It’s great when you get hold of a book about a craft that is completely new to you and you love it from the start… I was ordering yarn so that I could have a go, literally minutes after the book arrived through my letter box.
As you can see from the pictures here, a lot of the projects are really enticing, which made me enthusiastic about learning this new skill.
I sometimes find it really tricky to learn from pictures, but the ones in Arm and Finger Knitting are plentiful, clear and instructive, so I didn’t have too much trouble. I taught myself from the book and nearly completed an Infinity Scarf too, all in the time it took to watch a couple of episodes of Cranford (and drink a Cuba Libre!), so you can see how straightforward it is. And very gratifying having something to wear almost immediately. My kind of crafting!
I didn’t really know what to expect – for some reason I thought that arm knitting would involve enormous movements of the arms which would mean no one would share the sofa with me (result!), but it was much more restrained than that, and I found it very intuitive. I only had a couple of issues – I struggled a bit with casting on, because you really have to make sure you are holding each bit of yarn in the right place and in the right way, but once you see the sense of it, that flows pretty easily. When making the scarf itself, the pattern calls for you to use 4 strands of yarn, and I did make the rookie error of losing a strand at once stage – I had to unknit a couple of rows, but that’s no real trial when a row is only 8 stitches!
I confess I haven’t tried the finger knitting, but would really like to, especially as quite a few of the projects combine the two techniques really nice – I love the arm knitted cushion with the woven finger knitting strips, and will definitely be having a go of that one. Looking at the technique pictures, and at some of the smaller things you can do with finger knitting (corsage, hair bow, hearts), I think it would be a great technique to do with kids. Especially with kids like mine who struggle with motor skills and would find fingers easier than knitting needles I am sure.
There’s a great mix of projects in the book – some for the home and some to wear, and I really like the variety of different yarns that are suggested too – there are lots that are new to me. Laura has a real knack for selecting the right yard for the right project, but if you want to start experimenting (why not?), there’s some really good information about how to substitute yarn for the projects in the book.
So, here’s my finished scarf!
I used the suggested yarn brands of Rowan Big Wool and Rowan Thick and Thin (and ordered from the super-fast Deramores who are fantastic), but chose different colours – I went with the Big Wool in a shade called Champion (every time I read that, I say it in a Yorkshire accent in my head), and for the Thick and Thin I selected the shade called Soapstone. When they arrived I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t work together, but they actually look great knitted up.
Here’s the scarf in action, all ready for the scary cold weather we have today:
I completely love it! So thanks to Cico Books for the opportunity to be part of the tour, and to Laura for writing such a fun book!