Stopping in the Middle of Arm Knitting
Today starts the beginning of a little mini-series on the questions I get asked most in my arm knitting classes. The first one of which is always: Is stopping in the middle of arm knitting possible? The answer: of course, it is! I’ll explain some more helpful details below. If you are interested in learning the basics of how to arm knit, I recommend my How-to Arm Knit PDF, my Creativebug arm knitting video classes or my book, Knitting Without Needles all as a great resources.
In the coming months (yes, other craft and original content will continue!), I will review some of the most burning questions you all have. It’s a little thing I like to call Arm Knitting Know-How! Here are the questions you all keep asking that we’re going to cover:
:: What is the best yarn choice for arm knitting? Can I use less expensive yarn? And, what are the best, inexpensive yarns to use for arm knitting? Or, on the flip side, I’m ready to spend some money, what are the best luxury yarns to use for arm knitting?
:: Why is there a twist at the bottom of my stitches?
:: How do I purl in arm knitting?
:: Lastly, when someone buys a kit from me, I get the question, what do I do with this hank of yarn? How do I make a ball out of it?
What else? Ask me in the comments below! I’m happy to help answer questions about arm knitting!
Stopping In The Middle of Arm Knitting
Not only is stopping in the middle of arm knitting possible, it’s easy to do. When you want to take a break or you’re done knitting for a time, simply take your stitches off your arm one by one and put them on to a holder.
My favorite thing to use when stopping in the middle of arm knitting is a gift wrap roll. But, anything rigid works very well. I’ve used everything from a broomstick to a hammer handle to a pool cue (watch the chalk though!). Simply pull each stitch from your arm on to your chosen holder and set it aside.
If I don’t have something rigid, I simply string my stitches on to a piece of waste yarn.
When you are stopping in the middle of arm knitting, it helps to remember what arm you had it on and which way should be facing you. But, never fear, there are other tricks to figure out which way it goes back on and on to which arm.
If you are knitting only, as you arm knit, the knit side faces you, also called the right side of the fabric. When you pick up arm knitting that you’ve put down, you first want to orient the fabric on a table or flat surface so that the right side or knit side is facing towards you.
If you are doing a stitch with no “right” side, like the garter stitch (which is knit 1 row, purl 1 row in arm knitting) or the moss or seed stitch, the way to figure out the right side of the fabric is to look for your tail. The tail should go at your left hip. If it is hanging out the bottom left corner, then you know that the right side of the arm knitting is facing you.
The next thing to look for is the working yarn. The working yarn should always end up at your hand. So, if the working yarn is to your left, the stitches should go back on your right arm. If the working yarn is to the right, the stitches should go back on your left arm, so that the working yarn ends up at your hand.
As you put the stitches back on your arm, remember to keep the left leg (side) of the stitch behind your arm and the right leg (side) of the stitch in front of your arm. (In other words, the leg of the stitch that is behind your arm should be running towards the next stitch towards your elbow, and the side of the stitch (leg) that is in front of your arm should be running to the next stitch towards your hand).
The tendency is for the stitches to get really loose and big as you put them back on your arm. Then, the ones you haven’t put back on your arm get tighter and smaller. To help compensate for this, make sure you tighten the stitches to your arm as you put them on. Do this by pulling the part (or leg) of the stitch that is behind your arm (if they don’t pull easily, then the stitch is oriented on your arm incorrectly.) Continue to move this excess yarn through each stitch as you tighten them toward the working yarn at your hand.
If, when stopping in the middle of arm knitting, you put your stitches on a piece of waste yarn, sometimes a stitch or two from the last row of stitches you knit can fall through the stitch from the prior row.
If this happens, simply tug on both sides of the waste yarn to get that slipped stitch to come back up to the top. Then, continue to put this stitch back on your arm.
Hopefully, this is a great first step towards upping your arm knitting game! If you have questions you want me to add to your Arm Knitting Know How list, just pop them in the comments below!