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Shandeh
07-27-2010, 11:17 PM
I've been a piano teacher now for about 10 years. During that time, I have learned to knit. My students have often heard me talk about my knitting, or how I just came from the yarn shop to buy more yarn. Now, some of them have asked me to teach them to knit! :)

So, a few weeks ago, I started teaching private knitting lessons. Fun! :cheering:

Before starting to teach, I decided to educate myself a little on how to go about teaching them. I had a few books and videos in my craft room to help.

Kids Can Knit (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Kids-Can-Knit/Caroline-Clewer/e/9780764127182)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4105/4836510362_f52e0949bd_o.jpg

Teach a Group of Kids to Knit (http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Group-Kids-Knit-Leisure/dp/1574867377)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4111/4835909591_3966828f28_o.jpg

Kids Easy Knitting Projects (http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Knitting-Projects-Quick-Starts/dp/1885593481)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4127/4835910203_85d2446330_o.jpg

Art of Knitting 4 Kids (http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Kids-Leisure-Arts-4406/dp/B000PGTF2I)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4124/4836531192_2cb9974afa.jpg

I also went online, and read everything I could find about teaching kids to knit. In Ravelry, I found a group that was just right for my purposes. Teaching Kids to Knit (http://www.ravelry.com/groups/teaching-kids-to-knit)

After reading for a while, and watching the video, I decided to make some projects to use as samples for my students. I chose very simple, garter stitch projects, that would be fun for them to make.

Hula Hand Puppet (http://michaels.lionbrand.com/patterns/80994AD.html)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3548/3781368349_773af3345d.jpg

Ponytail Scrunchie (http://www.knittingfairy.com/freeHairTie.htm)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3370/3430303059_db208dcb87_m.jpg

Headbands (http://www.frugalhaus.com/homepage/downloads/WP34.pdf)
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/238/461078328_1aabab04c6.jpg

Can Cozies (http://vickiehowell.blogspot.com/2007/07/drinkie-poos-free-patterns-of-month.html)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4711497200_728d20d435.jpg

Simple Ball (http://www.frugalhaus.com/homepage/downloads/WP56.pdf)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4152/4836559932_ae385706f6.jpg

Bean Bags (http://www.michaels.com/art/online/projectsheet?pid=b0092)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4091/4836564628_090a9dbf0e_o.jpg

Thick Washcloth (http://michaels.lionbrand.com/patterns/90249AD.html)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4111/4835959647_066cdf16d6_o.jpg

For my first lesson, I was teaching two girls at the same time. I took my computer and the kids knitting DVD, and let them watch a little of it. Then, we sat down and learned to cast on together. It took a little while just to learn that.

When they figured it out, we moved onto the first row of knitting. This is when I learned that one of them was left-handed, and had already been learning to knit that way. She is a very intelligent girl, and I didn't want to discourage her. So, I figured out how to knit left-handed for the very first time in my life, and taught her how to do it at the same time. What a challenge! It was very interesting to do.

Here's a video I found online that I used to help us both learn:
Cast On and Knit Left-Handed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v00r6CJs48o)
It was fun to knit that way! Stretched my brain a little bit, I think. :thumbsup:

We were so busy just learning the basic stitches, so we didn't have time to actually make a project. So, I just had them knit a few rows, then bind off, and seam the sides together. I told them it was a napkin ring. :wink:

Next, we cast on enough stitches to start a Hula Hand Puppet (http://michaels.lionbrand.com/patterns/80994AD.html), and I told them to knit every row until it was 8 inches long. This gave them a project to work on until we met again. When their moms came to pick them up, I was happy to hear their excitement. The left-handed student told her mom, "She's a good teacher!" cloud9

At our next class, they brought their 8 inches of knitting, and I showed them how to bind off their stitches again. Then, I brought out a hair scrunchie I had knit, and told them this would be our next project. So, we cast on stitches for that, and I told them to knit them until they were 10 inches long.

Then, we set aside the scrunchies and added the final touches to our Hula Hand Puppets. They were so proud of their work! I didn't take any photos that day, because we were so busy. I think I'll ask them to bring the puppets in one day soon, so I can take photos of their work for you all to see.

The next week, they brought their scrunchie knitting, and we put the elastics in them and seamed them up. They quickly put their hair up with their scrunchies and laughed. :teehee:

This was the week before July 4th, so I brought some red, white, and blue striped cotton yarn for them to make a dishcloth.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4100/4753922337_29da55b311.jpg

I also showed them how to knit a Drop-Stitch Scarf (http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/kfet-scarf.html), using chunky yarn. They LOVED that design! They really liked the way the yarn-overs and dropped stitches worked.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1081/4731982256_ee5a54478c.jpg

The following week, I brought everything we would need to dye some wool yarn with Kool-Aid in the microwave. I let them wear some of my hubby's old t-shirts, to protect their clothes from the dye. They had a great time squirting the dye all over their yarn! Then, they took a break while I did the harder work with the hot water and microwave. I didn't want them to get burned. They watched the whole process, and thought it was so cool. :woohoo:

Then, we hung our yarn out to dry in the back yard. Their yarn was so nice! (I did the solid orange, and the pink and blue yarn on the right.)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4117/4772381340_9b980fbc35.jpg

I told them I would take the yarn home to finish drying, and wind it up into center-pull skeins that would be easy for them to use. They took their drop-stitch scarf projects home, and got to work on them.

The next lesson was an easy choice for me. We started felted bags (http://web.archive.org/web/20070818215833/http://www.theirishewe.com/mt-static/free_patterns/), using the yarn they had dyed the week before! :cool:

I had tried to make a sample felted bag for them with the yarn I had dyed. But, silly me.....my yarn did not felt. It was superwash! :roll: My yarn was unlabelled....it was in a bag of old wool yarn in my craft room. I used a different wool yarn for the handle, and it felted fine. So, I was able to show my students the difference between felting and not felting.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4123/4780575019_11c531ecaf.jpg

I explained to them that their bag would felt just fine. Their yarn was DEFINITELY feltable wool. (Stitch Nation Full o' Sheep)
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1071/4731346119_4cc57f6faa.jpg

The first week, we were only able to knit the handle on their bags, because they were learning to knit in the round for the first time....on 16" circular needles.

For our next lesson, I showed them how to bind off stitches in the middle of a row, and cast them back on for the next row, to make the holes for the handles. They loved seeing that happen! Now, they are back to knitting every row in the round until the bag is long enough. Next week, we will be finishing up the knitting on the bags, and throwing them in the washing machine to felt. Exciting!

At that lesson, I also taught them the purl stitch, and we made a little napkin ring using knit and purl stitches. Now, they have TWO napkin rings. Ha! I also brought a stitch design book, to show them all the fabrics they can make with knit and purl stitches. They lit up like fireworks when they saw all the designs.

It has been SO MUCH FUN teaching them to knit!! I've also taught 3 other students to knit as well. Their lessons are going well also....but I decided to just give the details on the two girls I started teaching first.

Several of my knitting students have expressed an interest in charity knitting. I think I'll teach them to make baby hats for the hospital next week.

Baby Hats in the Round (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59646927@N00/3366017154/)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3660/3366017154_fab1c6e7a1.jpg

Jan in CA
07-27-2010, 11:56 PM
That's great, Sandy! I'm sure a few people will find this info very helpful! :thumbsup:

hyperactive
07-28-2010, 04:06 AM
Hi!
when seeing my knitting project lately and while wearing a pullover his grandma had knit for him my god son lately walks up to me (7 years old) and demands: "knit something. I need to see how you make a coil into something." If I would see him more often I would teach him knitting.
But I think I would have to teach his mother more of that. She wanted to try if she could still do it, cast on a million stitches and knit 2 rows of "no-project". then she put the gigantic coil aside. That's that for endurance :D

I guess, though, teaching kids to knit is rewarding because they are just open minded about trying new stuff. I learned knitting when I was barely 4 and just loved it. I did crochet a year earlier.

But to this day I have not made my own dye.

Those girls are lucky to get good and expanded teaching from you! Keep up that class!

margz3
07-28-2010, 09:57 AM
What lucky girls to have such a great teacher Sandy! You are really making it fun for them! I imagine they LOVED the kool-aid dying and now knitting something from their own handiwork!!

Shandeh
07-28-2010, 05:52 PM
That's great, Sandy! I'm sure a few people will find this info very helpful! :thumbsup:
:hug:

Those girls are lucky to get good and expanded teaching from you! Keep up that class!
:muah: I'm loving the knitting classes! And it really helps to have such smart, fun students. :wink:

What lucky girls to have such a great teacher Sandy! You are really making it fun for them! I imagine they LOVED the kool-aid dying and now knitting something from their own handiwork!!
:heart: Thanks for the love! :)
This week, one of the girls kept going on and on about her "handmade" yarn. She is definitely proud of her Kool-Aid yarn!

linknit41
07-28-2010, 07:11 PM
Shandeh, I was looking at the can cozy patterns--is there a bottom? Or are the cozies just tight enough they don't fall off? I've made several carriers for water bottles and just crocheted a round piece then picked up stitches for the in-the-round part. Did see a knitted one done on circular needles, but found 2 stitches on each of 4 needles was too wiggly for me! linknit4i1

Shandeh
07-28-2010, 07:46 PM
Hi linknit41! :waving:
The can cozy pattern does not have a bottom.
I wish it did, because the can could fall through if you're not holding it tight. I'm adding a bottom for the kids by cutting out a piece of felt and stitching it on at the bottom. :thumbsup:

sgtpam
07-28-2010, 08:16 PM
Hey, Teach!........awesome how you're challenging them early in their learning. WOW! They sure won't have time to be bored!

As always...love to hear your stories. I'll be following their progress.

Shandeh
07-29-2010, 10:55 AM
Thanks Pam! :)
I'm hoping that eventually these new knitters will help me finish up those large Oddball Blankets sitting in my craft room! :thumbsup:

Yesterday, I started teaching two new knitters. One of them "got it" right away. The other kept saying, "this is TRICKY!"

Now, I'm teaching 7 students, and loving every minute of it.

hyperactive
07-29-2010, 11:06 AM
keep it up! Knitting is in fashion these days. "Old warriors" llike us may have thought that it was a dying art among people, but I read some article that was saying that the number of young knitters increases immensely lately.
Good.
The more knitters there are, the more variety of yarns we get, the cheaper it is - because everybody makes good business of it. The more patterns there are out there and the more challenges to our immagination.

I don't have many people to teach, but my secretary and me already got one of the apprentices to start up and be fascinated. Good thing for her and she just LOVED her baby gifts being received with so much awe!

Keep those kids happy and let them do a really fancy garment soon. As a kid I tired of "accessories" soon and wanted to move on. A strap-shirt or a vest? Easy, cool, fashionable. Or a winter hat?

One more accessory of fashion I know though: cell phone socks. They are the hot sales item of the day. You can make them any design, just knit them in the round or flat, maybe with a middle-cast on or any other... to your heart's desire.
They also make a great gift.

You can also make them bigger, line them with soft fabric and make them protectors for reading glasses. Great x-mas gifts, or mother's day... or so.

Shandeh
07-29-2010, 11:39 AM
Good ideas!

I've already been planning a "field trip" for an upcoming class....to take them to a nice yarn shop. I want them to have a project chosen ahead of time, so they can buy yarn for it that day.

luvmykid28
07-29-2010, 02:36 PM
Thanks Sandy for sharing this information. I will hold onto it.

Just a few weeks ago, I was offered a nice sum of money to teach kids to knit. I turned it down, for several of reasons, A) I only had about 6 hours to prepare, B) I have never taught kids C) I was to teach 1 hour classes from 8am-5pm. The idea was a bit intimidating. Your outline might be the ticket, to helping me if I get the chance again next summer.

sgtpam
07-29-2010, 09:43 PM
Knitting (and crocheting) is definitely more popular again. I went into half-price books the other day and there was a full "end-cap" full of K and C books right there in the very FRONT of the store...pretty cool:cool:

Shandeh
09-10-2010, 06:01 AM
http://bestsmileys.com/mail/21.gif
Here's the latest news on my knitting students! http://bestsmileys.com/waving/5.gif

We enjoyed our trip to a nice yarn shop - Cottage Yarn (http://www.cottageyarn.com/)
I told them that my cousin Sara owns the shop, and they should feel free to ask her any questions. When we arrived at the shop, I took them in, and walked them around to give them a quick tour of everything.

One of my students was especially amazed by the shop, and asked my cousin, "How much would it cost to buy the whole shop?" :teehee: My cousin replied, "About five million dollars." :roflhard: My student seemed to take her seriously, and quickly went to tell the other girls. :) They were a lot of fun.

Soon, they were busy choosing yarn for their projects.....with intent looks on their faces. One of them pulled out her cell phone to use the calculator, and the others quickly did the same. (So funny to see all those little girls with their own cell phones.) They LOVED the bargain porch, where everything is 40% Off. They parked themselves in that room, and kept asking each other for advice. I stood by for the occasional, "Miss Sandy! Will this work for my project?"

When we went to the register with their purchases, they were surprised to see that some of their yarn was less expensive than they thought it would be! :thumbsup: They were so happy....just glowing about their yarn.

On the drive back to their house, I stopped to get them each a cool drink at Dunkin Donuts. Pretty soon, I had a loud group of laughing girls in the back of my car. http://bestsmileys.com/friendly/1.gif They had a blast. One of them said, "This is the BEST DAY I've ever had in my life!" cloud9

Now that school has started back, I don't get to see them as often. I miss them, and send them emails occasionally just to say "Hello", and send them links to fun beginner projects.

Recently, I found out about a Saturday Open House at a local alpaca farm....so I have invited them to come with me to that. I want to show them where yarn comes from. They have all agreed to come! :woohoo:

Now, I'm looking forward to seeing the girls again, and looking at the sweet furry animals together. One of them has already asked if they can buy yarn at the farm. I told her that they only have the fiber to MAKE yarn, but I am willing to spin some of the fiber into yarn for her on my wheel if she wants. If time permits, I will take them by my house to show them how I spin.

Until our next update.......:knitting:

knittingincarolina
09-10-2010, 12:17 PM
Thanks for teaching a new generation the art and fun of knitting. Sounds like you have a fun group.

hyperactive
09-10-2010, 07:36 PM
Hi!

those girls are SO lucky. That is a really great project you have gotten into there.
I wish there was an alpaca farm near me anywhere. Oh, I want some knitters to teach! Really!

ewalker
09-10-2010, 08:56 PM
[QUOTE=Shandeh;1299910]http://bestsmileys.com/mail/21.gif
Here's the latest news on my knitting students! http://bestsmileys.com/waving/5.gif

I am about to try and teach high school kids how to knit. Need all the help you are willing to give.

Shandeh
09-10-2010, 10:14 PM
Thanks for teaching a new generation the art and fun of knitting. Sounds like you have a fun group.
:muah: Thanks for the encouragement!

those girls are SO lucky. That is a really great project you have gotten into there.
I wish there was an alpaca farm near me anywhere. Oh, I want some knitters to teach! Really!
Thanks, my friend! :)
I am so blessed that the lessons have gone as well as they have. It has really helped to have such intelligent, interested students. And the alpaca farm is a blessing too! :thumbsup: You might be able to find a fiber animal farm in your area. Just check with your county agriculture department.

I am about to try and teach high school kids how to knit. Need all the help you are willing to give.
Good luck teaching high schoolers! They are old enough to "get it" and do some great projects. Just spend some time before class finding easy patterns, knit some samples with bright colors, and bring lots of handouts of different patterns for them to choose from. Be patient with each of them, and try to keep a positive attitude. There might be some really talented knitters in the mix, and they can help the slower ones.

mspwrz
09-11-2010, 10:16 AM
I have a male student who is really intersted in learning to knit. He asks me almost every day when he comes to class when he can learn. Here is the interesting part...The kid is from a "roughneck" family (a family of oilfield workers, rugged hard working type) and I do not know what to start out with for him. Any suggestions? I thought maybe a wool hat as it can get pretty cold in the winter around here if you are working outdoors. n He is just a very atypical potential student.

Shandeh
09-11-2010, 05:34 PM
......I do not know what to start out with for him. Any suggestions?......
I would just show him several different patterns, and see which one he is interested in. If it were me teaching him, I wouldn't think so much about his family, as I would just HIM. Knitting might be one way he can express his individuality. He might like making scarves, hats, pillows, placemats, can cozies, book covers, slippers, and eventually sweaters. Good luck!

mspwrz
09-11-2010, 08:37 PM
I wouldn't think so much about his family, as I would just HIM. Knitting might be one way he can express his individuality.. Good luck!

He has talked about the oilfields work and how he loves it too. He seemed to like that I understood what it was about and how dangerous it is. I think I was trying to think in terms of what he would be interested in, Guess I should ask him, right?
Thanks for the suggestiions!

hyperactive
09-12-2010, 04:50 AM
Hi!
that student I would teach the basics as to anyone, that is for sure. And offer options. He will chose what he likes.
I think it is a little unlikely he will have much use for lace... but you never know.
A hat is surely a practical thing. Scarfs always are, too. But also fun things.

I think, cell phone pouches get attention with younger kids.

How old is he? Maybe stuffed animals would be a thing to do? The easiest one we did in elementary school was either a snake or a parrot.

For the snake you make a long colorful strip, then sew it up along the long side and stitch on eyes or sew on buttons for it, knit, braid or knot a forking toung or cut one from felt.

For an easy parrot you make a piece that is wider and shorter. Sew that up to a tube as well. For more advanced: knit wings.
otherways: stitch on eyes, cut wings, beak and feet from felt and sew on.

I think, those are great beginner projects since they can be done in knit stitch only if needed. You can also start them out in garter and continue for some part in st st or rev st st to make a practice piece.

Color changes are important for that, though.

Well, if he is a teenager already that might be to "small" for him. But maybe he has siblings to make a christmas gift for?

Tell him how easy difficult patterns / routines can be practices on dish cloth, wash cloth and pot holders. Maybe he wants to add them to the household.

Do not worry about his father's job. The boy wants to knit so give him the chance. If he will not continue that is his decission. But knitting men - especially in tough jobs - were a regular occasion in former times. You want a warm vest even if your wife does not make one (or you do not have a wife)... He asks so fill him in!

mspwrz
09-12-2010, 03:51 PM
The student is 16 and lives with older sister and brother-in-law. They moved here to be closer to the fields where his BIL works. I am not worried about the work but about finding the right projects for him. I have talked to him about how it is more common than one would think for 'rugged' men to knit. I can really see him maybe wanting to do a hat with a logo knit into it. There are many men here who knit as well. I would be interested in their thoughts.

hyperactive
09-12-2010, 05:22 PM
I think you over-worry. Just start teaching him. He has asked.
He will find out what projects he will embark on. I mean in worst case he may do a project that he is not all that much into. Then a next project will fix that. All of us have made projects that were not the best thing we ever did. So: stop worrying and just teach him some. You will create a knitter, most likely a happy one and maybe you enable a very devoted designer of awesome patterns and pieces.

Give him a chance to enter the world of knitting.

I am very sorry to see how few kids learn crafts at home anymore. Maybe we can talk to Nintendo? "Wii knit"?

mspwrz
09-12-2010, 06:04 PM
I am very sorry to see how few kids learn crafts at home anymore. Maybe we can talk to Nintendo? "Wii knit"?

I am conserned if WII did this that kids might try to wear their virtual sweaters!! :) Seriously, anything that would teach them to love and benefit from creative persuits.

hyperactive
09-12-2010, 06:12 PM
I think the problem lies deeper.
Less people knit, less people introduce their kids to crafts at home. Since they do get all the entertainment they can get outside home or within a screen ... why should anyone worry?

My mother taught me crochet when I was just 3, maybe 3 and a half. Shortly after I learned knitting from my grandmother.

But as the generations go less people learn knitting. That is why I think you should teach any interested person, no matter of what age and make them carry the virus of yarn work. It does spread again and the younger you are when you catch it, the better.


Oh, for teaching that kid: how about you let him in on the secret of online forums about knitting once he has mastered the beginning stages. He will come by patterns and ideas and bring them home.

A hat by the way for a guy.. how about the one by Jared Flood?

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/turn-a-square

that might be a good second project after a plain color hat with a spiralling decrease...

melmac51
09-22-2010, 12:33 PM
Sandy, you are so inspirational!!

mspwr, How about fingerless gloves for your student? Caps are good too for oilfield workers. I've been on an oil rig twice, once took a group of interns on a tour of one, and the other time, a co-worker and I went offshore for a tour for ourselves.

Also toured a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico when my DH worked offshore. That time, it was so freezing cold and windy, that my purse stood straight out from my shoulder. Some nice warm accessories would be great!

Shandeh
09-25-2010, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the encouragement, Melanie! :)

Today, I took two of my knitting students to visit an alpaca farm that is in our area. They saw several alpaca, and a horse too! They pet the animals, fed the horse, and did their best to keep their shoes clean. (Silly girls...wearing nice shoes to a farm!) :teehee:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4152/5023583935_5481a4a2be.jpg
You can see all the photos I took of them HERE (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59646927@N00/sets/72157624908083475/with/5023591217/).

And yes...these are the same two students I've been talking about from the start of this discussion thread.

Breezed
10-03-2010, 02:56 PM
This has been great information as I am just learning how to knit and already my boyfriend's 10 yr old niece is now showing a little interest as well but I was worried she'd get bored too quickly and throw it to the side. I may try some of these things to see if I can help teach both of us while keeping it fun for her.

hyperactive
10-03-2010, 04:32 PM
that looks like a great excursion! Those kids are lucky, I stick with it!