Knitting: it’s not just your grandma ’ s thing anymore.

You’d be amazed at how many students regularly practice this art form, including yours truly. Knitting holds a world of possibility and allows the creative juices to flow. Once you get the basic knitting stitch down, and get good at counting your stitches (my first scarf resulted in a multi-coloured disaster with holes, dropped stitches, and an asymmetrical line), it becomes second nature. Now, I can watch Netflix and knit freely without even looking at what I’m doing. I find the repetitive motions are great for stress relief, like with colouring—as university students, we all know how essential decompressing is.

By mid-November, it’s almost time to start thinking about the holidays and start gift shopping. Though knitting a scarf requires hours of work, there are alternative options that make quick and easy presents for friends, or something nice and cozy for yourself.

Ever heard of arm knitting? How about finger knitting? A rising trend that takes an hour or less to learn, even less to complete a project (try 20 minutes), and needs no materials except your own handy limbs, it’s one of my all-time favourites. I learned most of my knitting from YouTube tutorials, and this one was no exception. What started as an evening with nothing to do turned into a downright problem (or hobby—whichever term you prefer).


Warm and cozy in a finished arm-knit infinity scarf

Arm knitting puts all preconceptions associated with knitting and turns it on its head. You don’t even need to know how to properly knit, since you aren’t using the typical paraphernalia—all you really need is the yarn. Using thick yarn (usually a Level 6 Super Bulky yarn) creates a fuller, chunkier effect for scarves, and can be found for under $10 per ball at any craft store. For a local alternative, Mad About Ewe on Wesley St. downtown also has a wide selection of yarns. Personally, I found that two balls of chunky yarn at 106 yards (97 m) each gave me enough leftover not to stress too much about what length I wanted my scarf to be. Though the colour selection and chunkiness of the yarn is ultimately up to personal preference, I would recommend Loops & Threads Cozy Wool (90 yards/82 m) or Lion Brand Yarns’ Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (106 yards/97 m) as great starting points.

After binding off, or finishing, the scarf, all you need to do to make your creation an infinity scarf is to take your tail end (last bit of yarn) and thread both ends through each other—kind of like sewing the ends together. Voila—there you have an easy Christmas present, or something to keep you nice and warm as the temperatures dip low this winter.