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Best chunky yarn for arm knitting blankets, pillows, and more

Yarn crochet knitting featured

Knitting is a great and versatile creative hobby to pick up. For one thing, it’s therapeutic and calming for anyone with lots of stress or anxiety. For another, you end up with a cute and colorful product that will keep you warm even in the chilliest months. Plus, with the help of some chunky yarn, you can make much larger projects in much less time.

To help you choose the right materials for your knitting large projects (including arm knitting), I’ve laid out some of the best chunky yarn options on the market below.

Before we get to the list I’ll lay out some background info, but if you want to get started right away you can’t go wrong with any of the quick picks listed below.

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Best chunky yarn for arm knitting: Quick picks

Eastsure Chunky braid cotton yarn

Eastsure Chunky Braid Cotton Yarn

  • Perfect super chunky yarn for arm knitting
  • Cotton exterior with soft inner core
  • Machine washable and pet-friendly

LoopsStudio super chunky merino wool yarn

Loops Studio Giant Merino Wool

  • Jumbo yarn for arm knitting
  • Soft, 100% Merino wool material
  • Perfect for heavy blankets

Paintbox recycled t-shirt chunky yarn

Paintbox Yarns Recycled T-Shirt

  • Great for a variety of projects
  • 90% cotton and made from recycled t-shirts
  • Affordable and eco-friendly


How to choose the best chunky yarn for you

Yarn for arm knitting

Regardless of whether you’re getting into arm knitting or you just want an incredibly thick yarn for a project, you need to decide what kind of chunky yarn is best suited for your needs.

If you want a softer blanket for babies and toddlers, choosing a jumbo size 7 yarn will be a better choice than tube yarn. For a stiffer project, such as a pet bed, a thicker tube yarn will be a better option than a flimsy wool and acrylic blend.

Read also: Macrame cord: Where to buy and how to choose

If you prefer knitting with needles, or you want to try out arm knitting, there are different kinds of chunky yarns that will accommodate either or both.

If you know what kind of knitting you want to do and have a project in mind, the yarn you choose will make it easier or harder to do. Thicker yarn will result in a sturdier structure and won’t attract dust or hair. Smaller chunky yarns are often warmer and more malleable.

And of course, the material itself will decide whether your project is easy to clean or if it needs special care.

Where to buy chunky yarn

Although I link directly to my favorite chunky and super bulky yarns below, there are a few great shops to check out more products online. Here are my favorites:

Best chunky yarn (and larger) for arm knitting

Now that you know a bit more about chunky yarns, let’s check out a few of my favorites. Note that for the sake of this list I’m counting anything above a 5 on the Craft Yarn Council’s yarn weight scale.

That means there are plenty of jumbo options for those who want to set down their needles and try arm knitting!

1. Eastsure Chunky Braid Cotton Yarn

Eastsure Chunky braid cotton yarn

Best for: Arm knitting, pet beds, pillows, blankets

A fabulously soft big chunky yarn, this product maintains a cool temperature no matter what you turn it into. Made from hollow fiber surrounded by cotton, this yarn is effortlessly bendable but will retain some stiffness for more sturdy projects.

Because of the outer cotton material, it doesn’t shed or gather hairs like other yarns. It’s also conveniently machine washable and pet-friendly for a variety of uses.

One skein is roughly half a pound, meaning it’s lightweight but also a little smaller than comparable chunky yarn skeins. About two pounds of this yarn will result in a lap blanket or throw, so more skeins than other brands are necessary upon ordering.

2. Red Heart Irresistible Yarn

Red Heart Irresistible super chunky yarn

Best for: Finger knitting, pillows, blankets, afghans, scarves

This Irresistible yarn is a soft and comforting chunky yarn that you can knit or crotchet with needles or fingers into an effortless bulky product. A size seven jumbo yarn, it’s easy to use with 25-millimeter needles. Available in twenty-one colors, this yarn caters to any knitters who want a bulky knitting project.

The material is 90 percent acrylic and 10 percent wool for a luxurious feel and smooth knitting process. Because of this, any yarn cleaning must be done with hand-washing instead of a machine. 

Because it’s a little smaller than other yarns on this list, Red Heart’s Irresistible Yarn is ideal for a variety of flexible chunky knitting projects like pillow covers or adult booties.

3. HomeModa Studio Non-Mulesed Chunky Wool Yarn

Best for: Arm knitting, blankets, afghans, rugs, scarves

With a diameter of roughly two inches, this chunky knit blanket yarn is soft and supple for all your DIY blanket, rug, or afghan designs. The strands are easy to maneuver so that you can knit with your arms with ease. The tension of your knitting will depend on how tightly you make the loops.

The wool blend material provides excellent temperature regulation, so any project you create will be just the right amount of toasty. It’s dry clean only, so it will require careful maintenance or spot-cleaning if you want your projects to last.

The biggest skein is about two pounds, which will make one small baby blanket or scarf. A full-sized blanket uses about six or seven pounds of yarn.

4. Loops Studio Giant Merino Wool

LoopsStudio super chunky merino wool yarn

Best for: Arm knitting, heavy blankets, pillows, scarves

This 100 percent Merino wool yarn is the softest choice for blankets or throws. The ideal yarn for arm knitting, this chunky wool yarn is far too large for any kind of needle but is easily worked with your hands. 

The largest yarn skeins for this wool is ten pounds, which perfectly makes a proper twin-sized blanket. Because this giant yarn has the potential to be very heavy, knitting with looser loops will make your project larger and also spread the weight. If making a blanket, the finished project will have similar traits to weighted blankets.

The recommended care for Giant Merino Wool is to dry-clean only because of the fibers. Spot-cleaning is also possible, but taking care to avoid spills on the wool will allow it to last longer with greater strength and durability.

Note that this jumbo yarn ships from the EU, so US readers may need to wait a week or two for delivery (it’s worth it, trust me). If you absolutely can’t wait, US-based Loopy Mango sells another excellent super bulky Merino wool yarn in both large and small quantities.

5. Shanqian Giant Tube Yarn

Shanqian super chunky yarn tube

Best for: Arm knitting, pet beds, pillows, blankets

Another chunky yarn for arm knitting, Shanqian’s yarn strands are one inch in diameter for easy handling. Made completely from cotton, this yarn has no chance of breakage or fraying, meaning it won’t shed fibers or collect lint.

It’s lighter than the Merino wool above, with each skein weighing up to a single pound. Because it’s giant chunky yarn, it provides a much quicker project completion time than smaller yarns. It’s also machine washable, making maintenance much easier than comparable chunky yarn.

This yarn is one of the best for bulkier projects like DIY bed pets, as the thickness makes the yarn nice and stiff for easy shaping. But, because it’s so stiff, it also doesn’t have much elasticity. So when knitting, it’s vital to keep your loops nice and loose if you want a larger, less dense project.

6. Bernat Blanket Yarn

Bernat blanket super chunky yarn

Best for: Blankets, throws, home decor

A soft, chunky knit yarn for blankets and throws, this Bernat yarn comes in a variety of colors. Easy to knit with 25 mm needles or finger crochet, this isn’t quite the same caliber of thick yarn as the Merino wool or tube yarn. Instead, the weight is super bulky (6), the standard super chunky yarn for typical yarn stores.

Made from polyester instead of wool, each skein is soft and fluffy and a great alternative for anyone with wool allergies. An entire skein of this yarn weighs 300 grams, making it one of the lightest on this list. Due to the soft fibers, the yarn tends to pick up dust and pet hair.

The Bernat Blanket lineup includes just about every color under the sun. The brand makes a few other lines as well, incuding one specifically intended for baby blankets.

7. LB Collection Yooge Yarn

Lion Brand Collection Yooge jumbo yarn for arm knitting

Best for: Arm knitting, large blankets, afghans

This size 7 jumbo is a fantastic big yarn for arm knitting blankets, afghans, or bedspreads. A cotton and polyamide blend, Yooge is easy to care for by machine washing and drying. It’s also super easy to handle, making it an ideal arm knitting yarn for fast projects.

One skein weighs roughly five pounds, which can give blankets the feel of weighted comforters or keep DIY projects like pet beds in shape. Two of these skeins are enough to make a queen-sized blanket.

While this is the largest in the Lion Brand collection, it’ can be a bit hard to get your hands on. Thankfully, the brand makes plenty of other super chunky yarns that are much more readily available online.

8. Go Handmade Happy Chunky Double

Go Handmade Happy Chunky yarn

Best for: Blankets, baby accessories, pillows, bathmats

This 100 percent polyester chenille chunky yarn is incredibly soft and velvety and is one of the best choices for baby blankets or baby accessories. Easy to crochet or knit, Happy Chunky yarn uses six millimeters to ten millimeter-sized needles. 

Each skein is a total of 50 grams, keeping any project super lightweight and fluffy. Because of the polyester material, this bulky yarn is effortlessly cleaned in a washer and dryer. 

Happy Chunky Double Yarn also boasts an AZO certification, which is given to yarns that pass testing. AZO dyes found in wool can sometimes cause allergic reactions, so little to no AZO dyes will result in certification from the European Union.

Produced in Denmark, anyone in the EU can get their hands on this yarn at the link below, but readers outside the US might want to try another option.

9. Paintbox Yarns Recycled T-Shirt

Paintbox recycled t-shirt chunky yarn

Best for: Finger-knitting, blankets, rugs, afghans, scarves

Made from recycled jersey fabric, this t-shirt yarn is super bulky and great for a variety of knitting projects. 90 percent cotton and 10 percent synthetic material keep this yarn cool for projects like blankets or rugs, and it won’t shed like other, fluffier yarns.

Able to use with 10–15-millimeter needles or with fingers, this thick yarn is great for beginner knitters or seasoned veterans alike. It comes in 18 different colors, although the shades will vary slightly depending on the recycled fabric available.

Each skein is roughly two pounds and requires gentle hand-washing for maintenance. The width of the strands will be slightly different for each skein due to the nature of the fabric. 

For anyone wanting to experience an environmentally-conscious yarn, Paintbox’s t-shirt yarn has not been re-dyed, gone through extra processing, or resulted in misused water. Instead, the company refurbishes the fabric to knitting standards while also utilizing every aspect to cut back on waste.

Plus, it’s super affordable. You can also save more by grabbing a 5-ball value pack.

10. Alpaca Meadows Super Bulky Rug Yarn

Super bulky alpaca rug yarn

Best for: Arm knitting, rugs, pet beds, blankets

This often-elusive yarn comes from Suri and Huacaya alpaca wool. It is spun around a core of cotton to make the yarn extra bulky for large projects like rugs or throws. The yarn’s weight is jumbo 7, making it one of the bigger yarns sold by Alpaca Meadows.

Alpaca wool is incredibly soft and very warm, making this wool one of the best choices for floor coverings. It is also easy to use and knits or crochets without struggle. Each skein weighs about three and a half pounds.

This yarn uses ungraded secondary Alpaca fiber, meaning it uses the wool that helps to insulate an Alpaca during cold winters. Because of this, this yarn retains that insulating ability to provide a super warm and cozy material. 

Using alpaca wool is also very eco-friendly, so if you’re concerned about processing methods for other wools, you can consider Alpaca yarn for your next project.

Note that the link below goes to a relatively small shop, so it may be out of stock. If that’s the case, Debbie Bliss and Blue Sky Fibers also make great chunky alpaca yarns, although they’re lighter and more suited to scarves.

11. Pink Unicorn Studio Chunky Yarn

Pink Unicorn Studio super bulky yarn for arm knitting

Best for: Finger knitting, arm knitting, blankets, scarves, pillows

This Merino wool yarn is thick and sturdy, promising no itchy irritation. A super soft and cozy material, this super bulky-sized yarn can be knit with needles, fingers, or arms.

Merino wool is subject to the shedding of fibers and needs delicate handling while knitting. Hand-washing is a must to protect the wool and maintain its abilities. However, after you’ve completed your project, the Merino will provide a strong, warm surface that’s durable over time.

The biggest skein available for shipping this yarn is 11 pounds, which is enough to make a full-sized blanket.

And despite the brand name, there are more than 50 color options to choose from. Orders ship from Poland, but will still arrive in the US or just about anywhere within a week.

What size of yarn is best for arm knitting?

While anything above a size 5 chunky yarn is technically suitable for arm knitting, it’s much easier to work with super chunky (size 6) or jumbo (size 7) yarn.

The larger fibers are easier to grip and will require fewer stitches to complete larger projects like blankets. Plus, they’re super soft and look absolutely gorgeous!

As for what type of yarn to use for arm knitting, it really depends on your project. Check out the next section for more details.

What to make with super chunky knit yarn

Eastsure yarn arm knitting bed

If you don’t have any idea what to do with super chunky or bulky yarn, here are some options:

  • Rugs
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Accessories
  • Pet Beds

Here’s a quick breakdown of what kind of chunky yarn to buy for each project:

Rugs

Tube yarn, in particular, is great for rugs or bath mats because they don’t shed, attract fibers, or take a long time to make. You can quickly put together an arm knitted rug that will be soft on your feet, strong, durable, and most importantly, machine washable.

We recommend: Eastsure Chunky Braid Cotton Yarn or Shanqian Giant Tube Yarn

Blankets

Super soft bulky yarn or tube yarn are both easily knitted into blankets of all sizes. The only thing to watch for is how much yarn do you need for the size of the blanket. If you’re knitting a queen-sized bedspread, you might need six or seven skeins of one brand compared to two skeins of another. 

Bulky yarn blankets for babies are a great idea because they’re generally softer and can encourage tactile development in an infant. Arm knitted blankets are often temperature regulating so the user won’t overheat in the middle of the night.

For thick blankets we recommend: HomeModa Studio Non-Mulesed Chunky Wool Yarn or Loops Studio Giant Merino Wool

For thinner blankets we recommend: Bernat Blanket Yarn or Pink Unicorn Studio Chunky Yarn, although most chunky yarns are suitable

Pillows

A chunky yarn pillow or pillow cover can be a great way to accessorize your living space. Smaller bulky yarn provides a soft and chunky texture to pillow covers. You can make your own if you don’t have any, or if they don’t match. 

Weaving arm knitting yarn into a firm pillow is easy to do, and it will hold whatever shape you desire. From square to round pillows, a good tubing yarn is soft and comforting, yet durable.

We recommend: Any chunky yarn or larger is suitable

Accessories

The chunkier the yarn, the better it is for keeping you warm. Hats, scarves, and afghans all benefit from bulkier material. The same is true if you’re looking at knitting or crocheting some bootie slippers. To keep your feet warm and toasty in the cold winter months, chunky yarn is a fantastic option.

Not only does thicker yarn protect your feet from the cold floor, but it’ll also be soft, comforting, and easy to slip on and off.

We recommend: Any chunky yarn or larger is suitable

Pet Beds

A good stiff tube yarn is perfect for a pet bed because it’s soft and comforting but also won’t lose its shape. You can knit the yarn into a circle for the base of the bed and add whatever height walls you want. Your pet can curl up inside and feel safe and secure. 

Most tubing is also ideal for pets because it’s easy to clean and won’t attract hair. Beyond being a great material for holding shape, it won’t overheat your pet, it’ll be comfortable, and it won’t turn into a nest of flyaway fur.

We recommend: Eastsure Chunky Braid Cotton Yarn or Shanqian Giant Tube Yarn


Hopefully this primer on the best chunky yarns for arm knitting has provided you with the tools and knowledge you need to get started on your very own project!

Have any other recommendations? Let everyone know in the comments below!

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