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kids knitting club help!

(47 Posts)
Dotsmam Wed 13-May-15 19:14:37

Somehow I have "volunteered" to start an after school knitting club for primary school bairns in our wee village school. What would you start with?

ginny Thu 14-May-15 08:39:06

I have taught small groups of children to knit. Keep it simple. As others have said, scarves, blanket squares, and the square made into a rabbit is good.

Stick to medium size needles, 4-5 mm. Too small and it takes too long to progress and too big are difficult for youngsters.

I hope you have boys in your group too. I found they were just as or even more enthusiastic as the girls.

Wish you good luck and I hope you have lots of patience !

Dotsmam Thu 14-May-15 08:56:38

I am not sure how many bairns or what mixture of the sexes I will have. I am not too bad when it comes to patience. Going to go for garter stitch squares and see what we can make from there. I will need to scour the charity shops for needles and wool over the summer in preparation. The after school club is doing cooking just now. All very domesticated! It does them good to learn the things we took for granted when we were wee. It is amazing how many of them had never so much as chopped a carrot!

trisher Thu 14-May-15 09:24:59

Having taught knitting in schools as well-not my favourite thing. I would advise 1. Don't try to teach more than about 4 at a time. If you have more children in the club you will need to have other things the rest can do while you deal with the 4. (designing scarves, patterned squares, knitted garments can occupy them).
2. Don't start with casting on. Cast on for them and explain they will learn this later.
3. Be strict with the time they have with you. Start them and then send them off. They will get in muddles but if you are dealing with other children they have to wait.(see 1)
You will probably have to spend time after the club sorting out the knitting ready for the next time.
Good luck

janerowena Thu 14-May-15 14:19:17

When I had the sewing club for children, I spent the entire time threading needles. With the adults, sometimes they manage to not only drop a stitch, but to take off the entire row. Which is my fault apparently, because I told them to loosen their tension. grin

The advantage I will have over you, dotsmam is that I can have a glass of wine to stop my mouth saying irritated things! It's tonight. I am making a cushion cover using the Tunisian crochet method (knit into one row, crochet it back down the row). BIG mistake, they all want to learn how to do that now.

Grannyknot Thu 14-May-15 15:06:46

Also, avoid cheap plastic needles if possible as they can stick and not be as easy to work with. Part of the enjoyment of knitting is using nice needles and good wool.

Grannyknot Thu 14-May-15 15:08:15

I made the last sentence (comment) in passing. Just the comment about needles applies to the children smile

rosequartz Thu 14-May-15 15:12:42

Do you have to provide the needles and yarn out of your own pocket Dotsmam?

I do have a pair of plastic needles for children which I bought when DGS expressed an interest in learning after watching me knit, although we never got round to it in the end. They are short but seem quite sturdy.

Bamboo might be a good idea, not sure about metal needles with children.

Dotsmam Thu 14-May-15 18:34:59

I don't have to provide the needles and wool but I will and unless it comes to a huge amount I will just donate it. If not the school will reimburse me. I had heaps of bamboo needles but my youngest daughter went off with them to make herself a fancy dress costume as a voodoo doll!

NotTooOld Thu 14-May-15 19:03:03

This is an interesting thread for me as we are visiting our DD and family this weekend. Her two little ones are aged 3 (nearly 4) and 5 and DD has asked me to take needles and wool and teach them to knit. I'm going to have a go but I reckon they are too young. What do others think?

Elegran Thu 14-May-15 19:10:28

They are probably too young, unless they are known to be "good with their hands" Can you get them a French knitting set to distract them for a while - and get them used to lifting loops over without dropping stitches?

Elegran Thu 14-May-15 19:13:15

Here on Amazon is a very cheap set. If that is going to take too long to arrive, there is always the old nails-in-a-cottonreel version.

rosequartz Thu 14-May-15 19:13:23

I think my older DC were about 6 and 8 when my DM taught them.
Neither of them knit now.
DGD1 likes simple sewing, she is 6 but has shown no interest in knitting (only what I am making for her!).

I would say 7 or 8 is young enough.

rosequartz Thu 14-May-15 19:14:06

I used to enjoy French knitting, you could make mats etc out of it.

NotTooOld Thu 14-May-15 19:18:38

Elegran - I thought of that last night and dug out two of those bobbin things for French knitting. Thought I'd better have a go myself first and I made a complete pigs ear of it, so I am back to the needles. I have two pairs of short size 4 needles and plenty of wool so that's alright but I'm afraid, being so young, they will not be able to do it and will be put off knitting for life. Never mind, I will have a go. Being allocated to teach knitting is better than poor DH - he has been allocated the bathroom floor to grout!

rosequartz Thu 14-May-15 19:21:03

I had a look at a picture of the bunny made from a square and he is very sweet - children would love him!

Elegran Thu 14-May-15 19:23:16

Here is a You-tube video if it helps.

NotTooOld Thu 14-May-15 19:28:58

Ooh, thank you. I'll have a look at that, Elegran.

NotTooOld Thu 14-May-15 19:32:38

Thank you! Just what I needed. I just couldn't remember how you got started.

Elegran Thu 14-May-15 19:48:29

I used to start with slip-knot loop round one of the nails metal loops, but they don't seem to do that in the video.

Dotsmam Thu 14-May-15 21:47:12

I am pretty sure that I started with a slip not when French knitting. Glad you like the rabbit rosequartz. Think I might go for that. I made a few of them at easter as Easter presents for my 4dogs and the daughters dogs - no our dogs are not spoilt (much).

janerowena Thu 14-May-15 22:51:31

I was almost 5 when I learnt to knit, my DCs were 6. Before that I got them sewing wool in and out of punched plastic cards to make a picture, do you remember they used to be made of cardboard? The big sewing needles are also made of plastic now.

I didn't have to pick up a single dropped stitch tonight, I felt redundant!

Plastic needles are fine as long as hot sticky hands are dipped in a little talc. Washed and dried hands are probably best to start with, if you get the chance.

If a left-hander really can't pick it up, sit facing them and do it mirror-image. I have two, one is fine, the other had to do it the other way. That certainly made my brain ache a few times.