That time I tried arm knitting a blanket

Given that I am outrageously uncoordinated and hate fiddly stuff that involves blistering my hands into oblivion, arm knitting sounded like a pretty great idea. And no one else I knew was doing it, so I thought maybe this would be my thing.

I thought that the giant arm knit scarf was dumb, especially on my curvy body. Quite frankly, I don’t need any more bulk hanging around my chest and face. So after a bit of a look around I saw this totally badass looking blanket that looked like a giant had made it.

from: simplemaggie.com

As if this isn’t the coolest thing you’ve ever seen.

     I liked that this was something that most regular craft losers make, but this was a fun, new spin on it. So I found myself a tutorial and away I went.

I used this tutorial from simplemaggie.com and bought about 9 balls of wool (or “yarn”, whatever) just to play it safe. Simple Maggie’s tutorials were great, and she is super adorable to watch.

But she is a filthy liar.

My “one hour blanket” took me eight hours. I’m pretty sure it took me an hour just to figure out how the fuck to “cast on” to my damn fingers. That shit was confusing. Luckily for me, she made an “arm knit blanket in 45 minutes” tutorial with the above pictured wool (this was also a filthy lie) but her instructions for casting were much better and eventually, I managed to work out what the fuck I was doing. I did the technique from the first video of using three, fairly thick wool strings together to make some kind of super string.

Given that I was making a blanket and knew damn well that there was no way in hell that this would take just one simple hour of my time (a time comparison I felt was similar to ‘get abs in a week in just 5 easy steps!’), I dehydrated myself to hell (not that I’d recommend this) so I wouldn’t need to get up and piss through a half finished blanket. Once you start an arm knitting project, you’re in it until you’re finished, so I had to make sure that I didn’t have anywhere to be. And asking my boyfriend to hold my wool blanket arms while I tried to pee just wasn’t a level of my relationship I was willing to reach for such a project.

So once I manage to rig it all up and was ready to go, I got started. I had some issues wedging it onto my arm, but I figured if I just kept it equally loose, it’d be okay. Apparently people make it too tight (I’m guessing near the wrist where the arm gets smaller, if anatomy books have taught me anything) and it looks all wonky, and I knew I was going to have enough problems so I tried to avoid that.
Once I started doing the stitch, it was actually pretty easy to get a hang of. And it took me days to get crochet down, so I was pretty impressed with that component. You just pulled off a “stitch” from your arm, picked up the hanging (or “working”) wool through the loop, turned it half way so the bottom was crossed to kinda seal it, them slam that shit onto your other arm. Rinse and repeat.

The tutorial said to do something like 26 stitches across, or 26 down. I can’t remember. I just did however many the fuck I wanted. Do as many as you like going down to lengthen the blanket. I did enough so that it would lay over my queen sized bed with some overhang, for extra fancy points.

After about five hours, I started to get tired, hungry, and wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to leave the couch again.

armknitting This is life now.

Eventually, I got the shits and with Boyfriend’s help, managed to slowly push it off of my arms and onto a stick for next time. I then got in trouble from him because it took up too much space in his room, but that was his problem and not mine.
The following day, I wedged it all back onto my arm to finish the excruciating project.

All up, I just made it to nine balls of wool (remember that I used three strands for “one string”). Each ball (or skin, skiev? Sikh? Stein? One of those words) was 90m long. So basically, this took more wool than I can run.

So here is the finished project.

armblanket_fin This blanket serves zero purpose

Actually, that’s kind of a lie. This is actually folded in half so that it looks thicker. It ended up looking for more netted (which I was somewhat expecting) that I’d like and looked more like something someone’s grandma made you, than a cool kind of decorative blanket from a trendy homewares store.

It definitely looks more like the one from the first video with the three strands, for obvious reasons. Doubled up, its actually still pretty warm, despite being super netted and holy, but I guess that’s what half a kilometre of wool will do. It does however, make a super insufficient cape.

I think I’ll probably give this one another go if I can find wool thick enough. The one that Simple Maggie uses in the second tutorial is often out of stock and you need at least 12 of them. And I’m just not sure I’m willing to pay a good $90 worth of yarn at this stage. The doubling up on pretty thick wool is okay, but I just wasn’t into the whole netted look. It’s kinda balls that you can’t just buy super, super thick yarn everywhere.

It was a great tutorial by Simple Maggie and I’d definitely recommend hers if you are interested in doing this monstrosity of a project. After the fiasco of “casting on” wool to your arms, it is actually quite easy. Not to mention you get basically a thousand times the results for the time you spend on it versus crocheting a scarf or some shit. So that part was also rewarding, because I’m impatient.

I would recommend this if you hate most crafts, but want to do something in a (comparatively) short amount of time. It also forces you to commit to the end, which is great if you like to ragequit things, like me.

Until next time, stay cussy!

-M

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