Sunday, September 7, 2014

Deb's 45 Minute Arm Blanket Fail


I was intrigued when I saw the "How To Arm Knit A Blanket in 45 Minutes" pin pop up on my Facebook feed (photo by I immediately ordered the yarn from Amazon and sat down today to give it a whirl. 

Here it is a bit "staged". I scrunched the sides in a bit so that you could see the stitches more clearly.

And here it is spread out a bit more:

The finished blanket is making me feel a bit meh about the whole thing though. Here are my thoughts on the process and the finished item:

OMG, the knots! The yarn used in the tutorial, Premier Yarn "Couture Jazz", is full of knots. I was pretty surprised that they couldn't pull off a continuous run of yarn for skeins that only measure 16.5 yards.  

For anyone looking to use this yarn in their project, check pricing. I ordered it with my Amazon Prime account and ended up paying $6.47 per skein with free 2 day shipping. A later web search revealed that I could've paid $2.50 per skein with $10 shipping (a $20 savings) if I'd ordered directly from Premier Yarns. They didn't have the same color way but they had one that was close.

The arm knitting itself wasn't too bad. From start to finish, it took me about 48 minutes (this included the time spent unknitting messed up rows, stopping to tie on new skeins, and dealing with loose ends/knots).

I had a hard time figuring out which way to turn the stitches when transferring from arm to arm. Simply Maggie's video instructions are wonderful - she goes slowly and repeats the instructions several times to make sure that you "get it". I'm obviously not a visual learner though as I ended up twisting half of my stitches. Next time I'll have to pay way more attention to my knitting direction.

Weaving in ends was an exercise in frustration for me. The blanket is so loose that they have nowhere to hide. I ended up just pulling the knots REALLY tight and snipping the ends off.

The blanket grows a lot more in width than it does in length. I ended up only using nine skeins of yarn to get a blanket that reached from my chin to past my toes (approximately 60"). The 18 stitches that I cast on grew to a little over 72". If I were to do it over, I'd cast on 14 stitches and knit an extra 2 or 3 rows.

I must have fat arms. Even though I tightened the stitches on my arm, my gauge looks nothing like the video. If I were to do it over, I'd definitely have to double the yarn. Even though it would double the price of the blanket, I feel that it would make it more useable. With a single strand, the blanket is very mesh-like. Doubling things up would make a thicker, more solid fabric. This yarn is so light that I don't think that it would add too much weight.

So, would I do it again? Maybe. Eh. I guess I'll have to.  I'll probably end up unknitting this thing, ordering a second set of skeins (the less expensive ones from Premier Yarns in the lighter grey color) and redoing it with the revisions that I mentioned. I just don't see myself using the blanket as it is right now and I hate to feel like I wasted $78 worth of yarn. 

On the bright side, now I can cross arm knitting off of my Crafting Bucket List. I'll have to think of some other projects where I can use my newly acquired skill. Hopefully I'll have better results the next time.