Arm Knitting Tutorial: How To Arm Knit a Blanket

All right, it’s official: I’m hooked on arm knitting.  Or maybe “un-hooked” would be a better word for it, since arm knitting projects require no hooks, no needles – nothing but yarn and your two arms.  I made up this blanket in about an hour over the weekend, and I can’t wait to share it with you!  In fact, I was so excited about my arm knitting work in process that I already shared a sneak peek on Instagram.  Here’s the finished blanket:

ArmKnitBlanketSupplies needed for this arm knitting blanket tutorial:

You won’t be using all the yarn (unless you’re making a really large blanket, of course).  To thicken the blanket, you’ll be using three strands of yarn as you go, that’s why you need three skeins.  You can also mix and match yarns for a different look!

You may have caught our post a few weeks back with a video tutorial for learning arm knitting.  If you’re a video learner, check it out!  I’m also going to show you with photos today – you can look them over and work at your own pace (without having to hit pause) or you can print and study them away from your computer.  I’m also going to point out the parts that were difficult for me to get the hang of at first – because while arm knitting IS easy once you get going, you may have to experiment for a few minutes on your own first to see what is most comfortable for you.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-2Arm knitting is a large, chunky weave.  That means it goes really quickly.  So this is an instant-gratification project for beginner yarnies (like me).  I have never knitted or crocheted and I thought this was a great project!

Let’s jump right in!  To create your first row of stitches, you will need to measure off some yarn to begin.  Stretch out about 12 feet of extra yarn.  At that point, make a slip knot.  It needs to be just large enough to fit your forearm just below the elbow.  Slide it onto your arm.  You will now have two strands of yarn: your working yarn, which is coming directly off the skeins, and the “tail.”  You will only be using this 12-foot tail for casting on your first row.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-3I watched five different arm knitting tutorials to learn how to do this.  They all just jumped right in.  I had difficulty figuring out how to hold my yarn to get started, and I finally found that this worked well for me: holding one strand looped over my thumb, and one strand looped over my fingers.  I held both strands in my hand for light tension.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-4Now, let’s cast on the first row.  I made mine 25 stitches (you can certainly do more if you want a larger blanket).  Now the dimensions will vary based on how much you stretch it when you use it, and also how big your arms are.  So I can’t give you an exact finished dimension except to say, this made for a nice, big, lap sized throw.  

It took me a few tries to get the hang of casting on.  But don’t sweat it if you have the same experience – because once your first row is started, the blanket makes up really quickly.

Using the arm that’s got your slip knot, take your finger and go under the yarn on your thumb.  Stretch that yarn upward, and loop it over the yarn on your finger.  Now, pull the yarn on your finger upward, creating a stitch.  Once you make it large enough, feed your hand through the loop, casting the stitch onto your arm.  Tighten up both strands of yarn once you have it on your arm – you want the stitches to be loose enough to move up your arm, but that’s all the larger they need to be.  Again, I created 25 stitches.  Feel free to do more.  I wouldn’t go with much less, though, or your blanket might end up too small to really enjoy.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-5The following rows are much easier than casting on.  If you have excess “tail” yarn, push it off to the side.  You can see from mine, I did not have much tail left at all.  I tied it into my blanket at the end.  

With the arm that has your stitches, grab the working yarn with your hand – the yarn coming off your skeins.  Pull one stitch off your hand, pulling the working yarn up through that stitch.  Put your opposite arm through this new loop you created – this is the first stitch of your new row.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-6Repeat this arm knitting process for however many rows you want to complete.  I did about 30 rows, using my own lap as a guide for whether it was long enough.  When you’ve got the length you want, it’s time to bind of  the blanket.

Begin your final row just as all your other rows.  When you’ve got two stitches on your arm, take the first stitch (the one farthest from your hand) and pass it over the second stitch and over your hand.  Then, knit another stitch onto your arm and repeat the process.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-7When you reach the end, cut your yarn and tie a knot to secure it.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-7And congratulations – you’ve just knitted a blanket using nothing but your arms!

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-1What do you think about the arm knitting trend?  Are you going to stick with your needles, or are you going to give it a try?  Have you already tried it?  I’d love to hear what you think!

About Adrianne

Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she's the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).


  1. tosha says

    I am trying desperately to do this… i am trying to make one for the new baby, i don’t remember what I am doing wrong.. my problem is when i get it all done one one arm i don’t know how to get it to the other arm, and what to do with the rail in the process. .
    Plese help

  2. Judy Lipcsak says

    Thanks so much. I used this technique to make scarves for Christmas but I had a hard time casting off. Your directions are so much easier to understand. I can’t wait to try to make a blanket.

  3. Steve says

    I’ve been knitting about 2 months now and have made several hats and scarfs. I did this tonight, casting on was the hardest part. Once that was done it went fast about 2 hours total time. Be sure to get a drink and use the restroom first as you are going to be pretty tied up! :) It turned out more like a fish net then a blanket. This is a great survival skill to have if stranded in the wilderness. It was a lot of fun to make though. but I don’t think I’ll do it again. To be fair I’m a guy and have pretty big arms.

  4. Denise says

    I have tried to make the scarf a few times today :( it keeps getting wider as well as longer and becomes lopsided. What am I doing wrong ?

    • says

      Hmmmm… I’m not sure? The only thing I can think is that perhaps your stitches are somehow getting looser? Fortunately for a scarf, it will kind of slouch together and if it’s not totally uniform, it probably won’t show. Without seeing what issue you’re having – that’s my best guess and advice! :)

  5. lynda says

    I just recently started loom knitting. I have already made several scarfs and as of tonight 3 afgans. I love it and the finished product is so pretty…

  6. Courtney says

    I am going to try and make this for my grandma’s birthday! I got 3 skeins of yarn, the homespun thick and quick from lion brand, but all I could find was 160 yards. Will this be enough?

  7. Danielle says

    I finally tried making this tonight and was so excited about how quickly I caught on! However, I was doing 30 stitches and after only 8 rows I ran out of yarn :( are there bigger skeins I can buy? Or was I doing something wrong? It’s about the size of a scarf now but pretty bulky. (I used Lionbrand super bulky yarn in Aspen Tweed 64yds.) Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Danielle,

      The skeins I used had 185 yards on them. Yarn comes in ALL kinds of weights and lengths, and they’re all different, but you definitely need more than 64 yards (I use at least 55 yards to make a scarf). You CAN just tie a new skein onto the one that runs out, though, if you really love that color and bulk!

  8. Karen says

    I have seen this before but never had the courage to try! I think if I can get the hang of this, it would be a great gift for my grandparents! Thank you for sharing!

    • says

      You’ll need 2-3 skeins, unless you’re okay with unrolling and re-rolling the skeins. This was a 3-strand knit (and for a scarf, I typically use 2). Since you’ll need all three strands at the same time, that’s why I recommend buying 3 skeins – so that you can work off each one simultaneously.

  9. brianna says

    I finaly sat down to try this last night and got the hang of it pretty quickly! My issue was that I didnt seem to have a long enough tail to cast on all 25+ I took it all apart, pulled out more yarn for the tail, and tried again but the same thing happened! Any suggestions as to why this happened? I even pulled out what seemed to be a ridiculous amount of yarn for the tail but with no luck! Oh and my arms are if normal size haha

    • says

      See this is where it’s tricky because we’re all using our arms and not needles… were all doing it slightly differently. I saved off 5-6 feet. You’re probably knitting more loosely (totally fine, but it’s where we’re all a little different).

    • Lyn says

      I have only just found this. I steer clear of larger projects as a rule as I lose interest/patience but definitely up for giving it a go. 😉
      As this post is months old you may well have resolved the issue Brianna but just in case……
      The cast on is along the same principal as casting on with your thumb and one needle for a conventional knitting project. The tail end is NOT the one to wrap around your arm, but the end from the skeins is what forms the stitch on your arm and the tail end used to tighten the bottom edge of the stitch. I hope that helps Brianna

  10. Brooke says

    How much yarn do I need left at the end? I am afraid if I keep going I will run out and not have enough to tie it off! Thanks!

  11. Toni says

    LOVE IT! I learned to arm knit recently, and other than a cowl, I wasn’t certain what else to make! I had debated a blanket, but hadn’t tried until I saw yours! BEAUTIFUL! I got lucky and hit a sale and coupon combo at Michaels this week and got the yarn for $12 total! so psyched that I made a blanket in 45min & it only cost me $12! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  12. Nina B says

    Hi there! Thanks for this awesome tutorial! Do you have any suggestions for accounting for the fact that my arm is smaller around nearer the wrist than the elbow?

    • says

      You’ve just got to keep it a bit looser when you add stitches. My arms are the same way (most people’s are) and you just need to keep it in mind that it needs to slide up your arm, so you can’t make them too tight.

    • says

      It depends on how far you stretch it. If you’re kind of snuggled up with it, it’s not drafty, but if you spread it out then yes, air can get through.

    • says

      That’s tough to answer because it’s going to depend entirely on how big your arms are! If yours are much smaller than mine, your blanket will also be smaller. I did 25 stitches and about 30 rows, and I use it like my 50×60 throw. But especially if your arms are small, you can always do more stitches or more rows! I only used about half my skeins of yarn, so there is plenty of extra to make it bigger if you like it bigger.

  13. Jenna says

    I started arm knitting with an infinity scarf and loved it! I don’t know why I didn’t think to not weave the two end together and just leave it as a blanket.

  14. Marissa says

    Do you think this would work for a baby blanket? I ran out of the yarn that I was working on and found it to be discontinued. The baby shower is coming up, so I am looking for a quick pattern to make since I cannot find the yarn anywhere.

  15. Lee Ann Yeager says

    I would love to see a tutorial video. I can catch on better if there is a visual here on your blog or on YouTube.

    • says

      Lee Ann, I got a few questions about that so I actually did just post a video on YouTube this week. The video is for an infinity scarf, which is a different project – but the technique is the same. You can view it here: I hope you find that helpful!

  16. Keri says

    If you want to learn to knit, try loom knitting. Easy and tons of fun! Great job on the blanket. Going to definitely try it!

    • says

      That’s tough to answer because it’s going to depend entirely on how big your arms are! If yours are much smaller than mine, your blanket will also be smaller. I did 25 stitches and about 30 rows, and I use it like my 50×60 throw. But especially if your arms are small, you can always do more stitches or more rows! I only used about half my skeins of yarn, so there is plenty of extra to make it bigger if you like it bigger.

    • says

      That is the beauty of it, it actually IS easy! As someone who doesn’t knit OR crochet, I feel confident saying, if I can do it, anyone can do it. You may want to view a few videos to find an explanation that works best for the way you learn (I’m offering up a photo tutorial here for those people who get frustrated with trying to learn on video – because everyone learns differently!) but once I got my first row on, I was done at the end of a 1-hour show on my very first try. It’s an instant-gratification project. One hour, one finished blanket!

  17. Kim Coyle says

    I just started arm knitting and I love it!! I taught a class at my office and had a great time. I have since seen a video tutorial that shows how to “cast on” a whole lot simplier, as it was sort of confusing at first to my class mates the regular way that everyone is teaching it. I can’t wait to make a blanket. It is just finding the time to me able to not have to use my arms for anything else for a while!!! :)

  18. Jeni says

    This is a GREAT video! I was watching YouTube videos on the more challenging casting on last night and finally got it (after quite a bit of frustration). I wish I had seen this first. Thanks!


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