Finger Knit Basket

Finger Knit Basket 8

I know, it’s been a long time coming.  I promised to show you what I ended up doing with those long felted strings of finger knitting I made back in October.  Well here it is.  So my carpal tunnel in my wrists right now is so bad I can’t actually do real knitting for longer than ten minutes before my fingers go completely numb.  I’m getting massage therapy for it and it’s helping, but the road to recovery is slow.  As a result of this, I still haven’t finished the Atlas blanket that I was making for Krystopf and Atlas for their wedding.  I needed a sort of stop-gap present to keep them appeased (not that they even care) until I was ready to present them with the real thing.

After I felted that one ball of finger knit merino wool, I went on to do five more; in total, I had two black strings, two maroon strings, and two olive green strings.  The Pie actually finger knit one of the green strings all by himself, grumbling and complaining the whole time.

Then I felted each one by chucking it in the washing machine — and then the dryer if it was needed.  The green ones felted differently from the rest, despite being the same wool — so there was a longer string of green than anything else.

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I tied each matching string to its partner and rolled it up in a giant ball.

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Then I braided them all together.  This took a very, very long time, because I kept having to move the balls around while I was braiding.  I found it was easier to keep the balls from rolling all over the place and unraveling if I put them in saved produce bags from the grocery store.

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Finally I had a huge thick braid. The idea is to coil it all together, like so.  This would be the bottom of the basket.  Then sew the braid to itself, like you would a braided rug, or that doily I made last year.

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When I got enough of a base going, I started to loop the braid on top of itself, to form the sides of the basket.

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I kept the basket relatively narrow, not letting it get too wide (though that would be neat, too), and so I was left with a lot more braid once I’d gotten the basket to a size I liked.  I just tied it off and sewed it down and that was that.

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And that leftover green string?  I actually finger knit the felted finger knit, forming this tight little braid, the perfect length for a handle  Tada!

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I sewed that into the top of the basket and now we’re good to go!

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Have you tried Finger Knitting?

Finger Knit

Seriously, have you?  It’s fun and super easy and you get some really quick results.  Definitely something you can do with kids.  It produces a long chain of stockinette-like loose stitches that remind me of what used to come out of that weird plastic crochet-tube thing we were given as kids.  Remember?  Maybe not.

Finger Knit

Anyway, if you’d like to try it, get yourself some yarn.  A huge chunky knit will give you the best results, but I am planning on felting my strings so I’m going with some merino wool.

Finger Knit

Find the end and drape it over the space between your thumb and forefinger.  You may need your thumb to hold that tail in place for the first few rows, but you can let it go after that.

Finger Knit

Take the yarn and bring it in front of your index finger, behind your middle finger, in front of your ring finger, and around behind your little finger.

Finger Knit

Then bring it in front of your little finger, behind your ring finger, and so on, until you’ve woven it back to the beginning.

Finger Knit

Then pull it around your index finger and do that again, so you end up with two loops of yarn on each finger.

Finger Knit

Now take the lower loop on your little finger and pull it up and over the upper loop.

Finger Knit

Repeat that with all your other fingers until you’re left with one loop on each one.

Finger Knit

Take another full pass with your yarn, in, out, in, alternating on the way back.

Finger Knit

Then pull the lower loop over the upper loop again on each finger. Keep going. Eventually something like this will start coming off the back of your hand. It will look a bit different depending on the size of your fingers, the tension and thickness of the yarn, and all that jazz.

Finger Knit

If you get tired or bored while you’re doing this or you need to do something else, just jab a pencil through your loops and put it down. Come back to it later.

Finger Knit

Finger Knit

When you’ve got a chain as long as you want it to be, you can cast off. After doing your last row of loops, leaving you with one row only of loops on each finger, take the loop on your little finger and put it above the loop on your ring finger.

Finger Knit

Pull the lower loop on your ring finger up and over the one you just added.

Finger Knit

Take the loop that is left and put that onto your middle finger.

Finger Knit

Hook the lower one up and over, and put the remaining loop onto your index finger.

Finger Knit

Hook the lower one up and over and then you’re left with one loop!

Finger Knit

Then it’s a simple matter to thread the end of your yarn through and tie a knot.

Finger Knit

This is a finished chain. You’ll note I’ve reinforced the knots at both the beginning and end. Next to it is one that I felted by running through the wash and then the dryer.

Finger Knit

Here’s a closeup of the loose weave of the chain I made versus the tight string after it’s felted.  Dog hair may or may not be included.

Finger Knit

Here’s a very long chain I made as well. You can see how easy it would be, especially with a chunkier yarn, to sew the chain together to form a block, a blanket, or a rug. Or whatever. I’m still debating what I am going to do with mine, but I’ll keep you posted.

Finger Knit