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:
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 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.
I 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.
Now, 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.
The 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.
Repeat 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.
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Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com 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).