adventures in arm-knitting

I think my biggest problem, and the reason why I’m incapable of committing to a project, is that I want to be seeing results as soon as I’ve started. That’s why quilting is frustrating for me – there’s so much preparation to be done before you can actually see the quilt come together. And that’s why I like knitting – you’re officially started once the first stitch is on the needle.

Generally, letting me loose on Pinterest is like letting a small child loose in a toy shop – there will be lots of shrieking, a lot of mess, and it’ll all end in tears. But as I had finally finished knitting a snood that I’d found on Pinterest (estimated time from cast-on to cast-off by pattern creator: 2 weeks; actual time: nearly 2 years), I was looking for a quick project to work on to help me unwind after work, which has been extremely stressful of late. I found this pattern (such as it is):  http://www.simplymaggie.com/how-to-arm-knit-a-blanket-in-one-hour and was instantly drawn to the promise of having a blanket to cuddle up under within an hour. I couldn’t find the wool that she used on Amazon without having to wait weeks for it to arrive from the States, but I found Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Oatmeal, which was the same gauge. I’d never thought of ordering wool from Amazon before but I’d definitely do so again, particularly for wools that I know I wouldn’t be able to get in my local Hobbycraft.

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The one thing I did do, as ever, was not read the instructions properly. I’d seen that you knitted with three skeins of yarn, so I bought three balls of wool. What I’d glossed over was that you need two lots of three. Oh.

Anyway, I soldiered on, reasoning that if it did only take an hour, I could always buy more, take it down, and remake it later. I did find that I had to pause and rewind the video a lot to get my head around some of the techniques, which  frustrated me – I prefer pictures and words to video tutorials, and the fact that almost every single site I went onto, rather than explaining how to cast on that way just sent me back to Maggie’s videos was the cause of my just throwing everything on the floor in a strop.

But once I’d had a bit of a breather, and tackled it again a few days’ later, I found that I was racing through it. And, as promised, it took an hour from casting on to casting off.

It’s a bit messy and I’d like it to be bigger so I can actually get properly wrapped up in it. It also does look a bit net-like when it’s spread out, which is why I want to remake it a bit larger, cause it is more like a blanket when it’s scrunched together. My theory was greater area = more blanket to snuggle under. I am tempted to buy more of the same wool, take it apart, and re-do it to make it larger and neater at some point.

I can’t decide whether I think the speed of arm-knitting is a good or a bad thing. Having a project that can be started and finished before Gogglebox is over means that I’m a lot more likely to be able to commit to them once I’ve decided to make the project. But, on the other hand, I do find knitting to be therapeutic when I’ve had a tough day at work, and it’s nice to have a little bit of something to work on each night. Wool is not cheap (the three balls of wool I used cost over £25 in total) and to get through that much in just an hour would make this a very expensive habit if I wanted to have something to work on over multiple evenings.

What do you think about arm-knitting? Have you ever tried it, and if so how did you get on?

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