When the lovely folks at Lion Brand Yarn sent me the Martha Stewart Craftsâ„¢ and Lion Brand YarnÂ® Knit & Weave Loom Kitâ€”and a giant box of yarn to use while I was trying it outâ€”I was both very excited and completely overwhelmed. With more than thirty configurations for creating square, rectangle, circle, and oval looms in multiple sizes, plus tools for single knitting, double knitting, weaving, and making rosettes, there were so many possibilities that I didnâ€™t know where to start! But, when I finally got down to business, I found the loom set to be flexible, easy to use, and bursting with creative possibilities. I tested all of the major configurations and techniques, and had a great time learning new skills and trying out yarn crafts that Iâ€™d never done before, like weaving and yarn rosette-making. Overall, I found that the kit delivered the beautiful results that were promised in the product description and on the package, and I think it will be a great addition to my yarn crafting arsenal!
According to the Lion Brand YarnÂ® website:
Martha Stewart Craftsâ„¢ and Lion Brand YarnÂ® Knit & Weave Loom Kit
Our Price: $ 45.00
Compact enough to take anywhere, the Knit & Weave Loom Kit makes knitting and weaving easy for both beginners and pros. Use the included instructions to create scarves, hats, blankets, and crafts, or explore other possibilities on your own.
Includes instructions for a hat, scarf, and blanket.
Weaving loom – makes woven squares 1.5in to 13.5in wide and rectangles 1.5 in to 25.5in wide.
Round loom – makes circular knit pieces 13.5in to 14in in circumference.
Rake loom – makes flat knit pieces 4in to 37in wide.
Rosette loom – makes a rosette approximately 2in in diameter.
Knit & Weave Loom Knit includes:
â€¢ (2) 36-hole straight pieces
â€¢ (2) 28-hole semi-circle pieces
â€¢ (4) 12-hole straight pieces
â€¢ (2) 10-hole U-shaped pieces
â€¢ (4) 6-hole straight pieces
â€¢ (4) 6-hole corner pieces
â€¢ 206 small-gauge pegs
â€¢ 104 large-gauge pegs
â€¢ knitting tool
â€¢ weaving tool
â€¢ crochet hook
â€¢ small and large yarn needles
â€¢ instruction booklet (English, FranÃ§ais, EspaÃ±ol)
5. When knitting, you can choose the standard single knitting (single layer) option or a warmer and thicker double knitting option. (The double knitting option works for flat pieces on rectangular looms, and cannot be done on the circle looms.)
6. When I first received the loom, I noticed that the knitting tool had a lot of give to it, and I was afraid that it would bend if my yarn tension got too tight. The knitting tool has now been redesigned to add strength, and the new version feels much sturdier. Lion Brand sent me one of the new tools to use for this review.
8. The included blanket, hat, and scarf projects are cute and practical while still being simple enough for beginners to make while learning how to use the loom.
Note on increases and decreases: It is possible to increase and decrease when loom knitting, though the methods for doing so require more advanced loom knitting and knitting skills, and are not included in the instruction book. If youâ€™re ready to try out increases and decreases, research the best method for your project and remember that you canâ€™t have more stitches than pegs!
What I didnâ€™t love overall:
1. The loom assembly instructions are only for the square or rectangle shapes, not circles or ovals. And, while it isnâ€™t difficult to figure out how to assemble the other shapes, it might be a source of confusion for people who donâ€™t have previous loom knitting experience.
2. The pegs can be difficult to press all the way in and hard to remove when youâ€™re done. But, because the pegs must be very snug to keep them from popping off while you knit, I donâ€™t know that this is an issue that can be avoided.
3. I found that the yarn slipped off of the small pegs more easily than the larger pegs.
2. Both knitting and purling techniques for single knit projects are simple, and a thorough explanation of both is provided in the instructions along with photos of each step in the process. (This means that you can create different patterns and textures by alternating knit and purl stitches!)
3. You can change colors to create stripes and designs in your project.
5. The binding off process for single knit projects is straight-forward and yields an even, neat finish. For projects knitted in the round, there is also an option to do a gathered bind off, which closes the opening on one end. (The gathered bind off is useful for closing hats.)
Note: The binding off process involves crochet. I crochet more regularly than I knit, so the process felt like second nature to me. If you donâ€™t have crochet experience, make sure you read the instructions all the way through first so you have a better idea of how binding off will work.
What I didnâ€™t love about single knitting:
1. Just like when knitting with needles, itâ€™s harder to get the hang of purling than knitting, and itâ€™s easy for the loop to slip off of the knitting tool while youâ€™re learning the technique. I recommend a combination of patience and using your hands to catch the loops as needed.
2. Double knitting gives thinner yarns a bulkier texture and the second layer can make lighter weight yarns appropriate for cooler weather.
3. Just like with single knitting, you can change colors to add stripes and designs to your project.
4. The binding off process for double knitting is just as easy as the process for single knitting, and the instructions in the booklet are very clear.
What I didnâ€™t love about double knitting:
1. Though it becomes obvious after a few rows, the instructions donâ€™t explicitly say that you need to lace the loom before every row that you knit. After the second row, I messed up several of the next rows by knitting over the working yarn (like I would in single knitting) instead of lacing all of the pegs and knitting those loops instead.
2. You can combine different yarn sizes and to make unique textures and designs.
3. Woven squares can be sewn together to make larger projects, lending a lot of flexibility to your designs.
What I didnâ€™t love about weaving:
1. In the photos in the instruction book, the strands of yarn are doubled (two strands of yarn are put together to make one 2-ply strand), but the doubling isnâ€™t mentioned in the instructions until much later, and then only in passing. This confused me a lot when I first weaved the warp (the vertical strands), because I couldnâ€™t figure out why the photos had so many more strands of yarn on each peg than I did.
2. Before you start weaving the weft (the horizontal strands), unravel all of the yarn that youâ€™ll need to complete the weaving (doubled, if youâ€™re combining the yarn into 2-ply strands). The instructions do say to pull out a few yards of yarn before starting, but I donâ€™t think that they stress the fact that you need to pull out all of the yarn that you will be using, or youâ€™ll run out mid-weave and not be able to pull more.
What I didnâ€™t love about making rosettes:
I didnâ€™t have any problems at all when making rosettes, so I don’t have anything to share in this “didn’t love” section.
In my opinion, this loom kit is extremely versatile and useful, and delivers quality results for a reasonable price. As long as my tension was constant and I didn’t pull my threads too tight, I got consistently beautiful and well-shaped results from a craft tool that was easy for me to learn how to use. I would definitely recommend this kit to friends who are looking for a loom knitting and weaving kit that can be assembled quickly and is readily adjustable to fit a wide variety of projects.
Disclosure: Samples provided for review, but my opinions are honest and my own!
- Craft Tool Review: AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter - November 25, 2013
- Craft Tool Review: Clover Weaving Sticks - September 17, 2013
- CHA Summer 2013: Tools for Custom Fiber and Fabric Projects - August 14, 2013
- CHA Summer 2013 Booth Love – Haley’s Favorite: Bottle Cutting Inc. - August 3, 2013
- CHA Summer 2013 Fabric and Fiber Trends: Back to the Basics - July 26, 2013
- Craft Book Review: Crochet One-Skein Wonders - June 18, 2013
- Craft Tool Review: Clover USA Pin ‘n Stow - April 23, 2013
- Craft Tool Review: Nancy’s Hobo Tote Collection Trace ‘n Create Bag Templates from Clover USA - March 26, 2013
- Craft Product Review: Boye Artisan Tools CrochetMaster Plus Crochet Hook Set - February 18, 2013
- CHA Winter 2013: Getting Groovy in the iLoveToCreate Booth - January 22, 2013