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Posted by Tamara Kapan on 20th Oct 2015
Knitters & Knotters Send Love and Support One Cap at a Time
A philanthropy located in Southern California that is near and dear to my heart is Knots of Love. I first learned about Knots of Love when my daughter and I joined our local National Charity League chapter here in San Diego. For the past several years we have been using a simple looming method to create caps that are shipped to hospitals all over the U.S. As a busy mom with an even busier teen I enjoy having the opportunity to create handmade gifts that not only provide warmth but also a hug of comfort to those who wear the caps.
Materials For Looming A Cap
- Measuring Tape
I bought a loom set made by Boye, but there are other brands available. The two loom sizes I use are the extra-small loom that has 22 pegs and is colored a lime green, and the small loom that has 32 pegs and is a turquoise color. The red handled hook and a large plastic needle is included with the set.
Knots of Love has an approved yarn list. You can click here to get the list from their website. My two favorite yarns are Bernat's Pipsqueak and Lyons Quick and Cozy.
My local Michael's just started carrying Bernat Pipsqueak, and I have seen it at Joanne's fabrics as well. Pipsqueak is super soft and comes in a variety of pastel colors. These make great sleep caps, and while I usually like to loom a brim on my caps, this yarn works well with doing a knit stitch from start to end which allows for a simple cap design for beginners.
Lyons Quick and Cozy is a soft chunky yarn that is easy to use on the loom and another great yarn for beginners. I find it is best used on the 32 peg or larger looms. The extra small 22 peg loom is just too tiny and the yarn would be too thick for a baby cap.
Knitting on the Loom
If you are a beginner the easiest cap is to use the extra-small 22 peg loom with the Bernat Pipsqueak yarn. I like the demonstrations that Kristin Mangus gives in her videos posted on her website at www.goodknitkisses.com. She gives great demonstrations on how to e wrap, cast on, and do a drawstring finish to the caps. Here is a brief description of how I make a simple cap using the garter stitch.
- FIrst, I create a slip knot and attach it to the outside peg of the loom.
- Then I "e-wrap" around each peg for two entire rows. It doesn't matter which direction you go on the loom, clockwise or counter-clockwise, as long as you e-wrap in the same direction for the entire cap. I prefer to e-wrap in a counter-clockwise direction.
- Using my hook I pull the bottom string over the top string and off the peg on each of the 22 pegs. This leave one row of string remaining.
- Next, I e wrap another row of pegs.
- Using my hook I pull the bottom string over the top string and off the peg for each of the 22 pegs.
- I repeat this process until I have 6 1/2 to 7 inches of cap knitted.
- When I have reached my desired length for the cap I will then cast off my final stitch using a drawstring method. I will wrap one peg with my strand of yarn and then pull it through the yarn that is on that peg and all the way free. I am attaching an example of this here.
- When all the stitches are removed from the loom I will slowly pull the string so that the top opening is closed. With the small loom and the pipsqueak yarn I find there is not a lot of bulky yarn. However, with the larger loom and the Lyon Thick and Quick yarn I reduce my cap for the last 4 rows so that it tapers toward the center of the top of the cap. This eliminates some of the bulk when pulling the drawstring.
I am by no means an expert knitter, but the process goes faster and the quality improves with every cap I complete. I thought I would share this in case someone was interested in contributing to them. If anyone has a better method please feel free to share.