I’ve never fully been able to master knitting. I love knitwear, and I love the act of sitting down with piles of wool and stringing them together into something beautiful, but my impatience always gets the best of me, and I’ve never actually finished a project I started.
A few weeks ago, my awesome illustrator friend Brianne started wearing all these awesome, chunky scarves, and simultaneously raving to me about something called “arm knitting”. Does everyone know about this already? Have I been living in some sort of craft-deprived cave? You knit with just your arms!
Okay, so really this is one of the best crafting inventions I’ve ever heard of. You can do it anywhere, and all you need is two arms and a whole bunch of yarn! Depending on the yarn you use and whether you use two strands or one, you can end up with a loopy, chunky cowl, or an awesome spiderweb sort of shawl. Brianne has made multiples of both kinds (she gave everyone arm knits for Christmas), and was determined that I could too, despite my craft challenged ways. She came over to my house, and we got to work.
Okay so there are 3 important rules to remember when you delve into the world of arm knitting:
1. You need a lot of yarn, especially if you want your scarf to be long enough to loop around your neck twice. I bought two big packs of super chunky grey yarn, and that was the perfect amount. The yarn also needs to be chunky or your knits will come out holey weird looking.
2. Try to keep organized. The yarn will end up in three piles around you, and if you get confused about which yarn is coming from which pile, you’ll probably mess up and have to start over. Also, try to keep your cats away: piles of yarn = piles of fun for them and piles of tangled mess for you.
3. Don’t let the loops get too tight on one arm! Keep everything as loose as possible without letting anything slip, just like with real knitting.
With those warnings in mind, Brianne tag teamed with this handy video and slowly taught me how to arm knit. It was tough to get at first, especially the casting on bit, but once I had the general idea it became almost painfully simple. How had I not tried this before?
I also realized pretty early on that explaining how to arm knit through photos was going to be pretty much impossible after I got past the slip knot step, so I recommend you all find a good Youtube video (the one I used was perfect) and go to town! Even if loopy, chunky scarves aren’t really your thing, they’re the perfect wintery gift, and they’re so quick and easy to make, it’s almost a crime not to try it at least once right?
Seriously, it took me about an hour to finish my first relatively imperfect creation, but Brianne can knit a flawless one in less than half an hour. This means she could literally make a scarf on the commute to work and wear it that same day…
Again, why wouldn’t we all try this? Let me know if you try it/already have tried it and what you think!