The 2017 Knitting Challenge is officially underway!
This post is belated, but on the last weekend of January I decided to tackle an item off my Knitting Challenge list — arm knitting.
Arm knitting really started showing up in magazines and all over Pinterest last year or so. It’s easy for non-knitters to pick up since no needles are involved, and it only takes 45 minutes or so to make a project as big as a blanket.
But I never tried it — or it’s cousin, finger knitting — because I thought it wouldn’t be as fun or satisfying as traditional knitting.
How very wrong I was.
I am officially an arm knitting evangelist.
My boyfriend surprised me with this Ohhio merino yarn for my birthday in December. It was giant, it was soft, and we had 4kg to work with.
Do you SEE how big this one ball is?? That’s a regular size coaster and candle on the right for reference.
I didn’t do much research about how to arm knit until the moment I was ready to begin. I figured it couldn’t be that difficult since I know how to knit.
But actually, when you’re used to knitting on a small scale and all of a sudden the yarn is almost as thick as your wrist, it’s a little hard to catch on to! I felt like a character in “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids,” and it was a little hard to adjust my brain and muscle memory at first.
But Ohhio has a great gif-filled tutorial that I just kept watching over and over. And soon I had my arms laden with wool.
That’s my upper arm on the left and fingers poking out on the right.
My furry friend really wanted in on the merino fun.
Before I knew it, the two GIANT balls of merino yarn were turning into a wonderfully chunky blanket.
Each stitch is not perfect on my blanket, but I shaped it a bit at the end to even out some of the most lopsided stitches.
I made the Medium blanket size in the tutorial and it is perfect for laying at the foot of my queen bed. It comes about halfway up the mattress.
This project was so much fun, and I was sad when it ended so quickly! I imagined it taking at least a weekend because knitting a blanket this big with regular yarn can take months.
I’m really inspired to find other arm knitting (and finger knitting) projects. My Pinterest board is gathering a few ideas, and the blog Flax & Twine is filled with unique projects, like baskets and pet beds.
But while I’m dreaming up my next arm knitting project, here are my five tips and takeaways for when you try to make this blanket for yourself.
Arm Knitting Tips & Takeaways:
- Don’t keep the loops on your arms too tight. You’re making the loops at your wrists, but eventually those loops have to fit all the way on your upper arm. And, well, my upper arms aren’t quite the same size as my wrists 🙂
- Try sitting instead of standing. This much yarn gets heavy to hold on your arm. Find a space to sit where you have lots of room to let it lay instead of hang, even if it’s the floor.
- Have a friend there with you! When you get all the loops on your arms, you can’t exactly bend your arms or stand up to go get the second ball of yarn. You’re going to feel like the Michelin Man. It helps to have someone there who can unravel the ball as you go and make sure the second one is there waiting for you.
- Make sure you have enough free time to make your project in one sitting. Arm knitting goes by really fast once you get into the rhythm of the “knitting.” But you can’t exactly close up your half-completed project in a bag and leave the needles on until you’re ready to work on it again tomorrow. It’s just easier to do it all at once. This blanket took me about one hour or so.
- If you have kids or pets, consider a different yarn than this merino. It’s basically loose roving so if you rub on it much, tufts of yarn are going to rub off. Mine has been perfectly fine over the last few weeks, but I’m mostly leaving it untouched on my bed. It’s also not machine washable. Ohhio is, however, coming out with a new machine washable extra chunky yarn.
I’m glad I chose arm knitting as my first challenge to cross off my 2017 Knitting Challenge list. It was fun, relatively easy, and I now have a super warm merino wool blanket to keep me warm for the rest of the winter.
I’m not sure which challenge I’ll be choosing next, but looks like I better get started soon since February is halfway over now!
Looking for more arm knitting inspiration? Check out my Arm Knitting Pinterest Board here.
Missed the original 2017 Knitting Challenge post? Catch up on all my goals here.