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Loom Knitting Afghans: 20 Simple & Snuggly No-Needle Designs for All Loom Knitters Paperback – June 10, 2014
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About the Author
ISELA PHELPS is the author the bestseller Loom Knitting Primer, and other titles in the popular series, including Loom Knitting for Babies & Toddlers, Loom Knitting Scarves, Hats, Bags and More, Loom Knitting Socks, and Loom Knitting Pattern Book. She is an active member of the online knitting community. Isela is also the editor and publisher of Loom Knitters Circle, an online magazine for loomers and blogs at purlingsprite.com. She lives with her husband and children in Cache Valley, Utah.
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*British spellings of some words in the other book (i.e., "colour" instead of "color")
*different order of measurements: "1 in (2.5 cm)" in this book versus "2.5 cm (1 in)" in the other book
*different publisher name (this one is from Isela Phelps's American publisher)
The projects are the same, the interior photos are the same, the instructions are the same, the layout of the text is the same, even the page numbers are the same. So buy one or the other, but it doesn't make sense to get both. Also, since they're basically the same book, I'm posting a review for this one that is quite similar to my review for the other.
Moving on, if you are familiar with any of Isela's other books (I have her Loom Knitting Primer and Loom Knitting Socks books), the writing style is about the same here (it's wordy and could use some editorial polish, but is understandable enough). Personally, I was buying the book for the projects. And I'm used to interpreting this author's instructions, by this point.
What skill level is this book for? I'd say that absolute novices should start with something smaller than an afghan, which is a huge investment of time and materials. There are plenty of books for beginners with hats, scarves, etc. See below for a list of the patterns in *this* book, including a few notes on what I expect to be particularly easy or difficult projects.
What loom should you use? All but one or two of the projects in this book were made with looms from the Authentic Knitting Board Company. These include a 60" Wide Afghan Loom Knitting Loom KIT, a KB 28" Knitting Board + Peg Extenders + Hook and Instructions, and the KB All in One Loom. Most of the projects are "regular" gauge (1/2" peg spacing) or "small" gauge (3/8" peg spacing).
I have a Martha Stewart Knit and Weave Loom Kit (well actually, two of them) and placing the small pegs in every hole is a "small" gauge according to this book, while the large pegs in every other hole is close to "regular" gauge. The nice thing is, these projects are large, flat pieces, so unless you're making something specifically to cover a bed, your finished size doesn't have to match the pattern measurements exactly. Just make sure you use an appropriate weight of yarn for your gauge. There's a small possibility that you might need two Martha Stewart looms to have enough pieces for some of the largest projects. Mine are currently occupied with other projects so I can't take them apart and play with the configuration right now.
There are also some double knit patterns in this book (which the Martha Stewart loom can also do, or you can use the 28 inch Knitting Board).
The Knifty Knitters and similar looms will not work with most of the projects in this book, with the exception of maybe three patterns in the bed covers section that are worked in parts. Your gauge will likely be off, though -- most of the patterns are worked in worsted weight yarn which is really too small for a Knifty Knitter unless you double up.
The book opens with some pretty standard (for Isela books) discussion of tools (some of which are probably more necessary than others). Here are the ones that are probably the most necessary:
*crochet hook (for some cast ons, not for crocheting!)
*stitch markers (unless you have the Martha Stewart loom, then you can just use contrasting pegs)
*tapestry needle (for weaving in ends)
*measuring tape or ruler
Some things that are nice to have but not strictly necessary for every project:
*something to use as a stitch holder; there are specialized devices for this or you can use regular knitting needles or cable needles
*notepad and pen to keep track of rows
There's also a discussion of various types and sizes of yarn, and other reference material about gauge, different stitches, etc. Read it if you want, but it's not necessary to understanding the book unless you've never knitted or loom knitted before. There's a section about blocking and embellishments that I haven't seen in my other books by Isela, but the instructions seem clear and easy to understand. The reference material is all grouped together in the early part of the book (the index is useful for finding what you want).
There are lots of diagrams showing you how to cast on and bind off. I do plan to use these as references; it's nice to have them collected here so that I don't have to refer to two different books. (I have been loom knitting for over a year but I don't get to spend a lot of time doing it and I tend to forget things between knitting sessions.) I think these diagrams are probably more useful than photos would be, because the lines are clean and the yarn colors are clearly distinguished. However, the written directions beneath the drawings are not always 100% clear. Take the directions and the drawing together and you can probably figure out what the author is talking about, though. At least, that's how it was for me. I taught myself to loom knit with one of Isela's books (the Primer, linked to above).
On to the projects. There are three sections that are divided by finished item size rather than by difficulty.
The first project section is baby blankets:
*Entrelac baby blanket (4 colors, worsted weight); complicated instructions here
*Lace baby blanket (1 color, aran yarn)
*Cable baby blanket (1 color, worsted weight); one of the simpler patterns in this section
*Alphabet baby blanket (1 color, worsted weight)
*Pushchair stripes blanket (2 colors, worsted weight); another simple pattern
*Colorwork car seat blanket (2 colors, worsted weight)
*Gentle waves baby blanket (2 colors, worsted weight); this one is double knit
The second project section is throws and afghans:
*Ripple lace throw (1 color, worsted weight)
*Chevron throw (4 colors, worsted weight)
*Garter stitch afghan (1 color, worsted weight); easiest pattern in the book and good for mindless knitting in front of the TV
*Twist of lime cable throw (1 color, chunky yarn)
*Braid circular lapghan (3 colors, bulky yarn)
*Embossed diamonds throw (1 color, worsted weight)
*Aran lapghan (1 color, bulky yarn)
*Simple afghan throw (1 color, worsted weight); second easiest pattern in the book
*Just a little throw (1 color, worsted weight); this one is double knit
The third project section is bed covers:
*Sampler block bedspread (9 colors, worsted weight); made in patches and sewn together; pattern kind of looks complicated (because it is several pages long) but really isn't
*Cables and lace throw (your choice of 2 colors or 1 color, worsted weight)
*Summer rose bed afghan (3 colors, bulky yarn); made in patches and sewn together; requires a LOT of yarn (59 skeins...)
*Striped mitered square blanket (2 colors, worsted weight); made in patches and sewn together
Most of the patterns in this book are worked as one piece. This is going to require a huge loom (casting on 100-200 pegs in many cases) and it's going to be heavy and probably not portable once you've gotten going on a project. If you are looking for portable projects, look for the Afghans & Bed Runners for Knitting Looms: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating 12 Stunning Projects on a Knitting Loom by Denise Layman, which features patterns worked in smaller pieces and later pieced together.
The patterns in this book really do range from simple (garter stitch afghan) to quite a bit more complex. All the single color patterns feature interesting textures (except, perhaps, the garter stitch afghan). I don't love all the color choices in the models, but there's nothing that requires me to use the same colors the book used!
I'm not going to make every project in this book -- have no need for baby blankets, for example -- but there are quite a few that I do like. Some of the larger, single-color afghans remind me of the lovely projects in knitting catalogs (projects I couldn't do before because I don't know how to knit with needles). So I'm excited to be able to make similar projects on my loom(s), now. The summer rose bed afghan looks a little like something my grandmother would like, but most of the patterns -- especially with appropriate color choices -- should appeal to younger people, as well.
At any rate, hope I have been able to provide some useful information on this book. I look forward to starting a couple of these projects as soon as I finish what I'm currently working on!
Most recent customer reviews
I have many looms books. This one is a favorite. This is the book you need if you want to take your loom skills to an intermediate level.Read more