The most common loom – or at least the first one found is often the round loom. This loom is most frequently made of plastic (rigid or flexible) or wood. The pegs are usually nylon or plastic and are grooved on the outer side for ease of use. Most pegs have a ‘knob’ or hooked feature at the top to help keep the yarn from sliding.
The next loom one might encounter is the oval loom. You can do anything on the oval that you can do on the round loom. It is simply a matter of which loom you are most comfortable with handling and which loom you can find and afford. Both the round and oval loom can make a flat or round piece. An example of a flat piece would be a dishcloth or scarf. A round piece would be a tube sock or some hats and toys.
Next, we come to the very popular afghan looms or figure 8 looms. The reason for their popularity is also the reason they are a bit more difficult – or at the very least – cumbersome – to use. You can produce blankets, throws, afghans in one piece; eliminating the need to “sew” your smaller panels together, as you would using a round loom. Note: some oval looms are large enough to produce a 6′ or 7′ end product also. They come in several sizes with the most common being 36″, 48″, 60″, and 80″. However, the serenity loom has 236 pegs produces a finished panel of approximately 110″ and measures 8″x26″. They get their name from their shape with the exception of the serenity name which is actually a brand name.
To make matters seem more complicated, the figure 8 or “S” looms come in two varieties. The loom with evenly spaced pegs and the loom where the pegs are spaced to line up across from each other on the inside and outside rows. Confusion is even greater because the terms loom, rake, and board are often interchangeably used instead of being applied to one or the other. The loom – like the “serenity” loom whose pegs are evenly spaced can only make a single sided panel. That is the item looks different on the ‘back’ side. Your main stitch is on the front side. The double sided rake or board makes a double sided panel with the stitch the same on both sides unless you do not use both rows of pegs. Like the Serenity loom, the DA loom pictured is a double sided board, loom or rake. Here is a double sided board by CinDWood Crafts. Note the difference in spacing of the pegs.