Arm knitting—that's right, you don't use any needles; just your arms—has been adorning Pinterest for at least a year now, but it wasn't until last December's mention in The Wall Street Journal that the craft craze truly began. Since then, craft stores, yarn companies, designers, and yarn enthusiasts alike have jumped on the arm knitting wagon. This isn't that surprising; after all, yarnies love yarn crafts. What's unexpected, though, is how many non-knitters have rolled up their sleeves and put their arms in action.
This method seems to also speak to busy people who like the idea of making their own scarf, but can't commit to the time it would take to traditionally knit one. Arm knitting is super simple, and produces a scarf in less than 30 minutes! It's DIY-accessible; it's also really fun. And hey, what's fun for one person is a blast for a bunch, right? So grab some yarn and call your pals—it's time for a play date with a purpose. It's time, my friends, for an arm knitting party! Here's the scoop!
How to Throw an Arm Knitting Party
Step 1: Invite a flock of friends over.
Make sure to tell them they don't need to know how to knit—or even be crafty at all—to join. Anyone can make an arm-knit scarf!
Step 2: Order a bunch of lush, bulky yarn.
We used Patons Cobbles, ColorWul, and Classic Wool Roving in an array of colors. Depending on how generous you're feeling, you can either fork over the cash yourself OR let friends know ahead of time that there will be a $20 (or however much you spend, depending on the yarn you choose) supply fee for the evening. You can also suggest that attendees buy their yarn ahead of time, but this is often a daunting task for busy people or those who don't have much experience with yarn. Besides, it's super fun for people to get to "shop" for colors together in the host's own living room!
Step 3: Gather other supplies.
In my opinion, any gathering—DIY-based or otherwise—is best when accompanied by wine and snacks. Use your own judgment on this one. You should also probably make sure to have a pair of scissors or two available for yarn cutting...but this is secondary to the wine. Duh.
Step 4: Set up your space.
If you pre-bought yarn, arrange it in the space your party will be hanging out in. It helps speed up the selection process if you organize by color, but a huge bin of assorted shades is also fun to dig through! Also make sure there is plenty of floor or chair space for people to work in; place snacks and bevies near by.
Bonus step: Create a crafty music mix!
A playlist of your favorite music will help people get into their arm knitting-groove. If you enjoy a theme (I personally, am a huge fan), consider including songs like "Sweater" by Weezer, "Do the Sweater" by Sweater Girls, and "She's Crafty" by the Beastie Boys.
Once your scarf party begins, let everyone pick out four balls of yarn, get comfy and get them started on their cowls (see instructions on following page).
Not the stand-up-in-front-of-a-room-and-teach kind of gal or guy? No problem! Just keep a computer or mobile device near, and click play on my video tutorial.
Now, stand back and watch the magic happen. It's pretty gratifying to see people's faces as they create a cool accessory themselves. Enjoy!
Arm Knit Eternity Scarf
(SPECIAL ABBREVIATION: AK = arm knit)
Holding all strands of yarn together as if they were one yarn, cast on 7 sts.
1st Row: AK to end.
Repeat 1st Row until piece measures 30"/76cm, or desired length. Bind off.
Using either a tapestry needle and 1 strand of yarn, or your fingers and all strands to seam short ends together.
Weave in ends and wear!
Happy arm knitting!
Vickie Howell is a designer, author, host pf PBS' Knitting Daily with Vickie Howell, and International Spokesperson for Yarnspiration.com. She's taught tens of thousands of people to arm knit both live and virtual through YouTube and The Today Show. For more info, follow @vickiehowell in all of the usual places!
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