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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Knifty Knitter is Neat For Novice & Knowledgeable Alike!

Product:
Knifty Knitter Loom by Provo Craft, a set of 4 looms ranging in size from 12” to 22”

Price range:
single loom - $8.00; loom set (4 straight looms, from 10” to 22”) - $19.99

Overall rating:


4 out of 5 stepping stones

My Expectations:
1. Directions should be clear and easy to follow.
2. Product should work the first time I use it without a problem.
3. Product should be easy to use
4. Product should be easy to use while watching tv
5. Product should work a project “rapidly” with minimal effort
6. Product should be priced to suit my budget

Review:
I purchased the Knifty Knitter loom set because I wanted to make scarves to give as gifts for Christmas. What I received was much better than I imagined! I gained a new hobby and discovered that I could create something easily that brought warmth and meaning to the person who received it. I must say that I am very impressed with the ProvoCraft Knifty Knitter looms (as opposed to using a knitting machine), and here’s why:

My interest in knitting has its roots in my childhood. I learned how to sew at an early age and tried my hand at various novice sewing projects. I also had a small square loom that I used to make a wall hanging and a scarf. So years later, when I wanted to make my own Christmas gifts, I decided to try out the loom again. Since it was already October the first thing I thought of was to get a knitting machine; the kind where you turn a crank and the machine “knits” for you. I had wanted one of these as a kid and never got one. By Divine providence my wife found a Sew Easy Knitting Machine that same week at a local thrift store.


After putting it together, threading the cheap yarn I bought at the craft store to experiment with, and following the directions, here’s what I got after a few minutes:



Honestly, I was disappointed. I thought all I would have to do is turn the crank and make a scarf lickety-split. But the yarn kept coming off the hooks, so I couldn’t get into a rhythm with turning the crank. It was a bit too noisy to hear the tv when I used it. It took more effort than I expected. I put it in a corner and haven’t used it since. I suppose if I had stuck with it I could have made it work, but I really wanted something that worked the first time.

Then I purchased the Knifty Knitter single loom from Walmart and the loom set from online.


The first picture is the loom set, the second is a detail of the set with the yarn hook (included).

What a difference! The bright and colorful looms were so cheerful to look at; they were inviting me to get busy doing something fun! The instruction booklet had easy to follow directions for making a scarf, with large illustrations of each step. The directions were in 4 languages: English, French, Spanish and German. I followed the directions and I was working up a nice scarf in no time! The first one I made was for my mother-in-law:




I used purple Lions Brand Homespun yarn, which I found worked up very nice, thick, and quick. It is a soft, warm yarn, perfect for scarves. I used the 18” loom for her scarf, but found that the 10” loom worked best for the other scarves I made. Hers was pretty long, but I found that for most of my scarves I only needed 1.75 skeins to get a nice length, about 50”, using the 10” loom. I could get a scarf done in about 2 weeks, working 1 hour a day on it, using the 10” loom.

I was hooked! Honestly, I got addicted to loom knitting. I couldn’t sit down to watch tv without knitting, and I would bring my loom and knit while I sat in my car before I went to work!

In all I made 10 scarves and 1 shawl before I finally stopped.


At 84”, the shawl took me 8 weeks to make using the 22” loom. Instead of buying a knitting machine, I became a loom knitting machine, and I plan to learn how to do patterns so I can create more gifts for next year!

I experimented with a few different yarn brands to see how they worked up in the loom:

For my wife’s scarf I used a luxurious recycled silk yarn from TheWoolPeddler.com. Awesome, brilliant colors, like the sun shining through stained glass:







It was a bit of a challenge to work with because the yarn strand was not always the same weight. Sometimes it got almost threadbare, but didn’t lose its strength. And in spite of it there aren’t any noticeable gaps or “holes” in the knitting.

For my wife’s shawl (pictured above) I used Patons Divine yarn, the Denim Storm color.
It has wispy strands, as if you had taken a comb and pulled it through the yarn.



These are all yarns I would work with again, and you can find them at your local craft stores (except for the recycled silk at TheWoolPeddler.com).

Pros:
Simple and easy to use, even for the novice. Fun and relaxing. All of my expectations were met.

Cons:
Unless you press down on the pegs from time to time, they can work their way up and come out of the hole while you are working. This will slow you down as you carefully reset the peg into the hole, making sure that the hook guide on the peg is facing outwards like the other ones are. Without the hook guide properly positioned it may be harder to remove the yarn from the peg easily. However, taking pegs out to change the size of your project is easy and simple to do.

The instructions are only for the double knit form of knitting. You have to go to their website to get instructions for the single knit.

Overall opinion:
I purchased the ProvoCraft Knifty Knitter loom as a way to create money-saving, meaningful homemade Christmas gifts for family and friends. What I got was a love for a brand new hobby.

Recommendations: buy yourself some cheap yarn and practice with it first, to get the hang of it and to see if this is right for you.

1 comment:

  1. Thats pretty cool, I have always wanted to do something like that.

    ReplyDelete