Loom Knitting a Baby Hat: Binding Off
Yes, I know. You want to loom knit a baby hat, or another size hat. So far you've learned to cast on and do double stitch, flat stitch, and purl. You've accomplished a lot already. But there's one more thing to learn before you begin.
The last thing you need to know before starting the hat is how to bind off, or end the project. For this hat you need to know the gather bind off, which as its name suggests, creates a gathered top for the hat. Here's what you
When you've worked the last stitch in the pattern, cut the working yarn. Leave a tail that's about four inches long.
Now cut a separate, single strand of yarn long enough to wrap around the loom at least three times.
Fold this strand in half, creating a doubled strand. This is called the gathering yarn.
Starting at the first peg and leaving a tail long enough for you to grasp, place the gathering yarn below the loops on the peg. Then, as if you were going to purl, pull the gathering yarn up and through the loops. However, do not take the loops off the peg, and remember that the gathering yarn will not create a loop. Only the motion of pulling the yarn upward and through the loops is the same as purling.
Continue pulling the gathering yarn through the loops on each peg, leaving the loops on the loom. When you've pulled it through the loops on the last peg, pull it once again through the loops on the first peg to anchor the stitches.
Holding the tail ends of the gathering yarn and the original working yarn tail--coming from the last peg, carefully take the stitches off the loom.
Turn the hat inside out, and gently pull the ends of the gathering yarn to gather the top.
Tie the tail ends of the gathering yarn in a knot. Then, tie each end of the gathering yarn individually to the original working yarn tail. This will keep the hat from unraveling. Finally, tie the ends of the gathering yarn together once again to create a firm knot. Be sure all knots are as small and as close to the hat as possible.
Cut all tails, leaving about four inches to weave in.
Thread the tails either individually or all at once onto a yarn needle, and weave them in and out of the stitches at the top of the hat. If you can't weave them in completely, trim the excess yarn tails. Weave in the cast on tail the same way.
Now you know how to cast on, double stitch, flat stitch, purl, and bind off. And you're finally ready for the hat pattern itself! Go have a snack and come back!
Phelps, Isela. Loom Knitting Primer. St. Martin's Press, New York: 2007.
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