Take a look at this. One swatch was knitted on a knitting loom (the KISS small gauge adjustable knitting loom, to be exact, which can be found at http://kiss-looms.com/ ) and the other was knitted on 5.0 mm straight needles. They seem pretty similar, huh?
People certainly have their opinions.
I enjoy loom knitting, which I’ve been doing for a couple of years. I’ve wanted to learn how to needle knit, mainly because I like learning things. Plus, I’ve seen some patterns written for needles that I’d like to be able to convert to a loom, and I figured that if I knew how to needle knit, it’d be easier to convert, knowing how the stitches were constructed.
I will preface this by saying it hasn’t happened to me. I tend to buy yarn at big box stores or online, and tend to have little to do with people in general. I’ve seen several accounts where people would be told that loom knitting is “cheating”. Often by needle knitters, but also by people who have no interest at all in fiber arts, and to whom it really shouldn’t matter to begin with.
The concept of loom knitting on a loom is no different than the concept of needle knitting on needles. It’s not cheating, it’s just a different craft.
The resulting product is handmade, whether it’s a scarf, a shawl, a pair of socks, or a sweater. Yes, you can loom knit socks and sweaters. The same amount of effort and love was put into the result. It’s just a different craft.
There’s always a big argument on whether looms came along before needles or whether needles were around first, and it really doesn’t matter. It’s just a different craft.
I’ve also seen it said (and now have my own proof) that loom knitting is much easier on arthritic joints than needle knitting is, so there’s no need to stop knitting due to pain. You can learn a different craft.
So, Happy New Year to my loom-knitting sisters and brothers, and the next time someone compliments you on that complicated-looking scarf or shawl, don’t be afraid to let your loom flag fly and proudly say “Thank you, I loom knitted it.”