Friendship bracelets are a quintessential summer craft. I have many fond girlhood memories of whiling away an afternoon with nothing but a few pretty skeins of thread and my favorite tunes to keep me company. DIY bracelets are no longer solely the territory of pre-teen girls, however. Kids of all ages are getting in on the action, and so is mom.
In fact, if you’d like a simple introduction into the world of handmade jewelry, finger knitting may be just the ticket. It’s easy enough for even young children to pick up but there are lots of ways to make the technique alluring to your pre-teen and teenage kids, too. In addition to bracelets, finger knitting can be used to create necklaces, scarves, and belts. Plus, to really modernize the look, you can add embellishments or use jersey material instead of yarn.
For this project, you need about 9 feet of yarn — less if the bracelet is for a child. When selecting your yarn, keep in mind that a thicker variety will produce a more uniform and tightly woven look. My motto is: the chunkier, the better for beginners. To start, loop your yarn behind your index finger, leaving about a 6-inch tail across your palm and in front of your thumb.
From here on out we’re going to be talking about the long end of the string, not the tail. Weave it in front of your middle finger, behind your ring finger, and in front of your pinky.
Now bring the string from behind your pinky and begin weaving it back toward your thumb.
Weave it in front of your ring finger, behind your middle finger, and in front of your index finger.
Now take the string and wrap it all the way around the back of your hand and back to your pinky.
Pull the string across the front of all four fingers. Starting with your pinky, pull the bottom row of yarn up and over your finger.
(Go over the top row of yarn in the process.)
Repeat this process with the remaining three fingers, ending with your pointer finger.
The back of your hand will look like this. Repeat this same process over and over. As you go, periodically tug on the end of your bracelet to tighten it up.
Once your finger knitting is long enough to fully loop around your wrist, slip your finger out. You will be left with four loops that look like this.
Thread the end of the yarn through all four loops and pull to tighten.
Just like the classic thread friendship bracelet, finger knit bracelets are secured around the wrist with a simple knot. The give of the yarn makes it possible to slip finger knit bracelets on and off.
For a little extra bling, use a plastic needle to thread a bead or even a shiny hex nut onto each end of the bracelet.
Secure each with a knot.
Once you and the kids have the technique down, you’ll be able to churn out a bracelet in five minutes flat.
Photo Credits: Stephanie Morgan