KNITTING IS FUN!

Compiled by Robyn © November 2009

 

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Knitting is a fun and relaxing activity. When starting out teaching children to knit it is best to start with finger knitting on one finger and then four fingers before moving onto French knitting or knitting with needles. The idea behind starting with these methods is to get the child to practice working with wool, to understand the basics and to gain some dexterity that will be useful when later handling knitting needles. There is nothing quite like learning how to do something, working on it, and then enjoying the fruits of your labour. Waldorf believes that there is a close relationship between finger movement, speech and thinking. Rudolf Steiner said that 'thinking is cosmic knitting - a person who is unskilful in his fingers will also be unskilful in his intellect, having less mobile ideas and thoughts.'

 

 

FINGER KNITTING

 

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Finger knitting a chain is quite simple. First, make a slip knot with your wool, leaving a tail of about 10cm or so and put the loop around your pointer finger. Wrap the wool (make sure it’s not the tail) around the finger in front of the loop and pull the loop over it and off your finger. Wrap the wool around again and repeat. Continue making new loops, until the chain is as long as you want it. To end the chain, cut the wool and pull it through the last loop to make a knot. The thicker the wool you use, the thicker your chain will be. Finger knitted chains make great Christmas tree decorations, necklaces, hair ties and belts. Although finger knitting is a good place to start, children get bored quickly and it is best to move onto hand knitting as soon as they have mastered finger knitting. Here is a tutorial on how to make flowers using a finger knitted chain - Waldorf Finger Knitting Flowers Tutorial on YouTube

 

HAND KNITTING

 

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Hand knitting is the quickest and easiest way to knit a scarf! Using all four fingers, you weave and loop the wool. This is very satisfying for children as the results are quick and you can have a lovely scarf within an hour. All you need is some wool and your hands. Soft, fluffy wool gives the best result. Here are some directions on how to hand knit - Step by Step Hand Knitting Tutorial on YouTube

Step by Step Picture Tutorial on Blog

 

FRENCH KNITTING

 

I bought various French knitting kits and none of them worked well. My children found them very difficult to use and they were able to knit properly before ever being able to French knit. Still if you did French knitting as a child and have fond memories of it, you may want to try it. You can make your own French knitting reel but I found this even more difficult to use than the bought ones. Here are some instructions –

French Knitting making your own spool

French Knitting with a bought spool

 

KNITTING

 

Using a rhyme helps children to remember the knitting steps. One fun rhyme is “In through the front door, run around the back, peeking through the window, and off jumps Jack.” I simply use, IN~AROUND~THROUGH~OFF. Teaching you how to knit here would be very difficult, so here are some lovely simple video instructions which anyone do -

Simple YouTube Knitting Tutorial 1 of 3 – Casting On

Simple YouTube Knitting Tutorial 2 of 3 – Knit Stitch

Simple YouTube Knitting Tutorial 3 of 3 – Casting Off

 

Once you’ve learnt how to knit, there are some very simple projects your child can knit that will bring about a sense of accomplishment. Finger puppets, stuffed toys and bean bags are some easy beginning projects. Here are some simple ideas –

 

Bean Bag

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Cast on 20 stitches. Knit every row until you make a square. Cast off. Repeat the process for your second square. With your tapestry needle, sew your 2 squares together on three sides leaving one side open to insert the beans. Fill the foot of a stocking with beans and place inside the bean bag to see if you have the right amount of beans. Tie a tight knot in the stocking to keep the beans from falling out and cut off the extra. Put the beans into your knitted square and using your tapestry needle, sew the last side of your beanbag closed.

 

Finger Puppets

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Cast on 15-18 stitches (depending on finger and needle size). Knit 18 rows or to the desired height of finger. Cast off. Fold the knitted rectangle in half length ways. Use a tapestry needle to sew up the top and side, leaving the bottom open for the finger. Now you need to choose your animal and decorate him. Knit tiny ears, legs or arms if needed and sew them on or crochet them on if you know how. Add eyes, nose and mouth or beak, hair if like by sewing in different colours. (You can increase stitches while you are knitting for the head, but this is for more advanced knitters.) Use embroidery floss or yarn scraps to duplicate stitch or embroider a face or features into place on your knit finger puppet. Add detail to bring life and personality to your knit finger puppets.

 

Toys

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Square Bunny

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Cast on about 30 stitches (depending on wool and needle size). Knit until you have a perfect square and cast off. By cleverly sewing the woollen square, you can easily make this rabbit. The instructions for sewing are here – Knitted Bunny: Make a rabbit out of a square piece of knitting

 

Other Beginner and Intermediate Knitting Patterns-

Free Knitting Patterns - Children's Toys & Dolls

 

 

RECOMMENDED READING from Kalahari Books

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle (Ages 2-5)  >>See Amazon Reviews>>

"In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf."  The hungry caterpillar hatches and eats his way through food until he forms a cocoon around himself.  When he emerges...well, you can guess the results.  Beautifully illustrated story with die cut pages.  Teaches the life cycle, the days of the week and counting.

 

 

CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES

 

Free Knitting Patterns for Barbie Doll Clothes

Free Knitting Patterns for Toys

Learning how to Finger Knit and Cast On using Waldorf Stories - YouTube

http://www.jeangreenhowe.com/toy.html

http://kimberlychapman.com/crafts/knit-littledudes.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 2009