Tuesday, February 25, 2014

She's Crafty | Arm Knitting

Knitting a scarf from chunky yarn is one of the quickest ways to get some knitting satisfaction. Admittedly, I like my knitting fast and fabulous--the chunkier the better. I like plush and chunky scarves piled high, right up to my ears, with big visible stitches. So, imagine my excitement when I came across arm knitting. You heard me right, arm knitting! You knit with your arms...YOUR ARMS! Forget the needles, right on your arms with yarn so chunky you have to use your arms to knit with the stuff.

So, off I went to the craft store to find the right kind of chunky yarn since, of course, none of the super bulky number 6 yarn I had was quite bulky enough. In other words, I had my excuse to go find some new yarn and off to the craft store I went!
Meet, Orchid Shimmer. Isn't she lovely?!

Now, to the internet to learn how to arm knit. Kaye passed on a few links she got from a knitting for charity newsletter and once it directed me to YouTube, I poked around and found a few tutorials myself. Honestly, it's quite easy. You might have to pause and rewind a couple of times to see exactly how loops are passed and where hands are supposed to go, but after figuring out what the yarn was supposed to do, easy peasy! Much easier than learning how to knit with needles that are not arms.

But honestly, the tutorials are not as clear as I hoped to pass on to newbie knitters with the claim that "arm knitting is waaay easy--here, try this before learning how to knit to get your confidence going." It really is waaay easy--so, my advice for beginning arm knitters: keep at it until you get it because it really is quite gratifying. Just remember, pause and repeat. Pause. And. Repeat.

Here are the two tutorials I used to learn:

For this veteran knitter, figuring out how many stitches wide to make my piece with the width of yarn I was holding posed the biggest hurdle. Not including my learning swatches, I must have made and unmade at least five scarves. I went from 12 stitches to 10, to 12 again (I'm not exactly sure why) back down to 10, to 8. I kept trying to follow the stitch count of the tutorials I was following not keeping in mind that my yarn AND my arms are twice as big as the ones found in the video. I love my arms but small needles they do not make.

My finished piece is a cowl 8 stitches wide with as many rows as I thought was necessary to go around my neck--and then some. Unfortunately, a little too much "and then some" for my taste. I plan to take it apart and make and infinity scarf half as wide and twice as long so I can double it up and mess with the final wrap a bit to get it juuust right. It took me a whole 30 minutes from casting on to stitching the cowl into a closed loop, with a pause in the middle to watch a tutorial one more time to make sure I was passing the loops the right way.

Glasses and latte included for size.

Arm knitting is fun, quick, and--with a bit of finessing the variables--easy. If you like chunky scarves, wonderful and wide cowls, and snazzy blankets you can knit in a day, then you need to try arm knitting.

Until next time,
Kaye & Malia


  1. That looks awesome! Keep it up Kaye and Malia!!

  2. how many bundles did you use? looks great!