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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got a call from my 11-yr.-old GS asking me to teach him and his 9-yr.old brother to knit! Of course I said yes when they get back from their 2-wk. vacation. Have never taught anyone to knit. Where do I start? Any suggestions, references are much appreciated. Size needles, yarn (worsted I would think and a solid color)? Have an 11-yr.-old GD as well and will offer her the opportunity to join in.

What AM I getting myself into? Well, I have two weeks to get ready... Thanx in advance. Ciao for now...
 

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I usually start someone off with 5mm/US 8 and US worsted (4 ply US). Only teach the knit stitch until they master it and then go on to the purl stitch. Eight year old granddaughter picked up so quickly and had such well thought out questions that I was amazed! As soon as she learned the purl stitch, she wanted to do "knit1purl2"! I did teach her sister at 10 years old but she wasn't as interested until Jessie started asking questions. LOL. Have fun!
 

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go for something pretty chunky that'll grow quickly to keep their interest - maybe a washcloth or something they can use or give to mum as a gift?

Cast on and knit the first row for them to help avoid too tighte cast on and, I was taught with a little rhyme to lead through the basic knit stitch:
In the house (put the needle into the stitch from front to back;
Rpound the house (wrap the yarn around the needle anti clockwise);
Through the house (draw the wound yarn back through the stitch loop);
Out of the house (slip the new loop off the needle)
..... and repeat!

Hope that helps!

There are also lots of demo videos on you tube - just do a few searches until you find one that you can identify with!

Good luck :)
 

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thick wool big needles,get them to sit beside u and show them how, my mantra was ,in over,., thro & off,showing them as u went along .i also found 10 sts was wenough. just plain knitting with luck it should be ok. good luck and remember to have F.luv grumpy nana
 

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Breath, just Breath.
I have taught a lot of young ones to knit. Here is my personal approach. I am sure others have their ways too.
Little hand, shorter straight needles.
Bigger hands, standard straight needles.
Advanced younger, circulars.
Large needle size. Being that I am in the US I will say a size 12 or larger.
I cast on about 20 stitches for them. Then teach them to knit only. Getting them to keep the same number of stitches on their needles is sometimes hard. When it is long enough for them I cast off for them. First lesson done.
Next, I cast on 20 stitches again for them. Then I let them knit 5 rows. Next row I show them purl, then knit, then purl. You know SS stitch. After 10 rows I tell them to knit 5 rows, then knit 10 rows of SS stitch again. Continue the pattern for as long as they want. When they are happy with the length I make sure they have a 5 knit row last, then I cast off for them. Second lesson done.
Third lesson is a bit harder. Casting on. I show them how I cast on. We work on casting on for a long while in most of my lessons. It takes a bit for them to get the tension right. Once they have cast on the number of stitches they want I let the knit or purl as they want. Lesson 3 done.
Next time, they cast on, knit or purl as much as they want and I show them how to cast off. Most times my children are spending time just working away on their projects alone. So when they come back they are ready to learn something new.
Start with the very basic and you will be happy with yourself. Children want to learn everything NOW. They have to take it one step at a time.
Depending on how they have done for the first lessons is what I go onto next. It is fun to watch the start to get the idea in their heads that by mixing up knit and purl they can make some interesting patterns.
Good luck.
 

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grumpynana said:
thick wool big needles,get them to sit beside u and show them how, my mantra was ,in over,., thro & off,showing them as u went along .i also found 10 sts was wenough. just plain knitting with luck it should be ok. good luck and remember to have F.luv grumpy nana
In, over, through and off was definitely what I learned at primary school.
 

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I taught my 9 yr old son to knit.We used size 5mm needles,I found the bamboo was the easiest to use.The metal needles were too slippery, he kept losing his stitches.We used worsted weight yarn in a red colour.I taught him a very simple thumb cast on,then worked on just knit stitches.He picked it up quickly,he even got up really early,went in the front room, sat on the couch and practised on his own.He was really excited when he told me he had knitted 3 rows on his own.He's doing really well,and he was a lot of fun to teach.He had no problem holding the needles, he is a lefty and I told him that it would be difficult to teach him that way.He said it's ok mom I can learn the way you do it.He's learning to play drums so I think that helped him hold the needles :-D :-D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanx Deb-Babbles, CaroleD53, and Lolly 12 -- great ideas and encouragement. Have a funeral to go to out of state tomorrow so will be a couple days to gather 'tools'. I'm breathing .... Ciao for now..
 

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I suggest short size 6-8 US needles and a solid color bright yarn which contrasts against the needle. As they are knitting tell them to think of the needle they are knitting onto as a raw egg; (don't crush the eggshell). It helps keep the tension loose. Most beginners tension way to tight and get frustrated with stitches that don't slip easily. No matter what, be patient and have fun, take pictures for later reference too! :thumbup: :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DeeDee F.. thanx for sugg. to take pics. Hadn't tho't of that. Appreciate your other suggestions, too. You are all so generous, and it looks like experienced in this arena as well!!

Going nitey, nite now. Have to get up early to travel and I am NOT a morning person. Ciao for now...
 

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I agree with US size 8 needles and worsted weight yarn. Choose a light color that they pick out. Stay away from dark colors because it's too hard to see the stitches. I found with my granddaughter that showing her the knitted cast on was easiest for her. We tried several different cast on options before find the knitted the one that wasn't too tight because you snug the yarn while both needles are in the stitch. Start with just the garter stitch, knitting every row. Too much too fast can lead to frustration. Depending on their attention span expect frequent stops. My granddaughter was 10 when I tried to teach her. Her attention span was pretty short. She'd only knit about 15 minutes then want to do something else. Also, depending on their tolerance for imperfection could lead to many gotta start over. My granddaughter gave up because she felt that if she dropped a stitch she had to rip it out and start over instead of letting grandma help her put the stitch back on the needle. She is now 15 and has no interest in trying again at this point. She has taken up drawing and does a lovely job with her pictures. Maybe someday she will want to try to knit again.
 

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kipsalot said:
I was teaching a neighbor girl to knit and found that a variegated yarn worked well to help her find the different stitches.
I've been teaching my 8-year-old grandson. We started with a bright, rather dark variegated but switched to a solid light blue because it was easier to see the stitches and he said the changing colors were confusing. He tends to be rather hyper and the knitting calms him down - it's lovely to sit quietly with him right beside me, real quality time! And it seems to go better if he sits on my right side, I just realized.
 

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Hi!
I've never taught anyone (except myself) how to knit. I'd consider the size of their hands when picking a needle size. I learned using size 6 needles & worsted-weight yarn. I have smaller hands & using any needle size larger than 8 is a trial for me. I can do it, it's just not as comfortable. On the other hand, starting newbie knitters on size 0 needles... eek. You're probably better of tarting with a medium-ish sized needle & a medium-ish weight yarn (no lace or bulky). I'd think a scarf would be a nice first project. My first project was a mouse, but I have the patience to sit there & figure out the whole increase/decrease thing. If your grandkids have favorite colors, maybe a worsted-weight yarn in each kid's favorite color would be a good way to start? There's also no reason they can't start off with a variegated yarn... that could look cool in a scarf, even with a simple stitch... :)
Good luck!
 

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Deb-Babbles said:
Breath, just Breath.
I have taught a lot of young ones to knit. Here is my personal approach. I am sure others have their ways too.
Little hand, shorter straight needles.
Bigger hands, standard straight needles.
Advanced younger, circulars.
Large needle size. Being that I am in the US I will say a size 12 or larger.
I cast on about 20 stitches for them. Then teach them to knit only. Getting them to keep the same number of stitches on their needles is sometimes hard. When it is long enough for them I cast off for them. First lesson done.
Next, I cast on 20 stitches again for them. Then I let them knit 5 rows. Next row I show them purl, then knit, then purl. You know SS stitch. After 10 rows I tell them to knit 5 rows, then knit 10 rows of SS stitch again. Continue the pattern for as long as they want. When they are happy with the length I make sure they have a 5 knit row last, then I cast off for them. Second lesson done.
Third lesson is a bit harder. Casting on. I show them how I cast on. We work on casting on for a long while in most of my lessons. It takes a bit for them to get the tension right. Once they have cast on the number of stitches they want I let the knit or purl as they want. Lesson 3 done.
Next time, they cast on, knit or purl as much as they want and I show them how to cast off. Most times my children are spending time just working away on their projects alone. So when they come back they are ready to learn something new.
Start with the very basic and you will be happy with yourself. Children want to learn everything NOW. They have to take it one step at a time.
Depending on how they have done for the first lessons is what I go onto next. It is fun to watch the start to get the idea in their heads that by mixing up knit and purl they can make some interesting patterns.
Good luck.
Good plan! :thumbup: Think I'll try this method with my granddaughters.
 

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Velsyl said:
I used this pattern for a cat for my 9 yo daughter and it turned out great. It's very easy to do and the result is cute.
http://betsy.imagin-itis.net/fibrecraft/kitten.html
It might be different with boys... Anyways, use bulky yarn and big needles, on the project they choose, so the progress shows faster and it's easier to handle. And, most importantly, have fun!
Those are cute and I think my granddaughters might be able to handle them. The girls are 11 and 14.
 

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I have found that new knitters usually like to have something written to keep with them while they practice. Either a simple beginners book from the craft section or sheets printed from the internet. Lion brand website has very good printable instructions. One student insists on my hand writing the steps of each stitch personally.
 
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