Learn Arm Knitting with Woolly Element

We love Woolly Element. It's so cool to see Clare creating her extreme knitting pieces. We aren't ready for those giant needles just yet, but Clare was kind enough to share her pro tips for learning arm knitting. It's perfect for those of us who are new to knitting or just looking to try something different. Thank you, Clare! 

Learn A New Craft This Spring - Arm Knitting with Woolly Element, Inspired by Flax and Twine

At Woolly Element, we LOVE large scale knitting. But we also know that high quality, super chunky yarn and industrial sized needles come at high price points and may be hard to find.  Enter: arm knitting. With arm knitting, you can use a variety of yarn types, often layering up several strands at once to get that super bulky look. There is no need for needles - all you need is your arms and your yarn. Finally, arm knitting is perfect for first-timers and experienced knitters alike, and it is super FUN. So, what are we waiting for? Let's get started.

My arm knitting journey

I have the opportunity to travel A LOT and so I am always bringing along projects for the plane. When I traveled to Australia in 2017, I brought along a print out of arm knitting instructions from Anne Weil (Flax and Twine) and some yarn… and I learned how to arm knit on the plane. It took some trial and error (and it stirred a lot of interest from flight attendants and other passengers), but I got the hang of it, and by the end of my flight, I was well underway with my first arm knitting project.

 Clare Kearney of Woolly Element arm knits a chunky scarf with Little Dandelion, K1S1 yarn, 100% merino wool, on a flight back to Dallas.

Clare Kearney of Woolly Element arm knits a chunky scarf with Little Dandelion, K1S1 yarn, 100% merino wool, on a flight back to Dallas.

At about this time last year, I was looking to put this new skill to use. I was so excited to find Flax and Twine's adorable arm knit bunny and decided to make one for my niece for her 1st birthday (which happened to land on Easter!). Check out how adorable it is in this super short video: Giant Arm Knit Bunny

If you are at all interested in trying your hand at this, I highly encourage you give it a go. Here is the full pattern for this giant arm knit bunny, with step-by-step video instructions on how to arm knit (again, great for learners and beginners) and how to create and construct this lovable bunny for someone special this Spring.

The price point is $6, and Flax and Twine is offering a limited number of 20% off discounts -- just use the discount code: HOPPING

Through my own trial and error, here are some tips and tricks to help you make this beautiful bunny:

  • If you are a traditional knitter but new to arm knitting, note that you don't "flip" your work with arm knitting. Instead, you go back and forth, moving the stitches from your left arm to your right, and then from your right arm to your left. So even though you'll use all knit stitches, you'll actually create a stockinette stitch (flat on one side, bumpy on the other) instead of a garter stitch. This is all you need to learn and do to create this bunny. Note: if you do in fact want to make something in the garter stitch, you'll need to knit one row, then purl the next row, and repeat. This is what I did to make the scarf above. 
  • Who will be loving this bunny once you're done? If that "somebunny" is a young child, you'll want to consider certain modifications:
    • For the eyes - use a different color yarn (black, blue, brown, etc) instead of buttons.
    • For the ears - skip on the optional gauge wire. The floppy ears are super cute! 
    • Think ahead about the stuffing. You'll want to match the color of the filing to the color of your yarn. When I made my bunny, I had a polyester / fiberfill stuffing ready to use, but then I realized that it would likely fall out between the stitches. So I filled that stuffing in a burlap material and made a kind of handmade pillow, and then I filled the bunny with the stuffed pillow. However, I would recommend following Anne's recommendations here -- you can get a quilting batting as the filler or you can reuse an old blanket or comforter, if you have one available. 

As you start and progress on your first arm knit project, please reach out with any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at clare@woollyelement.com or on Instagram

Happy knitting and happy spring!