Finger knitting is a perfect family project. I love to work on finger knitting (and other projects!).
It’s one of the easiest projects you can do – all you need are your fingers and some yarn (and you’ll need some scissors to cut the yarn when you’ve finished your creation).
Finger knitting is super simple and comes with almost instant gratitude as you can really start to see something come together. Unlike crochet and knitting where it requires more patience and time.
Sometimes I often think children need to see the progress quicker to keep them interested and invested in their work.
Which is why this is a perfect craft to try out as you can do it in one afternoon and have something to show for it at the end.
What Is Finger Knitting?
Finger knitting is basically a form of knitting but only using your hands. The cords of the knit are created by weaving the yarn between your fingers instead of using more traditional tools such as knitting needles.
It is a great way of learning the techniques of knitting and crochet without having to dive in straight away.
This is also a super fun and creative task for children to take on as you get quite instant results which is great for their confidence and helps with fine motor skills.
Tools & Equipment
First, you’ll need your supplies – yarn and your hands!
Any kind of all-purpose yarn will work (though I have yet to try it with very fine, thin yarn).
Chunky yarn is great for small kids – it’s much easier to hold and manipulate. In this tutorial, I’m using a medium 4 yarn (I don’t ‘yarn speak’ – that’s just what the package says!).
If you are unsure on the best yarn to work with look for yarns that are a 4 (medium) for children and up to 5 (bulky) for adults. This also depends on what you want to create but for getting started looking for one of those types.
If you are shopping in person, take the yarn in your hand and place it next to your fingers to help you distinguish if you think it is thick enough or too thin etc. Getting the right size yarn can really help you get off on the right foot.
Be aware that yarn/wool has different terms and size/weight charts in the UK compared to the USA.
- Yarn/Wool – this can be pur cotton, polyester or a mix, work with what you can find, have on hand or what colour your children like the most.
- Scissors – any you have to hand will do
- Stick/ knitting needle or crochet hook – this is if you wish to stop and have a break half way between your project. It acts as a marker to stop your hard work from unravelling.
So let’s look at the basic steps of finger knitting for beginners.
These are instructions on how to create a 4 wide cabel knit style. You can use the same technique to do a single cable knit using 2 fingers.
I advise to go for the 4 finger wide if you are using a thinner wool/yarn so you can achieve a wider knit. Also if you are looking at making a throw, cushion cover or ear warmers you might want the wider knit.
Start by putting the end of the yarn between your thumb and index finger, holding it firmly in place. Weave the yarn between your fingers going over your index finger, under your middle finger, over your ring finger and behind your pinkie.
When you go over your index finger this should be the top side of your hand where your knuckles are, then back to loop under your middle finger which is your palm side and so on.
Loop the yarn around your pinkie and continue weaving back up to your thumb – this time over your pinkie, under your ring finger, over your middle finger, under your index finger bringing the yarn up over the top of your index finger and laying it across your palm, holding it in place with your thumb.
If you struggle with keeping the tail end taught and out of the way I found tucking under a bobble on my wrist helps. This kept it in place but give me a little freedom to move my hand a little more while knitting.
Now you should have one loop on each finger (see picture below).
Repeat the steps again, over your index finger, under your middle finger, etc.
At this point you’ll have two loops on each finger – the tail between your index finger and thumb counts as one loop (see picture below).
The next step is to pull the loop closest to your palm up (the bottom loop) and over the outside loop, keeping that second loop on your finger.
Start with your index finger and move along to your pinkie finger, being careful.
Loop it over as you did the others, moving the tail so it hangs down on the back of your hand and out of the way.
Now you have one loop on each finger.
Begin weaving through your fingers again (step one) starting with your index finger (over index finger, under middle finger, over ring finger, under pinkie) then wrapping around your pinkie and back up until you have two loops on your hand again.
Repeat step two, pulling one loop over the other, starting at the pinkie and working up to the index finger.
Keep repeating those steps until your knitting is as long as it needs to be for your project.
When the length is completed to your satisfaction, it’s time to tie it off.
You should have one loop on each finger at this point. Take the loop off your pinkie and put it on your ring finger. Pull the loop closest to your palm from your ring finger up and over the loop from your pinkie.
Now repeat – transfer the loop from your ring finger to your middle finger, pulling the loop on your middle finger up and over that loop. Transfer the loop from your middle finger to your index finger and pull the remaining loop up and over that loop.
At this point, you should have the one remaining loop. Cut off a short tail from the end of the yarn and loop it through this final loop, tightening it then knotting it off. Do the same to the other end.
Alternatively you can cut a long lenght of yarn and thread it through each loop on your finger, pull off each loop making sure the yarn is running through each one.
Pull to bring the thread together and tie off on the end creating a knot to keep it from unravelling.
If you were making an infinity scarf, you could tie the two ends together. But don’t do that! We’ll be using this finger knitting for beginners technique to create some other fun projects – so check back soon!