Monday, July 04, 2016

Loom Knitting: Make a simple afghan or blanket

I'm going to explain how to make your own pattern for an afghan or blanket using a knitting loom.  These directions will work no matter what size you are making or what yarn and loom you are using.
Start by picking your yarn and loom.  Do a swatch, to determine the gauge you are getting using the yarn you picked with the loom you are working with.  I explain how to do a swatch here:  Ask Mary:  Do I have to do a gauge swatch?

After you know how many stitches and rows you need to make the size you want, pick a cast on method.  I suggest using one of the cast on method demonstrated and discussed in this video:

I suggest using one of these because further down I will tell you how to keep your edges neat and give another video of bind off methods to pick from which will have all four edges of your piece looking very neat and matching.

Cast on the required number of pegs you need.  If you need all the pegs on your loom mark the first and last pegs so that you remember to turn on them and not keep going as if you were knitting in the round.

All knitting curls unless you mix some purls in with the knit stitches to stop it.  So making a garter stitch border around the whole piece as you go will stop the curling.  Use the numbers from your gauge swatch to determine how to many rows at the beginning and ending need to be done in garter stitch and how many pegs on each side of every row need to be done in garter stitch.  This is where many new loom knitters start to get frustrated.  Don't let yourself get bogged down with this, take a deep breath and wade right in... once you get the hang of it, you will think it is simple.  If you are having trouble with this part leave a comment below or reach me on Facebook at:  Loomaholics Anonymous Group

A side note here... when working a garter stitch it doesn't matter which type of knit stitch you use with the purls.  You can use a regular (or some call it a true knit) stitch, a U stitch, a L stitch or an ewrap stitch.  They all work.  So use whichever one you prefer.

A way to keep your edges nice and neat is to use a slip stitch on both ends of every row from start to finish.  If you are not familiar with how to do a slip stitch watch this video:

After your garter rows use what ever stitch you want for your afghan or blanket.  The ewrap is a popular stitch because it is so fast and blankets tend to take so much time just because of their size.  Don't forget to do the garter stitches on both sides (ends of the row) of the whole blanket though to keep those edges from curling.  Mark those pegs so you remember.

When you are finished with the main part of your blanket, do the same number of garter rows before you bind off.  Pick one of the 2 bind off methods demonstrated and discussed in this video to match your cast on edge:

I hope this helps you to make your first afghan or blanket on a knitting loom and takes the stress out of figuring it all out!  If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to leave me a comment below or join Loomaholics Anonymous Group on Facebook to get in touch with me.