I'm teaching knitting to students!

I work in a high school and on my free time I bust out my needles. I’ve had many students ask me questions about knitting and if I could teach them, so I decided to start up a knitting club on Tuesdays at lunch! I had yarn donated by other staff members and I was given some money to buy needles to loan out. Today was the first day and I had 7 girls show up. Brand new knitters!

I found it extreamly difficult to teach a group. It’s much easier if you are one on one with them so they can copy what you are doing. Each other them have a set of 4.5 or 5.5 mm needles and worsted weight yarn. I was trying to teach them the Long tail cast on but none of them were getting it. I am a continental knitter so I was teaching them the continental way to do the basic knit stitch but again needles were fumbling, stitches were falling off.

I told them to practice throughout the week and to come see me in my classroom if they have questions before next knitting club. I also told them to use the Internet.

Any suggestions about what cast on method I should teach them and if there is an easier way to teach a group? These students are ages 13-18 and all lunch all I herd was Miss! Miss!! There has got to be an easier way to do this haha, maybe project a video on a large screen and have them copy the video? I really want them to succeed. Also looking for small project ideas that they can knit using 4.5 needles and 5.5mm needles, worsted weight yarn (acrylic) and garter stitch!

Any advice or ideas appreciated!

I’ve tried to teach kids in a group before and it’s HARD! What I’ve done before is cast on 10-12 stitches onto the pairs of needles ahead of time. So that when they come in, they’re all set and ready to go with the actual KNITTING part. Once they get comfortable with the knit stitch, THEN you could teach them about casting on.

BTW, I also use the Continental method for knitting, but when I teach others I use the English method. It’s easier to show them step-by-step how to get through the knit stitch. I also use the following to help them remember:

“IN through the front door”; (stick the R needle thru the 1st stitch)
“Once around the back”; (wrap the yarn around the R needle)
“Peek through the window; and” (bring the yarn thru)
“Off jumps Jack” (push the completed stitch off the L needle)

This is what’s helped me. You could also print up some lists of websites with online learn to knit videos for them to watch at home. (like this site) :cheering:

Let us know how things are going!!!


The knit cast on is probably easiest; I taught a long time crocheter that one, english style, and she got it easily. You can show them all how to do it then spend a minute with each one. It may help if you use jumbo needles and heavier yarn so they can see it better without crowding over your shoulder.

You might want to brush up on how to do a knit stitch with the yarn in your right hand because there may be a couple of them who won’t get continental, but english will be easier for them.

They can make garter stitch hand warmers - CO about 6" worth of stitches, make it long enough to wrap around the hand snugly, and seam up the ends, leaving an inch open 1" from one end. They can measure around their hands to learn about negative ease and how to measure.

Thanks u 2! I will def teach the English way next week. They took their needles with them so maybe if they come in next week I can start fresh by casting on for them. I found many of them were having issues actually holding the needles, they would put the needle through and then somehow their needle would end up in the front, or hey would put the yarn around the wrong needle or so it the wrong way. Now that I have a sense of where they all are I may have an easier time next week. Love that little rhyme! I will totally teach that!

Yeah, I was going to say the knit cast on. It’s most like a knit stitch so they’re half way there, too. Good luck!

Good for you! I admire your resolve. I’m not a teacher, haven’t managed to teach anyone to knit or crochet, but I admire those who can and do! Best of luck to you and your students.

Thank you so much for just being a teacher. That is a hard job to begin with.

I am very new to knitting and I taught myself the thumb method of casting on by using short and simple terms. (Sort of like teaching a child to tie a shoe.) Once you get the yarn in the right place, go under, over, and through.
Under the thumb, over the index, and through the thumb again.

Good luck with your little knitters. :slight_smile:

Just a quick note. I am an educational assistant which is like a Teacher but I am not a teacher. I work in regular classrooms along side a teacher but work more one on one. I also work one on one with students with special needs for example autism! Anyway just popping in to tell u that one of the students came in this morning with her needles and was practicing last night and is practicing right now in class while the teacher is showing a video!! So fantastic!!!

I have never taught a group to knit, but I would probably teach the knitted cast on, too. The long tail would be pretty hard to demonstrate to group, IMO. As Jan mentioned, after learning the knitted CO, they will already know how to form a knit stitch.

I got 3 giant boxes of yarn donated today (most without labels so I don’t know what kind or weight it is) I was still very excited, but ten I came to learn because of bill 115 (if u don’t know bout it google bill 115 ocdsb) and the strike I am no longer allowed to run any clubs. I am forbidden to run anything until our bargaining unit comes to an agreement. I don’t know how I’m going to tell the kids tomorrow. Hopefully they watch the news or talk to their parents so they can understand why we have to stop.

Oh dear. Maybe you can tell them to continue on their own and you can be available to ‘help’ them individually if they get stuck.

I agree with Sue. Plus maybe you will be able to go back to the club when things get settled. Keeping fingers crossed!

That’s not nice! I’m sorry to hear it. Hopefully you’ll be able to start again soon.

Oh, that really is a shame. I hope things get settled soon and you’re able to resume class. It sounds like you’re all enjoying it so much. Keep us posted, please.

Sorry to hear about the delay in your knitting class.

A couple of recommendations for you: Perhaps having some pictures of how to hold the needles might help the girls. Also, sometimes a play-by-play in images of what the needle and yarn are supposed to do will help people, too. Well, some it well help–others not so much, but still might be worth a try.

And finally, since you can’t have your meetings, I recommend giving the girls some homework. Specifically, see if you can find out what progress (if any) each girl has made. Then tell them specifically what they need to work on and where they can find information on that particular skill (as in, direct them to specific videos either here or on YouTube).

Hope you’re back to teaching soon. It’s lots of fun, isn’t it? I’ve taught both groups and individuals how to knit and crochet (but not at the same time).

So today at lunch I showed up to the room where unplanned to run my club but the room was wing used for something else, I waited for about 5 mins and none of my knitters showed up yet so I asked another student to let any knitters who may show up to tell them knitting club is cancelled this week.

I have a question though and don’t think i should start a new thread about it. With all the donated yarn I have no labels, how do you suggest I sort it if I don’t know what kind or weight it is? There is a lot of tiny balls that I don’t know what to do with either because I’m not sure what projects can be done with such a small amount. Suggestions?

One way to determine weight is to use the wraps per inch (wpi) method. Wrap the yarn around a ruler and measure how many strands per inch. Don’t pull it tight and don’t leave it too loose. The table at the bottom of this page will give you an idea how to classify the weight. This doesn’t work well with thin fuzzy yarn which is often knit at a much looser gauge than the thinner core because the fuzz fills in the stitches, but for a loose yarn it’s pretty close.

For those tiny balls, they can be sorted by color, or colors that go well together and knotted together to knit all in one item, like a scaf. Let the ends show to make a kind of novelty yarn. Or you can do a scarf, one to 3 rows with each color and leave the ends free for a fringe. They could also be good for amigurumi - little stuffed animals.

You might have to knit up small swatches and wash them to see if its felt able and therefore an animal fiber/wool, too.

Once that is done you can sort them and maybe they can be used for stripes.

Test it by fire! Different fibers burn differently. The link is to a page that tells the characteristics of different fibers exposed to flame. http://www.fiber-images.com/Free_Things/Reference_Charts/free_reference_charts_fiber_content_guide.html I have some yarn that I’m not sure if it’s 100% cotton, I need to do this with a little bit of it.

There is a lot of tiny balls that I don’t know what to do with either because I’m not sure what projects can be done with such a small amount. Suggestions?

I’m looking at hats on ravelry and came across this. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ragamuffin-hat I thought it might be useful to use or to help you think about other ways to use small amts. of yarn.