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Old 05-25-2007, 11:23 AM   #1
heather_dw
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Teaching a kid to knit. Where to start?
My little sister (she is 11), is always wanting to do what I am doing. Now she wants to knit. For christmas, I bought her this plastic round loom to "knit" but she never got into that. She's a bit on the immature side for 11, but I still want to try to teach her. I tried to start with a crochet chain but she wasn't really into that either.

Anyone have any ideas on where to start? I'm not even sure I will be able to teach her to knit at all, but I will sure try my best~

Thanks in advance~
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:28 AM   #2
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I am in seventh grade and this week my sister came to visit us because we havent seen her in two years. she is 25. well, she wanted me to teach her how to knit so i did and she is doing great! she is even left handed and learned how to do knitting right handed. she is making a belt out of really pretty yarn right now and is doing awesome!!! and i just taught her the other day. i am so proud of her. i have also taught my mom and my best friend how to knit too. i guess i was the first person in my family to learn to knit. :D
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:32 AM   #3
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Well if she isn't interested, it's a lost cause. Knitting takes practice and if kids aren't going to practice on their own, what's the point? I tried to teach my daughter, but she *gasp* doesn't really *gasp* want to knit. *ugh*

But, if she does want to start with something basic. Teach her the long tail cast on, then the knit stitch. Show her how to knit a rectangle, seam up the sides and make a little purse. She'll likely LOVE a purse and if her first project is something she loves, you'll make her a knitter for life.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:33 AM   #4
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Also, it is pretty easy to teach someone how to knit... you just gotta have patience! you may want to get her a knitting book how have her take a class to, to inspire her even more to sit down and learn.
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:04 PM   #5
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I taughe my brother how to knit and he didnt' really want to do it, but a few days ago, he picked up his yarn and needles and tried it, and now he's making garter stitch squares to sew together into a throw this summer. He's really coming along.

But, along to tips, if they don't want to do it, don't even try. Sometimes little kids dont' have the attention span yet.

Try bigger needles and worsted yarn in light colors, and use needles in a contrasting color from you yarn, so they can easily see the stitches.

If they find a way they like to hold the yarn/needles/ etc, don't correct them if they're making a knitted fabric. This only makes them more stubborn and indignant. Ask me how I know.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:16 PM   #6
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I generally cast on 10 stitches and knit the first row then sit right next to them and have them do as I do on my own knitting. It usually doesn't take too long to get them going with garter stitch.

Then I let them decide if they want to keep practicing or learn to cast-on themselves and learn the purl stitch. I teach them the knit cast-on since they already know the knit stitch.

I just found out that my 7 yo niece, who I just barely got started at Christmas and who I haven't seen since then still has her swatch and periodically takes it out and adds some more rows. I really can't believe that that she's actually retained that brief lesson, now I can't wait to see her again and see if she wants to learn more.

BTW, for kids I like the Lion Brand kids needles, I think they're a size 10 and some chunky yarn. Not to difficult to handle but big enough to see results.

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Old 05-25-2007, 01:35 PM   #7
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I did it about the same way Deb did... Last summer I taught my boyfriend's two nieces (9 and 11, respectively). These girls are having huge problems with socialization because of many family issues not worth going into here. Suffice to say that in a family situation, they were getting on everyone's nerves; acting up and being generally rambunctious for attention. I had brought along my knitting and they seemed interested.

Taking the bull by the horns, I brought them to a local Michael's; I picked out their needles -- size 10 each -- and told each one they could pick out their own yarn. The three of us sat on a couch for almost three hours. I had cast on ten stitches and showed them a basic knit (no purl).

After the weekend was over, the Grandmother thanked me profusely. I had given the rest of the family several hours peace to talk amongst themselves - something they hadn't done in a very long time. It was fascinating for me as well as I am in my mid-40s and never had much to do with children.

I have no idea if they kept up with their knitting or not - but they have the tools if they ever decide to continue.
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:18 PM   #8
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I agree with all that's said so far. I teach kids to knit at schools where I sub all the time--especially SP-ED kids. I keep an extra (easy) project going and let them try knitting on it. It's in the round, and they like how the stitches look.

I usually start teaching by showing them how to hold the needles and yarn. Then I show them how stitches are made--sometimes I even take a few stitches off (TINK) and show them the anatomy of the stitch.

Depending on the kids, I sometimes teach them a mantra, like "In through the front door, once around the back, peek through the window and off jumps jack."

I would also suggest you have them start with yarn that's easy to see the stitches, but make sure they LIKE it and that it FEELS good! Keep it light, have fun and make sure they understand that mistakes are expected! Knitting is for the process. Taking it out means you get to Ribbit....and have MORE fun knitting! (okay, that may be a little sappy, but you DON'T want them feeling like mistakes are unusual and have them end up!

We want them to

Hope this helps! I love to spread the fun of knitting!
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:35 PM   #9
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Emily (rainberry) taught herself in her room, with the door shut, while watching the videos on knittinghelp.com! LOL! She made a dishcloth and then showed me the finished project. I had no idea she was doing this! Now that she is out in the open, she is knitting all the time!
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dawnk777 View Post
Emily (rainberry) taught herself in her room, with the door shut, while watching the videos on knittinghelp.com! LOL! She made a dishcloth and then showed me the finished project. I had no idea she was doing this! Now that she is out in the open, she is knitting all the time!
A closet knitter

I am going to TRY to teach of kids this summer how to knit.. I hope it will go great. I keep thinking that I might want to "cast on" before they get started so it won't make them mad. because they can't get it.
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