I’ve noticed that there are two types of new knitters – those who take to the idea of knitting with needles easily and those who really struggle with the concept of “making stitches with chopsticks”. (I can’t claim to have thought of that natty summary – thanks to one of my young pupils!). Before I suggest teaching them how to crochet, I usually take a detour into finger knitting. However, finger knitting is great for young children where co-ordination is still an issue, or in fact for those who may love the idea of handling and crafting with yarn, but the use of needles is not appropriate.
Since it is easy and half-term is just round the corner, I thought I’d pass on the skill. Thank you to my younger son who, as ever, was keen to get involved with my yarny request. Please don’t examine the cleanliness of his hands too closely, I can’t vouch for it. Start with a willing participant and super chunky or scarf yarn. You can use thinner yarn, you will just create an airier fabric.
1. Drape the yarn over your palm (photo 1) with the tail at your thumb.
2. Wind the yarn over your index finger, under your middle finger, over your ring finger and under your little finger (photo 2).
3. Wind the yarn round the top of your little finger, under your ring finger, over your middle finger and under your index finger (photo 3).
4. Repeat step 2. You will have two strands of yarn across each finger, with the tail of the yarn being the second strand on your index finger (photo 4).
5. Starting with the little finger, lift the bottom strand over the top strand and off your finger so there is only one strand remaining (photos 5 -7). On your index finger there isn’t a second strand as such so just drape the tail of the yarn between your two fingers instead. You should end up with one strand of yarn over each finger as in photo 8.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 until you have a length of fabric long enough for your chosen project. The fabric will “grow” on the back of your hand. Don’t worry if it looks untidy. The purl side of your work is what is immediately visible. The knit side of the work is underneath (photos 9 and 10).
7. When you are ready to bind off, take the stitch off your little finger and put it on your ring finger. Pull the bottom loop over the top loop (that’s the one you’ve just placed there) and off your finger. Take the remaining loop and put it on your middle finger and repeat until you have one stitch left. Pull the remaining yarn through your last loop and tighten (photos 11 -14).
You can of course use three, two (or even one) fingers depending on what you want to create.
You will have something like this:
You may be wondering what on earth you can use this for. Well, it is actually quite versatile. You can make a cowl
scarf (this is just three strands of finger knitting plaited together)
you can wind it round a shape to make a wreath for your door
jewellery for kids
cards – you may remember this guest blog from last year by Hodge Podge
or sew the strands on to a plain cushion cover to create a tactile cushion. Other ideas are to use it instead of bunting to hang things off it for birthday celebrations. If you use flax or a man-made twine your work will be very durable and can be used for table mats or even for a skipping rope. The beauty of it is that you need no knitting needles at all and it is done in minutes.
Hope this has helped to inspire you a little!
www.deramores.com/blog-awards: This blog entry is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies.