Monday, April 30, 2007

Gather hat method verses drawstring

I had a little chance to read though posts from groups lately, being down and not able to get on the Internet all that much I have been behind on reading.

So I hear about a new method for doing the top of a hat. Rather then doing a gather you do a drawstring method. This is exciting news, or so I thought. Then I read on and do some searches to find this new method of removing a hat without a gather. When I finally find it and read about the method, I am terribly bothered by a problem. Oh it is a big problem. It is a rose by another name.

OK first I want to say this is a learning post. It is only meant to teach you something, and to have you understand the differences between the gather method for a hat and the drawstring method.

With a gather method you cut the working yarn, load a needle and run it through each stitch around the loom taking off the stitches as you go or after you have run the needle through each stitch. When the piece is completely off the loom you pull the yarn to gather the top and finish off.

With the drawstring method you cut the working yarn, and with your pick you pull the cut working yarn strands down through the stitches and then take them off the loom. When the piece is off the loom you pull the yarn to "gather" the top.

Now look at those two sections and tell me what the difference is. Do you see it? There is only one difference, instead of a needle to pull the working yarn through the stitch, you are using a pick to pull the working yarn through the stitch. Other then that there is no difference. You are just using a different method to "gather" the top of the hat.

It doesn't matter what way you use to pull that working yarn through that stitch to work it off. You can use a needle, you can use a pick, you can use a crochet hook, you could use your fingers, the end result is the same, a gathered top. You are putting your stitches in each of these methods on a holding strand that will be pulled to "gather" the stitches.

Call it what you may there is no difference. Sorry folks it is a gathered top of the hat by whatever name you want to give it. Giving it a different name doesn't make it any less of a gathered hat top. I cannot believe that someone else has not mentioned this on any posting that I have read.

It can get really confusing in the world of crafting. I think it is the responsibility of those of us who have been around crafting a while to show others that a rose by any other name is still a rose. It can be a bubble bursting thing to find that what you thought was new, is really still old but now you move on to finding that truly new to everyone method. Rebel that I am, I cannot see letting misinformation continue in this manner. That is the stuff of confusion and the world of knitting has enough of that to satisfy everyone.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Loom Knitting Primer, Part 3, the patterns

This book is a beginner's guide to Knitting on a loom and as such we have explored the things inside that will teach you how to use your looms. Along with each of the sections to learn you find some beginner patterns to help you with the section you are learning, but there is more. The pattern sections.

The largest section is for the single rake knitting looms and starts you out with Circular Patterns. In this first section you are given patterns to learn several projects including a mock cable piece, how to make ear flaps for a hat, a cowl, and ribbed leg warmers. With each piece you are given the type of yarn used, the loom used for the pictured item, gauge of the project and much more. You have all you need to jump right in and start your project, well as soon as you have the yarn and colors you want.

There is then a section of sock patterns. You have two sock patterns with a stitch pattern chart, and a chart to doing short rows for the first pattern which is done on an extra fine gauged loom. The second pattern is for a knifty knitter loom. So you have a choice in looms and patterns you can use.

In the flat panel section you have a variety of different patterns to choose from. You have baby to adult items each with easy to follow instructions. You must check out the Waves Shrug pattern. Oh such a lovely stitch it will teach you.

In the board knitting pattern section there are only a couple of patterns for scarves but they are ones that will help you learn ribbing and a start into color works on the double rake looms.

The next section is a little talk about how to felt your wool knitted items. Then a section that follows gives you some patterns to take you into the world of felting. Check this section out as there are some patterns for felted items that I have not seen mentioned on groups before. Oh yes there is the standard felted purse but there is more to felted items then just purses.

I know I haven't told you much about the actual patterns. I do not want to take all the fun of going through this book from you. As you explore the insides you will find the book is very well put together, with wonderful illustrated helps, patterns, complete with color pictures.

With the addition of the content section and a very nice index you will be able to locate the section of the book you want without that having to skim the whole book. If you are a beginner you will find yourself soon knowing more the you expected from this one book. If you are more advanced there are also things to help you expand your knowledge of loom knitting.

My final words about this book is to express my surprise when I first received it. I really expected something a lot less then what this book actually gives you. I have many of the loom knitting books that are available but most of them are just pattern books. This one not only gives you patterns to learn from but teaches you how to loom. You will not be given a pattern and expected to know what to do, or to have to search out and ask how to do the different techniques presented in the book. It is all there for you, from beginning to finished project you will have the help you need in this must have guide to learning how to loom knit.

To Isela, wonderful job. No wonder you were so tensed up during your time of putting this together. You are leading the world of loom knitting to new levels. You have done an excellent job in this knitting primer. The loom world is lucky to have you.


Monday, April 23, 2007


I am still working on the ripple afghan on a single rake loom. It seems to be coming along ok now but I need the piece longer to check a problem with it. Between the first and second K1b&f stitches there is a gap that forms. The larger the gauge of the loom the worse the gap seems to be. I have a piece on a regular gauged loom and now on a 5/8" gauged loom.

On the regular gauged loom there doesn't seem to be any gap occurring but there is a slight one one the 5/8" one. From the piece I removed from the large 3/4" gauged loom I could see the gap starting to disappear so I am hoping this will happen on the other slightly smaller gauged loom. If it doesn't then this pattern will only be for the smaller gauged looms. Bummer for that if that is the choice.

I am also still working on the third part of the Knitting Primer review. It is going to come out later today. Then I can get all three parts put together. I will set up a pdf file so that people new to loom knitting can have access to it. I will post it to a few groups and on my blog here.

Other then that I have had some fairly quiet days. Last Friday was my 27 anniversary, but all we did for that was a birthday party for my grandson Payton. He turned 7 years old on Thursday the 19. He was a "most excellent" anniversary present seven years ago. This was his first party where kids from school were invited and it was a great party. It was the one day where the rain stopped, and it warmed up so the kids got to play outside. They had a great time. We got such a kick out of watching them with the pinata that I got for the party. Children are so much fun.

My MIL sent me some yarn for my anniversary. I got some more Lion Brand Boucile and she sent a large skein of Sensations Rainbow Boucile. This is amazing. On my last shopping trip where I bought a ton of yarn, I managed to get one skein of this very same yarn in this exact same color. I had wanted two of them but only one was in stock. I figured that later maybe they would have more, but wonders do happen, my MIL didn't know I wanted this yarn, and she sent the perfect one. Now I have that second skein.

The hubby just got old money. He is building above the ground water ponds and he is putting that money to good use already. He bought some more water plants for them. He has two of the ponds running right now. One is made to form a little babbling brook and is so peaceful sounding. The other is huge containers with pipes that flow the water from one container to another, then the water gets pumped back up to start over. Once the plants start to grow in and around these it will be such a great place to sit. He even had a great big redwood stump given to him and it is a sitting place now. He is working to make this look natural. The lady who had the redwood cut down is going to give him a few more stumps for the yard.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Lacy Leaves hat. First hat, yellow, done in red heart worsted weight, second done in Bernat Super Stripes, baby hat in red heart baby yarn. The adult hats were done with one strand of yarn, the baby hat with two strands held together as one.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Loom Knitting Help

I have been errant in update this blog with new stuff for people who visit. There is a new site that has some wonderful help for those wanting to increase their skills in loom knitting. It is the following site you should visit:

This site has some wonderful ways to show you how to do the things you thought could not be done on looms for knitting. With practice and patience you will soon find yourself doing those wonderful things that you thought would only be for needle knitters.

Rebecca has put a lot of work into this loom knitting help site. Please be sure to visit and see all the great things available for you here. Even though there is a lot to see now, remember this is still a work in progress. So go back and visit often so you don't miss all the wonderful new things that she is adding.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More pictures of the lace hats

These hats are the lacy trials hats all except the last one, that one is the Lacy Spiral hat.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Here again

I have to say sorry for not having posted the other parts of the Loom Knitting Primer review. I blew it and am just now able to sit at the computer for more then a couple of minutes.

What it comes down to is I helped my sister put sliders under a very heavy oak coffee table and pulled a muscle in my right leg. That in turn pulled on my internal organs and activated an ovary infection that I didn't even know I had. The good news is that I am now up and getting around better and the series of tests done show me to be in otherwise wonderful health. Three to four days laying on my side in absolute pain is not a fun thing to do, so I am glad to be moving on again.

Maybe this will teach me a lesson, but who knows. It is such a hard lesson to learn that age is catching up and you have to slow or stop some things you are use to doing on your own. Oh did I get a talking to. My son says I should have gotten him to do the lifting, my hubby says the same thing. I am a very bad person for not thinking about what I was doing. You'd think I would know better since I had a major problem with hip and leg last year, the opposite one, but still a lesson should have been learned.

So now I can sit at the computer and I have a draft of the second part in the works. I hope to have it online by tomorrow or Saturday. This one is a bit trickier then the last piece was and I want to do the best job of gaining your interest that I can. Oh yes there is a lot to have interest in.

So please forgive and I will get to working on the rest of the story.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

LOOM Knitting Primer, Part 2

We have looked at the beginning and the end of the book, but what about the middle. What is there for me in this section of the book? What more in goodies are there for me to explore? Well it is time to look further into the many things in store for you.

Our part two starts with Part 1 Round Loom Knitting in this little big book made just for you. The beginning of this section takes you into the building blocks of loom knitting. Just what are building blocks, well that we are going to talk about.

To each craft there are the beginning steps you need to get started. In this building block section you are taken from the beginning slip knot to wrapping the loom in different directions, and naming the parts of your loom. Each new step is illustrated in beautiful color on drawings of the a loom so that following along is oh so easy.

Your next step is to the basic cast on, the first stitches and finishing on round looms. In the section for the basic cast on you will be shown how to start your project. In first stitches there are four stitches discussed with pictures of each and a little on how to keep your loops from being too loose or too tight. The finishing section includes how to do a gather, basic bind off, and yarn over bind off, plus how to work your brim. All of these are complete with pictures to guide you on your way, and tips to work your project.

In yarn work, be it crochet, needle knitted or loom knitted there is always the talk of gauge. What is gauge, why do we need to worry about it and how do we determine what the gauge is. Isela has included a two page section to get you started learning about gauge. It is not a large section but for the purpose of your learning this is an excellent guide for you to get you started.

After these sections there is a basic hat pattern to get you started using your loom, and a section on more cast ons for you to continue your learning. Here you are introduced to two new ways to do a cast on. Then we are off to another section to teach you to do a couple more stitches. The basic stitch you know by now, the one that needle knitters call the twisted knit stitch, but to continue many of us have gone on to learn the knit and purl stitches. After this section you again have a practice project to help you learn to better use the two new stitches and for the practice you will need to help you flow through doing these stitches.

Now we need to learn more about how to bind off our pieces. In this section you have a choice in the type of bind off that will be used in these projects. Three different bind offs are demonstrated for your use, again with great pictures to guide you in the learning.

Some of the looms we start with are small, therefore, we do piece work. Piece work is making of smaller pieces that must then be linked together to form one large piece. Here in this section you will learn how to do a three needle link or an on the loom linking of pieces. This was a section where I learned something all brand new to me and enjoyed reading about how to do this linking of pieces on the loom or by needle.

Now I am going to quickly lead you through the next few sections otherwise this will become a book of it's own.

We have sections to teach you I-cords, fixing mistakes, creating the flat panel along with turning peg options, shaping, how to increase and decrease, working with color, painting with yarn, and sock knitting on a loom. Each section comes with practice pieces for you to learn on.

When we jump to Part III of the book we have come to the section that gives you some guides into board knitting. Some simple stitches are here for you to start learning how to work the double rake loom and to do finishing on it. As with the round loom section there are practice pieces for you to learn with, and the pictures are so easy to follow.

This board section is not a large section but is a great way to get you started if you haven't thought yet about doing knitting on the double rake loom. As with the other sections there are tips to help you along the way to learning this new loom knitting process.

On to Loom Knitting Primer, Part 3, in the next couple of days.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

LOOM Knitting Primer, Part 1

A beginner's guide to knitting on a loom, with over 30 fun projects, is what the cover of the book tells you. Don't fool yourself there is more to this book then just being a beginner book and we are going to explore the inside pages of this little beginner's guide to show you why.

In part one here we are going to cover the beginning of the book then jump to the back of the book. We will explore the middle sections in other parts.

One wonderful thing to start this book is a great Contents section. It has always been my belief that a good content section is a great start to any book that is meant to be a teaching guide. You’re in the store and you have very little time to look through all the wonderful books available to help you decide just what you want to buy. Open the book and there is the content section or not. No content section means you really do have to take that time to browse the book, but a good content section will show you right away that here is something you need. It is the window to the pages inside and its curtains are wide open for you to view inside. This primer has a very large window to show you the entire world inside it. Take your first stop here. It has a wonderful view.

The beginning pages start with a wonderful Introduction to loom knitting written by Isela. If you are not already a loom knitter, Isela would have you convinced to give it a try and quickly. You will discover through her little introduction that you really are missing out on a wonderful new to you craft, not new, just new to you.

Isela continues in the next section with some introduction to the history of loom knitting and more discussion on the looms themselves. She will teach you more then just a little history. She will help guide you in knowing more about looms in size, shapes, and gauges.

A Glossary is included with terms that you will soon become familiar with. Her listing of the terms includes what they are and what abbreviations you might see in written patterns. Included are names of stitches, type of looms, and much more. You will want to take your time in this section to be sure to catch it all, but don't worry the book is yours; go ahead explore a little more. You can come back any time you need to, it won't disappear, I promise. My section has still been there no matter how many times I have gone to other sections and I am still finding something I missed before. So go on turn the pages to see more.

Next we get to meet the Family of Looms and Buying a Loom are the next two sections. I put these two together in this little review because they belong to each other. First there are a lot of different types of looms available and here in this section Isela gives you a better introduction to those types of looms. She will guide you in their use and then in the buying of looms section she will help you choose the type of loom for the type of yarn you want to use.

She will tell you the difference between a rake, a board, a round, and the double or single sided looms and then continue on to give you a chart for yarn weights, and a quick reference guide to choosing a loom for its gauge. These sections are a must have for the serious or not so serious loomer trying to choose what loom can be used with what yarn and give you a wonderful introduction into choosing the gauge of your looms.

Looms are not the only thing needed to do this type of knitting. We have other tools that we need. There are not many and some you may never need but Isela tells you of some you may not have thought of and this handy little section includes many different tools that can be used along with your looms to create some wonderful projects. You may never need to use any of the extra tools listed in this section but it wonderful to know that Isela thought of you when she added this area. You will never have to do guess work on the many tools that can be use after Isela's introduction to them.

What do you know about yarns or what do you think you know about yarns? As a beginner you might not know anything at all about the different types of yarn in today’s market. Oh please don't worry, Isela has thought of this also. She has a little section that will have you on your way to being an expert in the art of choosing your yarn. A must read in this big little book.

So you think that there cannot be more. Ah so wrong. Here we jump to the back of the book. No, no the middle section, nope that's for later. Sure there are all those middle pages to explore but you have to wait. Yes I said wait. Now don't get upset, there is still good to come.

The Useful Information section is just as its name sounds, information for you that will be useful. I am going to give you a little hint into this section with the titles: Reading charts, Washing your knits, Head Size Chart, Poncho Conversion Chart, Common Abbreviations Found in Loom Knitting, and Resources. Ah, I thought that would get your attention. See the back of the book doesn't mean the end of the book.

The Index section is a work of art all by itself. Are you in a hurry but cannot remember the exact page you saw that special something you want to try. Well, the index is your guide to the inside pages. You won't have to guess or go through the book page by page wasting that wonderful knitting time. Just look at the index and jump back into your knitting. This is a very comprehensive index.

Coming soon, Part 2.


Loom Knitting Primer a Beginning

So a new book is out for loom knitting. It's a beginnger book and since I am not a beginner I didn't even think much about purchasing it. I figured somewhere sometime I will run across it and get to see if it is something I want to add to my library or something that will just be way to easy and not for me.

Well, I didn't get a chance to run across the book in time, as I was asked to look over the book and do a little review of it. So the book was sent to me by the publisher just for this purpose.

Ah a little review, a little review, they want a little review for the people thinking about this book. It isn't possible, that little review. There is so much available that I finally had to make a choice a hard choice. Could I do a "little" review and do some justice to the book or do I split it up and keep the readers in supense while I work on each section and give the book the review I think it requires.

Sorry folks the hard choice was to split the review into sections. I am about to introduce the first section to you now, then over the next few days I will add sections as I browse the book to pick out the things I believe will be of intrest to you all.