The Best Types of Yarn to Use for Arm Knitting
Arm knitting involves using your arms to make the stitches with yarn. While it's similar to traditional knitting in the movements that you make, there are differences, too. "The main difference is that with arm knitting you always keep your knitting facing you, whereas in traditional knitting, you turn your work around every row," explains Anne Weil, designer and author of Knitting Without Needles: A Stylish Introduction to Finger and Arm Knitting ($17.49, amazon.com), and Flax & Twine blogger and shop owner. "This means that a pattern designed for arm knitting would require you to reverse the even row stitch directions. For example, in traditional knitting to make the garter stitch, you knit every row. In arm knitting, to make the garter stitch, you need to knit 1 row, purl 1 row."
Getting the hang of it can take some time but the results are worth it. The main thing to keep in mind is practice. "Arm knitting is easy to learn, just be patient with yourself as you are learning a new skill. It will take a little bit of time for your arms to do what you want them to," says Weil. "Here is a great free video that shows you how to arm knit. I suggest practicing with something simple and then adding more complex stitch patterns or shaped projects." Over time it will become as natural to you as traditional knitting had.
In addition to learning how to use your arms for knitting, you need to consider the yarn that you will use. Traditional knitting projects will use yarn that is less dense in thickness than the type of yarn you are likely to use for oversized knit projects like blankets, scarves, and sweaters. There are a variety of brands and weights to choose from, says Weil, that can fit any budget. But which type of yarn does she not recommend? "First, I do not recommend wool roving that is untreated," she says. "Though it is the correct size for arm knitting and will look fantastic at first, it will pill and shed wool quickly. It may split or break. I have heard that if you dry clean immediately, the wool roving will wear up better under use."
- Luxury Yarn: Broadwick Fibers ″2KG″ Felted Superfine Chunky Merino Yarn
- Mid-Range Yarn: Cascade Yarns Magnum Yarn
- Budget-Friendly Yarn: Lion Brand Yarn Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn
Ahead, shop more skeins and learn why they're recommended by knitwear designers and knitters everywhere.