Arm Knitting Tutorial: How To Arm Knit a Blanket

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:

ArmKnitBlanketSupplies needed for this arm knitting blanket tutorial:

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-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-2Arm 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.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-3I 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.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-4Now, 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.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-5The 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.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-6Repeat 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.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-7When you reach the end, cut your yarn and tie a knot to secure it.

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-7And congratulations – you’ve just knitted a blanket using nothing but your arms!

Arm-knitting-blanket-Crafts-Unleashed-1What do you think about the arm knitting trend?  Are you going to stick with your needles, or are you going to give it a try?  Have you already tried it?  I’d love to hear what you think!

About Adrianne

Adrianne is a working 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. She started out making jewelry back in the 80′s, and was widely known among 3rd graders as the friendship bracelet queen. Her style has evolved since then, but her passion for creativity has only grown. Adrianne can be found writing, sewing, quilting, baking and crafting with a wide variety of mediums. She enjoys day trips and date nights, and has written several bad first drafts of novels.

Comments

  1. Does this blanket let in air when you use it?

    • It depends on how far you stretch it. If you’re kind of snuggled up with it, it’s not drafty, but if you spread it out then yes, air can get through.

  2. What are the dimensions of the finished blanket? Just curious how big this ends up :)

    • That’s tough to answer because it’s going to depend entirely on how big your arms are! If yours are much smaller than mine, your blanket will also be smaller. I did 25 stitches and about 30 rows, and I use it like my 50×60 throw. But especially if your arms are small, you can always do more stitches or more rows! I only used about half my skeins of yarn, so there is plenty of extra to make it bigger if you like it bigger.

  3. I started arm knitting with an infinity scarf and loved it! I don’t know why I didn’t think to not weave the two end together and just leave it as a blanket.

  4. Hi! This looks so neat! I cannot wait to try it. I was wondering if you have ever used different colors to do this with.

  5. Marissa says:

    Hi,
    Do you think this would work for a baby blanket? I ran out of the yarn that I was working on and found it to be discontinued. The baby shower is coming up, so I am looking for a quick pattern to make since I cannot find the yarn anywhere.

  6. Lee Ann Yeager says:

    I would love to see a tutorial video. I can catch on better if there is a visual here on your blog or on YouTube.

    • Lee Ann, I got a few questions about that so I actually did just post a video on YouTube this week. The video is for an infinity scarf, which is a different project – but the technique is the same. You can view it here: http://youtu.be/JR7nyetjS8s I hope you find that helpful!

  7. Very cool, Adrianne! This is something that I definitely want to try!

  8. If you want to learn to knit, try loom knitting. Easy and tons of fun! Great job on the blanket. Going to definitely try it!

  9. How big does this blanket end up being?
    I’m interested, but I don’t like little blankets! haha

    Kaity

    • That’s tough to answer because it’s going to depend entirely on how big your arms are! If yours are much smaller than mine, your blanket will also be smaller. I did 25 stitches and about 30 rows, and I use it like my 50×60 throw. But especially if your arms are small, you can always do more stitches or more rows! I only used about half my skeins of yarn, so there is plenty of extra to make it bigger if you like it bigger.

  10. You make this look so easy!

    • That is the beauty of it, it actually IS easy! As someone who doesn’t knit OR crochet, I feel confident saying, if I can do it, anyone can do it. You may want to view a few videos to find an explanation that works best for the way you learn (I’m offering up a photo tutorial here for those people who get frustrated with trying to learn on video – because everyone learns differently!) but once I got my first row on, I was done at the end of a 1-hour show on my very first try. It’s an instant-gratification project. One hour, one finished blanket!

  11. Adrianne, I have been wanting to try arm knitting! What a great tutorial :D

  12. Kim Coyle says:

    I just started arm knitting and I love it!! I taught a class at my office and had a great time. I have since seen a video tutorial that shows how to “cast on” a whole lot simplier, as it was sort of confusing at first to my class mates the regular way that everyone is teaching it. I can’t wait to make a blanket. It is just finding the time to me able to not have to use my arms for anything else for a while!!! :)

  13. Wow! How did I miss this before? I crochet and it takes me forever to accomplish something like this. It’s beautiful!

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  1. […] DIY Instructions and Project Credit  – Crafts Unleashed […]

  2. […] saw a post on Hometalk today!  I was really excited.  The post was Arm-knit a Blanket in One Hour!  Now, doesn’t that sound like a great idea for a […]

  3. […] 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.  […]

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