Thursday, December 25, 2014

Loom Knit Hat

I decided that as part of their Christmas this year, I would make my nieces some cute winter hats. Although I have crocheted hats before, I prefer to loom knit my hats. It's quick, easy, and I think it makes some darn cute hats! Please note that this is just the way that I do my loom knit hats, there are all sorts of ways to knit, tie, finish, and embellish. There's no wrong way to do it, just as long as it works!

For your hat you will need:
2 balls or skeins of yarn in coordinating colors
An appropriately sized round loom (I used a medium, which has 31 pegs)
A loom knitting hook
A yarn needle
A small crochet hook (I used size F)

First, holding both strands of yarn together, make a slipknot.
Put your slipknot over any peg to start. (I prefer to start on the peg closest to the little peg coming off the side, but I don't think it really matters!)  From the inside of your loom, wrap the yarn around each peg all the way around. This is called an e-wrap.
Once you have wrapped all of the pegs all the way around your loom, push the stitches down to the bottom of the pegs and wrap each peg again. You should end up with each peg wrapped twice.
Using your loom knitting hook, draw the bottom stitch up and over the top stitch. The pegs on your loom will have a groove in them to allow you to get the hook under the yarn easily. Start with the last stitch that you wrapped, so that it will lock in place and you don't have to worry about your yarn unraveling.
Continue this process until you have made a few inches worth of hat. This will become your finished edge. You can leave the edge as is, but the hats look much better with their edges turned up to make sort of a cuff at the bottom.
Each of your beginning stitches will have a loose sort of loop. This is the first stitch you made in the very beginning. Place each of these loops onto the corresponding peg above them until all of the loops are on pegs.
Draw the bottom stitches up and over these loops, just as though they were e-wraps. This will integrate the beginning stitches into the body of the hat seamlessly. No need to crochet or sew to connect it, simply knit it onto itself.
From here, continue to knit your hat until you have reached your desired length. Bear in mind the size of the head that the hat will go on, and how much of the length will be taken up by gathering to close the top. Cut the yarn to leave a very long tail. We will use this to gather and sew together the top of the hat.
Thread your yarn needle with the long tail. I prefer to use a plastic yarn needle for this project, as it has a bit of flexibility, and I am less likely to put my eye out. Pass your needle through each stitch, all the way around, removing the stitches from the pegs as you go.
Once you have passed your yarn tail through all the stitches and removed them from the pegs, pull on the tail to draw all the stitches together and close up the top of the hat. Use your needle to sew a few stitches across the hole, so that it doesn't open up. On the inside of your hat, tie the tail to one of the inside stitches with a sturdy know and trim off the excess yarn
Use your crochet hook to weave in the tail from the beginning of your project. This should be woven into the stitches on the inside of the hat so that it cannot be seen.
You're all done! Don't forget to experiment with different color combinations, different yarn types, or you could try using a different stitch or switching between stitches. You can also buy pattern books for your looms, and learn all sorts of good techniques to make a whole menagerie of interesting items. It's not just hats you can make on these looms, There's all sorts of stuff you can create!