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Arm-Knit Blanket

Snuggle up in a big cozy blanket made by hand, literally. Bulky-style yarn and your nimble handiwork are all you need for this simple technique.

completed arm knit blanket folded over white bench

Photography: Shanna Sullivan

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

This blanket pattern, designed by Teresa Carter of DeBrosse, is made by arm-knitting: a technique which uses the knitter's arms instead of needles. When arm-knitting, choose yarn in a size of 6 or "super bulky." Knitters can decide the number of skeins they want to use based on desired thickness and length. Do not turn or flip your work. To achieve final size, keep a loose tension. If you're a beginner, use our basic knitting how-to as a guide.

 

Sizes

Small: A 30-by-50 inch blanket uses 6 pounds of yarn.

Large: A 40-by-60-inch blanket uses 8 pounds of yarn.

 

Get Martha's Guide to Knitting—it's the exclusive resource for knitters of all skill levels.

materials

  • Bulky yarn (Pictured: The Chamberlain DIY Kit with Big Stitch Merino Wool by Mama Knows Luxury, in Café Au Lait, $275, debrosse.com.)

  • Scissors

steps

  1. Measure 8 to 10 feet of wool. Create a slip knot by placing the tail end over the working yarn.

    hands creating slip knot for arm knit blanket
  2. Then, slip one hand through the loop.

    hands creating loop around wrist for arm knit blanket
  3. Then, using your hand in the loop, reach through to pull up the working yarn. (Note: Working yarn is the yarn connected to the source.)

    hands creating slip knot with loop around wrist for arm knit blanket
  4. Then, pull the working yarn through the loop.

    hands intertwining loops to create slip knot for arm knit blanket
  5. Then, tighten until a slip knot forms.

    hands pulling slip knot for arm knit blanket
  6. To begin your blanket, cast on your first row of stitches. To do so, loop the tail ends of the slip knot around your opposite hand's index finger and thumb.

    yarn looped around wrists for arm knit blanket
  7. Slip your hand (holding the slip knot) under the loop made on your opposite hand's thumb.

    yarn looped around wrists and hands for arm knit blanket
  8. Cast the stitch onto your hand; you have cast on your first stitch.

    figure eight of yarn formed around hands and wrists for arm knit blanket
  9. Cast the first few stitches onto your arm, using a loose tension and leaving wiggle room in each stitch.

    hand looping yarn around other hand for arm knit blanket
  10. Once your arm is full, gently slip stitches off and lay on your working surface. Continue to cast on until you have 13 stitches.

    hands creating row of loops for arm knit blanket
  11. To knit the body of the blanket, pull a loop from the working yarn up through each stitch (this is emulating the knit stitch). 

    hand pulling yarn through loop for arm knit blanket
  12. On your first row, you'll work left to right; on your next row, you'll work right to left. (Note: Your cast-on stitches may appear to be laying on an angle. Always twist the stitch towards the right before knitting into them.)

    hands forming loop for arm knit blanket
  13. Continue arm-knitting until you only have around 7 yards of wool left.

    hands forming loops on top row of arm knit blanket
  14. To finish your blanket, cast off to ensure that your stitches don't unravel. To do so, pull up loops into your first and second stitches as normal.

    hands each creating a loop for arm knit blanket
  15. Then, take the second loop and insert it through the first loop. You have now cast off the first stitch.

    hands each combining loops for arm knit blanket
  16. Continue with all stitches by pulling up a loop on the next stitch, and then pulling it through the previous stitch. At the end of your last row, cut tail and pull through final loop; discretely weave end into backside of blanket.

    hands weaving top row of arm knit blanket

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