Converting Knitting Patterns to Loom

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Converting Knitting Patterns to Loom

The task of converting knitting patterns to loom can seem scary but it doesn’t have to be.

There are hundreds of loom patterns on Ravelry (to date nearly 1000 on Ravelry alone). However, there are thousands upon thousands more needle and stitch patterns to be found. This makes converting knitting patterns to loom necessary, should you wish to dive into a pattern originally made on needles.

Loom knitting is all done on the right side (http://www.goodknitkisses.com/Resources/converting-knitting-patterns-to-loom/RS). Needle knitters must turn their needles to the opposite side (wrong side) and work backwards with the opposite stitch they want shown on the front or RS. For needles in a flat panel (single knitting), the wrong side (WS) rows need to be converted. For circular knitting, also known as knitting in the round, both are always the RS unless there is some flat panel shaping involved. See chart below.

We suggest becoming comfortable with many different stitches (such as U or flat knit or reverse purl versus an e-wrap which is a twisted stitch or k1tbl, also knowing a purl stitch, k2tog, ssk, p2tog, etc.) before diving into ones that jump back and forth first between stitches.

Quick Rule of Thumb: If knitting in the round, use all the same stitches as a needle pattern, for a flat panel use the opposite stitch for WS (Wrong side) if written out.  If the needle pattern has a chart simply knit as the chart says starting from the bottom and working upward.

Stitches on the WS will need to become the opposite stitch or lean an opposite direction when converting knitting patterns to loom.  For example(s):.  A knit will become a purl, a purl becomes a knit.

Loom size vs needles size: Converting knitting patterns to loom also requires figuring out which loom gauge to use.  For charts to help click here for our loom gauge article.

To help you get started there are some simple guidelines to make converting knitting patterns to loom simpler:

NOTE: Needle patterns usually need the FIRST ROW directionally headed clockwise (right to left). _ 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1,

1. To get the pattern in the right order you’ll need to START your cast on from left to right (counterclockwise) in a cast on type that will cast on in the first pass (best cast on type listed below**) _ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.

 

2. For Row 1 simply change direction and knit row.  If it states RS knit as usual.  If it states WS you will need to convert the stitches to the opposite stitch as shown below in the handy chart.

 

*Many times the even numbered rows are WS.  Be sure to read all notes in the entire pattern before converting.  There may be key information you need to make the best choices.

 

**Best cast on types are listed below for converting from needle to loom; click for video**

Loom Knit Cast On: Long Tail & Long Tail Ribbed CO – Matches Longtail cast on.
Loom Knit Cast On: Half Hitch Cast On or Backwards loop – Matches a “Thumb” cast on.
Loom Knit Cast On: Yarn Over or Double Ewrap – a loose cast on for converting knitting patterns to loom that need non-firm edge.
Loom Knit Cast On: True Cable Cast On (easy no crochet hook) matches needle version – Matches Cable Cast on.
Loom Knit Cast On: Chain Cast On
Loom Knit Cast On: Crochet Cast On
Loom Knit Cast On: Classic Knit Cast On – Matches Knit Cast on.
Loom Knit Cast On: Purl Cast On – Matches a Purl Cast on.
Loom Knit Cast On: Picot Cast On – close match to a picot cast on, multiples may need adjusting.

 

Stitch Conversion Chart - Equivalents - Converting Knitting Patterns to Loom

Quick Rule of Thumb: If knitting in the round, use all the same stitches as a needle pattern, for a flat panel use the opposite stitch for WS (Wrong side) if written out.  If the needle pattern has a chart simply knit as the chart says starting from the bottom and working upward.

converting knitting patterns to loom.

7 Comments
  1. How do I do a KfB on a loom to make the increase?

  2. Thank you for the useful information.

  3. Hi Kristen, 1st, thank you for all you do to make us better Loom knitters! I am back loom knitting after a long hiatus. I have a question, I have a knitting pattern that I want to convert to a loom knitting pattern. I have all the stitches worked out, it is a cowl working the entire thing on RS in the round. My biggest problem is trying to figure how many to cast on……..I have looked at a couple of loom patterns, seems like Loomahat uses 18-24 in a lot of her patterns. The original knit pattern calls for casting on 136 on round needles. The pattern does say you can adjust the cast on as it is divisible by 4 multiplies. I finished a cowl about 6 months ago and used 24 to cast on and it worked out pretty well. Can you tell me using 136 what it means when it say it is divisible by 4 multiplies? Thank you!!!!

    • Joann Gay

      Hi Ann! I work with Kristen here on the website and I’ve converted many patterns from needles to loom. When a pattern says that you need a multiple of 4 for your cast on that means if you take the number of stitches you want to cast on and divide it by 4 you get a whole number (with no messy decimals). For example, 24 divided by 4 is 6 so 24 is a multiple of 4. But if you take 18 and divide it by 4 you get 4.5 so 18 is NOT a multiple of 4 and would not work for this stitch pattern. Many patterns give a multiple so you can change the size and keep the stitch pattern the same. I hope this helps!

  4. Quick questions do I have to change # of cast on stitches? How do I determine what size loom to use? Will I use 1 or 2 strands of yarn since most loom patterns calls for 2 strands?

    • Joann Gay

      Hi, Beverly. Typically you do not change the number of cast on stitches. That number tells you how many pegs you will need. To determine the correct loom to use you will need to knit a gauge swatch on your loom. You’ll want to try and match the gauge of the needle knit pattern. If that pattern uses US 7 needles I’d try a small gauge (3/8″) loom; for larger needle sizes make your swatch on a large gauge loom. It takes a little work to find the right size. Only use 2 strands of yarn if that is what the needle knit pattern uses. I hope this helps!

  5. Thank you you saved me quite a few headaches!

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