How to Teach Children to Knit?

Knitting is fun for all ages. The creative hobby is instant gratification. All you need is knitting needles, yarn, a mentor and later patterns for projects. Online sources are also good mentors. Given the many health benefits of knitting, more and more people are taking up knitting. Besides, learning to knit more knitters are looking forward to teaching their children to knit. Knitting for children is fun and an activity that will bring joy to their lives in the longer run.

The tips and tricks to teach children to knit are not universal. They can be similar but the instructions need to be customized according to the age of the child and interests. To help you teach knitting to the young ones, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Start with the right knitting needles – When you want to teach your children to knit you may want to teach them with the knitting needles you own, but do consider if it’s right for them? You can introduce knitting to children with single-pointed needles or even circulars but see that they hold it properly. Bamboo as a material is very beginner friendly. It is lightweight, affordable, smooth yet grabby to not drop stitches. Many knitting teachers recommend keeping children away from sharp needle tips to prevent accidents. This point is valid only for the very young ones. Once you see the child balance things you can get them circular knitting needles. Leave the double-pointed needles for round knitting after they have had enough practice.

Start with the right yarn – After the knitting needles though must be given to the yarn. You can get them started with some worsted-weight yarn. Bulky yarn can give them stress, especially to their tender wrists and hands. Fine lace threads are a no, till they have some practice and successful projects under their belts. Go stash busting and let them have the leftovers to make their own creation. Many times vibrant colors get them into knitting. Do not go for yarn that they feel allergic to. Lanolin can cause allergies in some kids.

Start with a small project – Many children do not enjoy doing the same thing again and again. So, to make knitting fun, start with a small project. Then can make a dishcloth or a scarf with all knit stitches. They will enjoy the different steps to cast on stitches, knitting a pattern, binding off and more. The completed project will give them the push to do more. And, with time they would love knitting.

Let them rip it too – In knitting, especially beginners will have knitting mistakes on hand. Many children love to rip things and allowing them to frog or rip the stitches is perfectly ok.

Give them time – The most important thing to keep in mind is to give time. Dedicate half an hour to the craft every day. If the time is too tedious, set them up to the task to knit five rows. Children might want to skip a few days, which too is fine. Knitting stays in muscle memory and skipping few days will not damage all the progress they made.

To conclude let’s take advice from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s famous quote “When they hand it to you to fix, do a couple of rows. While you don’t want to do it for them, you can certainly help them along!”

With this in mind introduce yarn crafts to children.

Why Knitting Gauge is so important?

 A knitting gauge is important for every knitting project, be it a pair of socks or a blanket. You just don’t start a project with the knitting needles and yarn mentioned in a pattern. A pattern designer often mentions that gauge count and knitters try to achieve the same count or something close to it. To understand why knitting gauge is important, you must understand what it is. A knitting gauge is a little map that you create with your own knitting needles to understand your journey better. In knitting and also crochet, a gauge refers to the number of stitches as well as rows in one inch of knitted fabric.

knitting gauge

To get a knitting gauge, you need to knit a small swatch to match the intended count. You take the knitting needle size or even type mentioned in the pattern and the yarn fiber and weight and make a small square of 6-10 inches. After binding off the square, wash it and block it. Later measure an inch with a measuring tape and see the count. If it’s lesser than mentioned, use a smaller needle size and go a size up if the count is more. Try and achieve the closest count.

Now, you might want to skip this step of knitting a gauge swatch, but you must not.

gauge swatch

Why Is Knitting Gauge Important?

  1. A gauge determines the look of your project. When it comes to the look, even if you follow the pattern designer’s gauge and recommendation, the look might be different. Even though you work with the needle sizes and yarn recommended you might end up with a different look. Different needle materials work differently with yarns. If you have uneven knitting tension (due to yarn or the needle material), your knitting may appear lumpy. The stitches will get bigger and smaller throughout the fabric and manifest in gaps. With a gauge swatch, you can clearly see the stitches and understand the drape of the knitted fabric.


  1. The gauge will also help choose the size. This is especially for garments. If you are knitting a sweater, you would want it to fit; it must not be too tight to not go down your head or too big to hand. If a pattern recommends a US 8 needle size and yet you do not get the gauge, you need to go up a needle size (US 9) or go down a size (US 7). A trick to knitting a gauge swatch is for circular knitting projects knit a swatch in the round on circular knitting needles or double-pointed needles. Cut the swatch and lay it flat for exact measure.


  1. It’s not just size and appearance, a knitting gauge will help you calculate the amount of yarn you use, too. If you knit fewer stitches per inch than the gauge in the pattern, you’ll run out of yarn too soon and if you knit more stitches per inch than the required gauge, then you’ll have leftover yarn when the project has finished.

Though its best you get the exact number or the closest measurement, if you are knitted fabric makes you happy then go for it! If you want the best results, experiment with the right combination of knitting needles, needle size, yarn, and tension to get the perfect gauge.