View Full Version : Do YOU knit in front of your young children?

09-19-2007, 02:26 PM
I am the mother of a beautiful 15 month old son but I cannot knit in front of him...ever. He tries to take my knitting needles and use them as a sword. He rolls out my yarn and tries to taste it. And he loves to look for treasures in my knitting basket.

I'm just curious at what age you were able to knit in front of your little ones.

09-19-2007, 02:40 PM
Never. I have a 16 month old that sleeps from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am so I use my evenings to knit. I can't even imagine trying to knit in front of him. He is so active that he would just tear it apart or just freak out because I won't let him touch it.

He's in daycare all day so I only get about an hour and a half each night with him before he's ready for bed. I spend as much time with him as possible when he's up. I'm not sure what I'll do when he starts going to be later . . .

09-19-2007, 02:43 PM
When ever I want to do a yarn project and little ones are around I take a minute to teach them to finger a chain with yarn. That usually keeps them busy for a little while, if they make them long enough and enough of them you can hang them from the light fixture in their bedroom as a decoration, or use them for hair ties.

09-19-2007, 02:50 PM
I have knitted with, in front of and around my 2 yr. old granddaughter since she was born. I am very careful not to leave the needles laying around and keep all of my knitting tools and yarn stowed in covered, plastic containers. I can actually hand her a 16" circular set, made of bamboo or a set of the 9" plastic ones and she will mimic knitting. She is closely supervised. I feel strongly that she will, one day, want to learn the art and possibly already has the needed dexterity. I do feel that with close supervision, children can and should be exposed to all the needle arts. I learned to sew from watching my mother and a neighbor, at the age of "as far back as I can remember". I became a professional seamstress and enjoyed a good living from it for a long time. Men do needlework and are very adept. These arts are no longer integrated into our school systems and we are the only ones left to teach them. By all means, knit in front of them and teach them a respect for the tools, with close supervision. Just remember to place everything under lock and key when you can't supervise. Mary

09-19-2007, 02:54 PM
I knit in front of my 2yo dd - and she always wants to "knit" too - so I give her a set of my bigger needles and my practice yarn (for when I'm learning a new pattern/stitch) and let her have at it. She usually turns the needles into drumsticks or spoons, but I try not to discourage her, as long as she's playing safely.

09-19-2007, 02:59 PM
Suzie - your son sounds like mine! He sleeps from 6:30-6:30 and I do knit at night (I'm a working mom as well). I definitely don't try on the weeknights but on a Sunday afternoon while he's walking in circles around the house between watching Blue's Clue's and playing it would be nice to do something simple!

Wingem - I can distract him with the tape measure but that's it!

mwhite - I do put everything up high and away from him. He does know how to get into my bins of yarn but that's all that's in there. I don't let him play with needles because he "walks with no brakes" so I'm scared he'll poke his eye or something!

Abodenrader - How long before she tries to take over your knitting? Does she like pretending to knit?

I'm hoping to be able to knit in front of him when he's 2 1/2 or 3 but I still think he'll want to play with Mama's "toy".

09-19-2007, 03:24 PM
my little one has been exposed to knitting her whole life. my Mom was knitting for and in front of her since she was a baby. She understands that knitting needles are not toys and not hers. last year (4) we gave her a pair of plastic needles and some cotton and let her try (supervised.) I think because she was so used to seeing it, the "novelty" factor was low. and I don't think she felt like she had to compete with knitting for grandma's attention. (spoiled by grandma!) so she never went after the projects or tried to pull anything out.

but every kid is different. :)

we have "quiet time" before bed. she will lay on the bed with me while I knit or crochet and she gets to watch TV. sometimes she works on "her" project. snuggle time and knitting time in one. we also listen to books on tape this way.

maybe if there was something else to capture his attention while you worked...

09-19-2007, 03:34 PM
I want to know what the heck is up with these babies who sleep 12 hours?! :tap: None of my babies have EVER slept that long in their lives! :hair:

I'd be knitting all night! :yay:

09-19-2007, 03:39 PM
I've been knitting since my youngest was just over a year old, and I have done it in front them right from the start. I've been very clear that they can't play around my "knitting corner" (I guess I'm territorial! :teehee:) and it hasn't been a problem at all. Even the 18 month old that I babysit leaves my stuff alone. If they showed interest in learning, I would teach them but so far we haven't had that. They show very little interest at all!

09-19-2007, 03:48 PM
I knit in front of my 3yo son all the time - he's completely intrigued by the whole thing. He also likes to go to yarn stores with me (he also loves to cook, clean and do laundry - his future wife is gonna love me!)

I also have a 16 month old daughter, and there is no way I could knit in front of her - she's crazy!

09-19-2007, 03:49 PM
I don't have any kids, but I do have a 15 month old niece. If I am babysitting, I do NOT knit when she is up and about, as she is a very curious, albeit precious (or is that precocious?) little darling. She tends to throw her arms up and around so I would be very fearful that she would send a needle up her nose or something like that (and it would happen to me, just because the weird things happen to me).

I do keep my yarn/needles/etc in a large zippered Lands' End tote if I bring knitting along.

09-19-2007, 05:15 PM
Mary - Unfortunately there is nothing to capture his attention unless it's Blue's Clues but I'll just wait til he's older. That quiet time sounds so sweet!

Eekee - Ha! I have been known to do that but since my DS NEVER lets me sleep in, I know I better get to bed by 10:30.

Knitqueen - I'm jealous! DS knows not to touch Mama's knitting basket but he gets tempted. In fact if I forget to put it up the night before, he runs to it in the morning to find treasures. He's too curious to respect people's spaces!

Bobi1218 - DS LOVES to go to the yarn store...for 20 minutes. Then he tries to grab as much yarn as he can!

Sinistral Needler - Same here. There's always bedtime!

So it sounds like after 3 it is?

09-19-2007, 05:19 PM
I have 2 DDs, ages 3 & 1, and another DD due mid-Oct. I knit in front of my girls all the time. They each have their own "knitting bag" (a ziplock baggie) with US15 bamboo circs and a little bit of cheap acrylic yarn. When I knit, I give them their bags to occupy them. Of course, it doesn't always work, but it usually does! :thumbsup:

09-19-2007, 05:26 PM
I knit infront of everyone :woohoo:I do find that if I set the younger children up with something they can do with yarn, obviously depending upon their ages I may have them make finger chains, or I'll hand over my Wonder Knitter, or have them make some I-cord... I love when they make I-Cord for me :woot::woot::woot:


09-19-2007, 07:27 PM
When ever I want to do a yarn project and little ones are around I take a minute to teach them to finger a chain with yarn.
That usually keeps them busy for a little while, if they make them long enough and enough of them you can hang them from the light fixture in their bedroom as a decoration, or use them for hair ties.
Do you mean the chains or the kids???

09-19-2007, 07:35 PM
I figured you put things away, Mari!! And I'll have to agree with MaryKz, they are ALL different! And my babies never slept that long or well either! LOLOL!!! I just hate it that the needlearts are no longer in the school systems... I talk to younger women all the time that really want to learn how to knit, crochet, cross stitch, needlepoint or sew. Some would just like to be able to fix hems or zippers...

09-19-2007, 09:36 PM
I began knitting when my oldest (now 3.5) was 1 and he used to play with the yarn, he had his own skein. Then my dd was born and she's grabed my projects a few times but was scolded and now they both know that it's MINE and they're not to mess with it. She just turned 18 months and # 3 is due Dec. 4th

Jan in CA
09-19-2007, 10:38 PM
I want to know what the heck is up with these babies who sleep 12 hours?! :tap: None of my babies have EVER slept that long in their lives! :hair:

:teehee: Mine didn't either. In fact my second one would sleep through the night till she was 18 mos old. :passedout:

09-20-2007, 03:11 AM
I knit in front of my 2 and 1-year-old all the time. They will play with the yarn for a few minutes than they are off to do their own thing. I cannot practice on my stenograph machine while they are awake, because they will never leave it alone. If I could not knit during the daylight hours, I would be a crazy stay -at-home mom.

09-20-2007, 08:57 AM
I want to know what the heck is up with these babies who sleep 12 hours?! :tap: None of my babies have EVER slept that long in their lives! :hair:

I'd be knitting all night! :yay:

The grass is always greener . . .

I wish he would stay up longer so I could spend more time with him! He's constantly running and playing all day and only takes a short nap. I'm trying to enjoy my nights of knitting now because I'm sure he'll be staying up later as he gets older.

09-20-2007, 09:02 AM
I started knitting before #3 was born, and I've knitted every day of her life so far. (she's 2 1/2) I always taught my kids not to touch what I'm working on and we haven't had any problems.

09-20-2007, 10:34 AM
I have two dd's ages 3 and 16mo. They both have tried to get my stuff and pull the yarn, but I just scold them and say that's mommies and they leave it alone for the most part. Right now, my knitting is on the side table next to the chair and they are too busy playing and watching tv to worry about my knitting. I don't think it is fun enough for my 16mo old to like it. :)

09-20-2007, 11:52 AM
My babies all grew up being knit over while they nursed, so it was just something mom did. There were a few times when they would try to grab for the yarn or the needles and I did have to put needles back into my work a time or two, but it wasn't an every day occurance. I guess since they had always seen me knit it wasn't anything new or different. They all wanted to try at early ages, but never successfully caught on until they were around 7 or8 years old. Now they can all knit, although only my older two have the inclination to actually finish anything. My son will knit with he's bored and he has an ever-growing blue varigated scarf that widens and narrows and is wobbly in places and has some "stitches" on it that would make a lace knitter run screaming (I have NO idea how he does some of the things he does on his "scarf") LOL!

09-20-2007, 12:15 PM
I knit in front of my children, but they are older and I bribe them with gifts of promised clothing.

Otherwise... I occasionally baby sit and the youngest I've knitted around was 13 months. But he was pretty sedentary and I'd just give him his toys on his blanket over there and I'd be over here...

He'd try to get over here but... I was faster!

09-20-2007, 12:51 PM
My son just turned 2 and I'm finally able to knit around him. I had to put it down for a while because he's just very curious and likes to test his boundaries. I guess that's a good thing. If he wasn't I would be worried! Anyway, unlike some of you, my son does not go to bed until 8:30-9:00. By then I'm pretty well exhausted! If I waited for him to go to bed, I'd never get any knitting done!


09-20-2007, 01:16 PM
I knit with my 3 year old aound daily and he hasn't been very curious of the things that I leave out. Like PP have said.. As long as there are toys out and a DVD on he is good to go. I do think it helped to buy him a spool and some children's knitting needles-- I only get those out when he is sitting right next to me... And I always have a hank of yarn for him to play with when he feels he needs to knit--LOL

09-20-2007, 01:38 PM
Occasionally I can steal a bit of time here or there during the day to knit (but most of my knitting is usually done in bed during the wee hours of the night while everybody's sleeping); if I can find some time during the day, I do knit in front of my two-year-old. She's usually pretty careful about picking up the knitting and looking at it, and she tries to "knit" herself with household objects. The only thing that is probably frustrating to me is that she thinks that everything I knit is for her--which is a blessing when I'm knitting something for her (because it means she likes it and will utilize it), but if it's not, well then....well, how do you explain to a two-year-old that it's not all about them? :teehee:

09-20-2007, 10:51 PM
I just had to add this to the thread....http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b94/MMQC/Madelyn%20Jane-Grandbaby/?action=view&current=33480c7f.pbw

09-20-2007, 11:28 PM
What a sweet heart! :)

09-21-2007, 09:44 AM
I just had to add this to the thread....http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b94/MMQC/Madelyn%20Jane-Grandbaby/?action=view&current=33480c7f.pbw

She's so cute!! I especially like the huge smile she has while washing the dishes!:teehee:

09-21-2007, 10:09 AM
I always do, when my boys were little it was crochet... they'd sit in my lap, put their hands on top of mine and "help" me crochet. Now with knitting i went and bought some of those red heart kids knitting needles and they're ONLY allowed to try knitting if they're in the office with me where i can keep an eye on them and the needles (and don't have to worry about them going down in the couch!)

09-21-2007, 11:34 AM
I knit while I nurse my 7 month old girl all the time. I also knit while she's in her crib playing with toys, I sit on the spare bed in the room with her and knit and talk to her. She loves it. I don't knit where she can reach the yarn because she would take it away if I did. So most of the knitting is done after she goes to sleep. :X:

09-21-2007, 01:42 PM
mwhite - what a beautiful princess! Thanks for sharing!

I'm jealous of you ladies with toddlers. My son doesn't like toys really, only if he's in a confined space (crib, playpen). Otherwise, he's walking and being curious so if I even take out my needles, after 5 minutes he's trying to pry them out of my hand! It's like tug of war! He's like this with pens too.

09-21-2007, 01:42 PM
Maybe I'll let him play with my plastic circs...thanks for the idea.

09-21-2007, 02:09 PM
mari_13 - The minute I take out my knitting, my dd (turned 3 yesterday!) needs to have "her" needles and yarn too. But she knows not to touch Mom's knitting. I'll put all the yarn and needles away, and the fun ends. I tried telling her "No, no, that's mommy's" but that set off this whole "MINE!" thing that wasn't very attractive. So I've tried to teach her that when we don't want to share something, we just put it away until we're able to play with it by ourselves (that's what we do for playdates, etc.)

09-21-2007, 02:48 PM
I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old. I knit in front of them. Sometimes they act intrested in what I'm doing but most the time they just ignore me. I never ever leave my knitting out where they can get to it. My sewing box is in my bedroom where they are not allowed to play so they stay out of it. I tried to teach the 4 year old to finger knit and sometimes she'll want to paly with the yarn so I'll give her some scrap yarn to mess with. My 2 year old will mess with my stuff if I leave it out, they pretty much leave me allow while I'm knitting. (hopefully I didn't just jinks myself!!!!!) I can say that around 4 at least you can reason with with them to some point. So it will get better!

09-22-2007, 01:40 AM
I knit in front of everyone. My DD who is 4 wants to knit so I'm trying to teach her on US15's and some acrylic. She does fairly well. She understands the basic concept but the pulling it through and off is a big hard for her. She tries though. My DS is only 3 months so he doesn't care. LOL.

09-22-2007, 10:08 AM
One of my favorite memories... I dated a man who had a 5 year old daughter. She wanted to learn to knit, so one afternoon, we sat down with our yarn and needles.

It quickly became obvious that her hands simply wouldn't do the precise movements. I dearly wanted her to have knitting in her life, so I sat her on my lap, put her hands on my needles, my hands on top of hers, and we both "knitted". With lots of love, hugs and kisses.

Her father wound up breaking my back then running away from his broken "toy" [telling the little girl I wasn't very nice] but I will always remember that little knitting scenario.


Kaylee Chenille
09-22-2007, 02:55 PM
I knit in front of my 4 year old DS all the time as well without issue. He'll come in and ask me what I'm knitting, I'll tell him, and then off he goes without caring!
However, if I'm in the same room as him (our house has a weird floor plan so I can see him in the office/playroom fine but he can't see me in the living room so I'm not always WITH him in the room) my knitting is up for grabs, especially if were in the toy room. If I'm in a room where he's allowed but his toys aren't he might sit there and watch for for a spell but he doesn't try to play with it or anything like that.
So near as his Step-mom and I can figure (she's a scrapbooker) is the he knows these are our 'toys' so if we're in a toy room then we should share like he does.

09-22-2007, 05:04 PM
We have our wonderful 14 m.o. grand daughter three days a week, during which time I've put my knitting away, except when she naps (three hours at a time!). Maybe now, reading about how the rest of you handle this, I'll be prepared with some yarn for her, short strands, and try pulling my knitting out when she's awake. Think I'll leave my bag in the bedroom, however, too many sharps in it.

So good to come here and read all the encouraging posts.

09-22-2007, 09:12 PM
Uhhhmmmmm.... no.:roflhard:

Sorry - my girls are about as active and busy as you can get, and they're both all over me if I try to knit in their presence. So I run and hide when DH gets home so I can knit in peace! :knitting:

09-22-2007, 10:04 PM
Yep. Even in the hospital on the days they were born.:)

Now they are 7 and 4 and so used to seeing me knit they don't notice it anymore. As toddlers they'd want to have their own little balls of yarn out of my basket to toss around, but mommys needles were always off limits.

When the older guy was 2 he grabbed a wip off the couch while I was in the other room. I heard his fathers "NO! Don't touch mommy stuff!". I think that's the last time he went near a wip.:teehee:

The little guy is currently facinated by my spinning wheels. I should teach him to spin.

09-22-2007, 11:42 PM
My son is five and highly inquisitive about my knitting. He has had his temper tantrums and grabbed my yarn and pitched it across the room. I proceed to give him a time-out and then explain to him why he has to be so careful with my knitting things. Now he just wants me to teach him how to knit so I promised him I would when he gets a bit older. Most of the time though when he's awake I'm too busy to knit so I end up staying awake far too late trying to wrap up projects.

09-23-2007, 01:14 AM
Well right now I am able to knit in front of my 5 month old daughter. She just sits and watches me but if I knit for too long she starts fussing so I have to " plan" my knitting time. I suspect that when she gets older I will not be able to knit until that is she takes a nap. But as of right now yes I do knit in front of her.

Lisa R.
09-23-2007, 10:25 AM
I didn't start knitting till my youngest was 4, so I don't have specific experience knitting around tiny ones.

However, as with everything else in life, if you teach and train your little one, you can work out just about anything that needs to be done.

Teach him to leave your needles alone, and give him a special toy or project of his own to work on (do you let him play with toy swords? Get him one to play with instead of your needles, for instance). Or get him his own kid needles and his own (cheap!) yarn and let him play to his heart's content. He won't care if it's a tangled mess.

The only issue I'd see with it, is that at that age, they tend to need a lot of hands on attention, so snuggling down in my recliner with all my knitting stuff in and around my lap, would make jumping up for safety or correction to be a bit difficult--I'd have to adjust my workspace while a toddler was around. And do projects I could pick up and put down easily.

Other than that, with a little time invested up front to teach him, it shouldn't be a problem---and he'll probably be knitting, himself, in a few years!

On the other hand, there's a lot to be said for waiting till he's in bed, and giving him more of your full attention while he's little. Truly, that time goes by amazingly fast!:)

09-23-2007, 11:45 AM
Yes it does go by fast! With kids, time is a "This too shall pass" sort of thing, and just when you think you've got a rythem, they go and change on you. I noticed with my kids that young toddler age is the toughest. They want to be on their own, but want you to be there, don't listen very well yet, and are always into something. When mine hit that age, I knit at night, or while they napped. Or in the car, with someone else driving. And always something easy to put down.

My kids are still young, but easier, and I have always knit in front of them. My oldest DD, 4 next week, has made attempts with big needles, but doesn't seem to have the patience. DS, 3 next month, gets into everything, but respects the "Don't TOUCH THE KNITTING!!!" rule, unless he's instigating. My youngest at 19 months likes to take things out of and put stuff into one of my stashes, but that's not too bad as long as I monitor what's in there. It seems to me the only time they are really a pain about it is if they need attention. If I balance how much stimulation they have gotten, we can normally all sit and cuddle nicely while I get to knit.

And that being said - duty calls! whiny whiny toddlers all around. Good luck, Mari - you'll figure it out!