72 Replies Latest reply on 24-Oct-2016 9:30 PM by mulcasterm

    Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting


      Take a picture of one of the projects you created and post it to the discussion. What did you like about this experience? How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom? How else might finger knitting be used to support special needs in the classroom?




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        • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting


          Here's my little guy...so cute! I'm going to do this with my kinder class. It was quick and simple enough for kinder age and the product at the end will be the big draw. I like that it doesn't use a lot of yarn so kids could refine their skills by doing more than one. It's also great for patterning and sequencing. Excellent! Now I just need to name him...

          • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

            worm (2).jpeg

            I took some creative liberty and made mine a worm ( saved steps going in search of eyes and such!). Patterns, repetition, concentration...I wonder about something like this for helping kids to focus/self-regulate when needed...

            • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting



              This link opens to a video on arm knitting ( I think that is what it is called!). My 17 year old made several scarves this way, quickly and effectively...but using wool the size in the video is intriguing!

              • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                Our family is on vacation (of sorts) right now - on our drive here I made a hat (it was a 2hr drive). Tonight I finished another one. Guess what my family is going to get in their holiday stockings? I'm getting better at this....might make another on the way home tomorrow.

                Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 9.15.35 PM.png

                • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                  File_001.jpeg I nicely was on a roll, and there was an end buried in the yarn.  But I like the technique and how portable and approachable that it is for new learners.  The biggest problem that lots of people have is that the results in knitting and crochet take time.  Lots of time.  Using finger knitting and arm knitting gives results fast.  I also like that I would not have to have a class set of needles for students to use also.  I would have a variety of yarn weights available to try, from a worsted (thinner) to a super bulky (thick) to change up the experience.  This would be a great project to do in November for presents or skills for students to use for the holiday season


                  I might also modify this activity by working with a smaller group of students first.  Then, I would make the group larger and have my first group (experts) spread around to help as needed.  This skill may help support special needs because it can be calming to some students.  It is also working with your hands, and seeing results.


                  I'll definitely try this with my own kids this afternoon! Thanks!

                  Another benefit of this skill is that students/people may be encouraged to learn more about knitting or crocheting.  This past year, we were getting ready for a Google Hangout with another class for a poetry reading. My students decided to decorate the class with items related to the poem (Chickens), and one student wanted to crochet a chicken.  We worked on it together in class, and lots of students were interested in learning.  The finger technique might be a great building bridge between following a pattern and getting used to using yarn.

                  • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting


                    Easy and fun, likely doable from grade 2 up.  Others have mentioned that an activity like this can be good for students' self-regulation; also for sts who experience fear of failure: it was very forgiving.  I like Melissa's idea to have students who learn t first show other students. It will promote communication, confidence, caring.

                      • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                        Yes, having student experts act as mentors is perfect. Finger knitting can be easy once you get the hang of it - but can take you awhile to get going. On a whim (I was covering a class) I once tried teaching an entire class of grade six students to finger knit at the same time and it was a bit of a disaster. I would love to try this with a class (with student mentors) and have them create their own video tutorial procedures (writing, oral language and media literacy?). Students could even analyst other tutorials on the web currently and evaluate their effectiveness. Next year, Pinky, next year.

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                          • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                            Of course...this could only be one in a set of activities they could be explored for creating video tutorials. We had a virtual makerspace for our students last year - I would love if our students created our own video tutorials for reference instead of getting them off Google. I understand that not everyone will love finger knitting as I do! Options!

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                              I have staff who would love that video tutorial ideas  combined with procedural writing (I live hitting multiple strands in one assignment!) Staff come to me for procedural writing  picture books, but to have a project like this in my back pocket would help show how the makerspace can tie things together. Also we have a hat and mitten tree around Christmas. We could get classes making for that cause as well.

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                              • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                I think I may be one of those that take a few attempts to get the hang of it.  This was my initial attempt and hopefully I can head into town to look for some chunkier yarn but I can definitely see how this is a great addition to the Maker Space.  I know that are students were enjoying the rubber band looming and am sure they would definitely be hooked on this.  I definitely like the idea of using this project also to contribute to a hat or mitten tree as stated by Jason. 


                                I hope everyone has a great weekend!


                                knitting attempt.jpgI

                            • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                              May I tweet out some pictures of your products. I just think that they are awesome. (unless you want to, or don't want me to at all. Sometimes I get too excited for my own good)

                              • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                I don't have eyes or a tongue, so no picture of my snake.  However, I like the Hungry Caterpillar link.  Students need to retell the story with three lengths, 4 cm, 6 cm, and 8 cm.  I like that the knitting didn't take too long.  I also appreciated that my tight/loose stitches were all forgiven when I stretched out my snake when I was finished!

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                                  I arm knit this scarf last winter, it was surprisingly easy and super quick (this took me 30mins).  I will work on finger knitting a snake tomorrow.  I would imagine that students could do this easily and finish a project in a period or two.  I would hate for students to start this type of project and have to remove it from their fingers or arms and then have a hard time coming back to it if the yarn gets knotted somehow.  It doesn't take a lot of skill because it is repetitive but does require focus in order to make sure the right piece of yarn is used. 

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                                    "Shorty" decided to cuddle up with my husky, Indy!  Great fun!  Much easier than I anticipated.  I thought it would take a long time, but could easily be completed in a 40 - 60 minute class.  I'm looking forward to trying this with our primary students.

                                    • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting


                                      I decided to make a double knit infinity scarf since all I ended up having was some pretty thin yarn (I was almost positive I had some really thick stuff in my stash!). This took me a couple hours to make.


                                      Overall I have a couple of thoughts. Firstly, since I know how to knit, I found it a little bit impractical. I didn't like being connected to it for a few hours! Then as I was sitting there, I wondered how I would incorporate this into the library time. I'm still not sure. I feel like at this point, I could run an after school makers club, but I'm still unsure of how I'm going to roll this out. Our school has also had a crochet club, so maybe that could help with the appeal. Doing this also made me wonder if looming would be more popular. I've never done it, but it's basically the same thing and I feel like it has more possibilities and you could set the project to the side in between sessions. Has anyone tried that?

                                      • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                        I am very excited about the idea of finger knitting! I had to cancel my knitting projects last year because dealing with needles  in my class was somewhat concerning me due to the nature of our students. I also loved the kindersize creatures you posted since they can be created a lot faster- not to mention the beauty of language connections! Let's get finger knitting! =0)

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                                          Phew!! First time ever for something like this! lol!  Right now no patience to finish it but for sure it is on my to do list when I find some free time. I will learn it and use it for my Makerspace activity for sure! I see this as great Makerspace activity which can be used in many curricular areas. Even though challenging for me, I enjoyed this activity :-))

                                          • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                            I think this activity highlighted how materials can be used to create in so many different ways.  Fingers to arms to needles and beyond.  An interesting investigation is how using different yarns of different thickness will yield different results.  Which yarn is better, for which purpose?  For younger students, I had a group of students stand around a cart with different materials and posed the question, "What might we create?  What materials would you need and how are you going to use them?"  Take time to look, think and talk with others.  Students made their own creations; some with partners.  Their procedures-initial designs were captured on video and google slides.  I think the process of exploration before modelling is vital.  By students sharing their products (analyzing and comparing them), they're provided with opportunities for re-designing, re-creating, re-thinking and exploring a new way of doing.  Attached are some photographs of the process.  Google Link:  Ms. Fraser HW Maker Spaces - Google Slides I can see how an educator's role in inquiry of observing, listening, prompting with questions, providing choices with an interesting idea, challenge, inspiration, experience...( see Ontario Arts Curriculum processes) fit well here. Students can often be co-doers, co-designers and co-learners in this process & technologies open new doors to view and create 21 Century Texts to reference, reflect on and create their own products to share. Opportunities for inviting generations of knitters, weavers... across many cultures and our world in to your classroom-Google Hangouts anyone?  Have you signed up for Global Maker Day October 25  globalmakerspaces ??

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                                            • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                              So I tried finger knitting this afternoon with my 10 year old daughter.  I watched a basic how-to video on You Tube - which I paused regularly until I got the hang of it. After about 15 minutes, a couple of my daughter's neighbourhood friends stopped by (ages 6 and 8).  They joined in as well. It was relaxing and fun once we followed the pattern a few times.  The younger girls had a few issues with tension - keeping the yarn loose enough to work with - it can be kind of painful if the yarn is pulled too tight. The 6 year old got a bit annoyed and unraveled the whole thing.  She did start again though and completed the white project below.  The 8 year old wanted to take a break. We problem-solved and figured out that if we used markers and taped them together we could hold the string in place. This would be useful in a school context where you would be starting and stopping a project over time.  We had an interesting discussion on what you could make with these (other than the obvious scarf) and how you could make them thicker (by braiding them together...).  My daughter and I both bought our own ball of yarn (identical blue/green/white pattern). She wondered which of ours would be longer at the end using all of the yarn - mine was - why? Something to do with pulling/tension of the stitches.  It was definitely an interesting and fun 'crafternoon'.


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                                                First time knitter.  Thicker yarn is needed for a beginner.  I needed perseverance to not give up even though the first attempt led to yarn all over my fingers.  Problem solving to learn from my mistakes and lots of rewatching videos.  Even though the finished product needs work, I liked how it looked more like something as I kept going.  If we're pushing learning skills to be an important part of the report card than activities like this one should be encouraged not discouraged.  Students may not learn the different types of ecosystems from this activity but what did they learn and what will they remember more?

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                                                  So my initial intention was to do a hat but I got frustrated trying to join the edges so it turned into a scarf.  I'm not a knitter but find finger knitting remarkably easy to do.  For this project I tried the double stitch approach.  I like the look of it but did find over time it was hard on my fingers.  (I've got the world's smallest hands so even with stretching my fingers all the way out I found the stitches were quite tight.


                                                  In terms of in the classroom, I love how easy and accessible finger knitting is.  Last year our crochet club partnered with a local animal shelter to crochet cat toys that were pretty much the snake attached to a pencil so this would be  a great addition to this project, no hooks or needles required. I also think it would be a great activity to help kids relieve stress and anxiety.  I've got a couple of kids in mind who I know I'm going to introduce it to.

                                                  • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                    I found the experience relaxing. Initially, I wasn't sure about application outside of creating a snake, band, belt, etc., but then I did some reading of the posts listed here and used the included links. I would love to create the hula-hoop rug! I appreciated the sense of accomplishment and the ease of progression. I do acknowledge, that I was fortunate enough to have some awesome chunky yarn available because I recognize using a thin yarn would have been a very different experience. That said, I can't wait to use a variety of yarns to make my finger knit ball to create my rug!

                                                    I am excited to share this skill with students... I like that for basics we can start with our Book Worms and move forward from there!


                                                      • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                        The one piece I forgot to mention, was that as I was creating my 'snake', I recalled recent wording in Jo Boaler's Mathematical Mindset book about math really being based on a series of patterns found in nature in the world... I see this activity very much about the application of patterns... Perhaps in their simplest form, but what a great 'repeating pattern' activity.

                                                      • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting


                                                        Ok so I got a little carried away.


                                                        I really struggled with this at first. I had to go visit my mom because she had yarn and had lots of knitting experience. As I was trying to copy the snake video, she was pointing out everything I was doing wrong. I was using very skinny string so it just wasn't looking right and my technique needed practice. I went out and purchased some thicker yarn but I also cheated. I bought a 4 peg loom to use instead of my fingers because it just wasn't working out the way I wanted it to. This way I could stop if I wanted to put my project down. The snake ended up not taking long at all to create and was a great way to start learning. Kids would love it for sure. I had some more yarn so I just started knitting it and it ended up being so long that I created an infinity scarf. The video with the kid showing how to do it was so helpful!! I love it when students teach me something new. In the end, I had the hang of it so I created the octopus without cheating.


                                                        This is such a fun task and I found cheater ways to make round looms using toilet paper rolls and taped on popsicle sticks. The visual arts curriculum doesn't include knitting or other yarn related activities but I'm sure you could connect it! I would love to use this in the classroom but feel that I would have to ask for donations of yarn as it can get expensive.

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                                                        • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                          I was makerspace earlier this summer. I gave finger knitting a try at the workshop  but definitely needed a bit more practice to get the hang of it. So while my attempt today was a little better than my previous one, I still need more practise! I will definitely try this with students but think I'll begin with the junior/intermediate students before attempting it with the younger ones. I wonder which age range will find it easiest. I think the kids will have a lot of fun with this craft and enjoy the variety of things they can create.



                                                          • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                            A great extension to finger knitting is arm knitting. As Melanie indicated in her finger knitting video the most difficult part is at the beginning when you cast on. After that it is smooth sailing! My son made an infinity scarf for his Nana and Grade 2 teacher for Valentine's Day! The downside for a classroom is that it uses a lot of wool. Students would need to supply their own. However if you enjoyed finger knitting I highly recommend arm knitting. I did discover that if I wanted to stop a project part way through (it's a bit like being in handcuffs!), that i could transfer it onto a metre stick! Here is a pick of 3 I made this Winter.image1 (3).JPG

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                                                              Finger Knitting.jpg

                                                              I’ve always had an interest in learning how to knit but have been a little too intimidated to give it a try; I enjoyed how easy the youtube videos were to follow and felt so accomplished when I finished making my scarf! I feel students could gain a similar sense of pride making their own clothing/rugs etc. I liked how the task promoted mindfulness. It would be great to set up a little yarn basket in the classroom for students who have trouble focusing or need a break to take advantage of. I think I’d like to use this in extra-curriculars, students could make scarves for fundraisers or as clothing donations etc.

                                                              • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                I didn't think this was that bad for my second try. Once I got my rhythm down it felt a lot better. Learning how and where to tug to keep things tight was where I experimented the most. I think getting students to help teach other would be best. My mom was around when I was learning this and getting reassurance that what I was doing was right helped me to keep going. Also she grabbed a crochet hook for me to use to pull the loops and that made getting the loop of my middle finger much easier! I will probably have some crochet hooks on hand for this!

                                                                I think this be a great activity to have available in classes for kids to do when they're done work or when they to chill out. Finding my rhythm was very relaxing once I started to figure it out.

                                                                I did use thinner wool on my first try and found it would split when I was pulling off the loops. Was I just pulling too hard or does thicker wool work better? IMG_20160806_145353873 (Medium).jpg

                                                                • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                  Growth mindset and perseverance for sure!


                                                                  It took me awhile to get the hang of it but I think I finally did. This is my initial go...IMG_2017.jpg


                                                                  After many attempts and undoing what I had done, this is the end result!


                                                                  IMG_2023 (1).jpg


                                                                  I think I would try chunkier yarn next time. This did work fine considering I took it a part about a dozen times.


                                                                  Finger knitting is awesome! I found it to be therapeutic and can see the benefits for students, particularly for students who have been identified with special needs. It can also help with fine motor skills. I am repeating myself from the other posts but I agree that this would be a great activity as a fundraiser for the local and/or school community. Would also love to start with a small group of students in the form of a club. We already have a few students (Grade 1) that are experts at finger knitting!


                                                                  Could also integrate procedural writing as well as math concepts to a project.


                                                                  Love it! So much fun!


                                                                  Now onto arm knitting!



                                                                  • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                    Had so much fun learning to finger knit that I wasn't willing to stop when I was told I had to put things away! Then I realized that in order to pack it away, I'd need some kind of finger substitute. Wish I'd read Mel's suggestion about the glasses. Instead I decided to just go one handed through dinner. It all worked out and  now I have a scarf that I'd actually be willing to wear (in the dark, to a movie... just because I made it myself.  :-)  I could see myself using this with a class at the start of the year ... and having them reflect on what they did when they encountered a problem such as how they handled having the loops slip off their fingertips or what happens if they didn't follow the advice to "keep it loose" or how they problem solved when they weren't done and needed more time. I think it would be a novel and fun way to get a casual discussion going about dealing with obstacles to learning.

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                                                                    • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                      Reading all the posts, it is interesting how we learn. Many needed someone (lots of moms) and enjoyed doing this with others. For sure collaboration. Because of my own struggles getting it, my first thoughts were getting a group of experts to help others. The students would love this. I am thinking that I will put videos tutorials on QR codes the students can scan with an ipad and follow along. Book Worms for sure and fundraising! I also thought of students that need some cool down time. I'm so happy to hear that I'm not the only one that thought I had to finish in one sitting! I think I could make the expert group now!


                                                                      • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                        This was my first knitting success. I come from a knitting family butI just never was able to pick it up .I made this scarf (it wasn't meant to be but I was watching the Olympics and got a bit carried away so I changed my plan and made a scarf). My model wearing my scarf said that she loved it but wouldn't wear it to school.  Oh well, it's a start. 

                                                                        I can definitely see this working in our Makerspace as an inexpensive activity for students to try.  I enjoyed reading the discussions above about how they can be saved when they are still a work in progress. 20160813_151535_resized.jpg

                                                                        • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                          finger knitting.jpg

                                                                          My first finger knitting experience!  I really liked it and it was easy to pick up.  I think I would use it in the learning commons at my high school to have a session to make a scarf or something to promote school spirit.  My worm looks more like a chain so I am not sure if I did it right but it was fun to experiment with and also to watch the videos provided with the different projects.  I would set up a station in one of my booths that I have with the videos and the supplies for the students and let them create what they want.  Lots of creative fun.

                                                                          • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                            Here is my example of the knitting activity. I loved learning how to finger knit and I will definitely incorporate this into my Maker Space as a low tech Maker activity. It would also be a great way to introduce coding or can be a way for students to distress during exam periods.

                                                                            • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                              I can do the summer modules too? Hooray!

                                                                              Okay, please be forewarned ... my students and I are quite obsessed with finger-knitting.


                                                                              These are cat ears with an elaborate head-band. My big push for myself in my MakerSpace is to avoid just following the directions to make one thing (for me, this is what distinguishes MakerSpaces from arts and crafts - change the recipe, experiment). I saw this idea in a book Mel recommended but instead I tried braiding three finger-knitted strands together. I like the look and need to tinker with what other things I can make using this technique.



                                                                              (Here's a close-up of the yarn braid.)




                                                                              My Twitter feed has been filled with photos like this of my experiments. This is (maybe) a lap blanket, made October 2016. I like it for the flaws as well as the successes.

                                                                              Success = the ability to join finger-knitting together using a different strategy than the circular tube method used when making hats, the size of the project (it took 4 skeins - I think the finger-knitted skirt I made took 3 or 4). I forget the actual name for this method.

                                                                              Flaws = the inconsistent end lengths (went big, then narrowed, then big again), the times when I picked up "not the end ears" (although I like the rigged pattern it makes), the changing of colours half-way through a row, the loose stitches

                                                                                • Re: Module 2: Consolidation Finger Knitting

                                                                                  You made the blanket with your FINGERS?!?! Tell me more!!!

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                                                                                      After I made a gazillion scarves and a gazillion hats (okay, it was more like 4 hats), I wanted to try something bigger.

                                                                                      "Knitting without Needles" by Anne Weil suggests three approaches to knitting wider or attached finger-knitting: single strand attached, spiral attached, and multistrand attached (page 156).

                                                                                      I first tried "proof of concept" with the single strand technique (like a snake, forefinger joins and then pinky joins).

                                                                                      This was the result:


                                                                                      Then my mother had a ridiculous amount of yarn that she had been given ages ago but never used - 12 skeins of brown and 12 skeins of blue. The one thing that had stopped me in the past from bigger projects was the amount of wool needed. (I hadn't yet discovered the Yarn Factory Outlet that you, Melanie, recommended.) I originally intended to make a regular sized blanket but the size went wonky on me. I guestimated that the blanket should be my height and the first strand was but the rest went shorter, then longer. Here's an "in progress" shot.


                                                                                      I will try doing a blanket again, but I am not a big fan of counting all my rows or making guide strands and the end results showed that I skipped those steps. I have to figure out if I just have to "bite the bullet" and do it to get the proper length every time, or if there's another way to do it. I'm thinking of inventing a new way (a multi strand attachment but doing it simultaneously with a forefinger join on one side and a pinky join on the other). One of my students feels more comfortable making long single strands and I have to debate with him whether it's a better strategy for him to hand stitch his super-long snake together or use my new, as yet untried method.