Crocheting… Without a Hook!By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 9 Comments
We all know that crochet is a beautiful and versatile craft. We can crochet almost anywhere and all we need is just a yarn and hook, right? While that certainly is true, it is also true that crochet can be done with one fewer item. Leave your hook at home, people. You can now crochet with your fingers!
In fact, “leaving my hook at home” is exactly how this technique came to light for me. I was recently on a road trip and I was excited for the drive because I had brought a current crochet project with me to work on in the car. I was excited until I realized that while I thought I had hooks in every size from E through J, for some reason my “I” hook was missing! Doh! Why is it always the “I” hook?
I had previously learned about crocheting with fingers from a wonderful Spanish-language television show called “Despuntadas” on the TV station Utilisima. It used to watch it in Mexico City a few years ago. The host Karen Herrera always had beautiful and innovative garments to share and used the segments to teach everyone how to make them using a featured technique. She once made a lovely shawl crocheted entirely with her fingers!
My hookless predicament prompted me to grab two strands of worsted weight yarn and start to chain using my index finger. I had seen Karen do single crochets with her finger, but I wanted to try double crochets. Not surprisingly, it worked out wonderfully. The resulting fabric was open, airy, and very pretty.
Here are some videos from YouTube to give you examples of finger crocheting if you’ve never seen it:
Now, I’m still a beginner, but I wanted to share a couple of observations about finger crochet with you. While much of it is very similar to regular crochet with a hook, there are a few things we need to consider. One is yarn size. I began by double-stranding worsted weight yarn, which worked out well. Later I tried with a single strand of worsted weight and it was so loopy I couldn’t make sense of it. Later I tried with a size 6, super bulky yarn and that worked perfectly, although the resulting fabric was still light and lacy. Compared to crochet hooks, our fingers are big! Definitely try the technique with a thicker yarn!
Another thing I noticed was a big difference in the foundation chain. Usually my foundation chains look like a braid on one side and bumps on the other. For some reason, my foundation chains with this technique are quite loopy. Therefore, I need to manipulate the chain before crocheting the first row into the bottom bump. This makes the crocheting take a bit longer, but it’s worth it in order to have the finished-looking end on the work.
The final observation is that finger crochet is a lot of fun! The whole process feels very organic and it’s quite fascinating to see how the project evolves. I am currently working a cowl made of half double crochets in the round. The resulting fabic is really very charming and looks entirely different from any other crochet project I’ve seen.
Have you ever tried finger crochet? If so, what are your thoughts? Have I piqued your curiosity? Would you like to try it? Please leave your comments below!