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!


Reminder

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!