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Craft Diaries // That time I learnt: Giant Arm Knitting

There are so many crafts out that that I’ve always wanted to try, or have started and then given up so I’ve made it my mission to actually attend workshops and learn properly about all of the crafts I’ve wanted to try this autumn – this Craft Diaries blog series will let you know how I get on!
 
Knitting is one of the crafts I’ve tried to pick up and then have abandoned a million times, and I’d heard arm knitting was easier than needles, so I figured it was more likely to stick! I stay in London for work sometimes, so one Monday evening I booked myself onto the Giant Arm Knitting Workshop at London Craft Club, to give it a go - I can honestly say I loved it, now have a rather lovely giant knit blanket adorning our spare bed and everyone in my family is getting giant knit blankets for Christmas…
 
London Craft Club is set in a lovely square just off Tottenham Court Road – it’s in an office building which is a beautiful converted town house so I wasn’t entirely sure I was in the right place, but once through the main door and down the stairs, I was greeted with an Instagram worthy wonderland of crafty goodness and more importantly, giant balls of wool!
 
London craft club
 
The class was taken by a lovely tutor called Eleanor who was super friendly and as the workshop progressed and our questions got more difficult, it became clear she really knew her stuff! She talked us through the stages one by one and made sure everyone was up to speed and knitting correctly before moving on to the next stage, but there was also a little 'how to' booklet provided in case we wanted to make our own at home. I also really appreciated that Eleanor told us where we could get the wool if we wanted to do some more - the stuff we used in the workshop was by Woolly Mahoosive and was giant vegan acrylic wool - I've since got lost on the website for hours trying to decide on my next colour choice.
 
woolly mahoosive giant wool
  
In the actual workshop, I choose this lovely dusty pink because our spare bedroom is a dusty pink and sage green planty wonderland and I knew I wanted a cosy blanket for that bed.  The wool itself isn’t actually spun like traditional wool and is more like a wodge of fibres all pulled together – I was a bit worried it would fall apart, but as you actually starting stitching, the wool sort of twists to hold it all together. One of the most important things is actually to keep unravelling your wool ball as you go, to stop tension building and the fibres snapping apart.
 
dusty pink giant wool

 

 Anyway, first things first – casting on! The main thing you need to know how to do is to make a slipknot for this bit, everything else is really easy. To make your tail (which is used for casting on, and then any excess is used for tassels) you put three arm lengths of wool over your shoulder, and then make a slipknot around your wrist. I started with my right arm but I don’t think it really matters. To cast on is then just like normal knitting (google it as I can’t eloquently explain how to pull one loop through another) but using your arms as your needles. I think we did 13 stitches to get the blanket wide enough to be a topper.

 

casting on

  

 After that, it's just like normal knitting except using your arms as the needles - it's far far far quicker too as it is so chunky! Again if you're only using this blog post as a guide as to how to make your own, I'd recommend googling a basic knit stitch. My main tip when using your arms as needles is that if you remember to keep your palms facing each other when you're entering the stitch from either side, you can't really go wrong.

You basically just keep going like that until you have about three arm lengths of wool left, and then cast off (this is basically closing down each of your stitches and finishing with a knot). You can then use the excess to make tassels.

I didn't actually take any photos of it in progress as I raced off ahead and finished my blanket in 40 mins. I'm rather happy with the result!

  

finished giant blanket

 

I'm by no means a pro now but I did think it was super simple to pick up - once I've done my massive wool order, I'll probably watch a Youtube video or something to jog my mind but I'm now fairly confident in my ability to arm knit some Christmas presents! [That being said, I'm not sure what I'd do if I dropped a stitch or wanted to do anything other than blankets, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!] I'll probably do a story over on instagram when I pick it back up.

I'd definitely recommend giving it a go if you've been thinking about it.

Difficulty scale: 3/10. 

Let me know in the comments if you've given it a go or want to!

- Helen xo

 

 [Ps. If you want to give this exact workshop a go, it’s at London Craft Club which is super near Tottenham Court Road station – if you’re not local like me and want to stay over, there’s a cheapish Hub by Premier Inn just round the corner which is where I stayed. The workshop is £65 and is 2.5hrs long. It’s perfect for beginners as no prior knowledge is needed and there were 8 of us in the class. There’s a limited number of colours you can choose for your blanket, but you select that when booking. This isn’t an affiliate link or anything, I just had a really good time!]

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