see what tools you are going to need.

STAGE ONE: CASTING ON (the only knitting term I think I know)
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1. Find the peg that sticks out from the side of the loom all by itself. This is your starting point. The peg directly to the right of it is Peg#1. I am pointing to Peg #1 in the picture. The peg to the right of that is Peg#2, followed by Peg#3, etc.

2. Tie your yarn around Peg#1. Wrap & tie it tight enough to hold on securely to the peg, but wrap it loose enough that you will be able to pull it off of Peg#1. (After you make 1 hat you will get a better feel for your preference). Tie it into a secure knot.

3. Snip off the yarn tail as close to the knot as you can.

4. Lay your yarn so it runs behind Peg#2 and rests between Peg#2 and Peg#3.


STAGE TWO: HUG YOUR FRIENDS
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5. Take the yarn and wrap it clockwise around Peg#2. If you want a funny way to remember this wrap: imagine the pegs are people and the yarn is their arms. Peg#1 is putting his arm around Peg#2 and wrapping her into a hug. This sounds so silly, but this is the best way I get my friends to remember this!

6. Do the same thing to Peg#3; wrap the yarn clockwise around the back. The yarn should cross in the back of the pegs, not the front. Don't wrap too tight, but don't make it loose either. Eventually as you progress on this project you will learn your preference for tension.

7. Do the same thing to every single peg on the whole loom.

8. When you're done you'll end up at that starter peg again.


STAGE THREE: DOUBLE UP
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9. Wrap (or "hug" if you prefer lol) your yarn clockwise around Peg#1 again, making a second row of yarn above the first. You are doing the same exact thing you just did, just making another row.

10. Repeat with the next peg and every peg after that so that this second row is identical to the first row.

11. Wrap all the way to the starter peg again.

12. Use the starter peg to wrap your yarn so that it doesn't wind off of your loom. Hold the yarn on the starter peg down with your non-dominant hand while you do the next step. If your yarn does unravel from the pegs, just re-wrap everything. Even if the whole darn thing unravels, it's an easy fix, just re-wrap.

STAGE FOUR: KNIT, REPEAT.
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13. Go to Peg#1. Using your Loom Knitting Hook, grab the yarn on the first row.

14. Pull the yarn on your Hook over Peg#1 completely. This first peg is the trickiest because we tied it on. You want to be careful not to untie the knot you made in step 2. Absolute worst case scenario your knot will come undone and you have to start over, but it will help you learn what kind of tightness & tension to use on your knot.

15. Once you've pulled the yarn from Row 1 over Peg#1, push Row 2 down. Row 2 has now become Row 1 (Do you see where this is going?).

16. Repeat Steps 13-15 for the entire loom, until you get back to the starter peg. You will find that the yarn on the other pegs are not quite as fragile/difficult to pull over than the very first. You will also learn if your yarn tension is too tight or too loose. You will develop your preference quickly.

STAGE FIVE: AND REPEAT.
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17. Your loom should now look like it did in step 9. Row 2 has now become Row 1. You're going to now repeat that whole entire process all over again. Wrap the yarn around to make a second row above the first.

18. Wrap the entire loom so that each peg has 2 rows of yarn.

19. Grab the bottom row of yarn with your hook, pull it over the peg.

20. Push row 2 down to become row 1. Repeat with the whole entire loom.


STAGE SIX: AND REPEAT. MORE.
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21. Repeat that whole entire process again and again and AGAIN! Eventually you will start to see the bottom of your hat come through the bottom. For this hat, the end will naturally curl, although it's very easy to make a brim (let me know if you want to learn that).

22. The more times you do the entire process, the more hat comes through the bottom slowly but surely. It's really exciting once you start to see the fruits of your labor!

23. The Knifty Knitter instruction booklet says that for a medium sized adult hat, knit until there is about 7-8 inches of knit rows. I will list exactly what it says later (I don't have the booklet with me right now! Tutorial fail!).

24. Another way to measure/estimate if you're hat is ready to finish is by pulling the ends together and "eyeballing" to see if it's about the size you need. This is my method of choice, but it's NOT foolproof. I have made some hats too big & too small by doing this, but it's a matter of preference. You can even put the loom over your head and see if it's a good size or not. I did not take a picture of me doing this... lol.


STAGE SEVEN: CUTTING THE UMBILICAL CORD
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25. When you feel that your hat is the perfect size, cut it off from your skein of yarn. Yes, this is kind of scary. I usually leave a good 6" or more as a tail, which isn't totally necessary but I'd rather have a long safety net for some reason.

26. Tie the blue Loom Knitting Needle to your skein of yarn. We will call the yarn that is on your skein the Loose Yarn because it's not directly connected to the yarn on the loom (yet). Doesn't have to be pretty or anything, just make a secure knot.

27. Go to Peg#1. Use your needle to pull your Loose Yarn through the yarn on Peg#1.

28. Use the Loose Yarn to completely lift the yarn on Peg#1 off of the peg.

STAGE EIGHT: BREAKING FREE
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29. Repeat steps 27 & 28 for Peg#2...

30. ...and repeat for every peg after that. You will start seeing how your strand of Loose Yarn is holding all of the yarn together on a line.

31. Soon your yarn will start falling away from the hat.

32. When you get to the end, the loom will look like a shed exoskeleton. Kind of sad. HAHA.

STAGE NINE: TYING IT ALL TOGETHER
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33. Snip your Loose Yarn off of the skein of yarn. Again, I recommend leaving a minimum 6" tail like in step 25. You will now have 3 tails: 2 from the Loose Yarn & the 1 from step 25. Being sure not to lose these 3 strands, flip your hat inside out.

34. Hold the 2 ends of your Loose Yarn (the strand that is holding all of the knit rows together). Using these 2 ends, pull your hat together as tightly as you can. The knit rows should scrunch up and come together in the center. Be careful not to pull so tight that you rip your yarn. If you do rip your yarn, it is not unsalvageable, but it is time consuming to fix.

35. When you have it pulled as tightly as you can, add the third tail of yarn into either of the other 2 tails and tie as tightly as you can into a secure knot. You can double, triple, quadruple tie this knot any way you want. Snip the ends of yarn off & discard (don't discard the Loom Knitting Needle though! Save it for next time).

36. Flip your hat back over and you're done! You can jazz it up with ribbon, yarn flowers, crochet flowers, etc! So fun because it was so easy! :)


HELPFUL HINTS
  • If you accidentally bought yarn that is too thin to your liking, have no fear! Add a third row after step 12. After you add that Row3, hook Row1 over both Row2 & 3. This makes the knits a lot tighter and cleaner than simply using 2 strands of yarn (which you could also do!).
  • If your yarn breaks midway through your project, just tie the yarn back onto the main line. When knitting, try to get that knot at the front of your wrap so when you knit it over it ends up being inside your hat.
  • If you want to add stripes of a different color, just snip your yarn when you get to the starter peg, and tie on your new color as close to the starter peg as you can. Snip off the tails and knit as usual.
  • If your yarn is very thick, it might not be so easy to pull the top together perfectly in step 34-35. You may be left with a hole at the very top of your hat. To remedy this, make a pom pom out of your leftover yarn. There are easy pom pom tools in the knitting section that usually cost less than $10 for a set of 2 sizes.


If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to email me or leave a comment. Try to reference the step or stage number in your question if you can.

Also, please leave me a comment if you like this and want me to do any other loom knitting tutorials like a cap with a brim, yarn flowers or a simple scarf on a rake loom. Happy knitting!!

I support anything crafty, handmade, or made with love - especially during the Holidays!

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P.S. I get to cross this off my 12 By 2012 list! :)

5 comments:

  1. So pretty!! Would LOVE it if you would share this project at my turquoise lovin' party going on right now!! http://www.sweetlittlegals.com/2011/11/turquoise-lovin-13.html

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  2. Great tutorial! Thanks for the tips. :)

    ~Christina Bond

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  3. Hi,I'm loom knitting a hat it's my 3rd one and it's looking so good,I'm in the middle of the brim,I have it all looped up now it's time for me to pull bottom yarn over top,I did the first 4 but it's so tight I can't get it over ,I even bent my tool trying ,I don't want to start over,but it's really tight,I was thinking bout going and getting a stronger too to try and pull it over,the peg keeps pulling up to trying to come off when I try..please help

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