With just a few taps on a smartphone or a tablet, a person has access to a myriad of websites, all containing a plethora of information from around the world. However, it is important to step back and take a break from social media or one might start doom scrolling, which can be detrimental to a person’s overall well-being. May I suggest a hobby? A hobby that is portable, requires no batteries/USB charger, and can be done indoors as well as out? A hobby that I could use to embrace my inner geek while I'm still unplugged? Doom scrolling will have met its match once you pick up loom knitting!
For those who have yet to know the joy of colored strings, or you are a dedicated crocheter or needle knitter, here's a definition of loom knitting:
"A knitting loom is set up with a bunch of pegs on a frame, evenly spaced – onto these you 'knit.' The round knitting looms can be used for hats and even socks – here's a set similar to the one we have. The rectangular ones can be used for scarves and blankets."
This "definition" makes my hobby sound so boring and unappealing. But the history of loom knitting can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians! I just discovered this history thanks to one of the ladies in the Facebook group GoodKnitKisses Loom Knit & Craft Club where I am a member. That prompted me to look for more information, and I dived into the chronology of loom knitting.
Knitting looms come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are even flexible! The 2 most common types of looms, which you can find at most major craft stores, are long rectangles or circular. The marketing focus is toward children as a beginner's knitting tool, complete with the bright color scheme.
The looms are typically sold as a set, with a loom hook, a plastic yarn needle, and basic instructions for something like a hat and tube scarf. You perform the first knitting step, the "cast on," by wrapping the yarn around each peg in a "Cursive E" looping pattern all the way around the loom. Here's a tutorial for a loom knit hat with a visual breakdown of the first cast on step:
A lady from church bought me my first loom set as a birthday gift. I didn't care that the company marketed the set to kids, I was finally going to be able to make something with my own hands! Being physically disabled, so much of living your life from day to day requires help from others, and sometimes that can become frustrating. So when an opportunity comes along that allows me to create something all on my own, it's very empowering!
When I’d take my projects with me whether it was a Harry Potter "house scarf" with matching fingerless gloves or mermaid doll the responses would be mixed. Some would say, "I am really glad you found something that helps you be creative!" While others would say, "That's not real knitting, it's a children's toy!" I was even told I was "cheating"!
If you're thinking it sounds too simple like it's "cheating," I say watch this inspirational video at real-fix.com. After this, I doubt you'll still call loom knitting "cheating."
Plus, you can create so much more than just generic scarves and blankets! I've used my friends' Hogwarts house colors from Harry Potter to knit them scarves, mittens, and even tiny octopuses with hats! Here are some of my creations using my knitting looms that I made for my fellow Couch Soup members:
To see other things I've made, check out my Facebook page, The Sea Purl.
Now go out, get yourself a "gall darn" ball of yarn, and try loom knitting for yourself! And always remember "creating" is inclusive, not exclusive.
Have you tried loom knitting before? Do you love the yarn arts as much as I do?