Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Taking on arm knitting

So like a month ago, I participated in The Pintester Movement, courtesy of my favorite blog Pintester. I wrote about how not to make a homemade lotion. Well I got a ton of new readers so when Sonja announced that she was hosting The Pintester Movement 2.0, I knew I would be on board. The rules this time were a little more specific. I had to pick a post that Sonja had already tested. After a little browsing (and a lot of laughing) I settled on Arm Knitting because I've been knitting since I was like 10 and I have a the yarn stash of an 80 year old woman.

Except, I've never been accused of being a lady, so here's a picture of my actual yarn stash. Or.... stashes, I guess.

Don't you judge me! I made 15 hats and scarves for homeless people one year and it barely made a dent in the hoard. It's way more useful than all the liquor bottles Jeff has to display.

So anyway, I have the necessary supplies- my arms, and yarn. Since Sonja failed miserably in her attempts to arm knit, I went to the original pin's site, Simply Maggie where she conveniently posted a video tutorial. Unfortunately, I did not actually have the right kind of yarn (I recently used every last bit of my extra chunky yarn) and so I decided to use 4 strands of regular worsted weight yarn. I'd like to take this moment to point out that this is exactly why any knitter has a stash- 5000 kinds of yarn, but none of them is the right one for the project you want to start.

Step 1: Cast on. It's pretty much just like casting on regular needles. First, tie a slip knot, leaving a long tail. The way I've always thought of tying a slip knot is to make a pretzel shape then lift the bottom piece of yarn up and tighten the loop. Put the loop of the slip knot over your right arm and tighten it some, but leave it plenty loose so you can work with it. Honestly, it's easier to watch Maggie's tutorial than for me to explain how to actually do the casting on. So once you get it, you just loosely cast on enough stitches to make the scarf as wide as you want it to be.

Step 2: Proceed to knitting. This part is actually fairly easy. Hold the working yarn in the hand that has all of the stitches on it. Then, pull the first loop over your hand. Put your other hand through the loop you just pulled over your hand and pull a new loop through the first loop. Then put the new loop on your other arm. 

It was really hard to get good pictures since both of my hands were in use and Jeff was at school, so I enlisted my 4 year old's help. She didn't do too bad considering most of the pictures she takes are of carpet or crotches. It was here that I realized the fatal flaw in arm knitting. It really only looks good if you have skinny arms. I've made things on speed stix (or dildo needles, as Jeff calls them) using 4 strands of worsted before and they turned out great. But 4 strands of worsted on my chunky arms was not nearly enough. I feel that maybe with 4 strands of super chunky, it might look good, but as I was knitting I could see it was just turning out more like fishnets because there wasn't enough yarn to fill in all the space.

So anyway, then you proceed to make the scarf as long as you want, or until you get bored, either way.

Step 3: Binding off. Binding off is pretty much just like in regular knitting. Knit two stitches then pull the first stitch over the second stitch and let it go. Proceed until the last stitch remains on your arm then cut the yarn and put it through the loop on your arm, take it off your arm and pull the end tight. Here's my final product:

I guess I succeeded in making a scarf but it's not one I would ever use. It just looks like a whole lot of yarn wrapped around my neck. When you stretch it out, it makes a better cargo net. My wonderful husband, star of my other blog (Shit My Husband Said), says that I should turn it into stripper whore pants or maybe make some g-strings. If you have some super chunky yarn to use up and feel like spending an hour or so, you too can arm knit with a little bit of practice!