The 8 Best Knitting Machines And Looms

Updated January 19, 2018 by Melissa Harr

8 Best Knitting Machines And Looms
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Anyone who’s ever tried knitting knows that it can be fun, relaxing, and rewarding. But in today’s hurry-up world, it can be difficult to find the time. That’s where our selection of knitting looms and machines comes in. These nifty little gadgets help you produce hats, scarves, blankets, and even sweaters much more rapidly than you can by hand. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best knitting machines and loom on Amazon.

8. Readaeer Long Set

You might be surprised at how many items you can make with the Readaeer Long Set, which includes four loom rings, each 2 inches wide and ranging from 9.4 to 22 inches in length. This gives you flexibility to create scarves, shawls, socks, and more.
  • made from abs plastic
  • comes with instructions
  • longest ring is somewhat flimsy
Brand Readaeer
Model pending
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Boye Sock Kit

You’ll be able to accommodate feet from the large to the teeny-tiny with the Boye Sock Kit, which has a 60-pin adjustable unit as well as a hook, needle, and instructions for seven different sizes. With its fine gauge, you can use nearly any sock yarn you wish.
  • can be used to make dolls' clothes
  • long-lasting metal pegs
  • a little tricky for beginners
Brand Boye
Model 8700000
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Addi-Express Professional

The Addi-Express Professional is so simple to operate that you’ll be making scarves, ponchos, and afghan panels with just the turn of a crank. It’ll produce circular items that range from 4 to 6 inches wide and flat fabrics that range from 6 to 8 inches wide.
  • works with many yarn thicknesses
  • includes replacement needles
  • occasional dropped stitch issues
Brand addi
Model 9902
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Authentic Knitting Board Afghan

With the Authentic Knitting Board Afghan, you’ll be able to produce a blanket that’s up to 5 feet wide in only one piece — which means no annoying sewing or seaming. This S-shaped model has 198 pegs, but you can remove some for smaller projects.
  • good for oversized shawls
  • smooth finish with no snagging
  • not as portable as other models
Brand Authentic Knitting Boar
Model KB8000
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Creativity for Kids Quick Knit

The Creativity for Kids Quick Knit is designed to introduce children ages 7 and up to the creative world of handcrafts. It includes everything needed to get started, including three balls of yarn that equal 90 yards in total, and a double-sided spool loom.
  • could make an excellent gift
  • decorative embellishments included
  • directions are not very clear
Brand Creativity for Kids
Model 1793000
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Darice Set of 4 Round

In eye-catching neon colors, the Darice Set of 4 Round gives you choices for creating the perfect hat for anyone, from infant to adult. The set comes with a yarn needle, a pick, and a plastic carrying case for convenient storage and portability.
  • large gauge works with bulky yarn
  • sturdy construction
  • affordably priced
Brand Darice
Model 1171-58
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Clover Standing Oval

From a well-respected name in craft supplies, the Clover Standing Oval makes your knitting time easier thanks to its legs, which give you a base to work from. You’ll be able to effortlessly produce tubes of fabric and complete the short row stitches of heels and toes.
  • project ideas included
  • durable and well-made
  • company offers instructional videos
Brand Clover
Model 3178
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Addi-Express King Size

The jumbo Addi-Express King Size offers a total of 46 pins and the ability to create flat pieces of fabric that are up to 17 inches wide. This machine is table-mounted, which means extra stability that translates into better speed.
  • designed and built in germany
  • includes lifetime guarantee
  • helps you produce gifts quickly
Brand addi
Model 8902
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Fun Times Are Looming

Loom knitting is a type of handcrafting that relies on a piece of equipment with pegs to produce stitches, rather than the two needles used in hand knitting. In some cases, loom knitting is viewed as less useful than traditional hand knitting. For instance, it’s sometimes seen as something for kids to do. While it’s true that loom knitting can be a great craft for kids, there’s no reason it has to be an inferior activity. Loom knitters can make nearly as many types of objects as other knitters can, from small socks to large sweaters.

One benefit of loom knitting is that, if you don’t already know how to do it, you can probably learn in about 10 minutes; the basic operation is fairly simple. Essentially, you knit by creating two loops around a peg, then you use a loom hook to pull the bottom loop up and over the top one, dropping it off the peg. You don’t have to worry about holding the yarn, dropping stitches, losing an entire row of stitches, or many of the other problems hand knitters face.

With just this basic type of loom knitting, you can make flat pieces, such as afghans, scarves, dish cloths, mats, and even the pieces for a sweater. When you use a round loom, you can make circular pieces, including hats, socks, mittens, Christmas stockings, and sweaters you don’t have to seam. Loom designers put patterns and tutorials for these types of projects up on a handful of helpful websites.

When you’re ready for something fancier, you can try double knitting on a loom. Regular loom knitting is called single knitting, and it produces a fabric with a distinct right and wrong side. Double loom knitting produces a fabric with a double thickness that has two correct sides. Sometimes, double loom knitting is called rake knitting, and you can do it on most long looms or on rake looms designed specifically for that purpose.

What Kinds Of Looms Are There?

One thing new loom knitters might notice right away is that looms come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Most of these differences break down into two categories: gauge and type of project. Gauge refers to how tight or loose (small or large) the stitches and resulting fabric will be. On some looms, you can change this by using smaller or larger pegs placed closer or farther apart. Many looms have a set gauge.

Most looms have a range of projects for which they work best. Round looms, for example, help you make round pieces of fabric, like hats. Many of these come in sets of three or four so that you can make several sizes. There are also mechanical knitting looms, sometimes called knitting machines, that speed up this process. You can make flat pieces on these types of looms, too, although you might find the process fiddly.

Long looms are shaped like a ruler and, despite their name, they aren’t necessarily long. These help you make quick work of items such as scarves, and some let you produce double knitting. They often come in packs of various lengths, too, and might be referred to as rectangle looms.

Sock looms, as you can guess from the name, are designed specifically for footwear, although you could make accessories for the hands on them also. They usually have an adjustable center bar that lets you get the perfect fit and small pegs to accommodate thin sock yarn. Because of their size, however, they may not be the best choice for beginners.

Afghan looms let you create blankets and throws up to roughly 60 inches wide. They have an S-shaped design that accommodates this large width comfortably. Their design also makes the loom more portable, so you can work on your afghan on the couch, in the car, or anywhere else you want.

Each of these types of looms comes in various gauges, so, as you become more proficient at loom knitting, you’ll probably start to grow a collection of different sizes and types. You’ll also notice that some are easier to work with than others, depending on the type of yarn you like to use, how you hold your loom, and the size of your loom hook. And, if you become truly proficient at knitting on a loom or small knitting machine, you could take a step up to larger, computerized knitting machines. These are a bit more complex than traditional looms, but they offer the chance to make nearly anything you can think of, including fabrics with color patterns.

A Brief History Of The Knitting Loom

One way in which regular knitting and loom knitting dovetail is in the murkiness of their history. While historians have artifacts and fragments of information, the knitting community produces a lot of misinformation, speculation, and charming stories that simply aren’t true. Many agree that both of these types of knitting, as we know them today, settled into their current form sometime in the 16th century, although it’s possible that spool knitting, a precursor to loom knitting, was invented much earlier.

It’s also possible that knitting began in the Middle East, perhaps as early as 200 A.D. Part of the problem behind knowing with certainty is that artifacts from this time aren’t exactly plentiful, and many of the oldest examples don’t look like the knitting of today. Many artifacts were, in actuality, produced through nalbinding, which creates a similar fabric and is commonly assumed to be a precursor of knitting. Nalbinding is still practiced today.

One thing that is known with certainty, however, is that knitting was once mainly the providence of men. The knitting machine was invented by a man named William Lee; it was this invention that made knitting more of a hobby and less of a necessity. Knitting was then taken up by women and continues to be practiced by more women than men today, although plenty of men do knit. Some of the greatest contemporary designers, such as Kaffe Fassett, are male. So, if you’re a man who wants to pick up a knitting loom, you’re in good company.

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Last updated on January 19, 2018 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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