There is something that is really captivating about finger knitting. I think it is because the children can make something quickly, the harder they work the more they produce, and the results are tangible, they can touch and feel the result of their work. We love to work with wool in the cooler months, it has such a nice warming texture. Finger knitting is good for developing hand and finger strength and coordination and is taught in most Montessori and Waldorf/Steiner Schools.
Caspar learnt finger knitting at (Montessori) school. But as we moved shortly after Otis joined cycle two (6-9 yrs) he never had the chance to learn. So we've looked at a few YouTube tutorials and made a few funny mistakes but it's a lovely activity for children. Caspar and Otis are screen free during the week (with the exception of Mathletics which their school requires) so this gives them something quiet to do at the end of the day to relax and unwind.
This coloured yarn is a four finger knit by Caspar. I love to use multi-coloured yarn, it looks so pretty. This will make a nice scarf, perhaps for his Grandma.
Otis is still learning but can do this simple stitch without looking and in the dark! We are thinking of adding different colours and making a garland for Otto's room. This green is gorgeous. This yarn in a little chunky which makes the knitting come together faster (this organic and plant dyed yarn is from Myriad here).
If you haven't tried finger knitting before you'll find that it is much easier than you might expect. For most children with average to good dexterity, it is easy to pick up. Start with the single finger knit as it will teach the child the general concept. The two to four finger knitting is a little harder but much more rewarding, as the knitting is bigger. Best of all, all you need is your child and yarn!
Here are the tutorials that we've found useful.
- Single Finger Knitting at Montessori Handwork, another easy to follow tutorial is here at The Magic Onions (the photographs use a child's hand). Teach yourself to do a slip knot to start.
- For the Four Finger Knitting, we used this tutorial with photographs by Flax and Twine, and this one on YouTube:
There are lots of things you can make with the completed finger knitting.
Red Ted Art has a lot of fantastic tutorials for finger knitting but this is my absolute favourite:
Check out this amazingly huge Montessori class finger knitting project!
This practical life has some useful tips on finger knitting with children including in a classroom setting.
Crumb Bums also shares some Montessori-inspired finger knitting here - I love the multicolour yarn they use.