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Learn to Arm Knit!

I knitted a cowl!  With my arms!

I tried out Pattern #14 from Learn to Arm Knit, and it turns out I really liked the experience AND the finished object!

File this experience under "This is What Happens When You Tell the Internet People at Leisure Arts that You'll Try Just About Anything."  Tutu-making, Knooking, loom knitting, Tunisian crochet, and now arm knitting are all things I probably wouldn't have tried had I not been encouraged to try them out for the sake of a post.  And I'm glad I did try!

I've been seeing arm knitting pictures swirling around the Internet for a few months now, and I was curious.  Not curious enough to actually learn something new and try it for myself, but curious enough to wonder how much yarn it used, how long it took, and why anyone would knit with arms when you could actually put needles down.

This is the face of a woman who wishes she had changed the settings on her camera before she got tangled up.

Now that I've tried it, I know it doesn't take quite as much yarn as I'd feared, it takes less than an hour to make just about anything, and it's kind of fun to not need any tools.  If you have arms that work even somewhat well,  you can arm knit.  You can make a cowl in less than an hour.  And it will be big!  And fluffy!  And beautiful!

Learn to Arm Knit has very detailed instructions to get you started at the most basic level--there are instructions on how to make a slip knot.  That detailed.  If you know how to knit already, you could skip over a few steps.  But I'd encourage you not to, because this is a tiny little book and you may as well get good and settled in with this booklet so that you can figure out how to use BOTH of your arms like the active needle.  Don't worry, only one arm acts as the active needle at any given time.  But you do use both hands at the same time and that takes a little bit of getting used to.  Still, it's pretty easy to get into the swing of this.

The instructions for each cowl are the same, but the book has thirty-five possible yarn combinations set out in a grid format listing the brand and name of the yarn, the colorway, and the number of skeins required for each cowl featured in the booklet.  The #14 cowl calls for two skeins of Patons Classic Wool Roving in different colors and a skein of Patons Bohemian yarn.

I've never worked with the Bohemian yarn before, and I loved it.  It's a super bulky weight yarn and it's all lovely and velvety and such an interesting contrast with the roving yarn.  I had a tiny bit of it left when I finished nearly five feet of knitting. That was long enough for a cowl I could wrap around my neck twice.  And I had a little less than half a skein left of each of the roving skeins.  I could make another cowl that's a bit shorter!

It would be lovely, and wouldn't take very long at all.  The idea just sounds better and better to me.  Goodness, I just realized that I've spent more time thinking about making this than it would actually take me to make this!  Arm knitting seems like a really fun way to introduce knitting to someone who's interested, or a really fun and quick diversion for someone who already knits.  I could spend more time telling you why you might like this, or I could go do this some more myself.
I think we both know what I'm going to do.

7 thoughts on “Learn to Arm Knit!”

  • Catherine A. McClarey

    Can't comment on the arm-knitting concept since I haven't tried it yet myself; however, I have used Patons Bohemian recently in a baby afghan (the "giant granny square" variety), and love it for that. It's so plush and luxurious! I've used several skeins of it (in a dark red colorway) in combination with other pink yarns for a "girl colors" afghan, and have several more skeins in a bright green colorway which I plan to use in combination with some Bernat Baby Blanket (the Funny Prints colorway, mostly white with bits of blue & green) for a "boy colors" afghan. Certainly the bright colors make the Patons Bohemian suitable for "grown-up" projects where some plush luxury is desired, too!

    Reply
    • Jen

      Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing. I haven't worked with velvety yarn in several years, but this was lovely. It wasn't even a little 'sheddy.' Your blankets sound so squishy!

      Reply
  • Kathy Hart

    I can comment on the arm knitting since I have been doing it before it was "cool" (I learned it in the "60's" along with finger knitting, finger crocheting, what is now called "knooking", and various other stuff that my great grandmother and grandmother thought I should learn to keep me crafty). Did you know you can make a baby afghan by arm crocheting? That's what I made my kids when I was pregnant with them, and still make thm as shower gifts. Keep on learning different things as time goes on and good luck.

    Reply
    • Renee

      VERY cool Kathy!!!

      Reply
    • Jen

      I'm going to have to echo Renee here and say, SO VERY cool, Kathy! I'm off to Google arm crochet baby blankets now! They sound wonderful.

      Reply
    • Kathy Hart

      When I learned the arm knitting, I was taught a different way to "cast on" the stitches than the way a lot of the "how to videos" teach that I think is a lot easier (and you don't need "the long tail"). I start by finger chaining (finger crocheting) the amount of stitches I need then go back and pull the "working yarn" through the chains and on to my arm. Like I said, (I learned this in the "dinosaur age, as my kids call it) when times were simple (and easier). My daughter came across a "how to video" showing how to do it this way...if you would like to check it out let me know and I'll track it down...I think it is one of Maggie Weldon's how o videos...

      Reply
    • Jen

      Oh my goodness, that sounds kind of like arm Knooking! (I apparently remember more about Knooking than I thought.) That's really cool, and makes a lot of sense!

      Reply
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