Words and Photo by Lauren Bruce

Imagine a blanket so cozy and so easy to make that you can knit one for the perfect gift this holiday season — even if you’ve never touched a knitting needle. You may even end up keeping it for yourself.

First, you’ll start with some yarn. I recommend PremierYarns.com for the cheapest bulk yarn. I chose Couture Jazz Yarn and ordered 8 skeins (another word for rolls). You can also swing by the Eugene Textile Center. Just be sure to pick a bulky yarn.

Step 1: Cast the yarn onto your right arm with a slip knot. The tail of the yarn—the part that’s not connected to the rest of the skein—should be about five-feet long. Tighten the slip knot around your forearm so that the yarn is tense but still flexible

Step 2: Now comes the tricky part. Take the tail of the yarn and hold it in your left hand between your pointer finger and your middle finger. Then, take your working yarn and hold it between your pinky and ring finger. Next, take your thumb and tuck it under the working yarn. Now with your right hand, slip it under the yarn your thumb just picked up, over the yarn between your pinky and ring finger and then through the two of them (see photos). If this part is confusing, check out Simply Maggie’s YouTube video for arm knitting cast on tips.

Step 3: Once you’ve cast on this stitch, repeat step 2 for a total of 18 stitches. Once you have 18 stitches on your right arm, you’re ready to transfer them to your left. The hardest part is over! Holding your working yarn in your right hand, take the first stitch on your right arm and pull it over the working yarn until it is off your hand. Turn that loop towards yourself and slide your left arm through the stitch until it is on your left arm. Make sure to tighten the stitches as you go.

Step 4: Hold the working yarn in your right hand again and slip the next stitch off, sliding it onto your left arm. Repeat until all 18 stitches are on your left arm. Once they are all on your left arm, transfer them back onto your right just as you did with the left. When the skein is just about finished, simply tie your second skein onto the end of the first one. You can tuck the ends into the blanket later!

Step 5: Once you’ve used up all 8 skeins, or however long you chose to make your blanket, it’s time to cast off. To cast off, knit two stitches just as you have been doing in step 3 and 4. Then take the first stitch you just did and pull it over the second stitch and off your hand. Next, knit one stitch and pull the other stitch over the one you just knit. Pull it off your hand. Repeat this until you have only one stitch on your arm left. Take the tail and pull it through the last stitch and off your arm. Finally, cut the tail about one foot long and wrap it into your blanket and you’re done!