Book Review: Arm Knitting by Mary Beth Temple

Arm Knitting

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I’ll admit that I was a bit leery of the arm knitting craze when it first started. One of my students, who suffers from a medical condition that includes hand and wrist pain, found arm knitting and was able to continue knitting even when she was having a flare up, so I considered giving it another chance.
And then, Mary Beth Temple came out with Arm Knitting: How to Make a 30-Minute Infinity Scarf and Other Great Projects, and all my fears were laid to rest. This is an incredible little booklet. It opens with a 15 page Getting Started section that includes written instructions and large, clear progress photos. This section explains how to cast on; form the plain, twisted, and knotted stitches; bind off; seam; weave in ends; change colors with vertical or horizontal stripes or color blocking; increase; decrease; align patterned yarns (a great tip for any project)!; and finish projects with details like necklines, fringe, and pom-poms. The combination of the written instructions, tips, and photos make all the steps really clear.

The booklet then moves on into 15 patterns (most of which can be seen on the booklet’s Ravelry source page here). While the booklet includes the plain, chunky cowls and scarves you’d expect from arm knitting, there are unexpected arm knitting projects, like a wrap, shaped shawl, cape, and capelet, and projects featuring interesting color changes.

The patterns are written very clearly, with no abbreviations, and are perfect for beginners. At the same time, they allow for customization by more advanced arm knitters and include tips for variations. Each project also has multiple large photographs – including pictures both on and off models.

Pattern difficulty is rated on a scale of one to three. The booklet includes 6 level one, 6 level two, and 3 level 3 patterns. The final page of the book includes a pattern index with a list of pages where the pattern and its images appear as well as the type and quantity of yarn used and the number of stitches to cast on. I should also mention that the opening table of contents has thumbnails of each pattern, so they are easy to find.

By the way, you can also find a whole companion series of instructional videos on the Arm-Knitting website.

I’m giving this book 5 stars for being so clear and easy to follow, and for providing such great instructions. I was honestly surprised by the capabilities of arm knitting, but I guess I should have known what to expect from Mary Beth! (You can read my interview with her here.)

As we slide into the holiday season, this book becomes even more timely. Each of the projects could be finished really quickly for a last minute holiday gift. The booklet would also make a great gift for a young crafter in your life, or someone who has expressed interest in arm knitting.

Full disclosure: A free review copy of Arm Knitting: How to Make a 30-Minute Infinity Scarf and Other Great Projects was provided by Design Originals. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

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