Teaching Our Children to Knit
For most of us, knitting is more than just a passion. It is an expression of our artistic selves, our creative outlet and a representation of our personal determination. For those of us with kids, teaching our children to knit gives us an opportunity to establish those same special “somethings” in their hearts too. A while back, I wrote a guest post for the Creative Knitting Editor’s Blog entitled More Than Memories: Teaching Our Children to Knit, which offered a few simple tips to make the process relaxing and enjoyable for both parent (or grandparent) and child. Here are some more tips and specific recommendations to get you and your child started! Here’s a list of kid-friendly things to try: Use 100% wool or acrylic yarn. You want a yarn that is elastic and stretchy for ultimate comfort. Cottons, linens or fuzzy yarns look like fun, but they are difficult for most beginners because of the lack of stretch and possible stress on your hands.
Opt for bamboo or wood needles with a rounded tip. Sharp tips may frustrate your child by splitting the yarn. Metal needles are slick and can cause frequent dropped stitches.
Keep the lessons focused on one thing at a time. This is a biggy— depending on the age of your child, you may want to cast on for them, and then just teach them the knit stitch. Remember, kids learn through repetition, so ample practice of one aspect ensures confidence. When they are ready, and you’ll know when they are, add on a new technique.
Stick to a simple project, such as a scarf for their favorite doll/ toy (yes, even the giant Tonka truck for your son might get cold at night). Try this out: Cast on 24 stitches. Knit 24 rows, then switch it up by purling 24 rows. As your child gets comfortable, encourage them to alternate knit rows and purl rows. Observe the change in texture and discuss what they like best. Keep working the scarf in this exploratory way until they deem it long enough, and then bind off.
Don’t force it. Kids get antsy, they fidget, and they want to move on to other projects. This is completely normal and to be expected. They may only wish to work 3 rows and call it a day—nothing to be offended or upset about. This is a time for building your relationship, not a time to stress about getting it done.
To read the original blog post by Tabetha, visit the Editor’s Blog at CreativeKnittingMagazine.com/blog and find the Nov. 7, 2013 post in the archives. Have you taught your kids to knit? Do you work on projects together? Share your stories and pictures with us!