Loom Knitting with Attention Deficit Disorder / ADHD
This image expresses exactly how I felt. Tied up by yarns connected to projects, things and lists and, what to do about this project or that project? How to finish, do I finish, why would I finish?
For Attention Disorder Sufferers
Most people use a pattern when they knit. I’m not sure whether I can’t or I just won’t knit with a pattern. I say I’m not sure because no one has ever held a gun to my head and said, “Your life or some well knitted puffy slippers and use this pattern!” The problem is that when I look at the list of instructions the lines seem to be duplicating in length and in complexity as I scan the pattern. I immediately feel overwhelmed and after the second or third line well, everything is a blur. Even if I start it seems almost impossible to finish. I start to think about other issues and ideas and off I go to another project without cleaning up the mess I made getting all the supplies for the first one. Do I have ADD? No, I was lucky to be born with ADHD, and I can tell you it’s no walk in the park. Time is ticking and I might loose my focus or my attention. Let’s talk knitting and how I’ve done it even when it’s difficult to focus; for whatever the reason may be. I devised a formula that helps me, and this may not be of any help to you or for who ever you are reading this for. If one person can learn to loom knit because I shared this information then it was worth it. So here are the 5:
My ADHD Knitting Formula:
I use Video Tutorials, simple project instructions instead of patterns, notebook to count, a loom Instead of needles and I change the colors of the pegs on my looms depending on the project. Let me explain each in detail:
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Step 1: Videos Instead of Patterns:
I find that I retain and absorb more information by watching How To Videos this includes someone teaching the lesson and, explaining to me while they are physically making the project right in front of my eyes, so I can follow along. I can see the project progress row by row right before my eyes. I don’t have to imagine it. I’m not looking down at a page with confusing writing and a bunch of numbers that make absolutely no sense to me at all, and I find I can stay better focused.
I can follow along step-by-step, making each row exactly like her. If necessary I can pause or rewind the video to repeat the process as many times as I need to, to learn how to make that project. I can walk away from the project and go shopping, eat lunch and then come back to work on it. If it becomes to complicated then I can take out the yarn and use it for another project and, no one will get mad. The pressure is off. Is there pressure in reading and following a pattern?
If you suffer from ADD or ADHD like me, the pressure doesn’t have to be all consuming to actually feel it. Certain tasks give me a sense of anxiousness just because I feel that I’m capable of starting but possibly not finishing. In fact given this scenario the odds are I won’t start or I will delay it for as long as I can.
Step 2: Simple Instructions
While researching loom knitting projects I found so many that just seemed like the impossible dream. Even some video tutorials would sometimes loose me when the instructions seemed endless or the instructor would mention to many different stitches, I couldn’t keep up. I learned to look for written patterns that had a short list of instructions but I don’t bother to use the actual pattern, I just want to find out what the items are, like baby booties, then I go looking for a video that will teach me how to make those simple items. I adjust the instructions to fit my method. My purpose is to get a base knowledge and then tweak it. In doing this exercise I have figured out how to make other loom knitting projects on my own with out help. One of my own creations is my sweet little Shiba Inu sweater I designed and made myself. I finally had to work it out in my head after watching a couple of videos about loom knitting dog sweaters. This was odd for me since I have a really easy time getting a good image of something in my head. One thing for sure, creating the doggie sweater was encouraging and it gave me confidence that I could do it again, and I have.
Step 3: Pencil and Notebook Instead of Counting Coins
When it was time to learn to make baby booties I knew, I needed 2 of the exact same thing so I couldn’t just eyeball my project and decide I had knitted enough. NO, it was time to count. I knew that if I had to put the work down and count coins I was either going to get bored or frustrated. I knew the project needed 9 complete rows for the front of the foot and 7 incomplete rows for the heel. My solution, I wrote 1 – 9, and then crossed off each row number after I finished the row. Every time I finished a row I just cross that number off. My daughter and me were sitting on the couch, each of us looming and about half way through my project my daughter “had said something to me”. When I turned back to my project I didn’t need to count rows because it was already on my paper or go back to the pattern to find out how many rows I needed in order to finish my project. I just needed to look at my paper I didn’t need to count how many rows I had left because that information wasn’t necessary. Coins can get accidentally scattered and then you are lost again.
Step 4: Looms Instead of Needles
I had tried to crochet as a little girl and had managed to make a big weird shaped square I called a blanket. That was as far as I got. I couldn’t even imagine anything else. It had taken me forever and I wasn’t happy with the end result.
I discovered looms last year when my daughter took a loom knitting class at the Kroc Center here in Idaho. A few months later my daughter talked me into taking the class. Well, I missed the first class because I was sick so I didn’t see the woman showing you how to start it. I was able to make the last 2-hour class, and learned how to cast on and do an e wrap. I had no idea when I walked out of there, how I was going to finish my hat. So, I do what I always do, I went to youtube.com and learned how to finish my hat by casting off. I received just enough information and I was hooked, like a fish dangling on a hook. Since then I have made so many hats I can’t even count. I have taught myself how to loom knit little girls dresses and boys pants, bibs, diaper covers, and the list just goes on. I love loom knitting while I watch TV, or talk with my family. I have a special bag that goes out the door with me so I can loom in the car or on vacation lol.
Step 5: Changing Colors on the Loom
I really try to avoid loom knitting a project all in one color. My ADHD, just won’t let me, even though I have done it. I will decide what colors go together well, and so I will use 2 to 3 colors depending on what I am making. With my dress and pants patterns that only needs say 3 – 6 pegs on the loom then I learned to change the color of the first and last peg. That way every time I stop and reverse I don’t need to count the pegs. You can buy replacement pegs on Amazon.com for a cheap price, so my friend told me to do that instead of wrecking my perfectly good looms. I used my glue gun to make sure they would stay in solid. It really works great.
By looking at the photos above this is the way I prefer to change my colors. It incorporates the colors much better.
Step 6: Wrong Way to Change Yarn Colors.
This photo is the way a lot of people change colors, but it causes the colors to be uneven in my opinion. Keep in mind this is just my opinion and what I have experience doing it both ways.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me on my website or shoot me off an email.
Designs By Star