Question about teaching kids to knit

My 12 year old daughter (whom heretofore has declared that she will never learn to knit as it is “too girly”) has actually decided to let me teach her to knit. She saw me working on my bear for the Mother Bear Project and she decided that might actually be something worth learning to knit for.

I Tivo’d a Knitty Gritty on knitting with kids and the lady did a single cast-on. Krysten picked that up pretty quickly, but it looked odd to me and I found it weird to knit from. My question is, would it be best to let her use the single cast-on or should I try to teach her the long tail cast-on instead?

I didn’t learn to cast on until AFTER I learned to knit. ( I was an adult, too!)

My friend who taught me to knit cast on for me and knit the first few rows. She said,

“Don’t worry about learning to cast on yet, you won’t need it till you start another project, and you’ll forget by then.”

I found that easiest. By the time I finished my obligatory garter stitch scarf, I was comfortable enough with the yarn, my tension, etc, that learning to cast on was not a problem. (I think I use long-tail, I make a V with the yarn using my thumb and forefinger to do the magical twisty move that makes a stitch. I’m just SO up on the jargon!) :roflhard:

This is the approach I’ve used with the few friends (also adults) that I’ve taught how to knit.

Good luck, glad she finally took interest!! :smiley:

It’s helpful to know different cast-on techniques, so I say go for it.

I suggest showing her that there are other methods that are often easier to knit from then let her decide what works best for her right now. If she decides to take this up as a serious hobby she’ll automatically be drawn to what works best as we are.

What I did to teach my Girl Scout troop to knit and crochet by working up swatches in each using worsted weight yarn and 10-ish needles. Then I showed small groups how to make the stitches, then let them try on their own with me there to help.

I didn’t teach them to cast on because I didn’t want to hit them with too much at once. My girls were 8-9 year olds; I imagine teaching a 12 year old would be a easier.

We did some finger crochet chains first so they’d feel a little more confident when it came to real hooks and needles… I don’t know that it necessarily helped, but that was the theory.

Right now, my daughter is working on a garter stitch rectangle that we’re going to sew up into a purse. I taught her basic color changes with it too, and she seems to enjoy that – when she gets sick of one color she switches to another and that seems to keep her interested for longer.