When my kids were younger they wanted to learn to make things with yarn just like their mom. I was not as heavily involved in the business side like I am now so we had time to learn to use the Knifty Knitter Looms. They were readily available at JoAnn Fabrics. We have 2 sets of round looms and 1 straight loom. When I began the challenge of writing about knitting for charity I realized that many people who work with charities like to use the looms because they are fun, they take less time to create a project, and just about anyone can learn to make a project with a loom.
My son, when he was young, made sweaters for small dogs with a loom. My daughter made hats, and I believe cat snuggles. I learned to make hats scarves and even a poncho for my mom that's still in use today. :) Looms can be a great teaching tool. Now with Loomahat.com available not only with free patterns, video tutorials, and a store on the site its easier than ever to learn to loom! Lets check it out!
Loomahat.com is the brain child of Denise Canela-White. She is a wife and mom with a full time job and a full blown love of loom knitting :) She's got a busy schedule so loom knitting provides her with the joy of giving to charity while not absorbing all of her time. She explains how she got started here. I like the way Denise Canela-White explains the mission of Loomahat.com. The three part mission is simple and to the point: Teach, Teach, Give. I can really get behind that mission statement which you can also find on the "About Us" page. Mother Theresa said "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." I think that's a perfect way to sum up what charity loom knitters try to accomplish. We never know when a small thing will turn into a great thing because we did it with love!
One thing I should make clear is that there are a lot of different style looms. Loomahat.com has a store so you can order a loom of your own and the video tutorials/patterns are clear about the style loom being used. I happen to like the Knifty Knitter because the pegs are a good size for me. Loomahat.com also sells patterns and stitch markers for looms. (yes you need a way to mark various pegs)
Loomahat.com has so many patterns and videos to share but there is a special section just for charity! This section of the website not only confirms what I often say about fiber artists in that they are some of the most generous people in the world! Bound by heart "strings" we span the world. This section of Loomahat.com gives not just patterns but also ideas for where your creations can be donated. When people first start out with the idea of knitting for charity it can be difficult to find a place to donate your handmades so it's really excellent to see that Loomahat.com addresses that issue. Charities such as Hats for Mongolia and Operation Christmas Child are among those projects. Many are ongoing projects that unless otherwise stated still need volunteers.
If you are looking for looming patterns look no further than Loomahat.com! With super basic step by step video tutorials on their YouTube channel you cannot go wrong as a beginner loom knitter! It's important however, to look at the project carefully to make sure that you are using the correct loom with the correct number of pegs. Denise Canela-White gives us a very important piece of advice on her patterns page buy the loom that fits your budget and your style. I think that's an excellent piece of advice. The point is to do something that you enjoy.
There are 100 free patterns available from Loomahat.com. Hats and scarves are on my mind because the Fall temperatures are upon us! If you are looking for some great looking and FREE hats check out the hat page. Lots of great patterns for all ages. Scarves/cowls are a really good beginner project. Here's a link to an infinity scarf. I like the look of it and it's made with bulky weight yarn. If you are looking for a smaller project, try knitting up these squares then sewing together to make a brightly colored scarves. Neckwarmers are a fun small project to work up on a loom. Here's a pattern for a neckwarmer from the Polk a Dot Cottage webpage.
For babies there are a number of projects you can try. Some are super easy and some are a bit more advanced. One of my favorite projects to make are the baby sleep sacks. There is a loomed version of the baby sleep sack that is super cute. There is even a tutorial! Baby blanket? Yes! I found this pattern on Loomahat.com but its been provided by Loom Lore . Baby hat? Absolutely Check out the Minnie Mouse look-a like baby hat!
The most important part of Loomahat.com is the tips and hints that you can find on the site. I've owned looms for a very long time. When I bought them the directions were confusing and there were not many sites that taught how to use the looms. So it's really fantastic that you can find tips like what size loom works best for a hat, how to loom knit a basic hat, and loom knit stitch directory! (how cool is that?)
Basically anything and everything you might need or want to know about loom knitting is on Loomahat.com! It's a fantastic resource for charity knitters as well as people looking to learn the art of working with yarn to create beautiful projects. Yes, it's an art. I really appreciate the work of Denise Canela-White. I think you will too. If you stop by her site be sure to leave her a note thanking her for all her hard work.
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.