The problem I have with regular knitting is getting started. With a hat, for example, I have a lot of trouble getting my size just right and having the first row look neat and not sloppy. Knifty Knitters completely eliminate the size problem and allow you to make the first row just as neat as every other row. Each loom is basically a round circle with pegs on it. Since you are wrapping the yarn on preset pegs, the problem of keeping the stitches the same length is eliminated. I have the round set for hats and the long set, which is mainly for scarves and blankets. Each set comes with four looms. The round set labels the looms by size: baby, child, adult and the largest is either for a big-headed adult or for other projects (like ponchos). They come with directions, which are really easy to follow. I made my first hat while watching a movie. As you work, your hat starts to build up and hang down underneath as you go, which is pretty neat to watch. When it is long enough (the directions tell you how long for different sizes), you use this plastic needle to thread a piece of yarn through the loops at the end and drawstring it tight and tie. Then you use this little hook to pop it off. Done.
I totally recommend these for the serious and the totally not serious crafter. They’re pretty cheap. They’re easy. And even on your first try, you end up with a really good finished product you can wear or give to someone. I have about a dozen friends who have gotten them since my recommendation and all of them are really into them. Even my husband made a hat for his sister’s kid while watching a movie and it came out perfect. The looms are made for thicker yarns, but if you have tons of old thin yarn you can double it up and use two strands as one (or even three) and that makes it so you can do all kinds of color combinations.
I found the long set a tiny bit harder when I got started (i.e. figuring out the corners), but after a few minutes messing with it I was rolling out a scarf. There are other looms I have not tried from Knifty Knitters, like a flower one and a rectangle one, which all make different things. They also have pompom and tassel makers and one that lets you make tube scarves. But there are tons of other things you can do with the same hat loom, too. My friend got a great book from her library; Knifty Knitters’ web site has a few ideas; and I recently found a sock pattern on the Internet and made pair using the smallest loom in the round set. It was way way way easier than it looked and they came out perfect.