Any advice? Elementary school knitting club

Hi everyone,
I just got approval from my administrator to have “knitting club” for 3rd-6th graders at school this year. (I teach 1st, and enjoy having an afternoon each week to spend with “big kids”!)
Has anyone run a similar knitting group before? I need to assume that the majority of students will have NO knowledge of knitting… I’m thinking of simple projects for them: dishcloth, a simple rectangular fold-and-sew-the-sides purse, etc. I’d love to offer projects that they can work up to, like "if you had an easy time with the dishcloth, you can choose from these three; if you feel you could use more practice with the basics, choose from these"
I’m also wondering what will work as far as materials go. I originally thought I’d provide needles for the initial project/swatch so I can have stitches cast on already for the first meeting. But, of course, I can only find full sets on e-bay, not “20 size 8 needles” or something. Because we’re on an overseas military base with a teeny tiny, not-well-stocked arts & craft center, I’m getting concerned that students won’t be able to get needles/variety of yarn easily. And…because our base is located in a pretty warm climate, I don’t know that a scarf would be a real popular project!

Sorry for the wordy post… I guess I have a lot of thoughts whirring through my head!
Any advice from those that have done this before, or who just have an idea that might help, or a great pattern to suggest?

Thanks a bunch!


how about making your own knitting needles? You could make Sculpy Clay balls for the ends to get straight needles.

You could easily make some needles for them.

Buy wooden chopsticks at the grocery store. They’re crazy cheap. Sharpen the ends in a pencil sharpener, then sand them to a blunt, safe tip. Sand the whole needle, then rub them with wax paper to fill in little cracks. Then give each one a final buff with a soft cloth and you’re ready to knit.

I think chopsticks are about a size 10 needle? Maybe smaller. But they could knit worsted weight on them.

[B]Take Silver’s idea about using chop sticks. Then take your needle gauge and see how big they are for size.[/B]


How about making Head Band for Girls.

Girls also like a Blanket for their dolls. ( I made one for my neice is 6. )
Abou a 13 " by 23 inch . Just big enough to cover their doll. ( I used all Garter Stitch )

Boys like little bag’s to keep things in in their rooms. Like Sports Cards, Marbles etc.

Boy’s & Girls can make a pot holder , dish cloth for Mom.

And I LOVE sqaures of cloth knitted in FUZZY YARN for DUSTING CLOTHS!!! I use ANY [U]CHEAP[/U] FUZZY YARN.

Hope this helped

Maybe a Chamois for Dad[/B]

[COLOR=DarkOrchid][SIZE=3][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Waldorf schools start teaching 1st graders to knit by having them make their own knitting needles out of wooden dowels sharpened with a pencil sharpener, pretty much following the directions Silver gave.

My granddaughter’s school teaches the knitted cast on, with a garter st project, then teaching how to purl. By third grade they are making gloves.

The knitting is taught as a pre-reading skill to get left and right hemispheres working together.

What a great idea!!! Thanks!

Becca, how wonderful that you’re going to teach kids to knit!!! :cheering: Amy also has a video on how to make your own knitting needles from dowel rods, which is cheap and easy, and you can choose the size. When I was going to make mine, I just brought my needle gauge right to the hardware store to see which dowels were a match to knitting needles. Good luck!

Recently I saw a yu-gi-oh/ pokemon card holder which might score with boys of that age group; it was just two rectangles, one slightly longer to make the flap. you could use velcro to close it.

In grade school my friend used to make these kittens out of knitted dishclothes. I’m not sure how, and I don’t know if I have seen a pattern, but essentially it was 3 rectangles.

One long and skinny for the tail, another large square for the body. Take the corner and sew the edges together from corner point to about halfway up the side, repeat each corner for 4 legs. Then the last was used to make the head.

She was Dutch, so perhaps you’d find it on a Dutch website? I think she got it from a knitting magazine. This is about 20 years ago!

I measured the chopsticks I got from chinese takeout and they’re about size 9. A really good size to start with, and if the ones available to you are different, it won’t matter for the first couple projects anyway.

Here is a pattern for a Knitted kitty that sound a lot like the one Songbirdy was talking about.
I made dowel knitting needles with a Vacation bible school class this summer. They turned out great. We just followed Amy’s directions and added sculpey clay toppers that they made also. The kids had a great time making them and were so proud that they made the needles that they were learning to knit on!

Sunny_Singer is offering free beginner patterns. Read this thread for more info.

Maybe they could make a simple garter stitch dishcloth for mom for the holidays to start.

why not do an afghan for warm up america or have them make squares for afghans, stitch em together and donate the completed afghan to project linus?

Also, if you contact i THINK it’s lionbrand, they’ll send you a kit to teach kids to knit.

Wow, everybody!! Thanks so much for the project ideas, patterns & advice!
We’re in Japan, so chopsticks are super-easy to come by! I’ll also be checking out the make your own needles video!

On base, we have a project called “bundles for babies” where nurses teach new moms some baby care basics and present them with a hand knitted blanket. I think I’ll have each of the kids do a square… I heard that they even provide the yarn!

I just knew you’d all be a great resource!!

That link is exactly what my friend’s cats used to look like except she didn’t make a curved tail! Thanks!