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Learn to knit with Loop-it

 

We’re going to have some fun in this series of posts! This week I’m taking a close look at two novelty yarns by Red Heart – Loop-it and Pomp-a-doodle. Even their names sound fun!

Loop-it’s intended use is for finger knitting, and it does this job very well, teaching big or little fingers to use fine motor skills to draw loops through other loops to make something with their own hands.

 

I sampled Loop-it in the Ice Ice Cream colorway. I love that it has a hint of color in its whiteness!
I sampled Loop-it in the Ice Ice Cream colorway. I love that it has a hint of color in its whiteness!

 

Loop-it is a chenille yarn that is anchored at intervals to form loops. It comes in 16 colors, 7 of which have colorways, with several colors per ball. American knitting instructor Marly Bird has prepared several how-to videos on her YouTube channel, see a video on how to Loop-it in garter stitch at the end of this post. The Red Heart site also has free patterns for a hat, a scarf, a cowl, and a pillow cover.

 

Loop-it looks like this - a series of chenille loops. Near the right of the photo I have formed the first stitch, by linking a loop from the ball through the first "stitch" loop of my "cast on." The yarn is about the size of a fuzzy black-and-brown caterpillar.
Loop-it looks like this – a series of chenille loops. Near the right of the photo I have formed the first stitch, by linking a loop from the ball through the first “stitch” loop of my “cast on.” The yarn is about the size of a fuzzy black-and-brown caterpillar.

 

To work Loop-it, leave a length of yarn the width of the desired project. Fold the yarn at this point, and beginning at the fold, draw the loop from after the fold through the loop before the fold. In the photo above, the loops to the left of the linked stitches are the base loops, and the yarn from the ball goes off the photo on the right.

Work cross the foundation loops, drawing the next loop from the ball of yarn through the next loop of the foundation. All of this is done using nothing but your fingers, and the fuzziness of the chenille keeps the new loops in place.

I quickly realized that one can create garter or stockinette fabric, and even ribbing, with Loop-it. Garter stitch doesn’t look like garter stitch as most knitters know it – it looks a little “flat” and stretched out, but you can still see the “ridges.” I attribute the flatness to the fact that the loops have to be drawn up more than regular knitting would.

 

Garter stitch made with Loop-it. Note the purple stitch marker in the photo. This is the only drawback I found with Loop-it - you have to pay attention that you don't miss a loop.
Garter stitch made with Loop-it. Note the purple stitch marker in the photo. This is the only drawback I found with Loop-it – you have to pay attention that you don’t miss a loop.

 

To make garter stitch, work to the end of the row, then turn the work over. This brings the working yarn back to the same starting place as the previous row. Lay the loops across, and draw each loop up from underneath, as for the previous row.

The only drawback I encountered with this finger knitting is that you have to be careful not to miss a loop, because they aren’t organized on a knitting needle.

To make a stockinette stitch ground, begin the first row as for garter stitch, but at the end of the row, leave the work right side up. Lay the working yarn back across the top of the work, and work back in the opposite direction.

 

The scale of the stitches makes the "V" of each stockinette stitch in this sample clearly visible. The orange stitch marker is just there to hold my last cast off stitch in place.
The scale of the stitches makes the “V” of each stockinette stitch in this sample clearly visible. The orange stitch marker is just there to hold my last cast off stitch in place.

 

By going through this exercise in finger knitting, I realized that Loop-it is perfect for teaching the most basic principles of knitting. It is PERFECT for teaching children to knit! It would also be useful for occupational therapists to improve their patients’ fine motor skills, and it could be used in activation programs for the elderly. The size of the yarn makes it easy for little fingers or arthritic hands to manage, the scale of the fabric makes it easy to see and talk about what is happening, and the concepts of cast on and cast off don’t have to be introduced right away, so the initial concepts become second nature before newer ones are introduced. Plus, Loop-it is affordable!

In my next post, I’ll take some large knitting needles, and show the next step to create the next generation of knitters by using Loop-it.

Loop it Garter Stitch – YouTube

Loop it Garter Stitch. If you want a blanket fabric that will not roll on you, then you want to give garter stitch a try. Great New Loop-It yarn by Red Heart…

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: Introducing knitting needles to Loop-it yarn

About Cynthia MacDougall

Cynthia MacDougall is a multi-discipline craft artist who teaches knitting. She has taught at venues from Kingston, Ontario to Olds, Alberta. A designer and technical writer since the mid-1990s, Cynthia is currently a contributor and knitting editor for A Needle Pulling Thread and KNITmuch magazines. She is also the owner of Canadian Guild of Knitters which she operates for the love of Knit!

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