Long Tail Cast on for Looms

Picture 008 Knitting has been happening behind the curtains, I am just not allowed to show you any of it. I can tell you this: lots and lots of socks. Some are easy, some are cable-licious, some have eyelets and simple lace and all of them use some of the best sock yarns out there. But since I can't show you, I still want to share something with you. This is another version of the Long tail cast on for the looms. Previously, I have demonstrated how to accomplish this cast on with the loom only (see cast ons tutorial), this time around the tutorial uses a crochet hook. Personally, I prefer the method that uses the crochet hook, however, you can experiment and choose the one you like the best. The swatch at the right shows the cast on. The Long Tail cast on is flexible yet firm (due to the double yarn crossing to form the foundation).

Get the PDF file of Long Tail Cast On on a loom.

Weightlifter-woman On the Fitness Friday report: after being sick for a few days and then going on antibiotics I was able to go back to the gym on Wednesday. I have been back at it: swimming, spinning, weight lifting, and running. Yesterday was my very first outdoor run of the year. The day was chilly still but the sun was out and I couldn't stand the thought of running 5 miles on the treadmill so I bundled up and headed outside. I was slow, slower than my last 5 mile time. I want to think it was the extra layers and the cold weather that influenced my speed. I know for a fact that I run faster when temperature is around 80 degrees. In the weight lifting department, I have been sticking to the sets of 21s--great workout.

Weekly report:
Swimming: 3500 yards
Spin: 1 hr 45min
Strength: 2 hrs 15min
Run: 5 miles (48: 30)

Lastly, I want to leave you with this funny illustration...this is the way I feel when I am doing sit ups. Have a great weekend!

At the movies, Part II

The second installment of looming cables is on. But before we go on to view the next mini-videos, let's address some of the questions asked from the first set.

Bethany asked: Question: When knitting what you have just demonstrated in a project, do you have the tendency (I know I do, and I've been wondering if I should actually be doing this)to take the slack out of the carry over lines in the back, so that they are nearer to the pegs they are going to end up on? Or do you just leave them loose and long?

Answer: It depends. If I see that my stitches are too loose, I tug gently on each of the stitches, taking out all of the yarn slack off each of the stitches.

Christine asked: I wanted to try your thicker cable that you have posted that uses 6 pegs for the cable instead of three but my yarn simply would not stretch and in some cases I broke it because I was working it over too hard. Do you have any suggestions for keeping the yarn from breaking?

Answer: Excellent question! knitting on a loom stretches out all the stitches and there is very little slack between each stitch. Creating the 6st cables (or larger) is rather complicated. If you are using a yarn with very little elasticity, the stitches are going to be very difficult to twist. One way to make your stitches be more manegeable is to remove the stitches before the cable to a stitch holder doing this will provide you with some slack to cross your stitches for the cable. After you cable, place the stitches back on the corresponding pegs. Another option is to work the row before the cabling loosely--need to plan ahead a bit. Another option: work the stitches before cabling loosely, once you have cabled, go back and take out all the yarn slack off each of the stitches so they are nice and tight.

Christine also asked: on the patterns you show above what is the row repeat.

The 3-st cables that I showed are crossed every other row, e.i: row 1: cable, row 2: work normal. row 3: cable.

Thank you for your questions, keep them coming. If you have any other questions about today's show, drop me a comment and I will address those questions tomorrow.

In today's movie, we will be featuring the 3-st LPC cable and the 3-st RPC cable. They are very similar to the cables we saw previously, except one of the stitches gets purled rather than knitted.

First up, we have the 3-st Left Purl Cross cable (3-st LPC).

How to: cable is over 3 stitches.
  1. Skip peg 1 and peg 2 (with working yarn towards the back of the peg)
  2. Purl the stitch on peg 3. Take this stitch to the cable needle and let cable needle rest in the center of the loom.
  3. Take working yarn to front of peg 1 and peg 2. Knit peg 1 and peg 2. 
  4. Move the stitches as follows: Stitch from peg 2 to peg 3. Stitch from peg 1 to peg 2. Place loop from cable needle on peg 1.
  5. Gently, pull the yarn slack off each of the stitches (if necessary)

Last in the 3-st cable series, we have the 3-st Right Purl Cross cable (3-st RPC)

How to: cable is over 3 stitches

  1. Take stitch from peg 1 to cable needle and place cable needle to center of loom
  2. Knit pegs 2 and 3. Move the stitches from the pegs as follows: from peg 2 to peg 1, from peg 3 to peg 2.
  3. Place loop from cable needle on peg 3. Purl the stitch.
  4. Gently, pull the yarn slack off each of the stitches (if necessary)
Hope you enjoyed the show. Stop by next week for Part III of the cabling show. Next week we will be looking at 4 stitch cables (4-st LC, 4-st RC).

At the movies, Part I

AranafghanGet a comfy chair, grab a yummy treat...take out that chocolate you have hidden on top of cupboard, your knitting loom, a cable needle and some yarn and let's get ready to try out something new on our looms.

Today, we are going to go over a two cables: 3-stitch Right Cross Cable, 3-stitch Left Cross Cable, These cables are typically used to make traveling lines like the ones shown on the blanket on the left. (The blanket shown is the Aran Afghan from Learn to Knit Cables on Looms booklet.)

Before we get started, I want to talk a little bit about the yarn for this type of project: try to choose one that has some elasticity to it, such as wool. This is one time where I would say not to choose a chenille type yarn, it would break too easily. Choose a yarn that will allow the cables to show too, something smooth, non-frilly, and a light color will allow the cables to pop a little more. On cable needles: I like the curved shaped cable needles as the curve prevents the stitches from accidentally popping off.

We are going to look at the 3-stitch Right Cross Cable (3-st RC) first.

For the cabling demonstrations, I am using the red Knifty Knitter loom, the yarn is Lion Brand 's Thick & Quick, the cable needle is a U shape plastic/nylon cable needle.

The instructions for the 3-stitch RC cable are as follows:

  1. Place loop from peg 1 on cable needle. Take cable needle to center of loom.
  2. Knit pegs 2 and 3. Move them as follows: Loop from peg 2 to peg 1. Loop from peg 3 to peg 2.
  3. Take loop from cable needle and place it on peg 3. Knit peg 3.

Next, we are going to look at the 3-stitch Left Cross Cable (3-st RC) first. The instructions for this cable are as follows:

  1. Skip peg 1 and peg 2 (take yarn behind pegs to peg 3).
  2. Knit peg 3. Place loop from peg 3 onto cable needle. Hold cable needle to center of loom.
  3. Knit peg 1 and peg 2. Move them as follows: loop from peg 2 to peg 3; loop from peg 1 to peg 2. Place loop from cable needle on peg 1.

Come back tomorrow for a second installment on cables. We will be looking at the 3-stitch Right Purl Cross and the 3-stitch Left Purl Cross cables. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the cables we saw today, drop your comment and I'll try to address the question(s) tomorrow before introducing the other two cables.


Loom Knitting Tutorial: 2 stitch I-cord: for Arellis Bracelet

I received a couple of requests asking me to show how to knit a two stitch I-cord on the knitting loom. The pictures below were taken when I was knitting the bracelet. I hope you find them helpful. The mini-video was shot with bad lighting but I hope it helps too (I need to get some good taping lights).

Basically, what you are doing is creating a figure 8 on two pegs, knitting over, then creating the same figure 8 and knitting over...continue until you have reached the length desired. Let's break it down with some pictures (click on all the pictures to view them larger).


Step 1: Place the slip knot on peg 1


Step 2: Grab the working yarn (or in this case the beaded elastic), and you will wrap the peg to the left. Take the working yarn to the outside of the loom and wrap the peg in a clockwise direction (the working yarn should end up towards the inside of the loom).


Step 3: Take the working yarn between peg 2 and 1 and wrap peg 1 in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 4: Working yarn should be towards the inside of the loom, take it between peg 1 and 2 and wrap peg 2 in clockwise direction.

At this point, peg 1 and 2 should have 2 loops on it.


Step 5: With your knitting tool, lift the bottommost loop off peg 1 and peg 2.

Liftingover Lifting2

Repeat Steps 3-5 until item has reached the desired length. 

Bind off: Move loop from peg 1 to peg 2. Peg 2 should have 2 loops on it. Peg 1 should be empty. Lift the bottommost loop off peg 2. Take loop off the peg and pass the remaining yarn end through it, pull gently on the end to tighten that last stitch.

The method shown here can also be done by wrapping the pegs in the opposite direction. As long as you are wrapping the pegs in a figure 8, the I-cord will come out okay.

Hope this helps you in creating the Arellis Bracelet. If you need further assistance, just let me know by dropping me a line in the comments section.

k1f&b loop on a loom & bloggiversary contest

Rusted Root is on its way! Needles arrived and I am a couple of inches into the pattern--almost 2 lace repeats and so far, I am loving it! Have any of you knitted this beauty of a top? I have a row of purl stitches running by the beginning of the sleeves--is that correct? I am using Cotton Fleece and I had to bump up to a size 8 needle to get gauge. My goal is to have this top done by April 14th--it is our 6th year wedding anniversary and I really would like to wear it on that special day.


In loomy related news--hmmmm, I have a little mini-clip showing how to achieve the k1f&b loop increase on a knitting loom.  I worked a needle knit swatch and a loom knitted swatch to see how they differed from each other. Needle knit friends, I would love to know your opinion about the two swatches, especially the loom knitted one (of course).

Bloggiversary Contests--are you ready? I have been officially blogging for 2 years! I can't believe it that I have kept the writing coming for that long--I know I am long winded but I didn't think anyone else would be interested in my life and my knits. Anyways, to celebrate my 2 year bloggiversary, we will host two contests--yep 2. One for each year I have been blogging.

1st Contest: This one is easy: anyone who drops a comment on any of my posts from today til April 14th will be entered to win.

Prize:  1 skein of Plain and Fancy  by Sheep & Wool Co. in a blue shade. 400 yards (4.5 oz)


2nd Contest: This one is a little bit more difficult but the rewards are a lot more. I have always wanted to have a mnemonic for the Kitchener Toe--if you can come up with a cool mnemonic/saying/rhyme so I can remember it your prize will be:

3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden #39.

Deadline: April 14th. Winner will be announced April 15 (or 16th)

Loomy Q & A Day

Our Loomy & Question day is here, today's question is on shaping.

Q: I want to translate a needle knit pattern that calls for decreasing. How do I decrease on a knitting loom?

Decreasing on a knitting loom requires the manipulation of stitches from certain pegs to others, we will need to do a k2tog (knit 2 together)or a ssk (slip, slip, knit or in loom knitting--skip, skip, knit).

You will use decreases when shaping, as when shaping a raglan edge on a sweater, or when creating shapes. I created a triangle shape for demonstration purposes (update: the triangle was taken by Wonderboy and has become a monster with many little eyes and two hearts).


The picture below, has a flat panel with 7 stitches. We will be moving the loops as follows (click on all the pictures to enlarge them):


K2tog (knit 2 together): Move the stitch from peg 2 to peg 3. Peg 3 has 2 loops on them. Once knitted, the stitch from peg 3 will be at the one that "shows".

SSK (slip, slip, knit): Move the stitch from peg 6 to peg 5, Peg 5 has two pegs on it.


Move the loops from the outside stitches inwards (stitches on peg 1 and peg 7). Now, you will have 5 pegs with stitches.


Knit the remaining stitches. If the pegs have 2 loops on them, lift over and off the two loops, so only 1 loop remains on each peg.

All_movedKnit_over  After_knit_over

The process above will decrease the row by two stitches, one at each end. On the right you have a k2tog and on the left you have a ssk.

When shaping raglan sleeves, the pattern will probably say something along the lines of Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of next row, then you will only decrease on one side. Although the pattern says to decrease at the beginning of the row, you will find that seaming is easier if you place your decrease one or two stitches from the edge.

Here is a close-up look of the tip of the triangle.


Thanks for sending your questions in to Loomy Q & A. Please leave your questions/comments/thoughts in the comments section.  Hope you found this tutorial helpful.


Quick Decrease at the Crown

Decreasing the crown for a Gather Removal.

No more bulkyness at the top of the hat! Use this quick method to decrease at the crown. Guideline: last 2-2 ½ inches of the hat.

1. Move stitch to the neighbor peg (from odd to even). Loom ends up as: 1 empty peg, peg with two loops

2. Ski wrap (in and out of the pegs, making sure the yarn ends up to the front of the peg on the pegs with the 2 loops.

3. Knit 2 over 1, only on the very first round, following rounds only lift 1 over 1.

Rep steps 2 and 3 for approx 2-2 1/2 inches.

Remove with Gather Removal Method.