Teaching kids to knit

My 5 year old son is fascinated by my knitting and said that he wants to learn too. I’ve only been knitting for a couple months now, but I know enough to be able to show him - I just don’t know where to begin! Can anyone recommend any projects or books to use to teach him? I would assume that it would be easier for him to use larger needles and a thicker yarn right?

Well, my sister learned on big, fat size 13 needles and LB Wool Ease Chunky yarn.

How old is your sister? I’m wondering if my son might be just a little too young…

Many parents sit side by side with their oh, maybe 4,5,6 yo kids and have them help wrap the yarn around when you knit ENGLISH. She is 7, but understands a lot.

I knit continental…I was afraid that would be a little confusing for him… I’d teach him English style, but I can’t do it!!:??

I think thick yarn is definitely a good idea for little fingers. And I agree that English is probably the best bet for him for now. Why don’t you have him make pot holders or dish cloths. That way you could teach him one type of stitch at a time and all he’d have to do is knit a big square or rectangle. And then when he’s finished, he’ll love seeing you use his creations all the time.

That’s a [U]fabulous [/U]idea! I think I have some nice chunky yarn sitting around somewhere! And I could always use more pot holders!

I think English would be easy for him. All he’d have to do is hold the left needle steady and insert the right needle with his right hand. Then, really, he could pick up and wrap the yarn and drop it again if it was too dificult for him to hold both the rh needle and yarn in the same hand. Try watching the video on English knit stitch and just learn that one stitch to start teaching him. I learned English and I don’t hold the yarn the way she shows in the video. I hold it between my thumb and forefinger and that’s simpler to try if you’re a Continental knitter. Here’s a video where she does it similar.

My little sister is practicing good stitchwork. Here’s what she did:

You will need: pair of size 13 needles, chunky or super chunky weight yarn

Step 1: Cast on 5 stitches to one needle.

Step 2: Knit all stitches until piece (skinny scarf) measures 60 inches or desired length.

Step 3: Bind off.

Step 4: YOU, as the mom, put on the fringe. I don’t have any links for you, but there are many resources around. My sister was worried about cutting the end, but had trouble with the tapestry needle. She just decided that fringe would be the easiest, because the tail just blends in with the fringe. Hopw this helps!

Oh, BTW, she’s now knitting a bracelet for her BFF. She just CO 5 stitches and knit all the stitches until it could go around her friend’s wrist. Simple as pie, even for a beginner! Maybe you could find a little time on weekends when you could have a mother-son time where you would sit down wtih your son side by side and talk a little about knitting. If he doesn’t get it, say something like, “I’ll try again when you’re older.” I find my self saying that frequently. Here is a link to MY thread.


I taught my great nephew to knit when he was 6. One of the biggest helps was the little rhyme that I found on a site dedicated to teaching kids to knit (can’t remember the site, but I found it by googling “teaching kids to knit”). The rhyme goes like this:

[I]In through the front door[/I] (insert the needle through the front of the stitch)
[I]Round the back[/I] (bring the yarn around the needle from the back)
[I]Out through the window[/I] (bring the point of the needle through the opening between the left needle and the yarn)
[I]And off jumps Jack![/I] (slip the old stitch off)

Whenever he knits, he just starts saying that little rhyme and it keeps him right on track!

Love this little rhyme, Spokaloo! My granddaughter loves to piddle with circulars and yarn… she’s 2-1/2, so not sure she can do an actual knit and bo but the rhyme will help her learn. She loves rhymes and I feel sure she’ll learn to associate it with knitting. Thanks :muah: Mary

That rhyme is cute. You can also buy childrens knitting needles. They are short length and come in bright colors.

My son started learning around the same age, of course he jumped right in with crocheting and knitting around the same time. If I remember correctly he used red heart worsted weight yarn and size 8needles. We(my mother and myself)basically taught him the knit stitch and let him go with it, when he would start to get frustrated with it we moved his interest to something else to give him a break. He is now 13 and knitting simple things(cell phone cozies, etc.) without a pattern and is very interested in using my complicated patterns to give his things a different look. Good Luck and enjoy the time you will spend together sharing a common interest.

My son is also 5 and is wanting to learn. Great question! English style is easier than continental and you could learn it very quickly to teach him with the rhyme. Mine insists on buying yarn when I do- he just likes messing with it. I have no idea where to find knitting needles for kids though. I wouldn’t think 5 is too young- kids used to be taught to do needlework & knit around age 4. Let us know how he does! I’m starting with mine with me knitting and having him wrap the needle for me and watch.

My 12 year old daughter is knitting back and forth, crocheting edges, etc- she just looked at the books & what I was doing and went with it. She is working up some squares to crochet together right now.

When I taught my great nephew to knit, I didn’t know what kind of needles would best suit him either. So I took the cheap route and made my own out of CHOPSTICKS! I just put one end through the pencil sharpener, then filed it down so it wasn’t too sharp, did a couple of swipes with some sandpaper to smooth out any snags and wrapped rubber bands around the ends to stop the stitches from slipping. The lenth was perfect and the wood was rough enough that the stitches didn’t fall easily. If he doesn’t keep up with it, then I haven’t spent anything. If he decides to continue knitting, we’ll go to the LYS and get him his own needles and yarn! And that’s what I’m hoping will happen!

According to my husband (his family’s from Germany), and two elder ladies in one of my knitting groups who used to be German citizens, knitting was taught starting in primary school. If ages are about the same, then five is the PERFECT age to begin teaching your child to knit! :smiley:

Here is the link to the site that Spokaloo referenced. I’m going to have to try the poem with my 12 year old son - he wants to knit, as well, but hasn’t the patience to go through the making mistakes/dropping stitches phase - he gets through two rows, realizes there aren’t the same number of stitches he started with and frogs it all out. LOL!



My cousin’s older 2 kids , 6 & 4, are interested in knitting and spinning. They mainly like to treddle the spinning wheel at our Aunt’s house. Both of them have also show intrest in knitting. My 2.5 yr old, who will be 3 in like 4 months, plays with my needles and yarn. She gets the concept of making a yarn ball and will actually let me sit and knit for about 15 minutes at a time. I have a feeling she will eventually want to knit.

I taught both my grandchildren, they are 10 and 8. My granddaughter took to it faster than my grandson. Funny my grandson also kept with it more than my granddaughter. She just does it when she can’t get on the computer.:teehee:
I started them out on size eight needles and worsted weight yarn. They saw me one night using my circular needles. Now which I can’t believe they both are using circular needles.:shock: Good thing gram has enough needles to supply the U.S.:roflhard::roflhard::roflhard:.
I won’t say that they knit every day and I don’t push them to either. But when they do start they sit next to me and knit away on their scarves.:heart: It is a nice feeling. So I do hope you show your little one to knit. He won’t keep up with it but he will come and go with it. That is how they do learn. :waving: