What are the Different Types of Knitting Loom Patterns?

A.E. Freeman

Knitting looms come in several styles. The basics include rake, round and knitting board styles. A rake is a knitting loom made up of a line of pegs while a knitting board is two rakes that run parallel to each other. A round loom is a group of pegs arranged in a circle. Different looms require different knitting loom patterns. Rakes and round looms, which only have one row of pegs, use similar patterns while knitting boards have their own pattern style. Knitting loom patterns also vary depending on whether the knitter is doing circular or flat knitting.

Knitters who are making a tube-shaped hat on a round loom or rake would most likely use a circular pattern.
Knitters who are making a tube-shaped hat on a round loom or rake would most likely use a circular pattern.

One thing most knitting loom patterns have in common is that they are typically read from left to right by the knitter. The bottom of the pattern serves as the starting point. Additionally, the right side of project faces the knitter for all patterns. The language used on knitting loom patterns is the same no matter what style of knitting is being done. Generally, the letter "K" stands for knit and the letter "P" for purl.

Knitting patterns can be used to make gloves.
Knitting patterns can be used to make gloves.

Knitters who are making a tube-shaped object, such as a hat, on a round loom or rake would most likely use a circular pattern. A circular pattern may simply look like a series of letters, with one line being a single row and each subsequent line a new row of stitches. If the pattern is written as a chart, though, new rules apply. Instead of reading left to right, the knitter reads the chart instructions from right to left. The first row on the chart remains the bottom row on the project.

If a flat pattern is written as a chart, the rules are even more complex. Instead of reading the chart left to right, the knitter needs to read the chart from right to left for the first row and then from left to right for the second row. If a flat patter is written in regular pattern form as opposed to chart form, however, all the rows would read from left to right.

Knitting loom patterns designed for knitting boards are also known as stitch patterns. Stitch patterns generally feature instructions for creating a specific stitch, repeated through the length of a row. A person using a knitting board may also be able to convert a pattern designed for knitting needles to a loom pattern. A needle pattern can be converted into a loom pattern by reversing all the "wrong side" rows so that the right side of the project always faces the knitter.

On a knitting loom pattern, the letter "K" stands for knit and the letter "P" stands for purl.
On a knitting loom pattern, the letter "K" stands for knit and the letter "P" stands for purl.

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Discussion Comments


@golf07 - I have used something similar to that kind of loom called a Knifty Knitter. When I saw them in the store, they had the choice of buying a round loom or a rectangular loom. It looked like you could do a larger variety of projects with the rectangle loom, so that is what I bought.

I also found there are many free knitting loom patterns online. This is where I ended up getting most of my patterns. I even got good enough that I started making up some of my own patterns.

Making something like a scarf or small afghan is a great project for someone to get started with on a knitting loom like this. Once you get those down, there is no end to all the different items you can knit and variations you can make.


The first knitting pattern I ever saw was a circle knitting loom pattern that came with a loom I bought at a craft store.

This type of knitting doesn't use two long needles, but a round loom that is very easy to use. I was familiar with crocheting, but knitting was new to me and this looked like a fun craft to do with my grand kids.

The pattern was helpful, but I still found myself going online to watch videos of how it was being done. I didn't realize how helpful it was to know a little bit about reading a pattern before you started working on a knitting project.

We started out making hats, and it was very easy to learn and teach someone else how to do. Since it was an easy pattern, and you basically repeated the same steps over and over, it wasn't too hard to figure out.


@andee - That is very good advice. It seems like I am always trying to put the cart before the horse, and thought all I needed to do was learn how to knit. I learned the basic knit and purl steps and thought I was ready to go.

The first time I looked at a pattern it looked like a foreign language to me. I know a few people who have taught themselves how to knit by looking at a book or watching a video online.

For me, this didn't work very well and I learned how to knit by finding an experienced knitter who was willing to teach me. I have found that many people who have been knitting for years are very knowledgeable and willing to share that information with someone who is eager to learn.


When I first learned how to knit, I think reading the chart patterns was almost as difficult as learning the knitting steps. Once I understood what all the abbreviations meant, and how to correctly read a pattern, the process went much smoother.

I learned how to knit from my great aunt who was a very patient teacher. I wondered if I would ever get the hang of it, but I stuck with it and now knitting is one of my favorite hobbies.

If you are a beginner at knitting, I think it is helpful to become familiar with the basic knitting terms and how they are abbreviated on the pattern. This will make reading your first few patterns much easier to understand.

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