Almost every crafty person I know has, at some time or another, thought of making their own socks. I was intrigued when I saw the Authentic Sock Loom Knitting Board, which allows you to make socks without knitting! I had to give it a try!
About the Loom
The kit contains an adjustable knitting loom (the center bar on the board pictured slides so that you can get exactly the size sock that you want), a hook (that you use to make stitches on the loom) and an instructional DVD.
I was surprised by the high quality of each of the components. For less than $30, you could picture receiving a flimsy loom or a shoddily-produced DVD. However, the loom is quite hefty: constructed with solid wood and very secure and sturdy pegs. The DVD is neatly divided into sections (casting on, the knit stitch, turning the heel, etc.) and gives complete instructions for operating the loom.
How the loom works
A properly-fitting sock needs to be the appropriate size: so that it’s small enough to fit snugly, but not too small so that it doesn’t fit. The first step in using the loom is to set the knitting board so that it creates an appropriately sized sock for your foot. Fear not… this step is easy: you simply follow the calculations provided in the kit, and slide the center bar to the proper position.
The remaining steps mirror the steps involved in knitting a sock. You begin by ‘casting on’ the stitches:
Even though the actual motion for casting on stitches with the loom is different from knitting, the philosophy is the same, and the procedure is well-explained in the DVD.
After the initial cast-on, you begin ‘knitting’ your sock. Each stitch is created by pulling the working yarn through the stitch on the loom, using the hook:
Exactly how you manipulate the hook & yarn determines whether you produce a knit or a purl stitch.
You continue knitting and purling to create the cuff of the sock and then, just like knitting, you work a limited number of the stitches to form the heel. Then, you return to working all of the stitches for the foot of the sock.
The toe is constructed slightly differently on the loom than when knitting a sock: stitches for the top and bottom of the sock are decreased separately and then grafted across the entire toe. There is an option to remove the stitches from the loom and use double-point needles for a ‘traditional’ toe, but this seems to be an advanced option.
Benefits to the Sock Loom
The sock loom is an easy entry into making socks for those who don’t/can’t knit. Highlights include:
- A well-constructed loom and instructional DVD (as well as further videos/support on their website: www.knittingboard.com).
- Once you get a hang of the basic operation of the hook, you can create knit and purl stitches (and make an entire sock!) with ease.
- Grooves in the pegs make it very easy to use the hook to manipulate the yarn.
- Since the loom is adjustable, you can make socks of any size.
- The design of the loom takes away many of the complicated calculations associated with knitting socks. Once you establish the number of pegs required, no further calculations are needed.
Disadvantages to the Loom
In my personal opinion, this loom is designed for people who do not currently knit. People who are already proficient knitters will find the experience of using the loom slightly tedious: it’s like using a crochet hook to create each new knit stitch.
Other downsides include:
- The loom isn’t obviously portable. Although I suppose it may be, in principle… in practice, carrying a loom around is more awkward than carrying knitting needles.
- Stitches can slide off of the pegs, particularly during the cast-on (see above photo, which happened as I was taking photos of my cast-on). In this case, the only option is to begin your cast-on, again.
- The DVD doesn’t have many details on fixing mistakes. I assume this is because the loom is a new product, and I’d imagine that these will be videos added in the future.
The Sock Loom Knitting Board is an ingenious product that is well-crafted and allows you to create socks easily, without knitting.
This board isn’t a short-cut to making socks for people who already knit. I would advise knitters (who are afraid of socks) to find a helpful, beginner-sock pattern instead of turning to the loom. Some first-time sock knitting patterns are: Easy Peasy Socks and Basic Sock.
If you’ve been looking to make socks, and aren’t interested in knitting… this loom is your ticket!
I’ve never heard of this kind of system before, very neat. I don’t think that I could give up my needles though. Like you say it is likely designed for nonknitters.
I have to agree with you. Having used knitting looms, and the sock knitting loom in the past, I find that I can knit faster, it’s more portable, and less clunky. If someone who didn’t knit worked with it, or if you crochet and have no interest in knitting, you could get a pair of socks on it. But I still prefer knitting by hand.
I tried kniting with needles and had a hard time- I started loom knitting about a year ago and love it! I just recently bought ths sock loom (havent tried it yet tho) from Jo Ann Fabrics- I had a 60% off coupon and got it for 10.00! I figured if I didn’t like at least I didn’t pay full price. =)
@Angie- Oooh, what a bargain! Do give it a try, and let me know what you think! I’m curious to hear more opinions 🙂
So pleased to find so much info re loom knitting! Thank you
I’m drawn to a sock loom but wonder if thin sock yarn is the only yarn used on it? I have an Allin1 loom & can’t figure out yarns, number of pins to be used! Is the “sock loom” the only way to go?
I don’t think the sock loom is limited to sock yarn, but if the yarn were too bulky, it would be difficult to maneuver. You would also have to investigate if you can find instructions for making things other than socks…
I have several sock looms, and i also knit on needles.
Lisa, what sock loom do you like best?
Jen B. I have 4 sock looms.DA looms wondersock efg.Da looms 64 peg efg.Authentic knitting board sock loom and also their sock loom 2.Love all of them.My personal favourite is the sock loom 2 using worsted weight yarn.Ialso have the kb sock loom dvd and it is very easy to follow. I close the toe of the sock using the kitchener stitch,which unfortunately not demonstrated on the dvd.I order most of my stuff from the US as herein Australia we don’t have much in the way of looming suppliers.I have nothing but praise for the Authentic Knitting Board company.Let me know how you go. Bye for now.
I am just starting my first pair of socks on a sock loom, but am finding it pretty tedious so far–especially the 5 pegs on the adjustable part of the board. I am making a small toddler-size sock, and all the pegs that are not being used are really in the way when I get to the adjustable side. I have such a hard time maneuvering the little hook-tool in there, I can barely make a stitch at all. Does any one have any advice?
Hi Leigh! I’m not a professional loom knitter… but I do agree that the loom is pretty tedious, as well. We’ll see if anyone chimes in with a helpful tip!
I had this same trouble with one sock and discovered that:
If the pegs seem in the way on the adjustable part, you need to move them out or in more before casting on. They need to be more or less in the same alignment as the pegs on the fixed end are in comparison to the longer edge pegs. Check how the stitch tool fits between the pegs before getting started .
tHIS LOOM IS GREAT FOR ADULT TEEN SOCKS. WHEN IT COME TO LITTLE FOOTSIE THERE A PROBLEM WITH WRAPPING THE YARN AND BEING ABLE TO PIK THEM OFF.
WELL FOR ME
I am making a 25 peg metal loom for my baby socks that i make.
For all of those who call the sock loom tedious; I just have to ask: wasn’t knitting slow and tedious when you FIRST learned to knit with needles?
The sock loom, just like knitting needles, is something to be mastered over time, speed comes only with practice. I thought it was tedious until I completed about 3 pairs of socks, now I have enough know-how and speed to use it effectively.
I recommend making a baby sized sock and practicing the different stitches: Knit/Purl 10 rows, purl 10 rows, make a heel, knit 10 rows, flat knit 10 rows and make the toe. It will give you an idea what the different stitched do and how much stretch they have.
I made hats on the looms but couldn’t get the hang of socks. I really would like to learn to make socks.
I needle knit and dabble in loom knitting. I am getting arthritis in my hands and wonder if looms would be the way to go. I love knitting socks for myself but have big feet. I usually cast on 68 or 72 stitches. That’s using fingering or higher sock yarn. I also prefer to do two at a time. Perhaps loom knitting socks would be too frustrating for me? Anyone have any suggestions?
I have been hand knitting for 13 years and my hands have been really hurting. I tried the knitting loom and it has been wonderful for me. I still get to make beautiful knit items, play with yarn and my hands don’t hurt anymore. I can’t wait to knit socks using the sock knitting loom! : )
I have made many pairs of socks using 2 circular needles and my first sock was made with 4 straight needles. Once I discovered how much easier the circular needles were I was hooked. I haven’t knitted any socks for at least 3 years mainly due to chronic pain and the inability to hang onto #1 needles for any length of time. I’ve thought of buying a more automatic loom, but the prices have kept those out of my reach. I am intrigued by the notion of using a hand loom. I’ve found a lot of good instructional videos on YouTube so I’m going to get this loom set.
Love that loom.. don’t have it.. I use Cottage looms.. I just love wood and metal pegs!