Teaching kids to knit?

I was wondering if anyone has tips for teaching children to knit? A good starting age? The best method for small hands? Type of yarn, needle size etc?

Seeing the pic of Amy’s niece inspired me to try with my 7 yo. Any insights, tips etc would be great!


I taught my 6 year old to knit a few weeks ago.

I just used whatever I had on hand. She wanted to learn because she saw me do it. Frankly, I was very skeptical. My daughter is a big whiner, a quitter, and doesn’t always have patience.

I gave her size 7 aluminum needles (because they were the only straights available) and some acrylic yarn. I knit continental, but I taught her to knit English. To my surprise, she caught on right away.

We used the little nursery rhyme method. I believe it went something like, “through the door, around the stack, through the front window, off jumps Jack.”

I didn’t teach her to purl so we’re just doing everything garter stitch right now :slight_smile: But she’s happy and was capable, even though I didn’t at all think she could do it.

Thanks so much. I also knit continental, so I might have my 11 yo teach her English. We are planning a trip into town tommorrow, so we’ll look for her own needles and yarn she can learn with.

both of my children knit. they begin in kindergarden with finger knitting. since waldorf kids go to kindergarden young and spend 2-3 years there with a mixed age classroom, i have lengths and lengths of finger knit garland for my chirstmas tree! they start in first grade, making their own needles from dowels, sand them and oil them (the gnomes helped sharpen them one night -heehee). i would guess they are probably about size 9. then they learn to cast on. they use a yarn that is multicolored so it makes a rainbow effect on the needle. they cast on as many stitches as they can fit on their needle. because they tend to twist it makes a cool pattern on the needle that they are proud of. by the time they have cast on something like 80-100 stitches, they have the hang of it. then they get a nice thick white wool and learn to knit as they begin their first project: a knit kitten. by the time they are selected for their knitting lesson they are so excited, and the success of the others ahead of them encourages them.

of course this would be tough to imitate in a home invironment, one on one, but i thought the method might be interesting and relevant. here is a link to some information about the waldorf method and the benefits of it:

Anise, i like the idea of your rhyme to teach children. My 9 year old GrandDaughter would like to knit. Now i can teach her with your rhyme. Thanks.

What is the difference between the English stitch & the Continental? I am learning how to knit. So far the only stitch i have down perfect is the knit stitch. Purling stitch i am slowly learning.

Just to be clear, I didn’t make up that rhyme :slight_smile: I saw it on a knitting site somewhere and thought it ws cool :slight_smile:

English knitters “throw” the yarn with the right hand when they knit. Continental knitters hold the yarn in the left hand and knit from it much like crocheters do. If you look at some of AMy’s videos you can really see the difference. (pink videos are continental, blue are english). In fact, I was an English knitter until I saw this site. I was watching Amy’s video on how to knit cables, and I got distracted by her fingers and how she was knitting and I thought to myself, “What the heck is she doing?!” I was so intrigued I had to look at more sites and finally taught myself that style of knitting. I find it faster and easier ony my wrists than English style.

Thank you for telling me about the different color video’s. I will check those out to see the difference.

Have any of you ordered Amy’s CD and is so did you like it?

I like her site the best out of all the ones i have seen so far.

I’m trying to teach my 10yr grandson to knit. I am having him start on knitting a dishcloth that is all done in Garter stitches.

I taught him the basics of Crocheting ,very basic, only because I don’t know how to really crochet myself . But with the help of his other grandma they managed to crochet a small pillow toy.

Know he wants me to teach him to knit. I can teach him only what I have learned so far which is not bad for a newbie of 5 years.

He wants to make socks.

He asked me if there was a knitting forum for kids like him that want to learn to knit, like this one here. I said I didn’t know, but I’d ask.

my granny taught me to knit when I was about 6 or 7, which considering she was really a crocheter was good going. She tried teaching me crochet but I could never get the tension right. We then did knitting in school in P4 (about 8 years old) but we made a teddy bear out of a series of rectangles. The teacher thought I was a fast learner, but I already knew what I was doing…
We used the rhyme:
in through the bunny hole
round the big tree
back through the bunny hole
and off jumps she