Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Comparing looms

I want to talk a little about the knifty knitter looms, the rounds verses the ovals. Now I want you all to understand this is my point of view. If it doesn't match yours, well that is just a point of life and the way we view things. I am not posting this to agree or disagree with anyone, this is my way of looking at these looms. So please no comments about how I am wrong, or trying to offend someone. I get enough of those in private emails and don't care to have them on my blog also. So thank you for respecting my point of view and if you have one different, well post it to your blog. That way others can get several views on these looms and the bad and the good of them.

So on to the looms. I have used the round looms for a while and I do have to say they are my most used, at least the round ones are. I am now using the smaller oval ones to make hats and that is what I want to discuss.

The gauge between the ovals and the rounds, that distance between pegs is very close to the same as it is for the round green and red looms. So you have the same spacing as those round ones, all except for the end pegs which do have a wider gap between the pegs. The difference is with the peg size. The oval looms have pegs that are much smaller then the ones on the round looms. It is this difference in peg size that makes a difference in the final gauge of your project.

I had at one time asked about the difference in using a nail verses a peg like the one on the knifty knitter. I wondered how that size difference in the two would effect the gauge of the final piece of fabric. I am now seeing some of that effect on the knifty knitter looms. Even though the gap between the pegs (measured center peg to center peg), is about the same, the smaller peg itself does affect the gauge of the stitches. There is not a great deal of difference but enough so that you can see the difference.

The section of pegs at the corners has been said to affect the spacing of the stitches being that they are further a part then the rest of the pegs on the looms, but I have not at this point found a project where this has made a direct impact on the spacing of those stitches in that section of the loom. Now that is not to say that it won't. Currently I am using the e-wrapped stitch and the purl stitch for the projects I am working on. As far as those go the weave looks exactly the same as the rest of the stitches. So I am not displeased with that.

I am using the 26 peg pink oval loom. I refuse to call them the "long" looms any more as that is not a good description of them. Long looms makes them seem to all be bigger then the round looms, which just isn't so with a couple of the looms. That pink loom has more pegs then the blue 24 pegged round loom, but less pegs then the red, green, and yellow rounds. Just as the oval yellow has 38 pegs and has less then the yellow round loom. They are oval, some larger then the round knifty knitter's some not depending on what loom you are comparing it to. So oval is a much better description then "long" loom. So that is what I will call them

When making hats many people want that cuffed portion of the hat for the brim. Many projects actually require a cuffed brim. One hat that I have just about completed is one with a cuffed brim. On a round loom we bring up the bottom row and place it on the pegs to make that cuffed brim. It is not difficult, in fact it is an easy part of the project. On the oval loom this bringing up for cuff becomes a work of frustration. The gap between pegs is so small and with the knitted fabric already laying between the two sides of the oval, there is very little space left over to bring up that bottom row to make your cuff.

It seemed to take longer to bring up that row to do a simple place the stitches on the pegs, then it did to knit more then half the hat, and I am using purl stitches. So cuff while though harder is not impossible. You just have to take a little more care, especially if you wrap loosely. I am not a real loose wrapper, but I still had stitches pulled off their pegs in this daunting process. So while not impossible do take a little time while doing this so you don't ruin your project with dropped stitches.

Working the oval verses working the round loom is what I want to talk about next. The round looms have been with me for a while. I have made many hats and none take very long to do, discounting the reverse hats that are double in length. The oval looms take much longer for me to work as compare to the round looms. They are quite awkward to wrap, and even more awkward to knit off. I have turned and turned to find my "best" way of holding to wrap and knit and that is now coming around. I still do not feel like these looms will ever be quite as fast to knit on as the round looms are, but they are something you can adjust to using. You just have to be willing to make some small (maybe large) changes to the way you do things. Change really isn't all bad, it can be a good thing. Be that as it may I would prefer to do a cuffed brim on a round loom and leave the ovals for the straight brims. It would just be easier and not cause so much frustration.

I cannot at this time compare the hats made on this pink oval loom to those I have made on the round blue loom. The reason being is that these are not like any I have made on the blue round. When I finish this current hat I will duplicate the pattern on a blue round to compare the finished items. At this time the hats look to be very close to the same in size, or even having the pink loomed hat be a bit smaller. I will let you know that later. I still wonder what the difference is going to be compared to the larger pegs on the rounds.

Overall my experience has made me take note of how much easier the rounds are to use, and how much faster a project can be completed. Granted I have had a longer time to get use to the rounds, but experience on looming would in part make up the difference in changing to a new shape of loom.



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