Lines Across: Finger Knitting Tutorial

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finger Knitting Tutorial

When I was a kid I learned how to finger knit at camp. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. When I got home from camp, I bought 3 different rolls of yarn and knitted them all into one giant rope. I think it took me about a week (which is a really long time when you are a kid).

I loved how I could take yarn and turn it into something new and interesting using just my hands. In my imagination, I thought that this knowledge would be useful some day when I was stranded on a deserted island (because there is always yarn on deserted islands). I did end out wrapping it around my canopy bed and somehow attaching it to my doorknob so that I could open and close my door without getting out of bed. This sounds like the kind of thing I still do today, haha.

{Scroll down for a short video tutorial}

All you need is yarn (and scissors). It is really very easy to do once you get the hang of it. It is also a fun craft to do with older kids.

1. Start by holding your left (non-dominant) hand with your palm up. Hold the end piece of yarn with your thumb. You will only be using your 4 fingers for the actual knitting.

2. Using your right hand, wrap the yarn over your pointer finger, back behind your middle finger, over your ring finger then behind your pinkie.

3. Now wrap the yarn back around your pinkie, behind your ring finger, etc. You are basically making loops around each finger.

4. Move the yarn up to your knuckles and repeat step 2.

5. Wrap the yarn back around your fingers a second time. Now you have 2 rows of loops. Make sure to not wrap too tightly.

6. Now one finger at a time, pull the lower loop over the upper loop and then over the top of your finger.

7. Now you are left with just one row of loops. At this point you can let go of the end of the yarn with your thumb.

8. Push down the upper row. It now becomes the lower row.

Now repeat steps 4 - 8 over and over until the rope is as long as you want it to be.

At first the yarn on the back of your hand will look like a mess. Stretch it out gently as you go along. Quickly it will turn into a little rope or very thin scarf.

If you want to change colors, cut the first yarn, tie it to the end of a different yarn, and keep on finger knitting.

To finish the rope/scarft/etc..., cut the yarn leaving an extra 5 or 6 inches to work with. Carefully pull the remaining single row of loops off of your fingers, run the end of the yarn back through each of them, and tighten. This last step is very important. If you miss a loop the entire thing will probably unravel. I usually even go back and tie an extra knot just in case.

Video Tutorials

How to start finger knitting:

How to end finger knitting:

There are so many fun ways to use these ropes. Add eyes and a tongue and make cute little soft snakes.

Add fringe and turn them into little scarves for stuffed animals or dolls.

You can also use 2 or 3 yarns at once for a fun look.


  1. Ha! I used to finger knit EVERYTHING as a kid. My parents still use my finger knitted garland on the Christmas tree :)

  2. Hi this is Nicole from Colie’s Kitchen I just discovered your blog and wanted to drop by and say hi. I am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.

  3. Ha - how adorable is that! Great tutorial.

  4. Never heard of finger knitting before this- thanks for the enlightening post! Thanks for linking up to Things I've Done Thursday!


  5. Yay!! I am so happy you posted this. I used to "knit" yards and yards of rope as a kid, but unfortunately I had since forgotten how. (And just like you, I jimmy-rigged a rope-pulley system to open my doorknob from my bunkbed :)Thanks for the refresher!

  6. This brings back memories of my childhood! My sisters and I would make yards and yards of finger knitting but it never occured to us to make a cute snake! Great idea!

  7. My kids LOVE finger knitting, but they don't usually have any purpose for it when they're done. I love the idea of scarves for their toys. I'll have to show them this.

  8. I loved to finger knit as a kid, it is a gateway drug to regular knitting :P

  9. Hey Rachel! I hope you & your beautiful family are doing well! I wanted to let you know you are in My Stay At Home Nation Spotlight this week! Stop by & check it out. I can't wait to see what you link up next! Thanks so much!

  10. I love your tutorial. I linked it on my blog here:


  11. I still find it hard...

  12. Just tried this with a "fancy" yarn with sequins in it...made an adorable fashion scarf for my little girl!


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