How to Arm Knit: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Arm knitting is the latest craze in yarn crafts. This large-scale knitting technique is perfect for experienced knitters as well as for beginners who have never even picked up a pair of knitting needles. The idea behind arm knitting is that you can create large knit fabrics by using your forearms instead of knitting needles. The advantages of learning how to arm knit are that you don’t need any special tools to complete your knitting projects and you can create much larger stitches than you could with traditional needles. Arm knitting is the perfect way to create large, warm blankets, chunky scarves and cowls, and large floor poufs.

We’ve created this beginner’s guide to arm knitting to help you get started on your first arm-knit project. We’ve also included some suggestions for the best kinds of yarn to use for your arm knitting projects. The following steps give a basic outline of how to arm knit.

Start by measuring your wrists and arms and compare them to a needle size to start arm knitting.

Everyone’s arms are different sizes.

The following steps will give you a very basic outline of the steps you’ll follow on how to arm knit when crafting an arm-knit project.

Casting-On

To cast on, begin by making a slipknot and putting your right arm through the loop. Make a loop in the yarn and place this loop onto the same arm to cast on another stitch. Continue making loops and placing them on the same arm until you’ve cast on enough stitches for your project.

How to Arm Knit

  1. Put your left hand through the loop nearest your right hand, grab the working yarn, and pull a loop through. Slip the new stitch onto your left arm, and drop the stitch you just worked off your right arm; repeat this step until all the stitches are on your left arm.
  2. To work the next row, work Step 1, but going in the opposite direction: Put your right hand through the loop nearest your left hand, grab the working yarn, and pull a loop through. Slip the new stitch onto your right arm, and drop the stitch you just worked off your left arm; repeat this step until all the stitches are on your right arm.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until your project is the desired length, ending with the stitches on your left arm.

Binding Off

To bind off, work 2 stitches onto your right arm. Pull the stitch closer to your elbow over the stitch closer to your hand and off over your hand. Work 1 more stitch from your left arm, and pull the stitch closer to your right elbow over the stitch closer to your right hand and off over your hand; repeat this last step until you have no stitches remaining on your left arm and one stitch remaining on your right arm. Cut the yarn and pull it through the last loop to fasten off.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of arm knitting, you may be wondering what kinds of yarn work best for this craft. Because your arms are so large in comparison to traditional knitting needles, you’ll want to use very bulky yarn for arm knitting—the thicker the yarn, the better! Jumbo (CYC #7) yarn is best for arm knitting, but you can also use multiple strands of bulky or super bulky yarn to create a similar effect.

Knit Collage Wanderlust Yarn is a Jumbo #7 and can be used on size 50 needles, or more loosely on your arms. Learn how to arm knit with this beautiful yarn!

Knit Collage Wanderlust Yarn is a Jumbo #7 and can be used on size 50 needles, or more loosely on your arms. The colors are so fun!

Get started on your first arm knitting project by browsing our selection of jumbo and bulky yarn. Some of our favorite picks for arm knitting yarn include Knit Collage Wanderlust. This soft, jumbo yarn is made from 100 percent wool and is hand-carded and hand-spun. Montana Yarn is super bulky and is also made from 100 percent new wool. If you’d prefer a blended yarn, try Macro Yarn. This super bulky yarn is made from 50 percent wool, 40 percent acrylic and 10 percent alpaca.

For more information on arm knitting and how to arm knit, check out Lisa’s 10 Truths about Arm Knitting and our Arm Knitting Video How-To and Stash-Busting Idea.