Who needs needles when you can use your fingers – or even your arms? There are plenty of ways to knit that don’t risk you left bored and fidgety when airport security confiscates your needles, or you don’t have space in your bag for long sticks, and we are going to look at what we think is the best needle-free-option – finger knitting -–right here in this How to finger knit guide.
We’re showcasing knitting four stitches in this finger knitting guide. We cover how to cast on in finger knitting, how to finger knit, how to take a break when finger knitting and how to cast off when finger knitting.
In finger knitting, you can join in the round and pick up stitches too, just like with regular knitting, to craft all kinds of finger knitting creations – but we are sticking to the basics of finger knitting here, which will let you knit a headband, a skinny scarf or belt, a bracelet or necklace or even a simple scruchie. You can’t beat finger knitting for kids for some simple and safe crafting, so wanted to keep things straightforward, so they can join in, too.
Read on to learn how to finger knit and discover the basics of this brilliant technique which besides yarn is completely equipment free!
What is finger knitting?
Finger knitting uses loops of yarn slipped over each other to make a woven knit – just like regular knitting. The difference is that you use your fingers instead of needles, and, rather than having multiple stitches on a single unit, like you would with a pair of knitting needles, you have one stitch on each finger with finger knitting, and you wrap yarn around your fingers then slip stitches off in rows – rather than wrapping and slipping each stitch individually as you would with knitting needles. Finger knitting uses a minimum of one stitch and a maximum of four – because you only have 4 fingers. The thumb is not used as a needle in finger knitting as the distance between it and the fingers would really mess up the tension. Instead you use your thumb to secure your yarn when casting on in finger knitting.
What do you need for finger knitting?
You need a chunky yarn or cord for finger knitting, but it is hard to say which size exactly, as everybody’s fingers are different. But with yarn weights, you need at least a super-chunky (see what that means with our yarn weight conversion chart), though you can use lighter weights by plaiting it first, or even make a cord with a French knitting dolly that can then be finger knit into a new creation – which is why finger knitting for kids is such a great option. Crochet icord works nicely too, as well as softer macrame cord or even thick string or thin rope can work well.
Here are some buys we recommend for finger knitting for kids and for adults as you expand into this hobby, or jump to How to finger knit
Cygnet seriously chunky prints acrylic yarn
You gotta love a rainbow and this super-chunky acrylic yarn from Cygnet comes in 7 different colour ways – and 6 of them are rainbow! ideal for finger knitting for kids.
8mmm cotton macrame string
Macrame materials also work well for finger knitting, and, although the thicker ropes look brilliant when used for finger knitting, they can be a bit tough on the hands! We’d suggest macrame string instead, which gives that same eco look but softer to work with. This 8mm version is a good option.
Lalala wool yarn for finger knitting
You get super-soft, 100 percent wool in this tactile yarn, which is fluffy enough to feel wonderful on your fingers, but not so fluffy that you’ll lose stitch definition in your projects. It’s available in four subtle colour ways. Just lovely!
Lion Off the Hook super-chunky polyester yarn
Chenille yarns have such a pleaingly tactile quality, they are a good option for finger knitting, especially if you can find them in a super-chunky yarn weight like this top option from Lion. It comes in 19 different colour options, five of which are variegated which can add extra fun to projects for finger knitting for kids.
Here’s our video guide showing how to finger knit. If you’d prefer a written walkthrough with photos to help you get to grips with finger knitting, we’ve included that below, too. This video is designed to teach finger knitting for kids as well as adults, so we hope this could be a hobby you could share with your little ones.
You Will Need
- super chunky yarn
- Craft cord
Hold one end of your chunky yarn secure under your thumb. Wrap the yarn around your four fingers, going in front and behind them alternately, beginning by going behind your index finger. When you take the thread infront of your little finger, wrap it around your little finger so it then goes behind it, before coming in front of your ring finger to go back the other way. When you get back to your first finger, you will have a loop of yarn on each finger.
Do the same thing again, taking the yarn behind your index finger and in front of your middle finger as in step one,
Take the yarn in front of and behind alternate fingers, looping around the little finger to the back as before until you have two loops on each finger. Now you are ready for finger knitting!
Starting at your little finger, ease the bottom loop of yarn up over the top one, then ease it off over the top of your finger. You’ll be left with just one loop on your finger. You have knitted your first finger knitting stitch!
Repeat on your ring finger, easing the bottom loop of yarn up over the top one, then ease it off over the top of your finger
Repeat this process working along your fingers from the little finger to the first finger until you are left with just one loop of yarn on each finger. You have completed your first row of finger knitting!
Now we need to add more loops so that we can can make our second row of finger knitting. Take the yarn in front of and behind alternate fingers, looping around the little finger to the back as before until you have two loops on each finger. Then you can slip the bottom loops over the top loops as in steps 4-6 to knit your row. Repeat the process of winding on more loops of yarn and then finger knitting each row and you’ll see your finger knitting start to grow on the back of your hand.
If you want to take a break, just slip pens or pencils into the holes to make sure you don’t drop any stitches, then slip your fingers back in when you are ready to start finger knitting again.
When your finger knitting is as long as you want it to be, finish making a finger knitting row, and then don’t loop any extra yarn on to your fingers, so you have a single loop on each finger. Slip the loop from your first finger onto your middle finger, then take the bottom loop on your index finger and slip it over the top loop and off your finger.
Repeat along each finger, slipping the thread loop from the finger before, then slipping the lower loop over the top one and off the finger. You’ll be left with a single loop on your little finger. Thread your working yarn through the loop and pull right to secure your finger knitting.
More to enjoy
We hope you have enjoyed this finger knitting guide. We have plenty more knitting projects and tutorials for you to enjoy, as well as brilliant options for kids crafts, too. Try our free elephant knitting pattern for more knits you can try with the kids, or our knitted dog pattern to delight them. Or check out our free knitting patterns online archive to browse all the options!