Last week, I promised I’d share Teddy’s DIY finger knitted flower tutorial.
Teddy’s been finger knitting like a wild-man and we’ve made so many beautiful creations from the fruits of his labor.
I have already shared an easy finger knitting tutorial with you so that you can teach your child this wonderful skill. Finger knitting is a very calming activity and is great for strengthening hand-eye coordination in children.
Your little one will be so proud of the gorgeous goodies he can make from a few minutes of hard work.
to make our finger knitted flower, Teddy finger knitted a three-foot length of yarn rope from lovely rainbow colored yarn.
he then finger knitted this three-foot yarn rope a second time so that it was nice and fat.
we rolled the fat yarn rope into a spiral and used a needle and thread to sew the spiral into place so that it will not unravel.
with garden scissors, we cut a twig from the garden tree that had a small branch coming off to the left.
we cut out a green felt leaf and stuck it, using a hot glue gun, onto the twig branch.
we again used the hot glue gun to stick the yarn flower spiral onto the top of the twig and put our pretty flower into a vase.
Teddy’s pretty finger knitted flower is sitting on my desk and has brightened my day a million times.
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.
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 …
There is something supremely satisfying for our children when they are able to make a tangible creation with their own two hands. It’s one of the things I love most about Waldorf education, this sense that kids can make whatever they want. I’ve seen the gift unfold often over the years. I have watched as they have toiled over handwork, woodwork, art. It’s not easy at first. But it’s wonderful to see that, with perseverance and encouragement, their little hands become more skilled and they grow in the confidence in their own ability. I’ve watched handwork turn into a love and a passion that I know they will both carry into adulthood. Lucky them!
Teddy knitted a cat the other day, all on his own. He thought he was the cleverest boy in the whole world. Just look at the photos of his face… do you see what a sense of accomplishment this project has given him? His eyes sparkle with triumph and he exudes ‘Yay!’.
I’ll share our easy knitting pattern, perfect for a child.
Teddy has become a proficient knitter. The entire project took him under an hour to complete.
With medium weight yarn, knit a square; 12 rows of 12 stitches. Here is a previous post we have shared on knitting with kids.
When your knitted square is complete, finger knit a 6 inch tail. Here is a previous post we shared on finger knitting with kids.
Here are the step-by-step instructions (drawings by Kitty).
3. Fold knitted square in half. Use your yarn to sew/thread the long edge together.
4. Use your yarn to sew/thread ONE short edge together.
5. Stuff your cat’s body with wool until he is nice and plump.
6. Finger knit a 6 inch tail for your cat. (Here’s an article on how to teach your children how to finger knit). Use your yarn to sew the tail onto the cat. Use a piece of red yarn to tie a bow around your cat’s neck. This yarn bow will form the cats head.
VOILA!! Your child has knitted a sweet and soft cat.
Kitty has become quite the knitter. She loves to sit peacefully in a comfy spot and knit quietly. She has knitted herself a hat, a chicken, her dolls a blanket, her animals some scarfs. I find it magical to watch her in her own world while she works with her hands and the lovely wool. Our cat Beamer can feel the beautiful energy that radiates from her when she’s knitting too as Beamer often curls up next to Kitty and sleeps with a constant purr.
I love that Kitty knows that she can make something beautiful with her own hands. It’s important to us that she uses beautiful yarn too and we spend a little extra to buy her top quality yarn in beautiful colors. I love that she respects the quality of the materials she works with and values her work.
In Waldorf schools, children learn how to knit as a part of their First Grade curriculum. Handwork is an important aspect of their education throughout the years. It’s good for them for so many reasons. The hand eye co-ordination needed is excellent practice and it’s a super activity for connecting their left (technique) and right (creativity) brains. It’s a peaceful meditative activity which can be very helpful in alleviating stress. But, what I am most enamored with right now is the aspect of knitting that demands a child to start on a project and work on it for many months before it reaches completion. Kitty took 4 months of knitting to finish her hat… 4 months! In our fast paced modern world, when does a child work on anything longer than a few minutes, let alone 4 months!
If you want to teach you child to knit, perhaps start the way they start in Waldorf schools… by making your own knitting needles together… here is a tutorial. If you don’t know how to knit yourself, don’t let this put you off… it will be a lovely bonding time together as you teach each other. There are many tutorials on Youtube that can help you every step of the way. I love the rhyme Kitty taught me to help me remember the technique when I was learning…
In through the front door, Once around the back, Peek through the window, And off jumps Jack!
I saw some wonderfully colorful, yarn wrapped, branches on Pinterest the other day and knew that Kitty and I would have to give them a go. What a perfect way to bring a splash of rustic Spring color into our home.
So, on a cold and rainy day, Kitty and I set to work. The trick is to choose nice sturdy sticks that have great random angles and twiggy nodes. We used our rainbow yarn that changes color every so often. It’s important to always use quality yarn and well worth the extra few dollars for the beautiful results good yarn ensures. It’s important to me that Kitty and I work with yarn made of natural materials… wool, alpaca, cotton. There’s something magical about working with natural materials… it’s a warming and authentic experience and if you are going to spend the time making something, you might as well respect it enough to make the whole experience as meaningful as possible.
As we worked together, wrapping tightly our sticks, Kitty and I talked about what colors we liked best and why. We thought about what each color means to us and what it makes us think of. Our time together is so precious and I value these bonding times with all my heart. Getting to know her as she blossoms in to a beautiful person is a true gift of motherhood.
And, to make something beautiful together is a gift too… aren’t they lovely!
I was the luckiest mom on Mothers Day. I received two very precious gifts… a hand-dyed silk scarf from Teddy that he had painted for me in school (I’m wearing it now as it’s a rainy Spring day here in Southern California). From Kitty, I received an utterly gorgeous finger knitted flower that she made for me at school too. Her flower was so beautiful that I asked her to show me how to make a few more to go in my antique apothecary bottles. Oh my… I am utterly in love with them!
‘It’s so easy, Mom!’ she enthused. ‘All you do is finger knit some pretty yarn into a long rope, roll it up into a spiral and sew it onto a stick!’ As I am someone who has never finger knitted before and don’t sew very often, I couldn’t help being skeptical at the ‘easy’ part. But, true to her word, Kitty showed me how to make these beautiful yarn flowers in a couple of minutes. Really… our three were made in about 20 minutes.
All that’s needed is:
* prettily colored yarn (the more textured the better)
* a big needle
To finger knit, tie the end of your yarn into a slip knot (make a loop, thread the long end of the yarn through the loop and pull tight)
A simple slip knot.
Put the slip knot over your left index finger (if you are right handed). Adjust the knot to fit snugly over your finger. The long end of the yarn is the one hanging down… the short end is the one Kitty is holding in her other fingers.
Kitty calls her left hand (the one the the slip knot attached to it) her ‘needle’ hand. She calls her right hand, her ‘working’ hand. All you have to remember is left… needle. Right… working.
So now, to finger knit, with your working hand, loop the long end of the yarn over your needle finger, in front of your slip knot.
Clinch the yarn onto your needle finger with the thumb of your ‘needle’ hand.
With your working hand, pick up the slip knot and pull it over the second loop.
And right off your needle finger.
You now have only your second loop on your needle finger. Start the process again… make a loop over your needle finger with the long end of your yarn, in front of the yarn loop that is already on your needle finger. Slip the first loop OVER the second loop you have just placed there and slip it right off your needle finger. Pull tight, leaving just the third loop ‘knitted’ onto your needle finger. Your finger knitting will form a long finger knitted loop below your needle finger. This is what it will look like…
Continue finger knitting until you have a long yarn rope about the span of your outstretched arms, finger tip to finger tip (about a yard or two). Knot it securely so that it won’t unravel and cut it from your ball of yarn.
Now, because we want our yarn rope to be thicker than just one strand, we finger knit the rope we have just finger knitted… as Kitty calls this process, we ‘double finger knit’ it.
Again, make a slip knot. Try to get the slip knot as close to one end of your yarn rope as possible so that you have one very short end and one loooooooong end.
Thread the slip knot over your needle finger. Loop the long end over your needle finger, in front of the slip knot.
Pull the slip knot over the second loop and off your needle finger. Pull tight. Begin again… loop, first loop over second loop and off needle finger. Pull tight. Again. Again.
Again. Again. Until your whole first rope is finger knitted into a lovely thick second rope.
Roll up your lovely thick yarn rope into a spiral.
Sew your spiral into place so that it doesn’t unravel when left on it’s own.
Kitty is so confident at sewing because she doesn’t try to sew it perfectly neatly.
In fact, the rougher the spiral is sewn, the more charming your flower looks.
Kitty sewed the sticks onto the back of the flowers.
Voila! Pretty yarn flowers!!
They look beautiful as the centerpiece on our diner table.