Lilly and Isaiah have been begging me to teach them how to knit for the longest time now. I’ve been putting it off because I knew that neither of them were really ready for it. I fully believe in waiting until kids are genuinely interested in learning and also have the dexterity to handle the needles and yarn and all of the motions that knitting requires at the same time. Since the holidays began last week they started up asking me (several) times a day again when I would pleeeeease teach them how to knit.
Today was that day!
I taught Lilly how to do some simple finger knitting using a little rhyme that I said as I showed her what to do. She chose some colourful woollen yarn from my cupboard which proved to be perfect because the colour changes added extra interest and motivation. Finger knitting this way is really easy and gets her used to working with the yarn and seeing her project grow. I should have done this with Lilly earlier because she picked it up in seconds. I taught Zoe too, but her patience level was low and after making just an inch or two she ran off to play something else.
Lilly took this photograph all by herself, making me doubly-proud of her. This was at the start; by the end of the afternoon she had used up the entire ball of yarn and was asking for more.
Madison and Isaiah were super keen to do some finger knitting too after seeing how quickly Lilly’s garland developed, and we ended up with a huge bunch of these chains. Too bad a certain three year old snuck off during dinner and decided to chop up their work with the scissors she got from the knitting bag I’d accidentally left sitting in the lounge room. Many tears were shed until I produced more yarn (she had even cut the other balls of yarn they’d left waiting into tiny pieces too) and all three got stuck back into it.
I also taught Isaiah to knit with knitting needles today. He was so thrilled when I showed him the circular needles I picked up earlier this week for him, anticipating that this week would be the week. He chose some crazy coloured noro yarn from my cupboard and we sat down to work. As I did when I taught Maddy how to knit, I used a simple little rhyme that I repeated over and over as I showed him the stitches. I placed my hands on his to guide them for a couple of rows and then once he was able to go through the motions and say the rhyme as he went without any guidance I let him go on his own.
Honestly I wasn’t expecting him to stick with it for a terribly long time and was ready to put it away for “later” if needed. I was so wrong though. He had a few moments where he accidentally wrapped the yarn an extra time (or two or three) or missed a stitch and would bring it back to me to fix up and give him a refresher of the rhyme again, but overall he did such a great job by himself. He sat down for a half hour or so before we had to go out to run errands, and then as soon as we got back he picked it up again.
I like to give the kids circular needles to use because these are what I use myself, even for flat knitting projects, and I also find they are both easier for smaller hands to wield and less likely to have the project slide off the needles.
Makes my heart so full and proud looking at these photos of them working away on their projects. Isaiah already has grand plans to knit hats and scarves and socks. Socks! I smiled and told him that was a great goal to aim for. I hope I can keep them both motivated and inspired.
I have been working away into the late hours of the night too. Remember the bunny pattern I said I was writing and working on? Well, I think I’m about finished with the actual pattern writing part. Here are the bunnies awaiting being sewn together and little faces being embroidered on. Well ok, and I have another one or two to finish knitting up too. I do have to leave them in pieces so the girls don’t figure out what they are though! These little guys are destined to be stuffed into their stockings this year, shhh.
And finally, some beautiful yarn that is sitting around waiting for me to find inspiration to turn it into something. I tried using it for a bunny but it didn’t look quite right.
I was given this yarn by the owners of the local Alpaca farm. They were in town with a bunch of their gorgeous baby alpacas (seriously, if we ever own a farm, I want alpacas) for the opening of a new pet store. We’ve driven past the alpaca farm a bunch of times but never stopped. I think a special trip out there might just be in order these holidays.