Your No-Equipment-Needed Guide to Arm-Knitting a Scarf
Did you know your body has built-in knitting needles, and they happen to be attached to your shoulders? Well, let Noelle Sharp, maker of Aporta’s seriously cozy cowls and beanies, introduce you to arm knitting, an especially hands-on way to make a dreamy, chunky scarf. Everything you need to get in up to your elbows...
ROUND UP YOUR MATERIALS
“You can use a really bulky yarn, but what I have done in the past is gotten three skeins of wool yarn that’ll fit on a 10 or 13 knitting needle—it will say that on the packaging—and lined up the ends of each skein to basically make one piece of yarn out of three strands. I really like the Patons Classic Wool Worsted, which you can get at any Michaels and is a great price for 100% wool. Or Brown Sheep Company wool out of Nebraska is what all of my hats are made out of—it’s awesome and comes in like 60 colors.”
GET IT STARTED
“You’ll be treating both of your arms like knitting needles, so one of your arms will be taking the three skeins and casting on stitches onto the other arm. I like to use my left arm to cast on stitches to my right arm using the technique called the long-tail cast-on, but you can also look up different casting-on techniques online! The long tail creates a very neat cast-on and will give you a clean edge. It's quick and easy to learn:
First, pull about 20 inches from the ball of yarn (or in this case, all three). Make a slipknot halfway down that loose yarn.
Next, slide the slipknot onto your right arm. Hook the tail yarn around your left thumb and the working yarn (what’s on the other side of the slipknot) on your left index finger. Insert your right arm, from the back to the front, into the loop made by the yarn held in your thumb. Then, from above, insert your right arm into the loop made by the yarn held in your index finger.
Pull your thumb and your index finger out and pull the yarn tight. Repeat steps these steps until your desired number of stitches has been cast on. I’ll do about fourteen stitches all the way up my arm. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you end up taking it off your arm, it kind of ends up relaxing, and it’s a little more open than something that’s really finely knit.”
KNIT, KNIT, KNIT, KNIT, KNIT
“Once you have those stitches on right your arm, you can start knitting. You kind of make your hands a point, and as you knit through a loop with your left hand from underneath—starting with the one closest to your right wrist—pull it off the new stitch and transfer it to your left arm, slipping it off your right hand in the process, tugging the loop closed a little bit. Do that with all 14 stitches, and once have all the stitches on the left arm, you’ll take those off and transfer them to your right arm. You continue until you run out of yarn or the scarf is the length that you want.”
FINISH IT UP
“When you’re casting off, you want to make sure you do so really loosely so you’re matching the tightness of how you cast on in the beginning. Start by looping the tail end of your yarn through the second-to-last stitch on your arm from front to back. Pull the tail around and slip it through the front of the last stitch, sliding it off your hand as you do. Repeat with the rest of the stitches. Then take a large embroidery needle, stitch your ends into the scarf to hide them, and knot them. Now you have yourself an arm scarf!”