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Chatty Knitter

106 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  4:03:53 PM  Show Profile Send flaca8674 a Private Message
Help I am trying to teach my 11 year old how to knit. We always end up with me very frustrated and angry(at myself for not being able to explain well enough). She normally gives up and trows the needles down. I have already bought her a book which doesn't help. Any other ideas?


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3145 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  4:56:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit blwinteler's Homepage  Send blwinteler a Yahoo! Message Send blwinteler a Private Message
What book did you get? DS likes Kid's Knitting, by Melanie Fallick. He is 5 though, so the comparison may not really work. I was teaching my niece to knit at 14. She can do it, but didn't really enjoy it. Knitting just isn't her thing, but she took to my sewing machine with great enthusiasm.
Try a few different books. Check your library. There are some geared toward teens that may be well suited to her. Also try a different teacher. She is at an age where there will be conflict with parents in most areas. Doesn't matter how good a parent you are, 11 is about when it starts. Even I did it, and I got along with my mom very well. Check you LYS. The staff may even be willing to just help her with her basics without signing up for a class. Just talking to the owner of my LYS, DS learned a lot. As soon as he told her he knits, she was ready to show him more. You have a lot of options.
No matter what you do, she still may not really develop an interest or talent for it. In that case, try other fiber arts, like crochet or spinning or sewing or weaving or needlepoint or . . . the list goes on. Eventually she will find her niche.
Good luck, and don't give up! No matter what she finds that suits her and how long it takes, the whole process of finding it will be good for her.

Take care!

My finished projects

Seen on a church marquee: Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape.
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Chatty Knitter

106 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  5:00:23 PM  Show Profile Send flaca8674 a Private Message
Thanks Brandy I might try her out with my embroidery stuff or maybe my sewing machine.

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Permanent Resident

1207 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  5:26:05 PM  Show Profile Send knittingbaglady a Private Message
Just let her watch. Don't push it...let it come to you.
Let her hold the needles anyway she wants. Go slow, and breath deeply.
And good luck!

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Chatty Knitter

337 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  5:47:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit crise's Homepage Send crise a Private Message
My thought is to try teaching her a different method, if you throw, try teaching her to pick... That can sometimes make the difference.


2005 stats: 9 FO, 5 WIP, 6 USO, 1 Frogpond

How is it that my USO & WIP never decrease, no matter how many FO I create?

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Chatty Knitter

252 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  5:52:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Angelika's Homepage Send Angelika a Private Message

You didn't say whether you are teaching American (wrap) or Continental (pick). I knit continental, but teach children the American method. Angelika

Thank You !! [img][/img] Angelika
On the Southern Oregon Coast !
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Permanent Resident

1333 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  7:08:09 PM  Show Profile Send blazfglori a Private Message
Will videos help?

Try these sites:

Good luck! :)


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Seriously Hooked

635 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2005 :  8:30:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit Momo's Homepage Send Momo a Private Message
I taught some kids to knit at school this year and they loved the little rhyme from the Stitch'n B book: Go in through the front door and around the back. Go out through the window and off pops jack.

Also after showing them how to knit I had a lot of success when I would hold the left needle and let them do everything else (with my fingers there to help of course).


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New Pal

35 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2005 :  12:20:07 AM  Show Profile Send beautyoftradition a Private Message
Teaching me to knit when I was 9 was a sinch, but only because I've been so old fashioned. The main thing that motivated me to keep knitting was seeing all the really pretty and cool scarves, hats, sweaters, etc. that I had the potential to knit. Do you have a good local yarn supplier? Perhaps you could go on a special outing and show her all the cool yarns and patterns they have now. That way she could also be introduced to other fiberarts. Either way, just seeing all the potential a pair of needles and yarn have may inspire her.
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Warming Up

64 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2005 :  12:26:57 PM  Show Profile Send a Private Message
When I've tried to teach people to knit, explaining it doesn't work at all. I finally succeded with someone when they sat next to me and I did it in slow-motion, allowing them to imitate me. It doesn't allow for much variation in style, but it does help them develop a rhythm more quickly, and the most discouraging part can sometimes be the slow, concentrated pace at the beginning.

Angelika, why do you teach kids to knit American? When I learned to knit when I was 12, it was not specified how to hold the yarn, and I immediately picked it up in my left and knit Continental.

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1127 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2005 :  1:32:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit fillyjonk's Homepage Send fillyjonk a Private Message
Another possibility for teaching people - I remember my mom using this with me - is to have her sit in a chair, and you stand behind her, and put your hands over hers, and "model" what you do when you knit.

Sometimes it just takes a little kinesthetic "push" to go to that "a-ha!" moment where it clicks.

Another "beginner" book (that's oriented towards adults but which I like) are the Sally Melville "Knit Stitch" and "Purl Stitch" books - there are patterns in there that would fit a nine year old (not all of them but some) and I think the instruction is pretty clear.

Another possibility? She's just not ready yet but will be in a little while.
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The Irish Ewe
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1052 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  08:19:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit The Irish Ewe's Homepage Send The Irish Ewe a Private Message
In the few months we've been open, I've found very few girls under the age of 18-20 really enjoy knitting. There are execptions, of course, but it really seems like boys grasp the mechanics of knitting easier at that age. My 12 year old knits, crochets, does needlework and tatting and has his own spinning wheel... the boys really "got it" without any effort.

Of course I'm an exception too, having been knitting since I was 5 :) Have you tried teaching her crochet yet? There's only one loop to worry about and the tension and motions are simular.

The Irish Ewe yarn shop
Norway, Maine
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Permanent Resident

6412 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2005 :  6:40:26 PM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
I agree with Brandy that it just may be that she can't learn from her mother. All the kids in my knitting club put more effort into it than SnL did. What got her over the hump was spending time in the basement with me during the June heat wave, when there was nothing else to do, so we knit together.

Also, are you doing this because she wants to, or because you want to? YOu can't force her to be interested just 'cuz you are.

Remember, we're self-selecting!

My photos:
My blog:
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Chatty Knitter

297 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2005 :  1:40:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit witchyknits's Homepage Send witchyknits a Private Message
I teach the kids in school by having them sit next to or in front of me (with their back to me) so they can see everything I do. Sometimes, I hold their hand to help them feel the movement. They also end up teaching other kids and I've seen kids knitting with pencils and string! Yes, I then buy them needles and have them join my club!
If it's frustrating for you, you may want to have a friend/neighbor or relative teach her. Sometimes it's hard to teach your own child - you know, you're NEVER right about anything and don't know how to do anything either![:00] Kids! Won't it be fun when they have their own and you can sit back and laugh while they get frustrated! Seriously though, it may be better for both of you if someone else starts her out. Then you can enjoy your knitting time together and not feel frustration and she can enjoy being with you. Hope my two cents helped!

~ Sharon the knittin' fool in PA
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Permanent Resident

1327 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2005 :  1:46:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Renocat's Homepage Send Renocat a Private Message
I tried to teach my 14 yo daughter and had the same problem. She cannot learn from her mother. She still wants to knit mainy because everytime she sees something cool she wants and she asks me to knit it for her, I tell her as soon as I finish my sweater, DH's sweater, my tank top, my purses, my shawl...
She asked to take lessons at the LYS and they are having a class in August that she will be attending.

I recogonized long ago that our styles clash and I can't teach her anything After all, I am only a "dumb mother"[:00]

I have a blog!
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Two Sticks and a String
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1453 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2005 :  5:04:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit Two Sticks and a String's Homepage Send Two Sticks and a String a Private Message
Does she want to learn? Or do you just want to teach her? There is a difference. I love making so many things (stained glass, quilting, embroidery, decorative painting, etc.) and would love to share my experience with them. But to teach my children.. they simply are not interested. I try to encourage them, but to no avail. They will come around when they are ready.


"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away." -Unknown
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