Back in January I found myself in Denver (more on that later). While there I got to finally meet Anne Weil from Flax and Twine. We connected on-line years ago and have that sort of internet friendship that can do no wrong. So to meet and hug in person was such a delight. My last day in Denver Anne happened to be teaching an arm knitting class at Fancy Tiger. How could I resist?!
Arm knitting was surprisingly fun and easy. And this is coming from a non knitter. Anne explained everything so well, demonstrating the technique herself - have you ever tried to teach a class with your arms literally tied up? In the class we covered the basic technique, yarns to use, and knit up the foundation for a pouf.
What's a pouf? Well, in my house it's become a footrest, a book rest, a toy, a dog hair catcher, a perch for small children, and a back roller. It's whatever you want it to be. Plus, it looks cool.
The most awesome thing about arm knitting is that the yarn is the only supply you need. Barring amputation you have everything else you need.
I made mine out of an orange Wool and the Gang wool. You use 4 skeins of the thick stuff, officially referred to as super bulky (200-250g). Orange, because well, orange! We cast on, made a gauge swatch, then frogged our swatch and started at the project. For a pouf you essentially make a blanket then cinch the ends through the casting on and off stitches. (are there more correct terms for that?) By the end of the class I had my blanket part down and went to the airport armed (ha!) with the instructions to finish the pouf. I hugged Anne goodbye and got out of Denver on Superbowl Sunday.
At home I filled an orange pillowcase with buckwheat hulls, sewed it shut, then cinched my pouf around it, tying it closed. Anne suggested using an old duvet or comforter, even something you find at the thrift store. I wanted something more substantial so it could be a footstool or perch for the kids, hence the strange purchase of 35 pounds of buckwheat hulls (for multiple projects).
Anne literally wrote the book on arm knitting. Knitting Without Needles is a beautiful and fascinating book. It covers both finger and arm knitting - only used your fingers, hands, and arms. And it is so much more than scarves! Despite the freakish amount of quilts in this house and a treasured crochet blanket from a friend I think I want to try my hand at a cozy blanket next, but the pillows and the tote... The book, and Anne, are gorgeous and inspirational.
Denver was a lucky trip. On my way home from QuiltCon judging I fit in an Instructors' Summit with Craftsy. (Anne is also a Craftsy Instructor so that's how we were able to meet.) It was great to get back to Craftsy to connect with staff there and other instructors. Filming my class and ongoing participation with students has been a tremendous experience.
Now would be a good time to tell you about a promotion Craftsy has going on (seriously, like attending the Summit, this post is only about lucky timing.) For every class you sign up for until March 13 you are entered into a draw to win $1000 for your favourite craft based charity! If you've never signed up for a Craftsy class now is definitely a good time to do it. There are so many interesting and informative classes on Craftsy. Did you know they even have gardening classes? I just discovered that myself. I'm a huge fan of the cooking classes too and am learning photography skills.
Full disclosure: there is a small incentive for instructors here. For every five NEW buyers I get $100 (That is people who've never purchased a Craftsy class before). That's not my concern though. What I do love is that if 50% of instructors drive at least 1 new buyer they will double the charitable donation.
To be entered in the draw for the donation you have to purchase classes through this link. Feel free to share.
Now, back to regularly scheduled crosswords with my feet up on my pouf.