How do you teach a little kid how to knit? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-04-2007, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is bugging me to learn to knit. He has been bugging me since he was 3. i told him "when you're 5 dear" half-hoping he would forget about it before he turned 5. He hasn't. Doh!
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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Slowly, with really big needles and thick yarn.

Have him sit next to you, and copy exactly what you do.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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DD has been bugging me as well, and she's only 3.5. I have been considering trying to teach her to "finger knit" as an intro before we go full on with needles.

http://www.knitty.com/issuesummer06/...rknitting.html

My other option is to get her one of those knifty knitter looms or a weaving loom (with the stretchy loops) like I had when I was a kid. I loved that thing.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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At first I would probably cast on and do a few rows for them first, showing how it goes. It's easier to knit once you have some rows already on there and see how the stitches should look, and big yarn (not in a dark color) and needles will help too.
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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I would think that shorter needles, and a narrow project of course, would be easier for a young child.

I made DD a pair of 6-8" needles out of whatever size dowel rod. Used a pencil sharpener to make the points, then sanded them to round them a bit. Instructions are in the Kids Knit book by Melanie Falick.

She hasn't tried them yet, but they certainly are handy for short rowed projects.

"What will you do once you know?"
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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I taught my 8 yo and she picked it up quite quickly....my 6 yo quickly lost interest when she couldn't manipulate her fingers. I think we used size 13 needles and some acrylic from a craft project.

I second the suggestion for doing some rows before you have ds "take over"--do them ahead of time b/c kids want to start knitting NOW .

It also helps to have them sit in your lap so you can "shadow" them--it makes it easier to show the motions.

Melissa, loving wife love.gif and mama to 4 girls now! DD 12, DD 10 1/2, DD 4, DD 2 Happily homeschool.gif, doing lots of hang.gif very little sleeping.gifof and as much as I can knit.gifsewmachine.gif reading.gif
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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There are rhymes to help them learn the steps to each stitch. I can't remember exactly & am nak... but you could try googling "knitting rhyme". I just taught a 5yo to think "in, around, through, off"... she caught on pretty quickly.

Good luck!

Wife and Mama who homeschools-- mostly in the kitchen!
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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My 3.5 yo wants to knit sooo badly. I keep putting him off. Don't kids learn to knit in Waldorf schools? At what age? All the big needles I've seen are really long. I think short, thick needles would be good. Should I even try with a 3.5 yo? I don't want to ruin it for him.
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:12 AM
 
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My mom taught my son to knit when he was 5. He had huge needles - size 17 and that made it much easier for him.

I found this rhyme for the knit stitch: "In through the front door, around the back, out through the window, off jumps Jack."

Also this website: TIPS. I'm going to investigate it more.

My son's fourth grade teacher teaches all the kids to knit at the beginning of the school year and lets them knit during morning meeting, when she reads aloud, recess, any downtime. They made lots of little hats for preemie babies in Africa, headbands and scarves for the homeless shelter and my son and his friends made colored wristbands for their recess football team.

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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I taught a classroom full of 3rd graders last year. THAT was an adventure!

but, by the end of the weekly classes (6 weeks worth) most of them had the knit stitch down pretty well, and about 5 had purl.

they loved the poem. I cast on for them first. Then each child sat right next to me to watch me knit a few stitches... After they had the knit stitch down I showed them how to do the knit cast on, figured it was easier than trying to teach long tail or something.

we made small beanbags, and one girl in my class made a small purse, just sewed two squares together, and then made a long strap, she was pretty good!
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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My mom taught me when I was 8. She would cast on for me and my first projects were things for my stuffed animals. The early projects were all garter stitch. (actually I mostly stuck to garter stitch b/c I'm dyslexic till I learned about ambydextorous knitting.) I think I used size 9 needles, they were basic aluminium ones. Since it was the '70s the yarn was definitly acrylic, possibly redheart or something like it, from Woolworths.

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Old 04-05-2007, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys!
We will work on it this weekend.

I asked my mom how I learned to knit when i was 5, and she said "i dunno, it was like with reading. You just figured it out" which was no help whatsoever.
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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I broke it into two different physical activities- the needle stabbing the stitch part- and the wrapping the yarn part... I sat with the child in my lap and I did half the job and they did the other half... then once they mastered the skill we switched jobs... the learning process seemed very smooth- but the knowing how to knit does not seem to have been retained. At this point I am convinced that "teach me how to knit" really means... "I want you to put your knitting down, hold me in your lap and read me a story."
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gretchtables View Post
DD has been bugging me as well, and she's only 3.5. I have been considering trying to teach her to "finger knit" as an intro before we go full on with needles.

http://www.knitty.com/issuesummer06/...rknitting.html

My other option is to get her one of those knifty knitter looms or a weaving loom (with the stretchy loops) like I had when I was a kid. I loved that thing.
I always start kids with finger knitting first. It's the thing they can do at 3-4 yo when they first want to learn to knit. My 4 yo has a kitting loom - really small one, and she can hold the tool and do the lifting. I have to do the wrapping. She's not that interested in learning to knit though.

Our rhyme is "The rabbit goes through the hole, around the tree, peak back out and off we leap."

I use that with the adults, too. I've been saying a lot of "You forgot to leap off there."

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:45 PM
 
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I will probably be teaching my 4.5 year old this summer along with a friend of his. I know a Waldorf teacher who told me that in their school the first graders make needles and then knit socks. I also have heard that many stellar knitters began around the age of 4. I think up until 4, at least with my kid, I would have had to reteach every single time. I think now he might retain some of what he has learned and I am very excited to teach him.
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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The sitting-in-lap concept is a good one. I more or less used that when teaching some of the Brownies, who needed extra assistance, how to crochet.

"What will you do once you know?"
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