View Full Version : teaching kids to knit

07-19-2009, 08:24 PM
my niece and her 6 year old son will be visiting me from Scotland for a couple of weeks and in the interests of keeping the little guy from getting bored(no cable/video games at my house) I thought I would teach him to knit.
Is a 6 year old kid old enough to learn and can anyone give me any hints on how I should go about it- specifically what size needles and yarn,I'm assuming a garter stich scarf pattern would work

07-20-2009, 12:42 PM
What a nice idea.

I'd probably use Caron Simply Soft and size 7 or 8 needles. See if you can get fairly short ones, so they won't be too long and awkward for him to hold.

It might be nice to take him shopping for the yarn so he can pick the color. I'd also probably do the casting on and knit a few rows for him so there is some instant progress, then teach him the knit stitch.

07-20-2009, 01:24 PM
I just taught my 7 yr old cousin to knit

just garter stitch (I cast on 10 stitches for him, did a few rows, and than he went to town!)

i used cotton yarn, and size 7 cable needles (16 inch cable - it was easy for him to manage)

07-20-2009, 02:27 PM
My Mom taught me to knit when I was this age and it was one of the best gifts she has given me. Go with short needles, something a bit larger as a child this age wouldn't have the dexterity for anything too small. Love the idea of letting them pick out their own yarn. I'd start with a very small project so that they can easily complete the project...I did a potholder...still have it...dropped stiches and all.:rofl:

07-20-2009, 02:29 PM
I've successfully taught kids as young as five, so six is definitely not too young. The biggest requirement is patience. I third the suggestion for size 7 needles. I have found that circular needles are easier for little hands to hold and maneuver. Cotton or other soft, non-splitty, inexpensive yarns are best. Think of the things about yarn and/or needles that frustrated you when you first learned... and avoid them. A basic garter stitch scarf or dishcloth to give his mom is a great starter project.

07-20-2009, 04:11 PM
Thanks everyone I never thought of the idea of shorter needles but it makes sense and I do have some short ones,and I think it's a great idea to let him pick his own yarn and I just happen to have a couple of michaels coupons.I'll let you know how it goes

07-20-2009, 07:05 PM
Go gently. Don't force it if his young hands are too uncoordinated yet.

I tried once to teach a friend's 5-year-old girl to knit.

But Jenny's hands just plain couldn't handle it... so I instead made Daggone-Sure-Certain that little girl associated knitting with love and warm fuzzies: I took her on my lap, put her hands on my needles, then my hands on hers - and we both knitted together.

Just a square... then a second square to sew together for a potholder for her Daddy.

Hope this helps,

PS - a wee Scottish laddie? Tell him you'll teach him to knit so later he can knit his own ceremonial Scottish Knee Socks to go with his Kilt.

Traditionally, that's why Scotsmen learned to knit - to make their own stockings.

07-21-2009, 08:01 AM
I didn't know that about the knee socks for wearing with the kilt and I'm Scottish,I'll have to tell Aaron that.
It's back in fashion now, in Scotland, to wear kilts for weddings and events,of course I think a man in a kilt looks great and I love the bagpipes..."you can take the girl out of Scotland-but you can't take Scotland out of the girl" to paraphrase the old saying

07-21-2009, 12:45 PM
Marie, I can't wait to hear how it goes! Let us know what yarn and needles you chose.

I asked about teaching a child to knit in a thread a few months ago, and someone mentioned helpful rhymes. That might be fun to use. Do a search here with "teaching a child to knit" and you'll see a number of threads. My granddaughter hasn't visited yet to try it out.


07-21-2009, 05:06 PM
Pam....thanks for the suggestion I found the rhymes...I actually had never heard them before maybe they're more recent.
I am going now to ravelry to try and find that bunny pattern it looks like something I'd like to make

07-23-2009, 10:30 AM
Marie, I just checked Ravelry again, and that bunny pattern is now listed as unavailable.


I was very interested because it looks like the bunny, with the exception of the tail, is made from one knit square. No small ears or legs to do separately. With a little assembly help from us, the child would have a fun finished project.

I may try to contact some who made it and see if they could explain.


07-23-2009, 11:10 AM
This is such an awesome thread! I just took up knitting last week, taught myself using the videos on this site. I am starting with diaper covers as I ma making more cloth diapers for my two littlest ones. My 4 year old keep literally begging me to teach him to knit. I have heard of finger knitting?? is that something I would be able to teach him?

07-24-2009, 12:32 PM
Nessie, How wonderful that you taught yourself to knit! There is so much help and support on-line these days. I wish I'd had that when my children were small like yours are now.

I did a google search on finger knitting and found some interesting sites:




Let us know how it goes!