Everything You Need to Know About Arm Knitting

Aug 2020

Arm knitting is a trend that we’ve seen growing in popularity over the last few years and is perfect for both experienced knitters and complete novices. This technique requires no needles or tools as the stitches are made on your forearms to create chunky large-scale projects. Without the need for needles, the tension of the fabric is created by the size of your arms and larger stitches mean that you’re able to create large pieces in no time at all.

From blankets and cushions to scarves and cowls, there are so many unique pieces to create and each are guaranteed to add something completely different to your collection of creations.

In this introduction to arm knitting you’ll find some examples of the best types of yarn to use, a tutorial for a chunky blanket, and some FAQs and tips to help you get started.

Choosing Your Yarn

The only tools you’ll need for arm knitting are your own two arms, so all that’s left to do is choose your yarn. It’s important that you choose a chunky yarn, as the size of your ‘needles’ is larger.

Chunky Merino Wool
Our range of chunky merino wool was created especially for arm knitting. Its soft texture is perfect for making cosy chunky creations and comes in a range of 34 solid and mixed colours.

How to Arm Knit a Blanket

If you’re an experienced knitter, you should find it really easy to pick up this new technique, as it is the same process just on a bigger scale. If you’re new to knitting, these quick knitting projects could be a great way to get more confident with the knitting rhythm. Simply follow the steps below to create your very own arm knitted blanket!

Casting On

  1. Pull out around 2 metres of wool for the tail (if making a blanket) and create a slip knot to slide onto your right forearm, making sure the tail is closest to you and the working yarn is furthest away.
  2. To create the first stitch, wrap the tail around the back of your left thumb and hold the WY between your left index and middle finger. With your right hand, use your thumb and finger to go under the first tail piece, over the second, and pull the working yarn through to create a loop.

3. Place this loop over your right wrist by passing your right hand through from front to back and pull tight.

Top tip: to keep your stitches close together, make sure you are pulling each stitch tight.

  1. Continue until you have enough stitches for your project (aiming for around 18 stitches if you’re making a blanket).

Knitting

5. Holding onto the WY in your right fist, slip the loop closest to your hand over your fist and pass your left hand through the new loop created from the WY (from front to back), dropping the original stitch.

6. Repeat step 5 until all the stitches are on your left arm.
7. When all the stitches are on your left arm simply repeat step 5 in the opposite direction back onto your right arm.

Continue knitting repeating the steps for each row, passing between your arms. Unlike knitting with needles there is no turning of your work, simply change to the opposite direction on your arms.

Casting Off

8. Create 2 stitches on one arm – pass the first loop over the second and off your hand, leaving just one stitch on your arm.
9. Repeat until the end of the row and tie off the remaining yarn.

FAQs

How much wool do I need to make a blanket?
To make a blanket that will cover the bottom 1/3 of a double bed, we recommend you use 2kg of wool tops. At Woolyknit, we currently have an offer on Chunky Merino Wool for all you blanket makers – you can now get 2kg of merino wool for only £40.

How long will it take to make a blanket?
A blanket that is big enough to cover the bottom 1/3 of a double bed will likely take you around just an hour to make. You’ll be wrapping yourself in it on the sofa in no time!

How do I stop mid-project?
With your project attached to your arms it may seem like you’re stuck with it until it’s finished. But fear not, if you need to stop mid-project, just slide the stitches onto a scrap piece of yarn or anything that can hold the piece in place of your arms (eg wrapping paper roll, broom handle, etc). Just be sure to remember which arm you finished on!

How do I make the stitches tighter?
Using the arm knitting technique will naturally create stitches that are looser and chunkier. But to keep the stitches tighter and consistent, try keeping your hands close together and the stitches as close to your hands as possible, and pull each stitch tight as you knit.

What can I make using this technique?
Arm knitting isn’t just for blankets, you can also create cushions, scarves and cowls.

Whether you’re a newbie at knitting or somewhat of a guru, arm knitting is a quick and easy technique that you can easily learn to do in an evening. It’s ideal for experienced knitters who want to try out something new, or complete beginners who don’t have any tools yet. Once you pick up the basic technique, you’ll be able to quickly fill your home with chunky blankets and scarves.

We’d love to see your arm knitting creations! Make sure you tag us using @Woolyknit when you share your knits on Instagram.

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