View Full Version : Knitting Club for Kids - need some advice
11-28-2006, 01:24 PM
I haven't been on the forum for a long while, and I miss reading everything! I have started my first year of teaching and haven't had much time for just about anything these days (I'm on my planning break now)! Anywho - I am starting a knitting club at my school (Elementary - 4th and 5th grade) and could use some advice on what basic supplies I should start out with and a good project. This is the best way I can find time for knitting now!
My first thoughts are just beginning with casting on and the basic stitches. I was going to get size 10 needles, the shortest I could find and work on a scarf.
Side note: I'm definitely no expert and have only churned out some clogs, scarves, hats etc myself.
Any suggestions would be awesome! Thanks so much!!
11-28-2006, 01:28 PM
I know there are a lot more kids-who-knit oriented books out there, they may give you some ideas. Also I've seen this book
Leisure Arts Teach A Group Of Kids To Knit
at places like JoAnn's, you could use a 40% off coupon for it!
11-28-2006, 02:11 PM
I've got a troop of 4th grade Girl Scouts. I was really surprised to find out that in my 10 girl group, three or four crochet (one is good enough to make basic clothes for her dolls!!) and another is learning to knit!
I'm planning on giving each girl one of those Glad tupperware things and a small amount (half skein possibly?) of yarn to dye with Kool-Aid at the meeting. I'll probably end up finishing the yarn at home to give to the girls at the next meeting. I'm thinking I'll at least teach them the knit stitch, and my daughter and I were thinking that maybe we could bring some snaps and turn the swatches into a little purse (or coin purse) depending on how big a swatch the girls are able to get.
I was also thinking about using up my Red Heart that I bought before I knew any better and teaching the girls to finger crochet with it. Maybe get some pony beads and show them how to make some simple necklaces or bracelets?
11-28-2006, 02:56 PM
Kids are amazingly easy to teach. Start with the long tail cast on, and the knit stitch. Let them do the knit stitch for a few inches, and then ask them if they still want to practice or are ready for something new.... then teach them the purl stitch. Let them tell YOu when they are ready.
Something that really helped some of my students learn was using varigated yarn.... they could see if they "messed up" because there would be, say, a blue stitch in surrounded by a bunch of red stitches.
don't let them start on cotton!!! especially cotton with bamboo needles. That's just asking for frustration.
11-28-2006, 03:30 PM
Thanks guys. I really appreciate the input!! :muah:
Jan in CA
11-28-2006, 03:33 PM
Once you teach them the basics I think having them knit something for charity is a nice thing to do, too. :happydance:
11-28-2006, 03:36 PM
I was taught when I was in 4H as a kid. I know that plastic needles are cheaper, but the aluminum ones work better for kids because kids tend to be really tight with their stitches and stitches slide better on aluminum. I agree that kids are much easier and more receptive to teach. I would contact the PTA at your school and see about getting them to fork over money for the project. Maybe they have knitters who can contribute yarn at least. Good luck and what a great thing to do with your class!
11-28-2006, 03:40 PM
When I learned, my teacher had me start with a scarf in straight garter stitch. (knitting every row). this taught me exactly how to do the knit stitch and I didn't get confused trying to add the other purl stitch. I also learned on Bamboo needles. I would have gotten very frustrated trying to keep the yarn on those slick aluminum needles!
After that, shhe taught me to do the purl, and then I was off!
I will say that I tried to teach my 9 year old and she isn't coordinated enough to knit effectively yet. I taught her to finger knit and she loved it! So easy and fun and they don't need much coordination. :)
11-28-2006, 03:44 PM
I used that book from leisure arts for my group and it was really helpful. I just had each kid buy the teach yourself to knit kit at Michaels. If you have kids who can't afford it, or teach at a school that is economically disadvantaged, then your local Michaels might donate some kits to you. I teach at a private school, so my kids just came to the class with them. But Michael's donates stuff to my husband's school all the time.
over a two week period I taught a troop of girl scouts to knit
I used the diagonal Wash cloth
once they got that down, was going to come back and teach them how to cast on (about 300 stitches to reinforce the lesson) then have them just knit a scarf
Knit 3 rows, then Purl 3 rows, then knit 3 rwos, then Purl 3 rows and Bind off
this teaches that purl is just knit on the other side
makes an odd looking scarf, but in amongst the grumbling you would end up hearing "oh wow, LOOK" and they would explain what they understood to each other
Learning for themselves
there is one girl who knew how to just do a Knit, so I showed her this trick
she went home to her Nan
Book marks would be really easy and quick as well as teaching some of the principles of knitting.
Then as the got on to bigger and better things, you can always have them each do a square and then stitch the squares together to make a blanket to donate to a homeless shelter. Kids LOVE to gift things they made and it is a good lesson for them to learn at an early age.
If you need yarn, let me know, I would happily destash a skien or 2 to such an endeavor. I am sure many others would do the same!
11-30-2006, 12:40 PM
The first project I learned to make was a super easy slipper pattern: Stockinette from heel to the base of the big toe, garter stitch for the toes, run thread through all the stitches on the needle, and sew up the top of the foot and the heel. Fast to knit, and donatable. :) You cover casting on, knitting, and purling that way, and it's less knitting than a scarf.
Alternatively, you could have them knit squares and turn them into Incredibly Easy Bunnies (http://www.heartstringsfiberarts.com/bunny.shtm). A little more assembly required, but they're awfully cute. ;)