You may have heard of arm knitting or finger knitting, but did you know you can also finger crochet? Set aside your crochet hook and use your finger to do the hooking.
If you've done regular crochet, you already know how to finger crochet. It really is as simple as working standard crochet stitches with your finger. But this technique is also great for teaching kids and teens how to crochet, especially for little hands that might not be ready to control a crochet hook yet. It also helps develop fine motor skills, making it perfect for people needing to rebuild muscle movement in their hands.
If you need one more reason to try this crochet method, it's best to work with super bulky yarn. That means your work will come together faster than most hook crochet projects.
You only need two things for finger crochet: yarn and your hands.
Choose a yarn that is super bulky (size 6 or 7 on the Craft Yarn Council Standard Yarn Weight System). You can also hold several strands of a thinner weight yarn together as you work, but it's easier to start with a single yarn.
The size of your finger determines the size of your stitches, similar to how a crochet hook does. However, you can still work with different yarn weights and learn to adjust your tension so you can crochet tighter or looser.
- Bulky yarn (size 6 or 7)
Start With a Slip Knot
Like any crochet project, start with a slip knot.
Slide the slip knot onto the index finger of your dominant hand. The knot should be a little loose.
Yarn Over and Make a Chain Stitch
Wrap the working yarn over your finger and then pull it through the slip knot. This makes your first chain stitch.
It can be tricky to use your finger the same way you use a crochet hook, so it helps to grasp the yarn with your finger and thumb as you draw it through.
Pull the loop up on your finger, keeping it loose and open.
Add Chain Stitches to Make a Starting Chain
Continue adding chain stitches to make a foundation or starting chain.
As you work regular rows of crochet, you may find that they work a little looser than this first chain. To avoid uneven tension, keep this row looser than you think it should be. After some practice, you'll find the best crochet tension for you.
Insert Your Finger Into the Stitch
Now it's time to make a single crochet stitch.
Insert your finger into the second chain from your finger. This is the same thing you would do for a single crochet stitch with a regular crochet hook.
If you want to start with a different basic crochet stitch, follow the same instructions you normally would for that stitch.
Yarn Over and Draw up a Loop
Wrap the yarn over your finger and draw it through the chain stitch.
Again, it helps to use your thumb to bring the loop through.
Yarn Over Your Finger Again
You should have two loops on your finger now.
Wrap the yarn over your finger again.
Pull the Yarn Through the Loops
Draw the loop of yarn through both loops on your finger.
You may even find it helpful to use your non-dominant hand to help work through the loops. The finger crochet process takes a little practice, and just like holding a crochet hook, you need to find what feels right to you.
Completed Single Crochet Stitch
When you complete the first crochet stitch, you should have one loop left on your finger.
Now you can make the next stitch.
Work Stitches Across the Row
Finger crochet across the entire foundation chain, working one stitch in each chain.
You should be able to flip the work around while leaving the active loop on your finger. But you can remove it from your finger if that feels more comfortable.
Make a Chain Stitch for a Turning Chain
Make another chain stitch for a turning chain.
Use the number of chain stitches as you would for whatever type of stitch you're working in.
Continue Working Across the Rows
Now you can continue crocheting across the rows exactly as you would for standard crochet.
Slip your finger into the next stitch, yarn over, pull the yarn through, yarn over, and pull the yarn through the loops.
When you reach the end of your project, trim your yarn, leaving a tail of at least eight inches. Pull the end through the active loop to secure the stitch.
Tips for Working Finger Crochet
Finger crochet is easy to learn, especially if you already know how to crochet. But these tips may help get you off to a smoother start:
- Shorter stitches are easier to work than taller stitches. You only have so much room on your finger for all those loops of yarn.
- Working flat in rows (instead of in the round with joins) is simpler to start.
- If you need to take a break from your finger crochet, use a large crochet stitch marker or a clip to keep the active loop from pulling.
- Getting the correct gauge can be tricky until you learn how to adjust your tension. Choose projects where the gauge isn't vital, such as scarves and blankets.