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View Full Version : I taught my 5 year old son to knit...now...


knitfun
02-18-2005, 09:26 AM
WARNING: This might be a little long!

This is interesting, I would appreciate any advise from other moms of boys or anyone else...

My son came home from kindergarten yesterday and was beaming from the work they were doing at school. Apparently they were doing sculpture work. He loves any kind of art.

He asked me "Mommy, can you teach me to knit?" I said "Sure"....then he said "How about today?" Well, how could I pass this up. He asked me after all....right?

So I marched downstairs and set out to look for yarn. He yelled down that he wanted the Orange yarn...orange is his favorite color. So I grabbed a pair of size US15 circular needles and headed up for a lesson.

Little did I know he was going to be so quick. And so proud of himself. He was going on and on about how happy he was that mommy taught him and about how he couldn't believe he was doing it.

I cast on a loose 25 stiches and showed him how to K. He repeated that little ditty about Jack and he laughed and laughed.

He said he couldn't wait to show Daddy!

OK....now my husband is not one of those ultra overly-manly guys booming with testosterone, he's a really great guy, and I thought more open-minded than this. But, apparently he thinks that my son shouldn't be a knitting guy. He thinks that he'll get beat up on. HE'S 5! He's waiting for him to tire of it I suspect.

Oh, I thought he might not be positive with my son, so I when he called I told him that our boy was excited to show him his handywork....Yea, he was like "what? Oh geez, great! Yea, I'll be positive" !

I personally think it is a good skill to have....why shouldn't guys be comfortable knitting. I want to raise a confident son who isn't a "this is for girls, that is for guys" kind of person.

I mean it's not like I enrolled him in Ballet or anything! LOL
My son takes karate lessons, and is quite a "boy" if you know what I mean.

What do you think? Any advise on how to proceed with this, my son completed around 12 rows, and is so proud! I am proud of him too! :lol:


Sorry if this is too long!

Lmtourish

salsa
02-18-2005, 10:13 AM
I think it's wonderful that your son is learning to knit. EVERYONE should knit. Knitting is so meditational. If more people knitted, the world would probably be a nicer place. :)

knitfun
02-18-2005, 10:39 AM
I ABSOLUTELY agree! Thanks for your support Salsa!

yellowness
02-18-2005, 10:49 AM
Well, for one thing, people are going to have a hard time beating him up for knitting if he grows up in karate... *grin*

Here is a link I've copied from Carie's post down the page...
http://www.ljworld.com/section/18under/story/196297

One of the interesting things in there is Waldorf schools, arguably some of the best whole mind learning establishments around for young kids, uses knitting in their curriculum for math skills etc. They teach girls *and boys* to knit, and some of them take it on to become a life long hobby with no develepmental stunting :)

Also, if your hubby is a historical buff, I'd let him know that knitting was a mans thing for a very long time... Throughout the last several centuries, men have knit to supply themselves with garmets and in times of manufacturing stress as in the settlement of America, Australia, and Canada, and during wars to support themselves and troops, as in during the American Civil war and during WWI.

If nothing else, wait till he calms down a little and hit him with the whole, "Do you want our son to grow up being a mysoginest pig? That some things are womens work? If he was a girl, you wouldn't be telling him he/she shouldn't be good at math or science because those are a 'mans' skills..." Let our modern political correctness work on him a bit :)

knitfun
02-18-2005, 10:54 AM
Yeah! That is what I think too.. I think I'll wait a bit til he settles and sees his son and all his satisfaction! I think that every accomplishment that our kids make all lead to strong confident and well-rounded adults!

I agree that if we had girls instead of boys he would never discourage a girl from trying anything that others would consider to be boy things!

So he just needs to see it that way too!

Thanks!

Yvonne
02-18-2005, 11:09 AM
Gold stars to your little boy!
You say your hubby is a nice guy, so you could also tell him that kids of both genders all over the USA are doing knitting projects for Warm Up America.
Also, saying that Kaffe Fassett is rich might not hurt either. :D

ekgheiy
02-18-2005, 12:25 PM
The son of a lady in my aqua jogging class knits! Kids are serious "kryptonite" to me, but even I had to take notice of this well behaved little boy and his knitting. ;) I think he was around 7 yrs old or so. He'd sit on the bench on the pool deck and knit while his mother took the aqua jogging class.

If it were me, I'd kindly tell your husband that if he loves his son, then he would focus more on the fact that your son found something that he enjoys, something that gives him satisfaction and, perhaps more importantly, something that makes him proud of himself. Tell him to think POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT not flat-out discouragement because of some asinine decades-old stereotype.

Or you could make it "fun" by telling your husband, "Hey knitting could even turn our son into a chick magnet when grows up because he'll OOoooZzeee uber-confidence! Women like confidence!" ;) Maybe that will appeal more to your ultra masculine hubby. :D

I agree w/ yellowness, it'll be a bit difficult for kids to bully your son. And even if they try, I'm sure your son's Sensei teaches that karate is about discipline, health and self defense, NOT aggression and violence. So your son will be better equipped to thwart a bully however the situation deems appropriate, at least better equipped than other non-karate 5 yr olds ;) But I actually wouldn't worry about your son being bullied because bullies aren't typically attracted to the confident ;)

beldaraan
02-18-2005, 12:49 PM
My hubby and I like to daydream together about some of the things that we'd like to do with our son (and any other future children). I told him that I would love to teach our son how to knit when he gets a bit older. Before I could even say why, he was saying, "It would be great for him to develop his fine motor skills and his dexterity. Oh and did you know that knitting used to be primarily done by men?" he asks me. Later on in the discussion, I thought it would be so sweet, if he made a scarf for a girl that he likes.

I think your hubby was still great about it. I give him the thumbs up because he held back his own primary thoughts about his son knitting and, instead, made him feel good about his accomplishment. I believe it's very hard for a parent to hold back their own prejudices from their children.

A story from my hubby's dad. My husband and his brother used to love eating oatmeal for breakfast when they were kids. Then, one day, their mom walked past, looked into the pot of cooking oatmeal and said, "Ewwww, oatmeal." Neither of them have touched oatmeal since that day.

I used to volunteer my time in schools when I was younger. One boy, around 7 years old, was painstakingly trying to print some of his letters the wrong way. As I watched him, he said to me, "That's the way my dad writes."

Anyway, I think your husband is okay. To me, it sounds like he's worried about the "other" dads who wouldn't be okay with their boys knitting. He cares about his son and doesn't want him to get hurt. So, you ask, "How to proceed with this?" Give your husband a great big hug and tell him he's a wonderful dad. Your son may or may not continue to knit, but at least he's had the chance to try it out.

knitfun
02-18-2005, 01:09 PM
Thank you so much belderaan. You bring up some great points. I definitely think that giving him the heads up allowed him to see the satisfaction that my son has and celebrate that rather than spout off the first thing that might have come to mind.

He's generally VERY considerate of others' feelings thank goodness!

I am sure that it is more about other men's thoughts than the actual act of his son knitting, and I think he'll come around too. I just want to make sure that we always celebrate the things that the kids do and foster a positive self-confidence where they know that they can accomplish whatever they put their minds to!

Especially since his younger brother just today said he wants to try knitting too! :)

Hee Hee! I should try to get him to try it, it might be a nice stress reliever! (Yeah, right! ) :o


Thanks again

ekgheiy
02-18-2005, 01:13 PM
Hee Hee! I should try to get him to try it, it might be a nice stress reliever! (Yeah, right! ) :o

Thanks again

Not a bad idea! ;) Let us know if he tries ...

feministmama
02-18-2005, 02:08 PM
my 9 year old son said to me one day "mummy you seem so happy when you knit, would you teach me?" He even took a class at our LYS. And he takes an all boy ballet class taught by a man. AND his third grade teacher is a man who is sensative and patient and kind. I feel like the luckiest mum on earth. His dad is very cool with it to the point of reminding him to do his knitting.

I think you should teach your husband to knit too. THen it can become a family project, something you cann all do together in front of the fire with hot chocolate listening to you favorite music or a book on tape. Tell your husband this is a way to bring your family closer. If he wants to believe in the patriacrchal order of things and be disengaged from his son andhis family and instill values of isolation form feelings, individualism, etc then sure go ahead and dissaprove. But if he believes in connection and love and caring then learn to knit.

ekgheiy
02-18-2005, 02:33 PM
... His dad is very cool with it to the point of reminding him to do his knitting. ...


Whoa :shock: Way to go Dad!! That is so fabulous!! ......And sexy :oops: *giggle* :) Lucky feministmama! ;)

DotMom61
02-19-2005, 02:18 AM
Just another mom popping in her w/ a testimony about a son knitting!

My 10yo son started knitting last year, didn't do much with it, but wanted to get back to it recently. So, we went out and got some more yarn -- already had some needles -- and now we're both learning to knit. I'm taking it much more seriously than he is, but he picks it up and keeps trying now and then.

A couple of reasons why I find it advantageous for him:

* He's left-handed, and this seems to help him with his coordination (we're Continental knitters, btw)

* He needs to work on his fine motor skills, and this is definitely good exercise

* We're homeschoolers, and this is something he can do to keep his hands busy and his body in one place while listening to some very interesting history, geography, social studies ... you get the idea. I think that if every boy in kindergarten could learn how to knit, the k'garten teachers would have a much better listeners. :)

Just my 2 little cents.

Nuno930
02-19-2005, 11:36 AM
Ummm, tell him Russel Crow knits. :wink:

gardenia
02-19-2005, 12:35 PM
I was at my mom & dad's house recently, working on my knitting. Much to my surprise, my *very* quiet, conservative 61-year-old dad said, "I'd like to learn knitting." Mom and I both looked at him like :o . I think he was serious. He's almost ready to retire. After reading all of the above, maybe I will actually teach him.

This is a cool thread!

Deb

DotMom61
02-19-2005, 01:04 PM
uch to my surprise, my *very* quiet, conservative 61-year-old dad said, "I'd like to learn knitting."

Wow! Go Dad!! Tell him I think he's pretty much the coolest Dad on the planet. 8)

brightspot
02-20-2005, 02:39 PM
One website I went to said that historically knitting was a man's project. The women didn't do it.

tigger7713
02-23-2005, 01:25 AM
Hi, I think it's great your son is learning how to knit. It is expecially important for kids to develop detailed hand and finger coordination through art or knitting (perfect!). From what I read, in Peru and Bolivia, it is strictly the men that do all of the knitting. Women weave the yarn, and men knit! I will confirm this when I visit this summer, perhaps even get a picture if possible and send it to you for your husband's reassurance.

:D

Anna

knittergirl
02-23-2005, 05:01 AM
My 26-year-old male cousin (who just got out of the Army) knits unashamedly (is that a word? :shock: sorry, it's late...) and I wouldn't call him a "girlie man." In fact, he's quite the ladies' man. :D

Casey

Susan
02-23-2005, 09:04 AM
you might want to mention to your husband that some celebrity knitters include: Russell Crowe, Stu Bloomberg and the great football player Rosie Grier!

amy
02-23-2005, 12:15 PM
Beldaraan, I love what you had to say about this. I agree totally.

I've been knitting all my life, and I don't think I ever met a male knitter, until last year. Now, suddenly, I'm meeting them everywhere!
I think the face of knitting is changing quickly. It's great!

I know it can be shocking for some of us who are used to seeing only women knit, but once you realize that it's such a trend now, and really EVERYONE is doing it, it becomes less :shock: shocking and more :D "Cool!, men are doing it too!" Not that it should be shocking; but it can be. I do contra dancing here in New England, and one of the trends among some of the more daring men is to wear skirts to the dances! Like, real, long, flowery, flowing skirts. The first time I saw this, it was very shocking to me. Now I don't think anything of it, and I think it's great. I don't think knitting is as shocking, but for some people it can be! You can't really blame people for what they're used to seeing. All you can do is commend people for having the courage to not criticize it, and even to support it. Eventually these stereotypes change. Thank goodness! Imagine what it was like when women first started wearing pants! Or even working as professionals in the workplace, rather than being at home in the 50's. We don't think anything of these things now. They "shouldn't" have been shocking, but they were. This is how society grows.

If you suspect this might become an issue with your son at school, maybe you could ask the teacher to bring up the topic of gender roles, as a classroom subject. Kids love to be liberated from stereotypes. She could talk about women who are construction workers, etc. Then your son's knitting will be seen as heroic and cool, rather than weird because it's different. I think this is a great topic for a teacher to discuss, in any case! I think nowadays it's even more important for liberating the boys than for the girls. Not that it's not important for girls, too, but I think the women's movement and "girl power" have done a lot to liberate a girl's views of what she can do. I think that boys don't have as much of this support, and could really use more of this kind of encouragment and empowerment.

BTW, does anyone know of any kid's books that picture boys knitting? Might be good to donate to the classroom. ....Doesn't "Teen Knitting Club" have a boy on the cover, knitting with the girls? It would be great to find a book geared for younger kids. I've also heard that there was a poster made of cool snow-boarder guys knitting hats for themselves. That would be a great poster to have in a school, if you could track it down!

Long post here! Hope it was worth the read,
Amy

DotMom61
02-23-2005, 12:40 PM
BTW, does anyone know of any kid's books that picture boys knitting? Might be good to donate to the classroom. ....Doesn't "Teen Knitting Club" have a boy on the cover, knitting with the girls? It would be great to find a book geared for younger kids. I've also heard that there was a poster made of cool snow-boarder guys knitting hats for themselves. That would be a great poster to have in a school, if you could track it down!

I've mentioned this book in a couple of other posts: Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick. Here's (http://www.epinions.com/content_173183569540) a link to a review I did on it. There are several pictures of boys knitting, and there are several patterns they might enjoy, too -- twisty scarf, blocked afghan, pullover sweater, etc.

amy
02-23-2005, 01:04 PM
I've mentioned this book in a couple of other posts: Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick. Here's a link to a review I did on it. There are several pictures of boys knitting, and there are several patterns they might enjoy, too -- twisty scarf, blocked afghan, pullover sweater, etc.

Good to know! I have that book in my book-links section. I've just added a description to mention that it's boy-friendly. Thanks!

Amy

knitfun
02-24-2005, 09:12 AM
Thanks Amy, my DH has become very supportive, he has heard from other guys that it's cool, so he has changed his outlook. My son did mention it to his teacher at school, so maybe she'll introduce some of those things into class. She's a young progressive teacher and my son just adores her.

I think he just was never exposed to that before...

Thanks everyone, I am glad to see so much support! You folks are awesome!

Happy Knitting!

Lori

jade771
02-25-2005, 02:03 PM
My 5 year old son wants to learn how to knit. He keeps begging me to teach him. How did you go about teaching your son? I know you said you used big needles, but what about casting on? Should I save that lesson for later? I thought he was too young to learn to knit, but I'd like to teach him. Does anyone have any suggestions?

amigarabita
02-25-2005, 04:13 PM
as i've mentioned before, all the children in my children's school knit. ALL the children. they use it as a way to introduce math, teach fine motor skills, and... patience!

this is my funny story about men knitting. sadie, my youngest, wanted to teach mr rabita to knit. he was like "SURE! if things don't work out with mommy this will be a great way to meet girls!" hehe.

knitfun
02-25-2005, 04:39 PM
I taught him only the K stitch. I did not teach him to cast on.

I cast on the stitches for him then we went over the K stitch.

It turned out easier than I thought!

Good luck. Now my 4 year old wants to get in on the action!

amy
02-25-2005, 08:28 PM
I taught my 5 year old niece to knit on Thanksgiving day. (There's a post and a picture about it on this forum. I got a great thrill from it!) :)

My niece didn't stick with the knitting. She's lost interest, for now anyway. :( But then, she's pretty darn young! Who knows, probably she'll pick it up again when she's older. It says a lot about a kid's natural interests, when they express interest in something so young.

The next time I saw her I taught her finger knitting, which I thought she might stick with more, for now.

I think crochet is maybe better for young kids than knitting. I think it's easier and more intuitive than knitting. I learned crochet at the age of 4, and I was really into it. I learned knitting a year or two later, but did much more crochet, because I could invent things more easily with it, and had much more control over it. No one had to show me how to pick up stitches along the side of the work, with crochet! It's so intuitive! I think they can really master the medium, quite quickly, compared to knitting, and that can be very motivating to stick with it.

That said....

I used wooden needles to teach her, which I think are good, because kids tend to let go of the needles, and metal ones just fall right out with their loose stitches.

For those of you who haven't watched the basic knitting videos in a while, they now contain the classic nursery rhyme, which is great for teaching kids.

Even though I'm a Continental knitter, for young kids, I think the "throw" method, done with whatever hand they want, is easier for them to get. For older kids with better motor skills, I'd teach them Continental.
I think size 10 needles would be easiest to use; but then again, those huge size 15 needles are so satisfying, because the knitting goes so fast on them, and kids love the instant gratification!

Amy

jade771
02-25-2005, 08:53 PM
I tried it and he loved it! He did quite well too. I got out the size 15 in my old Boye set, put the jumpers on, sat him on my lap and he did great. I think wooden needles would be better for him, I will have to try that. I was throwing the yarn for him, but he was doing the stitches all by himself. He tried to throw with his left hand, but I stopped him. I think I'll let him try it next time we sit down together.