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View Full Version : How young is too young to learn to knit?


Jackie M.
02-16-2010, 11:16 PM
About what age was the youngest knitter that you have heard of? What age is a good age for a child to be co-ordinated enough to knit?

MesaVerde
02-16-2010, 11:27 PM
My really good friend learned when she was 7, but she didn't start up again until she was 11. I'd say 10 is a good age for someone to teach you. To learn from a book would be at least 12.

Jan in CA
02-16-2010, 11:37 PM
I really think it depends on the child. Some children have enough patience and dexterity to knit at 6, others might not be ready till they are 12.

AngelaR
02-16-2010, 11:39 PM
I have seen childrens Learn to Knit kits at the hobby stores with large plastic needles and they are recommended for ages 6 and up. I'm not sure you can stamp and age on it. I would think that it depends on the child and their ability to pay attention and will to sit still. I don't think it would be worth the aggravation to try to teach a kid whose attention is all over the map or a kid who prefers to play outside until they are around 12 or 13 years of age.

Having taught kids for years I can honestly say, it really just depends on the kid and if they really want to learn.

zkimom
02-17-2010, 08:13 AM
My kids both learned to knit at school when they were 7. They went to a Waldorf school and knitting (well, handwork in general) is a big part of the curriculum.

They begin by teaching finger knitting in the early childhood and then having the children make their own needles from dowels and begin to knit in the first grade. That said, there are kids who can only make a tangled mess of their work for the first year and others who pick it up quickly. I still have the rather odd shaped piece of knitting that was my son's first work somewhere around.

I would guess that most kids can get the hang of working with knitting needles around the age of 7 but agree that it depends on the child and their level of interest as to whether they'll stick with it or not.

cftwo
02-17-2010, 10:14 AM
My friend reports that her 8 yo dd has become a pretty good knitter (for an 8 yo), but before that, she just didn't have the patience to sit still long enough to do something. I think I learned when I was about 10 or so.

Irishmam
02-17-2010, 11:06 AM
My 8 year old is a good knitter with the co-ordination and patience needed. My 5 year old is not able yet

suecq
02-17-2010, 11:16 AM
I learned to knit when I was 5 years old. Last summer I taught a 9 year old girl with ADD. It was remarkable. She would sit wioth me for extended periods of time and knit. This is a child who is constantly in motion and always yelling. She is a neighbor's child and the entire neighborhood was surprised to see her sitting quietly with me.

trvvn5
02-17-2010, 11:48 AM
I learned to knit when I was 5 years old. Last summer I taught a 9 year old girl with ADD. It was remarkable. She would sit wioth me for extended periods of time and knit. This is a child who is constantly in motion and always yelling. She is a neighbor's child and the entire neighborhood was surprised to see her sitting quietly with me.

I wonder if there have been studies on this sort of thing. Kids with ADD doing crafts to keep them focused. I wonder what the results would be.

melmac51
02-17-2010, 12:09 PM
I learned to knit (from a friend) when I was around 10. Never learned to bind off, so I put it down for about 16 years. I picked it up again from a magazine, and taught myself how to bind off. I'm still learning new things even now.

Abby123
02-17-2010, 12:34 PM
I asked my mom to teach me to knit when I was 7. She had the patience of a saint. Even though I wanted to learn, I had a tough time getting the hang of it.

I'd say between 7-10yo. Or whenever the child shows interest.

trvvn5
02-17-2010, 12:48 PM
I don't know how young. But God love anyone who's willing to teach an 8 yo how to knit. I'm in the process of teaching a friend of mine who is 34 how to knit and there are times I could pull my hair out. She just lacks the dexterity to get this easily. I can't imagine what it would be like to teach someone that young. Maybe I'll grab one of my nieces and force my hobbies on them just to see how it goes.

Abby123
02-17-2010, 01:13 PM
I'm in the process of teaching myself to knit left handed. Ugh, my tension is horrible. It has given me empathy for all the beginners out there.

I'm reading "Andean Folk Knits" by M.Lewandowski. Children in the Andes learn to knit when they are 5. And are doing multicolored pattern work before they are 10. So I guess it is possible to learn younger.

melmac51
02-17-2010, 01:27 PM
I'm in the process of teaching myself to knit left handed. Ugh, my tension is horrible. It has given me empathy for all the beginners out there.

I'm reading "Andean Folk Knits" by M.Lewandowski. Children in the Andes learn to knit when they are 5. And are doing multicolored pattern work before they are 10. So I guess it is possible to learn younger.


Why do you want to teach yourself how to knit left-handed? For a special project? I'm a lefty, but knit right-handed (didn't know it until years after I'd learned.) Just curious. ;)

Abby123
02-17-2010, 01:38 PM
Why do you want to teach yourself how to knit left-handed?

I have arthritis. Not real bad, but enough that my hands ache if I hold the yarn in the same manner all the time. So I switch out styles, English & Continental. And also vary the way I carry my working yarn.

I'm learning so I can make the wear & tear on my hands balanced. The idea is to knit across with one hand & back with the other. No flipping the work needed. And each hand gets a break between rows.

dustinac
02-17-2010, 01:44 PM
I have arthritis. Not real bad, but enough that my hands ache if I hold the yarn in the same manner all the time. So I switch out styles, English & Continental. And also vary the way I carry my working yarn.

I'm learning so I can make the wear & tear on my hands balanced. The idea is to knit across with one hand & back with the other. No flipping the work needed. And each hand gets a break between rows.

Have you checked out Portuguese knitting? (http://www.andreawongknits.com/) I know some who have made the change and they do say it helps with arthritis and carpal tunnel :hug:

HeartLeeKnit
02-17-2010, 01:47 PM
Last weekend during a visit, I found out my granddaughter knows how to knit! I was fumbling (a beginner) & she took over... :eyebrow2: Surprise -She learned how to knit in 3rd grade (7 years old). :knitting: AS if it was a natural occurance. Okay, she is in Boulder,CO - they do things differently there. Life skills, hands-on learning.... Indigo children.

Yes, WALDORF school.

Does she knit now? No, never. Children 7-10 are just too active. No interest. (Except showing Grandma how to knit.)
**Important to note: Many years later, she still knows how to knit! Maybe it is similar to teaching children different languages while they are young. Worth a thought....

Children are amazing!
Lee

Abby123
02-17-2010, 01:59 PM
I tried carrying over my left shoulder. And I ended up sitting on my yarn all the time. Guess it wasn't for me. The article mentioned teaching blind people to knit. Wow, I thought teaching beginner was challenging enough.

Lee, I agree. I think learning to knit increases dexterity in children.

HeartLeeKnit
02-18-2010, 01:29 PM
The article mentioned teaching blind people to knit. Wow, I thought teaching beginner was challenging enough.

Lee, I agree. I think learning to knit increases dexterity in children.

Never thought about dexterity. Good point! I was astounded when my granddaughter took over my knitting - needles flying perfect rows of sts!

Portuguese knitting - teaching the blind. WELL, I am visually impaired (can not even drive now). Teaching myself to knit. However, I do have visual aids and - more importantly - the gift of touch (as magnificant as a child's gift of dexterity)!
When you lose some of one sensual ability, your other senses improve (greatly). Knitting - I knew I would have to rely alot on my sense of touch. Did not know if it could do this. STILL a beginner, but I am knitting, really knitting!cloud9

Switching hands or trying Portuguese knitting to handle arthritis or carpal tunnel -good for you!

Teaching a child or handicapped person (blind or arthritic) may be challenging, but definately worth exploring!
Life is FULL of surprises... If you do not try, you will not succeed.

Smiles to all of you!
Lee

Abbily
02-18-2010, 05:23 PM
I tried to teach my daughter to knit when she was 5- she didn't have the dexterity or patience for it then, so I taught her to finger knit. She loved that. I taught her to needle knit at 6 and she did great. She's now 8 and making her friend a garter stitch shawl.

ArtLady1981
02-18-2010, 06:21 PM
I agree with one thing for sure: it depends on the child. (remember Amadeus Mozart)

If a youngster verbalizes an interest in learning, it doesn't hurt to try.
Plain casting on, and plain knit stitches (garter stitch).

You'll find out very quickly if the child does not yet have the eye-hand coordination. If they don't, I wouldn't unnecessarily upset the child by trying to force the issue. I'd say, "Good job! We'll try some more in summer!" (if it's winter) If the child is still interested after 6 months has passed, give it a try again.

I've had numerous little grandchildren express interest in knitting cuz they see me knitting and want to be like Gramma. I always give them a little lesson. Some could, some couldn't...and those that could rarely stuck with it for long.

newamy
02-19-2010, 12:02 AM
My daughter has been able to do the knit stitch since she was 8 but she is not interested in knitting too much.

The Yarn Harlot, aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, has stated in her books and blog that she learned at age 4. Her grandmothers rule was if you are old enough to learn to read you are old enough to learn to knit.

Decoding reading is harder than decoding knitting. If you can tie shoes also you ought to be able to learn to knit.

fluffybunny
02-21-2010, 01:23 PM
I taught my niece when she was about 7 or 8. While she knew the basics, she had almost no skill and it quickly faded. But when she was around 11, she was under the influence of a group from her church and she picked it up again. The calls for more instructions have noe died down, so either she knows most everything she needs to know, or else the hobby has falled from favor again.
DD

N0obKnitter
02-21-2010, 01:47 PM
What if you're 35 and still don't tie your shoes properly? :D

I invented my own way of tying my shoes when I was a kid, never learned the "right" way.

jess_hawk
02-26-2010, 12:24 AM
I didn't learn to knit until I was 7, but I learned to embroider when I was 4, and my brother when he was 3 (because he wanted to do everything big sissy did!). It definitely depends on the child.
If they don't have the coordination to do it on their own but want to learn, you can start by letting them put their hands on the needles while you knit. Knit a simple scarf and talk to them while you do this... both explaining what motions you make while you do them, and just simply talking or telling stories. When they get bored, let them stop.
My mom actually started doing this with her counted cross stitch when my brother was 2. He had to sit still for half an hour at a time for asthma treatments, and that was nearly impossible for him (to this day, getting him to be still is nearly impossible...), but he's a gregarious type, so mom gave him something to do with his hands: he would sit on her lap, she would place the needle in the hole, and he would pull it through.
The important thing is that the child wants to do it, and that the person doing the teaching is patient and engaged. So what if their first project turns out to be a knotted, hole filled mess?

cftwo
02-26-2010, 09:44 AM
Jess's post reminds me of my first project. I was 3, and my grandmother threaded a yarn needle and put a piece of fabric in a hoop. Then I created this piece with different colored yarn randomly stuck in here and there. She had it framed in her living room for years. But I didn't take up knitting until later.

Debbie
02-26-2010, 09:43 PM
I taught my granddaughter to knit when she was 6. She is 10 now and sometimes when she comes over, she knits with me, but she doesn't do any knitting at home. I am always amazed that she remembers how, no matter how long it has been !

insp30305
02-26-2010, 11:38 PM
Like some of the other posters, I was taught to knit at age 5. Requirement in my mother's English household. Would think the child must have the dexterity to handle the needles and keep the patterns simple. I am in the process of teaching my grand daughter, age 6, and she seems quite comfortable with the process. Needless to say, also excited about showing her creations off at school.

Knitting_Guy
02-27-2010, 01:22 AM
No such thing as "too young". I just read about a baby that came out of the womb with two sweaters and a hat while working on a pair of socks.

cindycactus
02-27-2010, 01:21 PM
No such thing as "too young". I just read about a baby that came out of the womb with two sweaters and a hat while working on a pair of socks.

:passedout: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

CountryNaturals
02-28-2010, 10:54 AM
I was 5. I remember casting on with the finger method and really wanting to learn the long-tail cast on. I also remember the elaborate motion of letting go of the needle to put the yarn over, so my tension must have been awful, but that's all I can remember. There are no finished masterpieces in the cedar chest from that period, so maybe that's as far as I got.
The funny thing is that I have no other knitting memories until after I was married and knitted a bulky sweater for my husband, but that wasn't hard, so I must have done some other knitting throughout my childhood, that I've forgotten. My mother did all the knitting for our kids and my mil loved to crochet, so there was no need for me to pick up the needles when I was a young, busy mom.
I didn't get serious about knitting until I retired at 50. Now I rarely sit down without picking up my needles and I always have at least 2 projects going. (I start my Christmas knitting for the next year before the decorations are down from the previous year.) :knitting:

jess_hawk
03-01-2010, 09:18 PM
I was 5. I remember casting on with the finger method and really wanting to learn the long-tail cast on. I also remember the elaborate motion of letting go of the needle to put the yarn over, so my tension must have been awful, but that's all I can remember. There are no finished masterpieces in the cedar chest from that period, so maybe that's as far as I got.
Haha, that's my first knitting memory! My grandma taught me to cast on (she actually taught me Longtail) and then went to cook dinner, assuming that I would cast on a few stitches, get bored and watch TV.
Lets just say that my first scarf starts about two feet wide and eventually narrows out to 6 inches.

Tyrovive
03-14-2011, 05:16 PM
I am in a similar situation with an 8 1/2 year old. She is very motivated after seeing me knit, but want to jump straight into it. Any teaching suggestions? I feel that I need to start her with a quick/easy headband so she feels like she did something.

TEMA
03-20-2011, 11:37 PM
A friend of mine who was originally from England was knitting socks at the age of 5... for me that's a little young but in England in those days, it was normal to teach the little ones, boys and girls alike, to knit quite young.
TEMA

ArtLady1981
03-27-2011, 03:25 PM
Debbie Macomber (http://www.debbiemacomber.com/) was saying (saw her on my Series 600 Knitting Daily TV dvd) that knitting saved her life, and rescued her self-esteem! She stated that she's dyslexic...so she never learned to read til she was in 5th grade...but she could knit perfectly well...and reading patterns actually helped her increase her reading abilities...plus being able to DO SOMETHING WELL increased her self esteem by MILES!

So, just cuz a person lacks certain natural skill sets due to dyslexia, or are otherwise challenged in those abilities... doesn't mean they won't EXCEL in some other areas, especially those that need good motor skills, eye-hand coordination! Good "sense" about how things go together, almost intuitively knowing how it works.

Bruce Jenner is a classic example!

offgridgirl
03-27-2011, 04:16 PM
I learned to knit from my grandmother as my mother was left-handed and just confused me. I was 7(or 8) and did 20 rows by 20 stitch squares. As I progressed, the squares got better and better. I made a quilt from all of them. I have sweater that I knitted at 10 and it still fits!! Recently, I went to the local school that has a knitting program for the children. There was a huge group from 4 up to 10. They all have on-going projects and there is two volunteers to help with problems. I offered to help should one of them, not be able to make it.