knitting/children sewing...2 questions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-04-2001, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm really keen on teaching myself to knit...after being told I was useless at it as a child -by a teacher - I'm ready to try again!..Can anyone recommend some books, sites or first (easy please!) projects?...Thank you..

My second question (!) as such is to do with 3 year olds and sewing. My dd loves to 'copy' me sew and I was thinking of making her up her own sewing basket for a Xmas gift with threads, scraps of material, etc...I was just wondering about needles. I'm a bit concerned about giving her a sharp one incase she hurts herself, can you buy plastic needles?...Or does anyone think I'm being over protective?..Actually I'm more concerned about my Mother's reaction over anything else!..

Anyway, any help, ideas, etc would be welcome..thanks..
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#2 of 6 Old 12-04-2001, 06:54 PM
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I remember being four and having drawn a picture on fabric and I "embroidered" it--stitched a running stitch around the parts of the picture. Lots of pink because I drew princesses on the fabric. Well, my dd#1 has a very high level of manual dexterity (turned 3 in Sept.) and when I was doing smocking, she was interested in sewing too, so we traced off a picture of Eeyore out of one of her coloring books and I put an embroidery hoop on it and showed her how to push the needle through. It ends up being lots of diagonal lines across the picture instead of "around" the picture, but she was having a ball! She used a real needle, but it was something she did while I was sewing too, so could have my attention with her a bit. She did great, and that was when she was 2 1/2. I don't know if all kids could do this, but she's been lacing her shoes since she was about 13 mos. old.
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#3 of 6 Old 12-13-2001, 01:07 AM
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I'm pretty sure you can get large, blunt-tip needles at sewing or craft stores. I think these are used for sewing yarn though that plastic canvas, but could be used on some loosely woven fabrics.

I just starting a knitting project after a long hiatus: it's a scarf for my sister. Scarves and washclothes would be the easiest, in my opinion. I'm using this beautiful bumpy yarn, which makes it a little hard to see the stitches, but the great thing is it's hard to see the mistakes, too!

Hope your knitting is going well.
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#4 of 6 Old 12-20-2001, 10:57 AM
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Montessori says to let the kids use a REAL needle, but you'll have to supervise. You could use stiff, loosely woven cloth (gah! I can't think of what it's called, but it's mentioned in Mntessori Play and Learn by Britton, which is a great resource for 2-6yos) to make it a bit easier to push the needle through.

I like the Minnow Knits stuff by Jil Eaton. Many are simple, and she has how-to-knit stuff in them, BUT the 1st book (entitled simply Minnow knits) was poorly edited, so some of the patterns have mistakes in the directions (ok for an experienced knitter, but would drive a newbie nuts). I also have Melanie Falick's Kids Knitting, which is great! Public libraries may have these books, as well as other kid-books on learning to knit (which are a wonderful resource for simple stuff). Try making scarves, beanbags (line them to keep in the beans; later you can use them to learn to juggle), a square purse/tote for dd (maybe she could fingerknit a shoulder strap), doll blankets, dishcloth (use heavy cotton yarn), bathtime washcloths for dd (get wild colors -- they may fade a bit in the water, which may be even more fun!), a hat (knit a big rectangle, sew it into a tube, tie one end off with string -- maybe fingerknitted, add pompoms).

Bekka, I loved hearing about your dd. My 26mo old was stringing pony beads onto pipecleaners the other night, totally absorbed in it for about 45 mins. I'm going to try your project with her!
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#5 of 6 Old 12-20-2001, 02:28 PM
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I am a knitting freak since I learned this past spring. I took lessons that were so so worth it. But at the beginning when I was between lessons I checked a book out of the library called Kids Knitting to get me through the rough spots. Its great because it has large color pictures so you can figure out what you are doing.

Oh and BTW. Learn to knit on circular needles. You will never go back to straight!
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#6 of 6 Old 01-12-2002, 02:03 AM
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The book that worked for me was a cheezy glossy magazine type thing called "I can't believe I'm knitting!" Found it a Ben Franklin. Even has patterns for poodle jackets... I like also Kids Knitting, as already mentioned, and it has some great beginner projects. I'm trying my first sweater, out of the second Minnow knits book.

For knitting needles, you could make some needles for your dd. My son made his at school (waldorf, knitting is part of the curriculum): take a dowel, sharpen it in a pencil sharpener, sand and oil, FIMO or a bead on the top. If you make them yourselves, you can control how sharp. Three is also a good age for learning to fingerknit, and they love the repetition!
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