The "arm knitting" technique as described in this instructional video from Michaels Stores shows how to make a chunky knit cowl in less than an hour. The technique of arm knitting might take a bit of getting used to, but the results should be instantly gratifying, since such thick yarn is used to speed up the process.
The process basically replaces traditional knitting needles with human arms, so you'll definitely want to make sure your hands aren't needed for anything else other than knitting while making this cowl. As quirky as it seems, this could be a pretty useful technique for knitters to pick up, considering there are some times when needles are not allowed onto airplanes, but there's always time to kill when flying.
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