Ever wondered how do you start finger knitting? Finger knitting is a fun and easy craft you can learn in a few minutes. All you need to get started is some yarn and your hands.
It’s a great craft for kids and adults. Even complete beginners will be able to whip up a simple necklace quickly and easily.
Follow these simple step by step instructions and you’ll be knitting up a quick garland or scarf in no time.
Want to learn how to finger knit? Great, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the first in my ‘how to start finger knitting’ series. You can find the full series and more tips and tricks over on my how to finger knit for beginners page.
Finger knitting is a fantastic craft for adults, teenagers and kids of all ages. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to finger knit but didn’t know where to start this is the place to be. We’re going to learn how to cast on, knit rows and cast off. By the end, you’ll be able to knit a simple garland, necklace or even a scarf.
Finger knitting (sometimes called finger weaving) is a quick and easy way to make a simple braid. It’s similar to french knitting but much quicker and doesn’t require a knitting dolly. You don’t need any fancy materials to get started. And definitely no crochet hooks or knitting needles.
Finger knitting is basically making a long chain stitch just like in knitting or crochet but instead of a hook or pair of needles, you use your fingers. I know starting a new craft can be intimidating so to make it as easy as possible I’ve included an easy to step by step photo tutorial as well as a video.
Today we’re going to learn the basic first step in any knitting project: casting on. If you’ve never tried finger knitting before or any kind of knitting, don’t panic, it’s not as complicated as it first looks. It’s the perfect craft for the complete beginner. No previous knitting experience or expertise needed. All you need to get started is some yarn and your hands.
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Your chosen yarn or wool,
You can finger knit with whatever wool or yarn you have on hand but I do recommend starting with a bulky yarn like t-shirt yarn. It’s nice and chunky which makes it easier to see what you’re doing and work with.
I think once you get going you’ll be surprised how quickly your chain starts to form. By the end of the series, you’ll be able to make a beautiful t-shirt yarn braid that can use as a garland, necklace or scarf.
Here’s my beginner’s guide to finger knitting. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.
Can you make a blanket using just your fingers? Of course you can! Learn how to finger knit a blanket with my updated tutorial videos for both right and left handed knitters. Scroll down for the videos.
Using just four of your fingers you can make a large blanket by joining the strips as you knit. There is NO need to sew panels together after you knit. I love how easy this is knit.
Finger Knit a Blanket
Bulky or super bulky weight yarn
Single stitch marker that opens and locks (Boye makes a great one; shown in video)
Stitch holder or 3 more locking stitch markers
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Loom knitting tool (optional- helps with finger fatigue)
Pattern instructions include notes for which finger each stitch is on: Index (pointer) finger, middle finger, ring finger and pinkie. Knit rows back and forth across your fingers in order. When joining your stitches to previous strip work the join on your index finger.
Right-handed knitters should cast onto your left hand. Left-handed knitters cast the yarn onto your right hand. (Editors/ADA note: Instructions are written for knitters using 4 digits of a hand. If you have less fingers or a dexterity issue please use a wide tooth plastic comb with four sturdy teeth to substitute for fingers. A knitting loom will work as well and you can add more stitches if you like.)
Cast on using double e wrap method.
Use the flat knit stitch throughout this project. Lay working yarn above loops on fingers and lift the bottom loop over the top.
Finger Knit Bind off:
- Flat knit 1st stitch on index finger. Knit 2nd stitch on middle finger. Move the 2nd stitch on top of the 1st stitch and work the bottom loop over the top. Pick up the stitch on your 1st finger and move to your middle finger. We will now call this the 1st stitch.
- Knit the 2nd stitch (ring finger). Move to the 1st stitch (middle finger). Work the stitch bottom over top. Move 1st stitch to the ring finger and call it the 1st stitch.
- Knit the 2nd stitch (pinkie finger). Move to the 1st stitch (ring finger). Work the stitch bottom over top. Move 1st stitch all the way back to the index finger and call it the 1st stitch.
Make 1st strip of knitting:
Cast on 4 stitches using double ewrap cast on.
Row 1: Knit across all 4 stitches.
Repeat Row 1 until your knitted cord measure the desired length for your blanket. End your row with the working yarn on your index (or 1st digit) finger.
Bind off 4 stitches and leave last loop on finger. Move loop to index finger.
Join additional strips to add width to your blanket:
Make sure your 1 remaining loop is on your index finger. You’ll be joining the previous strip as you knit along the edge that is closest to your index finger.
Cast on 3 stitches to your remaining fingers.
Row 1: Knit 4 stitches, working back toward your index finger.
Row 2: Pick up the loose stitch at the edge of the knitting on the precious panel (just below the purl bump) and place it on your index finger. (see picture below) Make sure your working yarn isn’t trapped between. Flat knit 2 stitches over 1 on the 1st stitch. Knit 3 stitches.
Repeat Rows 1-2 until you reach the last stitch (will be a cast on stitch).
Pick up edge cast on stitch and place on index finger. Using instructions for Bind Off above, knit 2 over 1 on the 1st stitch only on bind off row.
Continue joining additional strip until you reach the desired width of your blanket. Weave in ends.
Tips & Tricks:
With a project this large you’ll need a break. Use a long stitch holder to pick up the stitches on your fingers and keep them secure until you’re ready to knit again. You can also use individual stitch markers to hold each stitch separately. Just make sure you put the stitches back on your fingers in the correct order so your join is always at your index finger.
How to Finger Knit a Blanket for RIGHT Handers:
How to Finger Knit a Blanket for LEFT Handers:
Let’s learn how to finger knit with kids. So… my kids see me knitting and crocheting on a semi regular basis and are soooo keen to learn.
When we started, Red Ted was 6yrs old and Pip Squeak was 4yrs old. I think Red Ted was JUST old enough to learn how to knit, but Pip Squeak is still a little young for traditional knitting. So we wanted to give FINGER Knitting a go instead. Did you know that T-shirt yarn is a great finger knitting yarn too? Learn how to make T-shirt yarn in a continuous strand here.
So I thought we should start with how to finger knit first. Finger knitting is a great activity, as you can do it anywhere and any time. Take it with you on a long car journey or sit on the sofa on a lazy afternoon.
Make LONG things, or short things. Use up odds and ends of wool or make something brand new. What I also love about Finger Knitting for kids, is that it teaches them discipline, pattern recognition and following instructions.
It can only being great things for their right/ left brain development. So I was keen keen keen to get them going.
Finger Knitting Projects
We first had a go at Finger Knitting last Summer (6 months or so ago) and they both did quite well, but of course needed supervision with every step. Then a couple of weeks ago, Red Ted wanted another go. And with in minutes he got the hang of how to finger knit.
His little sister sat by patiently watching her big brother master finger knitting. Then a week later, SHE wanted another go. And you know what.. aged 4, she totally impresssed, as she suddenly got the hang of it. Yes, I still help her “cast on” her finger knitting and “cast off” her finger knitting.. but we have the crux of it. Fabulous.
How to Finger Knitting Video:
How to Finger Knit with Step By Step Photos
If you prefer photo steps and witten instructions, take a look here!
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Preparing your finger knitting
Thick yarn works best for finger knitting. If you don’t have thick yarn, you can use two strands of yarn too. We will use these images from our Beanie Hat Tutorial. As they are clear and concise!
Hold the wool comfortably with your thumb.Wrap the wool behind your index finger and in front of your middle finger. Then behind your wedding finger and around your pinky. Then in front of your wedding finger, behind your middle finger and around your index finger.
You need to do it again. Wrap the wool in front of your middle finger. Behind your index finger. Then around your pinky. In front of your wedding finger, behind your middle finger and then around your index finger. So you have two loops on each finger.
Now you need to pull the bottom loop up and over the top loop. On all fingers So you’re left with one loop on each finger. Then start again. Keep repeating these steps until you have a long enough piece. Long enough to wrap around your head.
Now you have mastered Finger Knitting, what do you actually do with it?!
When you Finger knit, you produce a “sausage” of knitted wool, that looks a bit like the out put of a Knitting Nancy or French Knitting Doll – except it tends to be bigger and looser.
As you may know, Teddy recently fell out of a tree and injured his liver. He has recovered very well. Thanks for all your well wishes and the healing vibes you sent him. They worked.
But, for the next 4 months, he is under strict activity restrictions. He can’t do anything that may result in forceful trauma to his abdomen… which, if you really think about it, is just about any kind of activity faster than a walk… no running, no sport, not playing outside games with friends.
This has tested us greatly as Teddy, like all 8 year olds, is a very active little guy.
One pastime he has enjoyed picking up again, is finger knitting. He learned to finger knit at his Waldorf school in Kindergarten. Lately, he has rediscovered that he loves finger knitting and has finger knitted snakes and jump-ropes (for his friends) and flowers (for his mom). He is a finger knitting machine.
I love to watch him finger knit. It’s such a calming activity and I find it beautiful to watch the concentration on his face as we works away. And the wonderful look of accomplishment when he has created something.
I thought I’d share a DIY finger knitting tutorial with you.
All you need is pretty yarn.
- tie a simple slipknot into the end of the yarn and slide it onto your forefinger. Teddy is right-handed, so he slips it onto his left fore-finger. Wiggle the knot to about where your first knuckle joint is.
- loop the yarn over your forefinger, next to and on the finger-tip side of the slipknot.
- take the first loop (the slipknot loop at this stage) and pull it over the second loop and off your forefinger so that only one loop remains on your finger.
- Pull the tail so that the stitch tightens. Again make a second loop of yarn over your forefinger, pull the first loop over the second loop and off your finger again … continue until you have a long finger knitted rope.
Here are the steps in nice large photos for you to see :
Teddy used rainbow yarn and rolled up his finger knitted rope into a pretty flower. I’ll share the finger knitted flower tutorial with you soon.
Here are some other fun finger knitting projects for kids …
- finger knitted snake (sorry, no link)
Here is another great finger knitting project for kids. This finger knitted rug was made by the 9 year old children at Maple Village Waldorf School.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly your little one picks up finger knitting… especially if you spend a few minutes sitting with her and working on your own finger knitting alongside her.
If you’ve enjoyed this fun kid-friendly tutorial, I think you’ll enjoy these other yarn crafting projects too.
If you’re wondering why your 4-year-old can’t sit still, just remember that they have over 600 muscles that need daily exercise! While active, full body play is essential for big muscles, don’t forget fine motor activities to give their small muscles a workout too.
Finger knitting is a fantastic, and addictive, activity for preschoolers. It builds dexterity and strength in those small muscles which control the hand, fingers, and thumb—all critical for later writing skills. Finger knitting also encourages eye-hand coordination, concentration, and perseverance—all equally important for children’s development. (Interestingly enough, when a child is fully engaging their small muscles, their large muscles relax and they actually can sit still!)
Do you know how to finger knit? Here are simple instructions and a catchy little song that make it fun and easy. All you need is a small ball of yarn.
Step by Step Instructions:
1. Start with a simple slipknot near the end of the yarn to make the first loop. Slide it onto your forefinger.
2. Loop the yarn over your finger again, above the original loop.
3. Grasp the original loop and slip it over the second loop .
4. Slide it off your finger, making a stitch.
5. Pull the “tail” so the stitch tightens.
6. Make another loop, pull the first loop over, tighten . . . repeat over and over and over!
Once your child masters the technique, they will soon be churning out yards of finger knitted cord. Kids will naturally find uses for it themselves — bracelets, headbands, or other decorative uses. If you (the teacher) know how to crochet, it is fun to turn the balls of finger knitting into pot holders or even a large rug! Any other ideas?
Start your chain by making a loop and tying it into a knot.
Pull your yarn through the loop to create another loop
Repeat step above 60 times!
You will end up with a chain of 60! (This is the perfect size for me and I am 5’8″. It ends up being 75 inches long x 65 inched wide ).
You are now going to turn the blanket. To start, add an extra loop to your chain.
Put your index finger through the loop you just made and grab your yarn.
Find the top part of your loop on the second loop on the chain.
Pull your yarn under that loop to create another loop.
(With tension) wrap it around your index finger.
Pull your yarn through both of those loops on your index finger to create another loop.
Repeat this process all the way down your chain. (Remember to only skip a loop when you turn the blanket)
At the end of your second chain, to turn your blanket, add an extra loop.
Turn the whole blanket to the other side.
With your index finger through that extra loop, find your second loop in find the top piece of that loop.
Repeat steps above.
To switch colors, tie the new color to the first color when you are about to make the extra loop to turn the blanket.
Either cut off the excess yarn or weave it through the blanket. (If you are doing one solid color for the whole blanket, just tie a knot at the end of the skein to connect it and then continue your blanket.)
Repeat the process above to complete the entire blanket! (This blanket has 4 layers of one color before I switch to another)
To finish, cut the yarn with a little excess and pull it through the last loop to create a knot.
Finger knitting is the perfect 1st handicraft for kids! And you can master this in about 10 minutes and then teach your kids. All you’ll need is a ball of yarn, your fingers, and a pair of scissors. Your kids can finger knit just for fun, or turn it into a bracelet or necklace.
Be sure to watch my video below to see the easiest version of finger knitting using just 1 finger loop! You can also adapt this to finger knit chunkier pieces using 2, 3, or 4 fingers.
I like the 1 finger version for my almost 6 year old. It’s easier for her to hold onto than the 4 finger version, and the project goes much faster.
Supplies you’ll need for finger knitting with kids
- scissors (But any thickness will do). The rainbow yarn or multicolored yarn works really well for beginners because it helps you to differentiate some of the loops you are pulling.
How to form a slip knot before you begin finger knitting
No matter how many fingers you choose to use, you’ll have to first create a slip knot. This makes the loop that ties to your pointer finger. I recommend watching the video if you’ve never done one!
To form a slip knot:
Start your slip knot about 4-6 inches from the cut end of your yarn. You’ll want to have that extra yarn on the end so you can tie it later.
Begin by making a loop, so that your yarn crosses itself. Below my pink/yellow sided string is the end that’s cut.
Then, you will make another small loop to go under and up through your 1st loop. This will be the part that can tighten and goes on your finger!
Once you bring the 2nd loop up through the 1st loop, hold the 2nd loop while you gently tighten the strings. Then, place the slip knot on your pointer finder. You are ready to begin finger knitting!
How to finger knit using a 1 finger loop
Tighten the slip knot around your finger. Try to hold the short piece of yarn out of the way by pinching it in your hand.
Otherwise it can tend to get in the way (just at first) and also makes it hard to pull the long side of yarn tight (the side that’s still attached to the ball of yarn).
Next, unravel enough yarn so the ball isn’t in your way. Grab that piece that’s still connected to the ball. Loop it around your pointer finger by circling under and away from your finger. It should be closer to the tip of your finger than the loop that’s already there.
Next, take the yarn furthest from the tip of your finger and pull it over the other loop and off of your finger! I call this step “jump over the rope”.
Rinse and repeat.
(In the pic, the yellow string was looped around, and the pink string jumped over the yellow string and off of my finger. Rainbow colored yarn makes this especially helpful for beginners!)
“Loop around, jump over the rope” This is how I taught my daughter to remember these steps.
See the video for a great visual! Repeat till your finger knitting is as long as you’d like!
How to tie it off at the end
Cut the string a few inches from the end so you have room to tie. Take your finger out. Tie it by bringing the cut yarn up through the loop and pulling it closed.
Turn it into something useful
Hope this gets your kids creative juices flowing and lets them practice hand coordination! Those two things alone make this worth it even if this ends up in the garbage.
I don’t think my kindergartener and 1st grader are ready to try crochet or knit (not to mention I’d have to teach myself first lol), but they can definitely finger knit!
You could make these into friendship bracelets, necklaces, or glue together in a circular pattern to make a Calico Critter rug or just a pretty flower type thing. Whatever suits your kids’ fancy!
Looking for a way to keep little minds and fingers busy? Finger weaving is a skill that lasts a lifetime. You learn it once and never forget it. . . kind of like riding a bike! I learned how to finger weave as a child and haven’t stopped teaching others how to do it ever since. I like to pull this activity out of my bag of tricks in the early spring when we have a lot of rainy indoor recesses and my students are craving something new and interesting. It is such a simple and fun craft that only requires fingers and yarn! My eight year old daughter helped me out with the pictures for this tutorial. She has been finger weaving since she was six.
Step 1: Turn your non-dominant hand so that your palm is face up. Insert the end of the yarn so that about four inches hangs between your thumb and index finger.
Step 2: Take hold of the yarn in the back of your hand. Pull it behind your index finger, then in front of your middle finger, behind your ring finger, and finally in front of your pinky.
Step 3: Pull the string around your pinky and then weave back in the opposite direction. This time you will pull across the front of your ring finger, behind your middle finger, and finally in front of your index finger.
Step 4: Let the end of the yarn hang behind your hand between your thumb and index finger. Now you have set up your weaving “loom”. You will only need to do this step once at the very beginning.
Step 5: Pull the string across the back of your hand and then back across the front of your hand. Keep it fairly loose. It should look like one straight line across the top of all the small loops.
Step 6: Now you will pull each small loop over the straight line of yarn and drop it behind your finger. You will need to bend down your finger to get it over. Keep the yarn loose.
Step 7: Continue to pull each small loop over the straight line of yarn, working your way across to your index finger.
Step 8: Once you get all the way across, you will be ready to repeat the process. At this point, you can also release that four inch piece of yarn from the beginning.
Step 9: Pull the yarn across the back of your hand again and then back across the front in a straight line above the small loops. Repeat the process by pulling each small loop over the straight line and dropping it behind your finger like in pictures #6 and #7.
Step 10: This is what the back of your hand will look like. It appears to be a mess at first and you will probably feel like you did something wrong. Just keep weaving. 🙂
Step 11: After you have repeated the process about ten times, you will be ready for the reward. Gently grab all the yarn in the back of your hand and pull!
Step 12: You can end your finger weaving at any point. Just slip it off your fingers and tie a knot. Then cut the yarn. If you pull the string at the other end, it will pull itself into a knot. My daughter wove this length in about three minutes.
One of the best parts about finger weaving is that children get to see quick results. My third grade students can easily finger weave five feet in about fifteen minutes! Thankfully, yarn is fairly inexpensive these days. 🙂 I hope you will enjoy finger weaving with your students! Maybe it will become a new tradition in your classroom like it has in mine. Your students will surely remember it for years to come.
By Mollie Johanson March 08, 2019
Learn how to do finger knitting and make a lucky charm for your house with this shamrock banner! The style is simple but fun and you and your kids can make it together!
Finger knitting is easy and a great way for kids as young as four or five to practice fine motor skills. But older kids will enjoy this too! Once they learn the process, they can make the cord that forms the shamrock. Then work together as you attach it to the banner.
Now, get your fingers ready for some lucky knitting!
what you need:
- Bulky or Super Bulky Weight Green Yarn
- Canvas or Other Heavy Weight Fabric
- Green Felt
- Green Embroidery Floss to Match the Yarn and Felt
- Thin Dowel Rod or Thick 12-inch Skewer
- Needles – Embroidery and Large Tapestry
- Craft Glue
Note: If you don’t have bulky yarn, you can use regular yarn too, but the knitted cord won’t be as full. You can also hold several strands of yarn together so that it’s bulkier, but they can be trickier for young children.
Hold the end of the yarn with your thumb on your non-dominant hand.
Weave the yarn under your first finger, over the next, then under and over again.
Wrap the yarn under your pinky finger, over the next finger, then under and over again.
You should have yarn showing on each of your fingers now.
Now you need to repeat the steps above.
Wrap the yarn under your first finger, over the next, then under and over again.
Weave back to the start again, by wrapping under your pinky finger, over the next finger, then under and over again.
You should have two loops of yarn showing on each of your fingers now.
On your first finger, grab the loop that’s closest to your palm. Bend your finger down so you can slip the loop off your finger. You should still have a loop on your finger.
Repeat step five on each finger. Now you should have one loop left on each finger.
Weave the yarn under and over your fingers again, working from one side to the other and then back again. You should have two loops of yarn showing on each of your fingers again.
Now, repeat steps five and six, slipping the loops closest to your palm off the ends of your fingers.
As you repeat the steps, the cord on the back of your hand starts to grow. You can pull the end a little to see how long it is when stretched in its cord shape.
Keep finger knitting until the cord is about 4 feet long.
If you need to take a break, slide the wooden dowel/skewer through each stitch and then slide it off your hand. When you’re ready to start again, slip your fingers into the stitches and start knitting.
When the cord reaches 4 feet long, cut the yarn, leaving a tail that’s about 8 inches long.
Slip the end of the yarn through each of the stitches and then remove them from your fingers.
Pull the end of the yarn tight to hold the stitches in place.
Thread the end of the yarn through a large needle and then weave the end through the knitting. Slide the needle off and trim any extra yarn. Repeat this at the starting end of the knitted cord.
Cut two 1×3 inch pieces of green felt and a 11×15 inch piece of heavy fabric. Press the felt pieces in half the long way.
Tip: You can make your own heavy fabric by fusing two layers of lighter fabric together with fusible web.
Hold the folded felt pieces behind one of the 11-inch sides of the fabric. Using the smaller needle, stitch them with green embroidery floss and running stitch to make two small sleeves for the wooden rod to go through.
Shape the knitted cord into a shamrock shape. A shamrock looks sort of like three hearts with a stem.
Thread your embroidery needle with three strands of floss that match your shamrock. Come up from the back and then go back down, sewing the knitting in place. You only need one stitch every inch or so.
Tip: You can glue the knitting to the fabric instead of sewing, but it isn’t as nice a finish because the glue can come through the yarn.
Cut out a bunch of small felt circles.
Glue the circles around the outside of the shamrock.
Slide the wooden dowel or skewer through the sleeves at the top of the banner. Cut an 8-inch piece of yarn and tie the ends to the wooden dowel.
Now you can hang your new banner for a bit of luck and a fun way to add some green to your home!
If your kids really enjoy the finger knitting, make the cord longer so you can fill in the center of the shamrock. Or make a second piece to fill it in a second shade of green.
Want to add something extra? Attach green or sequins around the edges instead of the polka dots! You can also paint or embroider a fun phrase above or below the shamrock. Try “Lucky Me!” or “Good Luck!”