teaching kids to knit

knitting with kids

When I set up the knitting class at Jerry’s school, I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, I decided before the first class to not have any expectations at all. I’d start with a slip knot and go from there.

That first class was a small disaster. I brought both my kids along – I must have been delusional – and they wreaked havoc. I thought maybe 10 students would show up, but it turned out that all 14 3rd, 4th and 5th graders who signed up came!  The kids were great – if loud – but there were too many of them and Jerry and Maggie shouldn’t have been there. By the end of the first session, most everyone knew how to cast on, but very little actual knitting occurred. I was mildly traumatized by the experience, and I knew I needed to make some changes.

For week 2 I enlisted help. Lisa was the designated babysitter. She fetched her own kids from school, came to pick up my kids, and took all five back to my house to snack and play. Denise came aboard as my fellow instructor.  With both of us teaching them, the 14 (or 13 that day) students were much more manageable.

You know what was really cool?  After the second class nearly everyone was able to knit. It was loud, the girls (yes, all girls) were all over the place, but they really were knitting. It was encouraging.

For week 3, I brought soothing music. Denise and I separated the girls who could knit and let them sit and knit with each other. They talked and laughed and knit. Denise worked closely with the girls who hadn’t gotten it yet, but one by one they each made it over to the knitter’s table. By the end of the third class, I think I can say that they all get it.  I’m amazed and excited and proud.

knitting with kids

Next week, were going to make our own knitting needles. Maybe we’ll even get to purling or casting off. I can’t wait!

I have to give a shout out to Common Threads Yarn Shop. They generously donated all the yarn and most of the needles. I don’t think we could have even considered starting the class without their help! The program is 100% free for the students, and although there is a small budget from the school, it would never have covered the costs of all that yarn. Thanks, Common Threads!


The pattern sale is ON and going strong! Thank you to everyone who has bought patterns already. See the Zigzagstitch Pattern Store for details and remember the sale ends this Sunday at 6pm. All Zigzagstitch Patterns are only $3.00! Thanks!

8 thoughts on “teaching kids to knit

  1. that’s so amazing!! I can see that it must have been a challenge for sure, but I’m so impressed that you’re teaching all those girls to knit. The idea of future knitting generations really makes me happy. :)

  2. How fun that you get to teach a class….I think knitting should be taught to all kids (like in Waldorf schools).

    It sounds like you’re all learning so much from each other. You and your friend will be kid knitting class pros for your next class series!

    I helped out with a knitting program at our library and the kids were using nasty acrylic donated yarn, so that is so nice of your yarn shop to donate real wool that’s not tangled!

  3. Wow – this is great! I have been thinking about offering a knitting class at my daughter’s school, with kids the same ages. Now I am learning from your experience!

  4. Thank you Mandy for your comment today…I appreciate it! I have visited your lovely blog before from the Common Threads website. I teach crochet classes and sometimes knit classes at Knit One Smock Too in Winston. I hope to be able to teach at Common Threads in 2010. Perhaps we will be able to meet. I also teach art part-time at Redeemer School in Winston. Teaching kids is definitely a challenge, but rewarding. I’m so glad it is going well for you! My head is reeling from all the diabetes care information so I’m taking a break to visit some favorite blogs…yours is bookmarked along with Susan Anderson, Attic 24, and Kristin Nicholas. Thanks again for visiting and commenting today.

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