Teaching a child to knit

Hi everyone,

Has anyone taught their children to knit and if so, how did you do it? Is it better to use big needles and chunky yarn, or is smaller better? Do you show them or do you help them from behind? Is there a better way to teach knitting or is it as individual as all things related to learning?

My 8 1/2 year old is really anxious to learn so it seems a great time to teach her.

Also, can anyone recommend an easy project for a beginnner other than the usual scarf? Thanks in advance,


Haven’t read thru these but some existing threads that might interest you:

HELP - Teaching a child to knit??

What age to teach child to knit?

If you knitted as a child…question

I’ve been working with my son and teaching him how to knit… I found it better to sit on the couch - I sat behind him and he sat between my knees - that way I could put my arms around and in front and show/guide him as I was teaching him. I also showed him the videos from this site and from Cyberseams: http://cyberseams.com/how_to_cyberseams.php#knitting%20stitches%20and%20methods

I actually started him with knitting swatches - in garter stitch. The other day I showed him purl. His first project that he wants to do is a scarf.

I have seen on this site in on other threads that other knitters have recommended dish cloths as a great way to try different stitchs, patterns, etc… when learning to knit.

Happy knitting…

Oh, thank you! I never stop to think of searching for previous threads before asking my questions! I really need to remember this in the future. I appreciate your suggestion very mcuh.


Yes, I was thinking it would be easiest just as you have described - from behind. And the dishcloths are a great idea as the kids are not allowed to wear scarves to school here. How old is your son? What is hardest about learning to knit from his perspective? Is it a challenge as far as fine motor skills go?

It’s great to know others are passing this on to their kids though! I have actually thought of starting a knitting group at my dd’s school as her friends are all interested too.

Thanks for the support, Leann

I worked with some first -third graders after school. We used sz. 8, shorter bamboo needles (not a slippery or heavy as metal) and regular worsted wt. yarn. It worked well.

I taught my 6 yo daughter recently- I sat her in my lap and taught her from behind. She’s doing a ribbed headband at the moment.

I’ve taought my daughter to knit and we started out with her on my lap (in fact now my 3 year old and 1 year old like to sit on my lap and hold the needles).

Now she does it on her own, but she only knows the knit stitch… she’s make a smaller verision of the bib on here (it’s for her baby dolls)… she’s almost ready to cast off and make the long part that goes around the neck… I’ll help her ad the button hole when she gets there…

What has worked for me is to use really big needles and chunky yarn. I would cast on a few stiches and then let my daughter do the knitting. I think they pick it up alot quicker that way.

I taught my 8 year old daughter to knit with her sitting on my lap. She is now knitting a Little Red Riding Hood Pillow and is doing awesome, still having some issues with the purling. We started out using size 10 needles and just normal scrap yarn I had left over from Plastic Canvas knitting.

I have 2 GD’s who knit, they are ages 6 and 9. They each learned when they were 5. There is a little rhyme that works great;
In the front door, out the back (telling them where to insert the needle)
run around the circle and out pops Jack (telling them what to do with the yarn and how to get the stitch off.)
I used this method to teach a 7 yr old and it worked well. I sat beside her with yarn and needles, showing her what to do. I wrote the little rhyme on an index card so she could keep it in her knitting bag.
I also taught my blind hubby to knit. I had to think about that one for awhile…finely devised a method by closing my eyes and knitting. Instead of holding the needles in an X formation, I put them in “hangman formation” (like the gallows you draw when playing the word game hangman.) Then the yarn is wrapped “uphill” around the end of the R needle, which is inserted behind the left. It made it easier for DH than the “X” formation. Since using that method to teach him, it is the one I use for teaching all new knitters. I think it makes it easier to remember how to wrap the yarn. Just tell the child that Jack runs “uphill”, it’s easy for them to remember. It’s all much harder to explain in writing here than to show someone. Hope I haven;t confused you. Knit on.

Knitted Rose

Thanks everyone, I am going to start teaching my daughter today. She is just dying to knit! It’s so funny, because I remember exactly that feeling when I watched my mum and my aunt knit for my youngest sister (who was still in utero!), which is when I learned. I love that we are passing this on to our kids and I love that knitting is far from a dying pastime. Even though I don’t know many knitters in my real life, I feel validated that there are so many here! Thanks agaiin, Leann