TEACHING A CHILD (OR ADULT!) TO KNIT
I begin teaching by casting on 10 stitches in a chunky yarn like the one below and knit two rows . I then show the pupil how to knit the knit stitch. I begin by showing them how to insert the needle int the first stitch and tell them to lay the two needle in the shape of an X.
I say aloud the four stages while demonstrating.. IN, ROUND, THROUGH, OFF. After two or three stitches I stop after ROUND, and let them do THROUGH and then OFF.
I don't teach casting on until they are comfortably knitting and then I teach the cable cast on because it uses the same techniques as the knit stitch and is easy to learn at this stage.
Most difficulties are at the THROUGH stage.This can be avoided by making them hold the yarn tight and using a yarn where the colours change and the stitches can be recognised by their colour.
The pattern below has been tried and tested by hundreds of my pupils, some of them having special needs. Most of them have been children between nine and eleven. They have little patience for practicing on dishcloths or making big items like scarves. They love this purse because it is quick to make and they can show it off to their friends.
A pretty purse to hang with a keyring onto your school case.
You will need
YARN 10gm chunky acrylic
NEEDLES 1 pair 6mm needles
1 5mm crochet needle
Tapestry needle for sewing up
OTHER 1 Button
Cast on 10 stitches. Knit 30 rows. Knit two stitches together each end of every next row.
When there is only one stitch left use crochet hook to make 5 chain stitches for button loop and slip stitch back into knit stitch to make a circle. Fasten off.
Fold purse in half along straight sides and sew one side with tapestry needle using thread from beginning of knitting. Sew together other side using about 30 inches of thread starting from bottom edge of purse. At the end of the seam using crochet hook make 25 chain stitches and join with a slip stitch to other purse seam. Fasten off .
Turn inside out and sew on button.
It is a lot more effective to tell a pupil to slip the green stitch off the needle or pull the yellow thread through the blue loop than to ask them to slip the frist stitch off the left hand needle and pull the yarn through the first stitch on the right hand needle.
Feel free to copy this pattern and use it to teach anyone to knit.
The crochet stitch is a very simple chain but it may be too much to expect a child to master the holding of a crochet hook after struggling with knitting needles. If so, I tell them to use their fingers to make a chain and not bother with a hook or do the crochet bits for them. .
Once they have finished making this purse I teach them how to do the purl stitch and they make a little dolls hat. Will write up pattern details soon.