Let me begin by saying that I do not know everything there is to know about fingerweaving. (Or anything, for that matter . . . ) I started fingerweaving on the playground at Jackson Elementary in Plano, Texas when I was in the 3rd grade (1982). But it wasn't until my first summer in Baltimore (2009) that I decided to start using this technique again. And I taught myself on the spot. I've watched 4th graders do a very intense, very complicated version of fingerweaving. And I've seen crafters use everything from yarn to plastic bags to cut up t-shirts to create various items for sale. I use it in my artwork. And I have found a very simple, very fast method of this childhood pastime. It gets people's attention every time . . . So, here's how you do it.
STEP 1. Always using your left hand, start by letting the loose end of the yarn fall behind your hand, in between your thumb and pointer finger.
STEP 2. Using the strand of yarn that leads to the skein, weave the thread through each of your fingers in a figure eight pattern. Starting on the right side of your pointer finger . . . First you go behind the middle finger, then you go in front of the ring finger, and then behind the pinky. Then you bring it back around the pinky, behind the ring finger, in front of the middle finger, and behind the pointer finger.
STEP 3. Now the yarn is laying flat across your four fingers, just slightly above the woven piece between your fingers. Taking the loose end that is between your thumb and pointer finger, lay it over the thread that is laying flat across your four fingers and gently pull it behind your hand, between your pointer and middle finger. So now it appears that the thread laying flat across your fingers is laying across 3 fingers, instead of 4.
STEP 4. Begin weaving. Starting with your middle finger, pull the tighter woven piece of thread over the loose strand that is laying across your fingers, pulling your finger through. When you pick up the tighter thread, it will create a space that you can stick your finger through. What I say when I am teaching this in the classroom is, "bring the tight over the loose." You do this with each finger. Tugging at the loose end (on the back of your hand), every now and again.
Once the pinky has been pulled through, you bring the yarn behind your hand and back around to lay flat across your four fingers. Repeat using all four fingers this time. And, repeat again. Keep repeating. Now you should see a web forming on the back of your hand. Keep tugging at the loose end to tighten the web: the fingerweaving.
The fingerweaving will knot itself on the end that you started with, just by pulling the end of the yarn. When you want to finish, cut the yarn away from the skein and weave the end through each of the tightly looped pieces of yarn still around the base of your fingers. Gently pull the yarn off of your fingers, pulling the newly cut end thread tight to create a knot (again, it will knot itself). Voila!
There ya have it! Now promise me that once you get the hang of this, you will teach 5 more people how to fingerweave. Let's start a movement!!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions . . . I can be reached via email or via skype (search "cakecrush").