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Old 02-23-2005, 12:15 PM   #21
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Beldaraan, I love what you had to say about this. I agree totally.

I've been knitting all my life, and I don't think I ever met a male knitter, until last year. Now, suddenly, I'm meeting them everywhere!
I think the face of knitting is changing quickly. It's great!

I know it can be shocking for some of us who are used to seeing only women knit, but once you realize that it's such a trend now, and really EVERYONE is doing it, it becomes less shocking and more :D "Cool!, men are doing it too!" Not that it should be shocking; but it can be. I do contra dancing here in New England, and one of the trends among some of the more daring men is to wear skirts to the dances! Like, real, long, flowery, flowing skirts. The first time I saw this, it was very shocking to me. Now I don't think anything of it, and I think it's great. I don't think knitting is as shocking, but for some people it can be! You can't really blame people for what they're used to seeing. All you can do is commend people for having the courage to not criticize it, and even to support it. Eventually these stereotypes change. Thank goodness! Imagine what it was like when women first started wearing pants! Or even working as professionals in the workplace, rather than being at home in the 50's. We don't think anything of these things now. They "shouldn't" have been shocking, but they were. This is how society grows.

If you suspect this might become an issue with your son at school, maybe you could ask the teacher to bring up the topic of gender roles, as a classroom subject. Kids love to be liberated from stereotypes. She could talk about women who are construction workers, etc. Then your son's knitting will be seen as heroic and cool, rather than weird because it's different. I think this is a great topic for a teacher to discuss, in any case! I think nowadays it's even more important for liberating the boys than for the girls. Not that it's not important for girls, too, but I think the women's movement and "girl power" have done a lot to liberate a girl's views of what she can do. I think that boys don't have as much of this support, and could really use more of this kind of encouragment and empowerment.

BTW, does anyone know of any kid's books that picture boys knitting? Might be good to donate to the classroom. ....Doesn't "Teen Knitting Club" have a boy on the cover, knitting with the girls? It would be great to find a book geared for younger kids. I've also heard that there was a poster made of cool snow-boarder guys knitting hats for themselves. That would be a great poster to have in a school, if you could track it down!

Long post here! Hope it was worth the read,
Amy
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Old 02-23-2005, 12:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by amy
BTW, does anyone know of any kid's books that picture boys knitting? Might be good to donate to the classroom. ....Doesn't "Teen Knitting Club" have a boy on the cover, knitting with the girls? It would be great to find a book geared for younger kids. I've also heard that there was a poster made of cool snow-boarder guys knitting hats for themselves. That would be a great poster to have in a school, if you could track it down!
I've mentioned this book in a couple of other posts: Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick. Here's a link to a review I did on it. There are several pictures of boys knitting, and there are several patterns they might enjoy, too -- twisty scarf, blocked afghan, pullover sweater, etc.
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
I've mentioned this book in a couple of other posts: Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick. Here's a link to a review I did on it. There are several pictures of boys knitting, and there are several patterns they might enjoy, too -- twisty scarf, blocked afghan, pullover sweater, etc.
Good to know! I have that book in my book-links section. I've just added a description to mention that it's boy-friendly. Thanks!

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Old 02-24-2005, 09:12 AM   #24
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Thanks Amy, my DH has become very supportive, he has heard from other guys that it's cool, so he has changed his outlook. My son did mention it to his teacher at school, so maybe she'll introduce some of those things into class. She's a young progressive teacher and my son just adores her.

I think he just was never exposed to that before...

Thanks everyone, I am glad to see so much support! You folks are awesome!

Happy Knitting!

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Old 02-25-2005, 02:03 PM   #25
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My 5 year old son wants to learn too!
My 5 year old son wants to learn how to knit. He keeps begging me to teach him. How did you go about teaching your son? I know you said you used big needles, but what about casting on? Should I save that lesson for later? I thought he was too young to learn to knit, but I'd like to teach him. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 02-25-2005, 04:13 PM   #26
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as i've mentioned before, all the children in my children's school knit. ALL the children. they use it as a way to introduce math, teach fine motor skills, and... patience!

this is my funny story about men knitting. sadie, my youngest, wanted to teach mr rabita to knit. he was like "SURE! if things don't work out with mommy this will be a great way to meet girls!" hehe.
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Old 02-25-2005, 04:39 PM   #27
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I taught him only the K stitch. I did not teach him to cast on.

I cast on the stitches for him then we went over the K stitch.

It turned out easier than I thought!

Good luck. Now my 4 year old wants to get in on the action!
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Old 02-25-2005, 08:28 PM   #28
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I taught my 5 year old niece to knit on Thanksgiving day. (There's a post and a picture about it on this forum. I got a great thrill from it!)

My niece didn't stick with the knitting. She's lost interest, for now anyway. :( But then, she's pretty darn young! Who knows, probably she'll pick it up again when she's older. It says a lot about a kid's natural interests, when they express interest in something so young.

The next time I saw her I taught her finger knitting, which I thought she might stick with more, for now.

I think crochet is maybe better for young kids than knitting. I think it's easier and more intuitive than knitting. I learned crochet at the age of 4, and I was really into it. I learned knitting a year or two later, but did much more crochet, because I could invent things more easily with it, and had much more control over it. No one had to show me how to pick up stitches along the side of the work, with crochet! It's so intuitive! I think they can really master the medium, quite quickly, compared to knitting, and that can be very motivating to stick with it.

That said....

I used wooden needles to teach her, which I think are good, because kids tend to let go of the needles, and metal ones just fall right out with their loose stitches.

For those of you who haven't watched the basic knitting videos in a while, they now contain the classic nursery rhyme, which is great for teaching kids.

Even though I'm a Continental knitter, for young kids, I think the "throw" method, done with whatever hand they want, is easier for them to get. For older kids with better motor skills, I'd teach them Continental.
I think size 10 needles would be easiest to use; but then again, those huge size 15 needles are so satisfying, because the knitting goes so fast on them, and kids love the instant gratification!

Amy
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Old 02-25-2005, 08:53 PM   #29
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I tried it and he loved it! He did quite well too. I got out the size 15 in my old Boye set, put the jumpers on, sat him on my lap and he did great. I think wooden needles would be better for him, I will have to try that. I was throwing the yarn for him, but he was doing the stitches all by himself. He tried to throw with his left hand, but I stopped him. I think I'll let him try it next time we sit down together.
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