I’ve only just remembered that I’ve never written anything about my attempt at using Tchibo straight knitting loom. It was a disaster. I actually went there and returned it (got all my money back, good Tchibo policy here).
It was soft and flexible. VERY soft. When I put the first round of yarn on it, the sides bent into the middle. Whatever I did, I couldn’t make any kind of consistent knit, it all came out as a bunch of very very loose loops.
Look from the top (see how it bends into the middle?):
Look from the side (only a few rows, but even when I made some more in hope of this getting a bit tighter, no luck):
But as you can see in the second photo, it’s all fault of very poor construction – the frame itself is hollow and walls are very thin. The plastic bent under slightest pressure, including loosely threaded yarn.
In summary: when buying a knitting loom, make sure the frame is solid (wood is good!). PRYM round looms I’ve tried out are very sturdy. I’d like to find a straight one of the same class. Possibly with pins much closer together.
As I’m searching for the alternatives to simple knitting (for fun and/or future reference) I’ve bought a set of PRYM knitting circular looms. These are static tools, like a ring with little pins, on which you can knit a tube or a flat panel. More or less like on a knitting mill, but:
* much more portable
* WAY more resistant to thicker wool
* more options as to width/stitch count
* more manual operations needed
* possible to use some actual stitches, not just flat knit
* for cons, of course, MUCH slower (see “more manual operations needed”)
What does this look like? Amazon (very small foto) or Wloczka Sklep (where I bought them). For some reason, sometimes it’s also sold, with the exact same colours, as Darice easy knitting round loom set (Amazon). Mine has a pink needle, not a blue one, but even needle shape is exactly the same (and the blue needle is on the box of mine).
Now, for some details.
1. If you use yarn of more or less standard easy knitting thickness – my fav is 200m/100g – you will get a very, very loose knit, with wide gaping spaces between stitches. May be useful in some cases, but I don’t really like this effect.
2. If you use much thicker yarn (100/100 worked well), the effect is not so loose, but the final product will be awful thick. Winter hats, here we come. Also, very, terryfyingly thick socks.
3. The sizes of the looms are a bit weird. The descriptions on the net say that the smallest one is for baby hats. Yeah, sure, for newborns… or dolls. Or, maybe, for grownup socks (if you don’t expect a turned heel, because the instructions don’t cover this). I think with thick red yarn you could produce an astounding amount of Christmas stockings ;)
I wanted to loomknit a hat for my 8 yrs old son, as he got a nice, olive-green autumn jacket and lacks a hat that would go with it. The second size loom didn’t work, he complained very loudly about the hat being way to small. It may be due to my heady-handed way of casting on the loops, but looks like the second loom is more for toddlers (or grownup tights ;)).
Today I’m going to try the green loom, which is size 3, and see if I can get anything useful done.
Meanwhile, a summary:
+ very sturdy
+ will allow you to use yarn as thick as you can get between the pins (the mill has limit at around 150m/100g)
+ flexible as to how wide the flat panel can be
+ more than one size in the set
– needs to be used with thick yarn (or multiple strands)
– promises much more than is delivered (no way I could make the promised baby booties on it – no baby is big enough)
In hindsight: I wouldn’t have bought it again, I’d rather go for the sock loom (PRYM site) but as I have it, i’ll find use for it. I just don’t have that much thick yarn to use up :)