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This Is The Ultimate Easy Hobby To Try While Social Distancing

Finger Looping

At this point, we all know that in order to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, we all need to do our part by staying home as much as possible. And while I’m happy to do my part by staying home, I think we can all agree that it can get a little monotonous after a while!

Hobbies are a great way to pass the time, but given the stress and uncertainty of our situation, you may not have a lot of extra energy to devote to learning anything too complicated. (I know I don’t!) So if you could use a simple hobby to help stave off boredom, I thought I’d share a super simple hobby of mine with all of you today! 

It’s called finger looping, and since it’s still relatively unknown, I’ll start by explaining what it is and what I like about it. Then we’ll explore what sorts of things you can make with this technique, followed by a quick finger looping tutorial to show you how to get started! :-)

Finger Looping

What Is Finger Looping?

Finger looping is like knitting or crochet, but it doesn’t require needles or hooks of any kind. Instead of creating loops in the yarn, you use a special type of yarn that has loops built right in! You simply use your fingers to thread the loops together to create one-of-a-kind creations.

4 Things I Love About Finger Looping

Finger Looping

1. It’s Simple

Adopting a new hobby can be intimidating, both in terms of learning a new skill and investing in all the necessary tools and materials. You may need specialized tools and equipment, some of which may be expensive and hard to find.

But finger looping is so simple and accessible that there’s really no barrier to entry! You only need two things for finger looping: a skein of loop yarn and a pair of scissors. Once you have those, you can start your first project right away!

Finger Looping

2. It’s Portable

Because finger looping is such a simple process, it’s also highly portable. Instead of being confined to one area, I can work on it in my recliner, at my dining table, or even in bed. (It even looks like it might be warm enough this week for me to work on my finger looping out into the backyard, which is a very exciting prospect!)

And once we’re all free to leave the house, you can take your finger looping with you. You could easily work on a project on a flight or during a long car ride!

Finger Looping

3. It Keeps My Hands Busy

I’ve always been a pretty fidgety person, so it helps to keep my hands busy while I watch TV or movies. Finger looping is perfect for this, because it keeps my hands occupied without requiring too much concentration. (Plus, it makes me feel much more productive!)

Finger Looping

4. It’s Fun!

And last but not least, I love finger looping because it’s fun! There’s just something really satisfying about making something with your own two hands. And I really enjoy the challenge of learning something new, so figuring out finger looping has been very rewarding in that regard.

Finger Looping

What Can You Make With Loop Yarn?

You can use loop yarn to make throw blankets, pillows, scarves, cowls, wrist warmers, tote bags, and more! You can find over two dozen free finger looping patterns on Red Heart’s website. (Red Heart is the brand behind Loop-It yarn, which I’ve used for all of my projects so far and really like!)

Finger Looping

But Red Heart isn’t the only source of finger looping patterns online! Here are a few that I’ve come across around the web:

Finger Looping

One of my first projects was the throw blanket pictured above, which was a great starter project. Since it’s just one big square, I didn’t have to worry about anything more complicated than “stitching” the yarn loops together. (I did decide to spruce it up a little by switching the direction of my loops every few rows, which is an easy way to create a striped look.)

Finger Looping

How To Do Finger Looping – The Basics

You’ll need:

Loop-it yarn
Scissors

Finger Looping

Directions:

While the specifics will vary based on what project you’re making, the basic process of looping the yarn is very straightforward. However, things like this are usually easier to show than they are to tell, which is why I decided to make a little video tutorial for you!

Watch my tutorial video here:

YouTube video

Do you have a hobby that helps you pass the time at home?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • This looks so interesting, and pretty Jillee. Thank you. I’ve never done any knitting or crochet. When I was a kid i tried to learn knitting from my grandmother but never felt comfortable with it.

    Quilting has always been my thing and I enjoy it so much.

    However, I’m saving finger-looping for future reference. I am a caregiver and this might be something I could do. Maybe my loved one might enjoy doing this in the future … maybe. At any rate the blanket you made is so pretty and I bet it’s warm too.

    Thanks again!

  • I’ve been wishing for a bed blanket to better coordinate with my quilt, so this might be an alternative to buying one as I don’t knit or crochet (yet)…in addition to not having much spare time (as my routine hasn’t changed much) I’m also picky about materials, so a microfiber or anything lab-created (or mostly) would be out. But from the comments below it looks like I could make my own loops out of almost anything. If I ever finish making curtains, this may be next on my list!

    As for not being able to source yarn with so many stores closed, could this not be ordered online?

  • As I read these comments, I agree with the ones who are in the same boat I am…I do not have this yarn around the house and cannot go out and buy it. I will not even go get groceries right now, I have them delivered. Call me a chicken I guess. Also, I do not knit but am I mistaken or is this more like crocheting than knitting? I do a lot of counted cross-stitch. Right now I am finding LOTS of neglected places in my home that I am cleaning. However, I have been fighting a really bad sore throat and earache and headaches so I have really gone absolutely nowhere. I am 63 with diabetes, arthritis and fibromyalgia so I am sort of nervous. Don’t smoke now but did for 40 years. To all of you out there…do take care and keep your families safe…God bless you all.

    • This exactly the same as 1 row plain, 1 row purl knitting Deb, at least in terms of what happens with the wool and how the result looks. In my opinion however, this looks like a pfaff, I feel ordinary very chunky wool (which would give the knitter a far bigger choice of colour, type etc) and large gauge knitting needles would be easier to work with. The advantage on finger looping is being able to knit a much wider article, eg Jillee’s blanket, in one piece.

  • It’s a lovely idea and even lovelier end products but… the yarn is very expensive. I can compare it to buying the raw ingredients to a good meal or buying the ready-made versions from a chef and just warming it up and serving. Or cake-mixes versus homemade cakes.

  • It would be a great way to relieve stress, Jillee, if I had any yarn, but here where I live all the craft stores are closed as they are not considered essential, some do, however, give you material and a pattern to make masks, but you must bring all the masks back to the store for them to distribute.

  • That looks so cozy!!! I’ve never heard of it.
    I am a quilter so I’m never bored! I spent a lot of time creating, no matter what’s going on in the world.
    I’m glad because with this quarantine we all have a lot of time on our hands.
    I also love to knit and do counted cross-stitch.
    As I said, I’m never bored!

  • You can use this same method with any chunky yarn. It doesn’t have to have the loops pre-looped for you. It works the same exact way, you just pull through the loose yarn to make your loop. I made a beautiful chunky blanket that way this year in a day and I can NOT knit. I crochet, but knitting intimidates me.

    • That’s interesting Heidi, do you think that’s because you’re accomplished in crochet but haven’t knitted? I’m curious because I’m a confident knitter but crochet intimidates me! Maybe someone who’s equally comfortable with both skills could say whether one is easier than the other. In UK, knitting used to be taught (to girls!!) in primary school and my mum knitted all the time so it was natural for me, unlike the skill of crochet! Possibly knitting was more an everyday thing because everyone knitted for the whole family, babies to adults, crochet items not so universal?

  • I learned this wonderful way to “knit” last fall. Several members of my family received blankets for Christmas. They loved them! It is very easy to learn and you can do it anytime. I used Bernat Alize Blanket-EZ from Jo-Anns, it’s very soft and easy to manage. The blankets are machine washable and dryable.

  • As usual, I am inspired by you, Jillee… I can’t wait to try this! Never wanted to take the time to learn to knit, but this looks very user friendly :) Thanks for sharing your new obsession!

  • This looks great but I think knitters would find actually just knitting it much easier, though finger looping definitely better for large projects, like the throw. I think you should be able to make the pattern shown on the video (instead of flipping over) by simply putting the loops the opposite way ie away from you and up instead of towards you and up then you can alternate the look within each row and create a different pattern e.g. squares instead of stripes. Happy ‘blanketing’!

  • This looks like so much fun and easy enough to get me motivated into making my own throws and afghans.
    I used to crochet and did counted cross-stitch but gave it up when my eyes started to go.

  • I’ll have to watch and see if I can catch on.My mom and I were never able to crochet.Were both lefties, but my Aunt and Grandma ( same family) did but it was just too complicated. When I tried to learn as a girl I wound up in tears afterwards because of frustration. It just wasn’t worth it. I did actually learn to knit using a knitting loom. I made hats for my nieces and nephews. I unfortunately had to give it up because my carpal tunnel syndrome was setting in and my hands would go numb. I’m going to try to watch this later and see if I can catch on. My sister is looking for a project my Niece might enjoy while she stays for a few days. Can you list how many skeins of yarn you used for your blanket project.

    • I have carpal tunnel also. I still knit and crochet but limit how long at a time I work on a project. I also tend to do smaller projects.. If I have numbness or pain I sleep in my wrist braces for a few days.

    • Deb – that’s exactly what I had to do before I had my Surgery about 5 years ago. I have occasional problems with it , but nothing to the extent before I had surgery. I had wear the braces for work and also sleep wearing them . Are there some other tutorials to explain some things better my mom and had some questions and wondered if had missed something. I tried years ago to learn to Crochet . Sitting across from someone didn’t help me. I guess I don’t have enough coordination. My moms mother tried teaching her and my mom had same frustration I had.

    • I’ve bought 5 or 6 so far – I haven’t really been keeping track, sorry! Although the patterns on the Red Heart website that I link to in the post include how many skeins you’ll need for each project :-)

  • Great idea for those unfamiliar with knitting and crocheting! By the way, I taught my left handed daughter crocheting using a mirror when she was a child. It really helped her grasp it! Another idea, you could easily add fringe to your project with a compatible color using regular yarn.

    • I’m a lefty, and my mom could teach me to knit but not crochet. Later in life I learned that if a right-handed person teaching crochet sits across from the left-handed person learning crochet, it works like your mirror idea and makes it easier. Lots of tears and frustration before I picked it up because the person teaching me sat next to me. That doesn’t work very well!! LOL!

      • Rita, I was about to say the same thing! I crochet, but my daughter wasn’t interested in learning when she was young. I looked up and printed out, a load of instructions for her to learn, but I guess she really wasn’t interested in all the reading required to learn that way. I later learned that sitting across from one another would help a leftie learn. By that time she was a teen and too busy with her friends to be bothered with it. So sad she’s not interested, because she’s now gotten into drugs as so many other young people. She’s in rehab now and I pray that it works for her!!!

      • I’m glad I checked the comments first I was about to state the same thing…lol, and I’ve just read Cindy’s comment AND the others, lol.
        It looks fantastic Jillee!

  • Thank you so much for showing us this new way to crochet for those of us who have tried the traditional way and got frustrated and quit. This looks really fun. You are a natural.

  • Fantastic! This was a great introduction to a terrific craft! Thank you! I must say it was nice to hear your voice and watch the informative video. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Did I miss how to end the project? How do you finish that last row of loops? Otherwise I might give it a try! Love the different textures when you flip sides.

  • Oh my goodness!!! A new craft. I just have to go get some of this yarn and do this. It looks so fun and easy…I hope the yarn comes in purple.

  • Hey Jillee,

    I love to knit. My grandma taught me and then I stopped for a while cuz life got busy (you know how that goes). So when I wanted to start back up again I needed a refresher course but my grandma lives 6 hours away on the other side of the state, so I found a great knitting website that has all kinds of tutorials. They even have a style of knitting called “the Continental Method” that I think would be great for left-handed people. I’m right handed so I knit “the English Method” but even though my left hand is by no means my dominant hand, I can use the Continental Method as well and actually can switch back and forth in the same project without it looking any different.

    If you feel the urge to try your hand at knitting, I found this website called “Knitting Help” that has great tutorials for everything to do with knitting from casting on, to the two basic stitches, to casting off, to changing yarns, pretty much anything you need to learn to knit.

    Here’s the site: https://www.knittinghelp.com/

    This page has all the free videos they offer to teach you the basics of knitting: https://knittinghelp.com/videos/learn-to-knit

    This page has the two methods of knitting, the Continental vs. the English method: https://knittinghelp.com/videos/knit-stitch

    Like I said, if you feel the urge to try your hand at knitting with needles, check the site out. If not, then keep rocking the finger looping! I know knitting with needles is not for everyone. Another style of needle-less knitting is to use knitting looms. So that’s another thing you can check out if you want. Just search “knitting loom” and tons of sites pop up! I have done both knitting with needles and knitting on looms. Next I may have to try knitting with my fingers!

    Thank you for sharing this post. I’m no knitting snob! I like to dabble in crafts of all sorts. So I may look into this to try it out if I can ever find the time! Lol.

    Sincerely,
    Ashlie K.

  • I love your tutorial! I am left-handed and my Mom was right-handed . . .when she taught me to crochet or knit she would sit across the table from me and that seemed to work perfectly! You should give that a try. Good luck!

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