What’s a Knitting Board?

Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Knitting | Comments


Remember the knitting loom you had as a kid? (Mine was a pink Barbie loom. Barbie had a lot of tube-shaped dresses that year!) The loom probably had little plastic pegs that formed a circle, and you just wrapped the yarn around it, then flipped the loops over one another with a hook.

Photo licensed via Creative Commons via Flickr member normanack

That’s pretty much what a knitting board is — minus the Barbie logo, in my case.

How the Knitting Board Works

With knitting boards, you’re still wrapping yarn like you would in hand knitting, except that the pegs are serving as your needles. The yarn is wrapped in a zigzag through the pegs in two rows. Then you use a handy little hook tool to go around the loom and pull the loops over top of each other to create the stitches. Wrap another row and repeat, pulling the bottom loops over the top loops.

Benefits of Using a Knitting Board

Before you buy your own board, remember that the board is just a different way of knitting. It’s not a substitute for hand knitting, it’s not going to save you tons of time, and it’s definitely not the end-all answer to knitting. But there are some advantages:

  • Boards make large-scale knitting a little more manageable. If you’ve ever knitted a heavy project like a wool blanket or weekend bag, you know that it’s killer on your wrists to hold up all that weight — even if you’re using a circular needle. The knitting board holds all the heavy weight for you.
  • The board is a great introduction to double-sided knitting. Because the knitting board has two sets of pegs, you can easily create a double-sided project. Once you see how it’s done on the board, it might be simple to carry out on needles.
  • You can do a lot of the same things on a board that you can do with needles: ribbing, increasing, decreasing, purling, stockinette.
  • If you’ve tried hand knitting and just can’t get the hang of it, the board is a great start. You can see how the stitches loop to form knits and purls, and it might even give you enough understanding to pick up those needles one more time and successfully hand knit.

Knitting Board Patterns

Because knitting boards are a different technique from hand knitting with needles, boards have their own special patterns. Take a peek at some of these patterns and finished objects from Craftsy members and from around the web.

soho bag
The Soho Bag is a great example of a larger project you can knit on a knitting board. And don’t those circles make a great border?

 

wagon blanket
This Wagon Blanket Pattern takes the complications out of picture knitting. The board holds all your stitches for you, so you can focus on the chart instead of fiddling with needles.

 

Easy-Baby-Cables Afghan
Craftsy member SenoraG made some beautiful cables with this Easy Baby Cables Afghan knitting board pattern. (And I bet her wrists didn’t hurt when she was finished!)

 

Have you ever tried a knitting board? How does it compare to knitting with needles?

Come back to the Craftsy blog on Tuesday to learn great tips for knitting cables.

Comments

  1. Shirlee says:

    Love all the projects. I have a knitting board but must confess have not had much luck with it. My tension on one end is a problem. But after seeing these beautiful projects makes me want to try it again.

  2. just-jenni says:

    I brought a knitting board and circle. I found then easy to use, but was dissapointed that it seems I can only use chunky wool, and the stich is very loose.

    1. Cathie says:

      Knitting boards are great, I have been using them for some time now, I was also disappointed that you could only use chunky wool or double strands, but after some research there are boards out there like the KB all in one loom or Martha Steward loom where the pegs are smaller allowing you to use finer yarns. Also Martha Steward’s loom has interchangeable pegs so you can use any size yarn.

  3. Evelyn says:

    I would give it a try. I have tried to learn how to knit several times, but the tension always gets me.

  4. Jane says:

    I have a knitting board and I have used it quite a couple of times so far.

    What I like about it is, that it’s fast and that the tension is always great.
    Also, you can make really great patterns with the board even if you have no skills at all and it is your first try on knitting.

    I don’t like the fact that it is not as portable as needles are.

    But yes, I will use it again.

  5. Elizabeth Anne Shaw Bryans says:

    I love using the knitting boards. I have arthritis in my hands and tend to drop stitches when I use needles, not to mention I’m a novice and just recently taught myself how to knit and crochet. And the best thing for me, I can stop where ever I want to and don’t have to worry about how or where I place it to avoid the yarn slipping off.

  6. Arlene K says:

    I would love to try this but I am not buying one until I try one out

  7. Cheryll Robb says:

    I have knitting looms and a sock knitting board. I haven’t used the knitting board for socks yet. I do want to try it. The loom came with a how to DVD. I need that as I am more of a visual learner than a read it learner. I can’t get my fingers to work well with needles, so the looms work best for me. I would like for craftsy to get a class up for loom knitting so I can try and make something besides scarves and a purse. I have made caps to wear out in the winter as well. They are nice and warm. I made and afghan as well. It turned out very heavy, but warm. Nice to curl up in on a cold winter evening.

  8. Beryl Mitchell says:

    To answer the Facebook question, no I wouldn’t use one personally because I can still knit faster by hand & you can’t adjust the tension (gauge) like you can by changing a knitting needle size up or down. I do have 3 circular looms for my grand children to have fun on & they are great for understanding the concept of the knitted stitch.

  9. Penny Burger says:

    Hello I hope you are all well. I would love to find out more about the knitting board and even go for classes if possible.
    Kind regards

  10. elizabeth m says:

    I would love to try a loom, but I am not willing to spend money on one out of concern I might mot like it and then what do I do?

  11. Lorentzatou Pierretta says:

    I was wondering. If you leave out a loop – stitch from each side at the middle of the small sides of the board and you weave all around until the end of each line what would you have? to my mind I would have a wide straight piece. Is that true ? So that means you can use the board for also straight parts. Please answer my question. thank you very much.

    1. Amy says:

      When you have a round loom or the authentic knitting board’s all in one loom (with side pegs attached) and you do not join the ends (do not knit all the way around in a circle) , but you knit back and forth from one end to the other you will end up with a flat panel. With regular knitting boards without side pegs you can use them to single knit or double knit flat panels. Hope that wasn’t too confusing.

  12. Jenni Jones says:

    Never tried a knitting. Board, might be fun to try, have when I was a child around 3 years old, mother making me a French knitting device from an used cotton reel, putting 4slimline nails in the top and teaching me this….

  13. Ann Murray says:

    I have a cast on my left hand just have the use of the end of my fingers but I can use the loom

  14. Greta Lebeer says:

    I love these easy looms.
    I have been making knitting hats of all sizes with the circular looms.
    Great inventions.

  15. Jean Castle says:

    I own and have used for years a lot of knitting boards and to JennJenn – there are lots of knitting looms made for fine yarn. I love my double sock loom- which uses sock weight and lace weight yarn and allows me to make two socks or leg warmers at once.

  16. Kris says:

    Love your work, you should have a class on this!!!

  17. Stephanie says:

    I would love to be able to learn how to knit with a knitting board!!! Would love to buy a knitting board class!!!

  18. Janice says:

    Look interesting, have never seen one before. Where can I purchase one from, and can I use different ply wools on it. Thanks