DIY Finger-Knitted Scarf

Cold, gloomy weather = the perfect time to wear a rainbow everywhere.


For this cozy, fall-themed DIY, I’m gonna show you how to make your very own faux-knitted scarf. I say “faux” because you’ll be using just your fingers to knit—no knitting needles! It’s super-simple to do, and the result looks totally rad.

What you’ll need:


  • Lots of yarn. Any kind, from medium to bulky weight, will work, but yarn described as superfine or lightweight is too thin. I went for a rainbow theme with my scarf, so I used yarn in a variety of colors, plus some white for clouds.
  • Scissors.

How to do it:


1. The base of the scarf will be made from of long finger-knitted “ropes.” Start off with a piece of yarn that’s still attached to the skein.


2. With your palm facing you, clasp one end of the yarn between your thumb and your index finger, as shown.


3. Wrap the yarn under your middle finger, over your ring finger, and under your pinkie. Bring it back over your pinkie, under your ring finger, over your middle finger, and under your index finger. Repeat the over/under wrapping process two more times, until you have what looks like two dashed lines of yarn across your fingers, like in photo 4 above.


4. Now it’s time to start knitting! Pull each loop from the bottom row of yarn (marked with pink dots in this photo) up and over the top row of yarn and your fingertips.


5. You’ll be left with just one row of yarn along the palm side of your fingers. Push these loops down your fingers a bit (as shown).


6. Repeat steps 3 and 4. Continue repeating those two steps until you have something that looks like the photo above.


If you kind of tug on the end a bit it’ll start to look more like a rope.


7. When your rope reaches the length you want it to be, finish the end off by weaving the tail into and out of the loops on your fingers. Then remove the yarn from your hand and tug the end again to tighten it up.


These are much shorter versions of what your finished ropes will look like. For reference, my finished ropes were about 60 inches long.


8. Pair off your ropes in whatever color combinations you like, such as red/orange, yellow/green, and blue/purple, and tie the loose ends together.


9. Using a crisscross pattern, lace each pair of ropes together with a piece of matching yarn.


Gently tug on the yarn as you go along to help close up the gap.


10. Once you’ve laced the entire thing up, tie the loose ends together and snip off the excess.


11. To make this scarf actually look like a scarf, you’ll need to lace all three of the rope pairs together, just like in the previous step. If you don’t want to bother with the lacing, you can braid the ropes together instead, or even just wear them as-is! It’s up to you.

To make and attach the pompoms:


1. Wrap some more yarn around your hand (or a small piece of cardboard) multiple times to create a bundle.

2. Lay that bundle on top of a length of yarn about three times longer than the length of the bundle (see photo 2 above).

3. Triple-tie that loose length of yarn around your bundle. Tie it tight! This will create a bunch of loops on either side of the knot.

4. Mark the ends of the yarn that you used to tie your bundle with a piece of tape or a marker so that you won’t get them confused with the rest of the yarn—you’re gonna need these strings in a minute.

5. Cut all of the loops open with your scissors and give the pompom a trim! Remember: Don’t cut the yarn that you marked in step 4! But otherwise, don’t be afraid to cut off a lot—pompoms usually look more pompom-y once you’ve cut away a good portion of the yarn.


6. Weave the strings that I told you not to snip through the ends of the scarf and tie them together to secure the pompoms in place.


And there you have it! Your super-cute new rainbow scarf is perfect for wearing on gloomy late fall days, wouldn’t you say? ♦


  • ThePuNkR0ckeR November 25th, 2013 7:11 PM

    i have missed marlena! Also, i love the hair :)

  • herdinthehalls November 25th, 2013 7:16 PM

    I used to do this with toilet paper tubes, but I could never remember how to start one!
    I really want to make one of these scarves right now.

  • adacharlotte November 25th, 2013 7:32 PM

    OH MY GOD do you guys even understand how amazingly perfect this is?!? I loooove it and must do this over Thanksgiving break… I used to fingerknit a lot when I was a little kid, but haven’t done so in forever– thank you for this!

  • Microbyte1 November 25th, 2013 7:48 PM

    so cool, and your hair is awesome!

  • Katiekay November 25th, 2013 9:06 PM

    LOVE this!

  • Melissa @ WildFlowerChild November 25th, 2013 10:32 PM

    Oh my bleep, this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!!!!!!!! I’m about to cry. Making this immediately!


  • Anya N. November 25th, 2013 10:44 PM

    this has nothing to do with the article but i am SO SO SO SO SO SAD SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME

    • Tavi November 25th, 2013 11:57 PM

      Oh no, Anya, I’m so sorry – what’s going on? We’re here for you and all ears. <3

      • Anya N. November 29th, 2013 7:35 PM

        I’m not sad anymore. Thank you. <3

  • julalondon November 26th, 2013 1:34 AM

    Love this! This really brightens up a dark fall/winter evening!!!=)

  • Raissomat November 26th, 2013 2:24 AM

    I bow down Marlena. Do you know how Good you are? I do ‘t think you know. I’m a seamstress and decorator but I don’t have half the skills, passion and creative genious you have. You make me so happy.

  • Graciexx November 26th, 2013 3:56 AM

    yay Marlena’s back!!

  • Mary the freak November 26th, 2013 9:47 AM

    It’s not weird to scream when Marlena posts a DIY on Rookie, is it?

  • ghoststakepolaroids November 26th, 2013 1:06 PM

    ahh its so cute!
    i love finger knitting its like french knitting but on your fingers basically haha

  • threelittlebirdies November 26th, 2013 2:40 PM

    Omg I’m so excited to see a project on fiber arts! I’m plotting a knitting revolution (haha) and I teach knitting to young kids and girls my own age too.. I teach finger knitting to the kids who don’t quite get actual knitting, and they all love it. I remember when I was 7 or 8 and learned how to finger knit, it’s just fun, goes by so fast, and builds self confidence when you have a finished product! It’s awesome that you have this post with a cute final project, too, because often when I teach, kids aren’t sure of what to make their SUPER long chains in to!! Currently, I’m trying to organize a ‘knitting revolution’, to get other teens knitting as I feel like it promotes everything I value the most- keeping jobs in America, self confidence, focus, and it’s a dying art form! I’m happy to say it’s catching on fast, so much that I’ve gotten a whole following of girls who knit in class or on the bus to sports games and such :P

  • alissa cha November 26th, 2013 3:56 PM

    oh my gosh, this is just kittens and glitter and rainbow galore and i love the idea and how it looks like – and marlena looks so very pretty.

    o: too much perfection.

    xx, alissa

  • Ana November 26th, 2013 5:26 PM

    *tires screeching as i go to the nearest craft store to buy supplies for this*

  • Marie November 27th, 2013 2:36 AM


  • flapperhatgirl November 27th, 2013 8:08 PM

    Um, can you please do a tutorial on how to get the most perfect hair ever seen on a human being (aside from Louise Brooks?)???

  • lauraunicorns November 27th, 2013 9:04 PM

    I’m so glad Marlena’s back on Rookie! I can’t wait to try this :D

  • spectra December 6th, 2013 4:06 PM

    i keep trying to do this, but it eventually gets too tight on my fingers (and i have tiny child hands!) any tips for this? thanks!!

    • spectra December 6th, 2013 5:55 PM

      never mind i figured it out!! this rules ^ . ^

  • December 9th, 2013 11:47 AM

    I’m trying this right now but somehow my loops are much bigger than I see in the photos. Is it because of the yarn I use, am I holding my fingers to wide, or is it something else?

  • December 9th, 2013 5:34 PM

    So love this project!!!

  • Jo-Anne December 15th, 2013 8:00 PM

    Can’t wait to try this!! I’m going to a “Chrismukka” party where we are bringing homemade gifts and since I am a slow crocheter, this will be an awesome gift to make!! And the rainbow theme will be perfect. Great idea. Can’t wait to go to the craft store tomorrow to buy the supplies!!

  • CherriCola2012 December 16th, 2013 12:09 AM

    Hey. I don’t know if you kept track but about how much yarn did this take for the one scarf?

    • December 17th, 2013 5:17 AM

      I bought 50gram for each color and still have heaps left after making this!

  • loveabully January 2nd, 2014 12:06 PM

    This looks awesome and amazingly simple. Any hints on how to stop/restart in the process of making one of the ropes? Thank you.

  • foxbabe January 3rd, 2014 5:17 AM

    I seen and had to try to make one I am now putting it together… Just had a bit of trouble choosing colors lol. I had to read the instructions a couple times but caught on right away. The pictures are always a great help. Thank You!

  • Daisy May January 9th, 2014 11:17 AM

    This is so great! I can’t wait to make matching ones for my sister and I c:

  • spedteach March 9th, 2014 11:53 PM

    I can’t figure out how to pull it tighter or see if I’m actually doing it right. Do you have a video tutorial of this? It looks really cool and I really want to do it. It also looks like it should e simple but I’m having trouble. Help please!!