View Full Version : Teaching Kids to Knit

04-28-2007, 10:41 AM
Hi Fellow Knitters,

My girls and I should be returning to Nigeria with my husband by next school year and I was thinking of offering to teach Knitting as an after school activity for the kids. I was wondering what is the best size knitting needles and type of needles to purchase for the kids. Also what is the best yarn weight and type of yarn. This will be my first attempt at teaching :help: so any advise you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Also, what age groups should I offer the class to, I don't want to young cause it will be just one class with all the age groups together.

Thanks again,

04-28-2007, 11:20 AM
For teaching to knit, a varigated or brightly colored yarn works well. Dark colored yarn makes it harder for kids to see the stitches. Needle size, I'm not sure. My aunt taught knitting classes, and used size 7 or 8 needles with chunky or worsted weight yarn.

04-28-2007, 03:31 PM
Yes, when I teach my daycare kids, I use size 8's. I heard a lot of people say use big needles, but I feel like I have less control over larger needles, and I have pretty big hands. The youngest I've taught was 8 so I can't really say how younger kids would do. And I'm sure it depends on the kid.

04-28-2007, 03:44 PM
My brother and I learned to embroider at the ages of 4 and 3, so young kids can certainly learn if they are motivated to do so (I wanted to be like mommy, my brother wanted to do whatever I was doing). Mom didn't know how to knit, but grandma taught me when I had chicken pox at the age of 7.

How old are your oldest kids? How many do you anticipate having?

Determine how many kids you can reasonably interact with, taking into account age (younger kids will need more attention), and from that and an estimate of how many kids of each age might be interested, you should be able to determine how young you want to go.

04-28-2007, 03:52 PM

04-29-2007, 10:10 AM
When I taught my DGD to knit she was 6 and quite small for her age. We found that size 5 or 8 worked better for her than the 8 or 9 I had been advised to use; also, I found that wooden needles worked better than the metal or plastic. The yarn didn't slip off as easily. i was surprised that she had that problem with the plastic ones, but she did.
Will you have a problem finding a good selection of yarn?
Good luck, and bless you.

04-29-2007, 05:08 PM
I just taught my 3 kids to knit (ages 9, 7 and 4). We used size 11 needles and chunky yarn. This is what I was taught on as an adult and I have to say that I found it a lot easier to learn with than smaller needles and yarn.

04-29-2007, 06:08 PM
:cheering: How exciting is that?!! I'm doing the same thing, I'm creating a knitting club for the next school year at the elementary school that my son goes. I'm really excited about it so I've been doing my research.
I just got myself a booklet from Leisure Arts called "Teaching a group of Kids to Knit". It costs $12.95 at Michaels but you can use one of their 40% coupon like I did.

They suggest not to take more than 8 or 10 kids at the time. But I guess that would depend on weather you are doing it along or with other volunteers. I'm starting my club with 10 and once those 10 kids learn the basis, I'm planning to take more and more until I have the whole school knitting. What a lovely dream!!!! I'm visualizing all the schools in the neighboorhood knitting within a couple of years!

From what I have read everywhere, they suggest worsted weight yarn in light or bright colors (so they can see the stitch better) and size 8 needles (10 inches long). But is always good to keep a couple of extra needles of different sizes because some kids my feel more confortable with smaller or bigger needles. Plastic or bamboo needles are better accepted in schools (safety issue).

Start with a small group of kids because you don't want to get frustrated and you don't want for your students to get frustrated as well. Remember that not everybody learns at the same pace. Try to find volunteers to help you, at least, during the first lessons (CO, K,P, BO). After that, everything will be a piece of cake.

Oh, very important, keep the kids interested by working on small projects. Try not to teach them by knitting a scarf, it's really long and they get bored easily. You can start with a bookmark, wristband, headband, dishcloth,....

I'm currently working on small projects to have them for display during open house so everyone can get excited about joining my club. I'm so excited!! :woot:

I hope I'm not forgetting anything. If you have any other questions, let me know. I've been collecting data and simple patterns from the internet. If you would like, I can copy them into a cd and mail it to you.

I'm so happy you are spreading the art of knitting :D :thumbsup:

04-29-2007, 08:22 PM
I am going to try to teach a class this summer to the young and old. For only a week. but now I am thinking that might not be enough time. it will be for 3 hours each day.

I also have the L. Arts book on "teach a group of kids to knit" Have not read it yet.

04-29-2007, 09:46 PM
Try bamboo size 8 needles with a worsted weight yarn in a differing color from the needles.

05-02-2007, 08:15 PM
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I tried looking on Michael's website and couldn't find that booklet. Where else can I find it?

05-02-2007, 09:35 PM
Teach a Group of Kids to Knit (http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Group-Kids-Knit-Leisure/dp/1574867377/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-1805602-9211155?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178156051&sr=1-1)

Amazon.com has it. New for 12.95 or used for 5.95

Mod Squad was here (link shortened)

05-02-2007, 11:59 PM

I am a teacher and run a knitting/community service group at my school. I've done it for five years now and have learned a few things. I agree that you should use light, bright colors for a first project. Worsted or chunky weight is fine, and wood or plastic is definitely better than metal. The kids are not used to holding their needles at first and the metals can slide out too easily. We've made our own needles a few times using wooden dowels and that was fun. I really like the Baleen knitting needles. They are lightweight, have a good tip, and don't slip. Also, you can shorten them if necessary by using a pencil sharpener and lightly sanding the tip.

I would use size 7, 8, or 9's to start. Also, I feel the needles really need to be no longer than 10 inches. If they are longer than that, they become awkward for the kids to hold.

Small projects are definitely the best, because they need that instant gratification. I teach boys and girls in my group and a great unisex project is a bean bag. I found a great pattern (http://www.michaels.com/art/online/projectsheet?pid=b0092) on the Michaels site. I've modified it a little for my use, but the idea is the same. After they've knitted the two squares (or one rectangle), they put some popcorn, beans, rice, etc. in a stocking or knee high and tie it. I actually tie it, flip it inside out and tie it again to make a double layer--extra strong. Slip that into the knitted part and stitch close. I used this with 3rd through 8th grade kids and they all love it. Hope that's helpful.

See my group's website at this link: www.stitchforacause.org