What is Loop Yarn?
Loop yarn is a specialty yarn that comes with pre-formed loops, and is meant to be knitted with your fingers, rather than the traditional method of using knitting or crochet needles.
It is available in many brands around the world, most of which are made from polyester chenille or polyester blends. My patterns are written using the brands of loop yarn available to me locally in Canada, namely Bernat Alize Blanket-EZ yarn, Lion Brand Off The Hook yarn, and Red Heart Loop-It yarn (clicking on these links will bring you to Amazon listings), as well Alize Puffy, which I buy through Turkish retailers and have shipped to me.
Loop Yarn was originally intended as a yarn for children or beginners, who may find needles intimidating or complicated. The benefit of having pre-formed loops is that you don't have to worry about knitting gauge - the loops are uniform in size.
Because it also comes in such a large gauge (Bulky/Super Chunky), knitting items such as blankets is faster, and the synthetic yarn is washable and dryable - making it a versatile and forgiving yarn for the beginner.
Loop Yarn has developed a strong following (especially in the Middle East and Russia, where they use Alize Puffy brand loop yarn), and as loop yarn knitters have become more experienced, they have craved more intricate patterns.
One of the reasons I started writing patterns for loop yarn was because I wanted to replicate traditional knitting designs - I have no interest in switching to standard knitting, I just want to figure out how to make loop yarn do what I want!
There are many great video tutorials on YouTube that give a brief introduction to loop yarn and walk you through some simple stitches. If you are new to loop yarn, I recommend watching a few to familiarize yourself with some of the techniques.
How to get started
This first video by Toni at TL Yarn Crafts walks you through knit and purl stitches, changing yarn, and binding off, and even includes instructions on how to knit a simple throw.
Once you've mastered those concepts, here are a few more stitch techniques to try:
This video from Stitches n Scraps shows you how to do twisted stitches:
And finally, you're probably ready to try criss-cross stitches. This is an important technique in creating textured blankets and is the first step towards learning how to do cable-knit stitches!
This criss-cross stitch tutorial from Needlepointers.com is a good one.
And that's it! You now know how to start and finish your blanket, change yarn, and how to performing the following stitches:
If you're ready to try it for yourself and looking for some easy patterns to start with, click here. I have also created a collection of great starter patterns that will teach you basic stitches (with photo tutorials and stitch guides to help you): You can find those Basic Starter patterns here.
Need yarn? Click here.
The patterns in my shop employ different combinations of the above stitches and many more, including some that I've created myself to achieve certain looks or mimic classic knitting styles, like brioche or horizontal chain stitch.
Each pattern you purchase also includes a stitch guide with instructions on how to perform each stitch within the pattern, so don't worry if you're unfamiliar with a particular technique - you will learn as you go!