KNITTING IS FUN!
Robyn © November 2009
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.'
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 its 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
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
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
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 -
Once youve 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
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
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.
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-
from Kalahari Books
"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.
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