Did you know that there are lots of ways to knit without needles? Some still require special tools, but with finger knitting, you have everything you need on hand! That's right, you can use just your fingers to knit chunky cords that are four stitches wide, then use those cords to make all kinds of projects.
Finger knitting is great for kids to learn, but it's also fun for adults. And because you work on the stitches on your hand, you can take this craft with you anywhere, as long as you have some yarn with you. Unlike arm knitting, which uses your arms in place of needles, this method is similar to loom knitting, with your fingers taking the place of the loom pegs.
Working with bulky yarn produces the best results (the yarn in the sample is T-shirt yarn), but you can hold two strands of worsted weight yarn together for a similar look. Using one strand still works, but the knitted cord is a lot looser and doesn't have the density that some projects need.
Equipment / Tools
- 1 pencil, crochet hook, or similarly shaped tool
- 1 skein bulky or super bulky yarn
Begin Weaving the Yarn
To begin, hold your non-dominant hand with your palm facing you. Hold the end of the yarn with your thumb, then weave the yarn behind your first finger, in front of your middle finger, behind your ring finger, and in front of your pinkie.
Next, weave the yarn behind your pinkie, in front of your ringer finger, behind your middle finger, and in front of your pointer finger.
For each row, you will repeat the process of weave the yarn across your fingers and then back again so you can see a loop of yarn on each finger.
Start Your Second Row
Make a second row of loops on your fingers by weaving back and forth, ending with the pointer finger. The working yarn can hang down from your hand.
Loop the Yarn Back
Starting on your pinkie finger, grab the lower loop (closest to your palm) and lift it off over the end of your finger. Repeat this as you work toward your pointer finger.
It often helps to bend the tip of your finger down to make it easier to slip the loop of yarn off. You may also need to move your stitches closer to your fingertips, but be careful not to let the upper loop slide off.
Repeat the Weave and Loop
Grab the working yarn and weave it back and forth across your fingers again, starting by going behind your pointer finger. When you get back to where you started, you should have two loops on each finger. Once again, lift the lower loops over the upper loops and off your fingers.
After a few rows, you can gently pull down on the starting end of the yarn to see the knitted cord forming. The right side of the knitting faces the back of your hand, while the wrong side (which curls in at the edges) is what you see if you flip your hand over.
Take a Break and Save Your Project
If you need to take a break, use a long thin object such as a pencil, crochet hook, or yes, a knitting needle. Slide it through each of the loops on your fingers, making sure that you slide it in the same direction for each loop.
Slip the loops off your fingers while keeping them on your placeholder. When you're ready to get back to your knitting, slide each stitch back onto your fingers. The photo above shows the right side of the knitting, which should face the back of your hand when you start knitting again.
End Off Your Finger Knit Project
When you're ready to end off your finger knitting after finishing a row, cut the working yarn at least six inches from your hand. Slide the yarn end under the loop on your pointer finger, then under each loop across your hand.
The yarn secures the loops, so you can remove the loops from your fingers. Pull the yarn end and tighten the loops. You can weave the ends in on the back of the knitting or use them if needed for a project.
Lay Out Your Cord
Yarn weights and styles affect the look of the finger knitting cords, so try different types of yarn to see what you like. This t-shirt yarn creates a thick and sturdy cord that would work well for making a rug or a pet bed.
To make larger items from finger knitting, lay the lengths of cord next to each other or start a coil. Use a needle and strong thread or more yarn to sew the knitted cord together.
Tie Your Bracelet Ends Together
It's also fun for making jewelry or headbands! To make a finger knitting bracelet, knit a piece that's just long enough to wrap around your wrist.
After you secure or cast off the stitches, bring the ends together and tie a knot with the yarn ends. Use a crochet hook to weave the yarn through the ends and then through the back of the stitches.
Wear your new statement bracelet and show off your handiwork! You can use this same technique to make a headband or a necklace. For a fancier necklace, use a shorter piece and instead of joining the ends, attach them to a chunky jewelry chain.