Teaching Kids How to Knit

Embrace a child’s natural love of making things by introducing the art of knitting.


| June 2016


Susan B. Anderson’s Kids’ Knitting Workshop (Artisan Books, 2015), by Susan B. Anderson, is the perfect resource for teaching children how to knit. With engaging instructions and step-by-step illustrations, kids can easily move from basic knitting skills through 17 progressively challenging projects.

In the more than thirty years that I have been a knitter and a knitting instructor, I have taught hundreds of people in person how to knit, and thousands of people through books and videos, including more kids than I can remember. I’ve taught my own four children to knit, as well as their friends, entire classrooms of kids, Girl Scout and Brownie troops, and countless kids’ knitting classes in a local yarn shop. I’ve taught kids to knit individually in private lessons, in small groups of two to four, and in large groups of more than twenty (which is not the best!). As you can imagine, I have learned so much along the way about knitting and what works best for teaching it. Some kids learn best from reading directions in books; others from seeing illustrations or videos; and still others from in-person demonstrations. It really depends on the learner. Using a variety of resources usually works best. What I do know for certain is that everyone can learn to knit!

Seven Tips for Teaching Kids to Knit

1. Age ten is the ideal time to learn to knit. Around this age (give or take a year or two), children have developed fine-enough motor skills to learn to knit without getting too frustrated. Also, kids this age often have the perseverance and determination to succeed at a skill like knitting. Of course, there are always exceptions — some kids as young as four years old are able to knit, while others won’t learn successfully until they are much older.

2. Having a knitter at home or easy access to a knitter who can help makes a big difference. When a child learns alone, she is more likely to give up. Having someone at home who is a knitter or someone learning to knit at the same time as the child is ideal. This knitter could be a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend, or teacher. If there isn’t another knitter around, the Internet is the next best way to get immediate help. YouTube, Ravelry, and many other knitting websites have lots of helpful information.



3. Knitting in the round is the easiest and most effective way for children (and adults) to learn how to knit. This is because the new knitter can focus on the simple act of knitting a stitch without any other added challenges. Knitting in the round is repetitive and a good way to practice. All of the projects in this book are knit mainly in the round.

4. Cast on the first few projects for the child (if possible). This way, he can focus just on learning the knit stitch to start. Casting on can be learned after he becomes more comfortable manipulating the yarn and needles.








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