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What age were your grandchildren when you taught them to knit?

(35 Posts)
penguinpaperback Sun 17-Nov-13 23:20:56

My 2 grandchildren would like me to teach them to knit. They are 4 and 6. Is this too young? I was thinking of using wooden needles so not too slippery and size 6-7mm. Garter stitch scarves for dolls and teddies. We have made lots of pom poms together, have cross stitched coasters, bookmarks. Any advice or your experience of teaching children to knit would be most

penguinpaperback Tue 19-Nov-13 23:26:45

Your son's knitting is so neat and even, they are beautiful designs grannyactivist
I'm secretly hoping my DD will return to knitting one day. I taught her the basics when she about 7. The last time we were in the wool dept of John Lewis she was picking up various wools, admiring colours.
Your GD's sound very enthusiastic Agus. smile
My GS loves sewing too Notso. Nice to hear both GSs are enjoying their A while ago I was reading of young people, away from home for the first time throwing away shirts and buying replacements if they had lost a couple of buttons and I remember just after this The Guardian had an article showing how to sew a button on a shirt.
I didn't know so many other countries knit as we do Margaret. If I'm knitting something large, heavy I will often use circular needles as straights. I find circulars are kinder to the wrists.

NannaAnna Tue 19-Nov-13 23:31:44

I have spent this afternoon teaching my 25 year old daughter to knit grin.
I did try with all 3 girls when they were small, but none took to it.
My eldest (now 33) learnt about 6 months ago!
Very different to when I was a child. My step-mother taught me from the age of 5 as a means of child labour! (I kid ye not!)
As the number of children in our family grew, I was given the job of knitting all the school jumpers! With 4 younger brothers that amounted to a lot of jumper-knitting every summer holiday (and I made my own of course).
I also remember making my father a cable-knit pullover for Christmas when I was 7!
In addition to knitting, I was taught to use a sewing machine - a Singer treadle. I was also responsible for all the sock darning.
As I said ... child labour!

thatbags Wed 20-Nov-13 07:19:04

I learned to use a treadle sewing machine at school. Then a great aunt gave me her old one and I used that for years. When I first bought an electric sewing machine, I took the motor off it and attached it to the old treadle stand, with the leather drive belt to drive the machine, because I was so used to the treadle action and disliked the electric foot control. I use an ordinary electric machine now.

Apparently the way to teach a left-hander knitting is to get them to sit opposite you and mirror your actions. I didn't know this until after I'd taught left-handed DD2 to knit sitting beside me! She managed – by sheer determination not to be beaten by her older sister, I think.

Yes, a certain kind of patience is definitely an asset if you want to be a knitter.

Brendawymms Wed 20-Nov-13 08:57:50

Again as a left handed person who teaches other left handlers to knit I agree with the approach taken by thatbag have the person sit next to you. Sitting opposite you increases the confusion. I do confuse when crocheting however as left hand crochet is really different! smile

annodomini Wed 20-Nov-13 09:06:41

My left-handed sister knits right-handed. I've noticed that many left-handers have a degree of ambi-dexterity which I certainly don't. My left-handed ex played (plays?) golf right-handed.

mrsmopp Wed 20-Nov-13 14:41:01

As a very small child I was fascinated watching my mother knitting. I couldn't wait to learn. I think if a child wants to learn then they are old enough.
Do children still do what we called French knitting? Four nails knocked into a wooden cotton reel and off we went, making all sorts of things.
Maybe that's one way to get them going.
I know lots of people who regret not learning the skill when they were younger. It's a skill for life and I'm so glad I can do it.

Brendawymms Wed 20-Nov-13 14:51:49

You can still get French knitting kits for children. No longer any wooden cotton reels to make your own. You can also get larger ones for adults(!) to use to knit socks on. They come in three sizes depending on foot size. You can even turn a heel using them and do patterns.

penguinpaperback Wed 20-Nov-13 15:28:08

Glad the DD's are finally knitting NannaAnna. Your father's cable knit must have been a heavy knit for a 7 year old. smile
I have my Gran's Singer but it's not a treadle and not so old, a 1930's model.
I've noticed lots of children's learn to knit kits and french knitting sets in the shops, Cath Kidston and John Lewis do various craft kits for children.
Some are quite pricey though.
I did buy some pom pom makers last summer holidays. I had cereal boxes all ready to cut out and use but the pom pom makers are so much quicker and instant for young children. But I know it's silly to buy them. blush

NannaAnna Wed 20-Nov-13 23:32:41

penguinpaperback It wasn't a great chunky thing. Had 2 single strips of cable up the front and 2 up the back. Still rather impressive for my age grin