Arm knitting has become very popular in recent years. This is the process of instead of using knitting needles, you use your arms.
Its a very easy process. And very quick. If you have only ever knitted briefly 20 years ago you can pick it up in 5 minutes. There are also stacks of You Tube videos that are great to follow. I always think that the videos are the easiest way. We could take photos of all the steps involved, but often this is confusing. With a video you can rewind and pause, if you need to clarify a point.
Many people ask, how they can go to the toilet or answer the door in the midst of arm knitting. Well its fast, I can arm knit a 2 kg blanket in around 45 minutes or less, so I go to the loo before! You can also if needed, thread some yarn through the stitches, if you really have to do something important. There is of course, floor or table knitting method. This is easier to have a break from, but you do need a large clear space. It is also more important to check that your stitches are all the same size. Again you can google this for lots of you Tube videos.
So arm knitting uses very large scale yarns, mostly these are unspun, as this is the only way to get the really huge thickness. Unspun yarn needs to be handled more gently than your average yarn. If you split the thread, or strands are loose, then you can just smooth these back together. It is not a fault of the yarn if strands are split. You can purchase merino, which is beautiful and luxurious, but a considered purchase, or acrylic, which is still super soft, but much more affordable for those that want to have a go!
There is a bit of a myth surrounding merino. This is that, if you lightly felt it, then it will not pill or shed. Lightly felting is just that, it will not felt the yarn to the core. Pilling is just the yarn naturally felting. Felting when it is first made is just felting the outer core/ skin of the yarn, so the yarn. will pill and shed, with heat moisture and warmth, ie. any usage. The outer skin being felted, just means it is very slightly delayed. That being said, whether felted or not, and even though merino is delicate, any pilling and shedding can be quite robustly removed. For this reason, super chunky blankets, or any other products, such as cushions, should really be used for light decorative use.
Acrylic can not be felted but any pilling or shedding can be removed as with merino.
I have written a blog, on how to revive an acrylic dog basket. See here.
If you want to determine the amount of yarn you need, there is a very simple calculation you can use. You need you desired measurements in cm. If you then multiply the width and length together and then divide by 5000, the answer is the amount in Kg that you require.
For example. 60 cm by 160 cm ( which is a good sized double bed runner) = 9600 divided by 5000 =1.92 kg.
Of course, the above calculations are approximate, as peoples arms differ in size and tension can affect the finished size, but in my experience, it works out about right.
Arm knitting is very simple, very quick, and once you get going very relaxing. Many people say it is very de stressing as you concentrate on the process, and don’t think of other aspects of your life.
If you would like to learn in a group situation, there are many classes around the country, well worth a google. arm knitting workshops + the area you live should bring something up.
I do hope this has helped, if you are new to arm knitting. You can always ask me a question on Instagram.