How to Finger Knit a Skipping Rope
How to fill playtime with Old World charm? Start with vintage handles from a local garage sale or Etsy. Then simply add finger-knit cotton cording for a beautiful heirloom toy that any child will love!
Image and content courtesy of Knitting Without Needles by Anne Weil, published by Potter Craft.
How to Finger Knit a Skipping Rope
Skill Level : Beginner
You Will Need
- 20 m of 3 mm cotton craft cording (for a jump rope up to 105″/267 cm)
- Four large beads with 10 mm holes
- Skipping rope handles
Sizes and Measurements
Half inch (13 mm) diameter, up to 120 inch (305 cm) long, including handles.
Test the width of your fingerknit cord to make sure it cannot fit through the hole in your handles and can fit through the hole in your beads.
The correct length for a jump rope depends on the height of the jumper. Use the chart below from Jumprope.com as a guide. Measure for a good fit by standing on the middle of the jump rope and bringing both handles up. The tips of the handles should land between the armpits and shoulders. Measurements go from handle tip to handle tip.
|Height of Jumper||Length of Rope|
|Less than four feett||72 inches (1.8 metres)|
|Four feet to Four feet nine inches||84 inches (2.1 metres)|
|Four feet, ten inches to five feet, three inches||96 inches(2.4 metres)|
|Five feet, four inches to five feet, ten inches||108 inches (2.7 metres)|
|Five feet 11 inches to Six feet, five inches||120 inches (three metres)|
How to Finger Knit
At its heart, finger knitting is simply using your fingers to create a series of loops strung together. Technically, if you use all four fingers, the material you are knitting has four stitches per row (one on each finger). You can finger knit with one finger (making a chain), or with two, or three, in which case your rows have one to three stitches per row.
When you finger knit, you are making two sides to the fabric. One side is the purl side, one side is the knit side. Here are other terms you’ll come across in every finger knit project:
Row : A row consists of the number of stitches you make on your hand during one pass of the working yarn around your fingers and the subsequent lifting of the bottom strands over the top.
Stitch : Each loop you make on each finger is an individual stitch.
Working Yarn : Extending from the ball of yarn you are working with, the working yarn is used to make new stitches.
Tail : The yarn left over from casting on your stitches is called the tail.
This is the side of the fabric that faces your hand as you knit.
This is the opposite side of the fabric, which faces away from your hand as you knit.
Pulling Strand Taut
Pulling on the tail straightens the strand. The tension causes the sides to curve in toward one another, forming a tube.
This is the most common type of finger knitting. As the name implies, you will wrap yarn over four fingers to create stitches.
Finger knitting works in an over-under pattern. If you’ve gone over a finger last, you’ll go under or behind the next one.
Start by placing the yarn in between your thumb and palm-up hand, letting the tail hang behind your hand. Bring the working yarn between your forefinger and your middle finger to the back of your hand. Beginners may choose to cast on and knit with the stitches at the base of the finger; however, it is faster and will give you more consistency if you knit higher up on your fingers.
Bring the tail from behind your middle finger to the front of your hand and over your ring finger.
Wrap the yarn around your pinky, and head back the other direction, going behind your ring finger and over your middle finger.
Next, bring the yarn around your forefinger.
Bring the yarn behind your middle finger and over your ring finger and around your pinky.
Next, bring the yarn behind your ring finger, and over your middle finger.
Each finger should have 2 wraps on it (include the tail hanging over your forefinger). You’ve now cast on.
Row 1 : Starting with your pinky finger, pick up the lower strand, and bring it over the top strand and the top of your pinky.
Next, pick up the lower strand on your ring finger and bring it over the top strand and the top of your finger. Repeat for your middle finger.
Pick up the tail, which is lying across your forefinger, and bring it in between your forefinger and middle finger to the back of your hand. Now that you’ve moved the tail to the back, for future rows, the strand on your forefinger will be tighter around your finger like the rest of the stitches. If the stitches ride up your fingers, just push them lower.
Row 2 : Re-thread the working yarn across your fingers. Bring the working yarn around your forefinger and behind your middle finger, then over your ring finger and around your pinky, and finally behind your ring finger and over your middle. You should have two strands on each finger. Now pull the lower strands over the top as described in row 1.
Stopping in the Middle
To take a break in the middle of finger knitting, feed a pencil, pen, stitch holder, or large safety pin through the loops from your pinky to your forefinger, moving from right to left.
Set the work aside. When you want to pick it up again, place the loops back on your fingers, starting with the forefinger and moving from the left back to the right. The knit side should be facing your hand.
To bind off, cut the working yarn and bring the end through your pinky loop, your ring finger loop, your forefinger loop, and, lastly, your middle finger loop; this is where the working yarn is extending from, so it is the last loop you want to tighten down.
Holding on to the working yarn, remove the stitches from your fingers. Pull the working yarn slowly, and the loops should close fairly evenly.
How to Make a Skipping Rope
1. Leaving a 10″ (25.5 cm) tail, finger knit a two-finger strand until the desired length (see chart). If in doubt, plan for a longer length; you can always shorten and redo the handles to fit after, but you can’t make it longer! Bind off, leaving a 10″ (25.5 cm) tail.
2. Thread two beads onto the tail about 10″ (25.5 cm) up the strand.
3. Next, thread the same tail through the handle. Pull the handle up to the beginning of the finger-knit strand. Tie a knot in the tail as close to the knitting as possible.
4. Slide the handle down so that the knot rests inside the top of the handle.
5. Tie a knot to use up the extra length of cord between the finger knitting and the handle. Keep the beads far enough up on the strand to be out of the way, and use the finger-knit strand as part of the initial wrapping of the knot.
6. Push the knot into the single-strand section adjacent to the top of the handle. If you need to use up more length, tie another knot.
7. Pull the beads down to cover the knot(s). The beads should move enough to allow the jump rope to rotate easily.
Repeat steps two to six on the other end of the rope. If need be, remove the knots and handles and shorten the jump rope by undoing the bind off and unraveling the required length of stitches. Then, bind off again. When length is set, trim any tail so that it doesn’t stick out of the handle.