How To Knit For Beginners & Tips for Getting Started | Oak Meadow

How To Knit For Beginners

Rhythmic handwork is part of Oak Meadow’s coursework for grades one through three. We’re offering suggestions and simple alternatives that will help to meet the “heart” of handwork, specifically in how to knit with beginners.

Start Simple

Before your kids learn how to knit with needles, first try finger knitting, the knitting mushroom, or the wooden knitting star. Children love those “tools,” and the process is simple, repetitive, and soothing (just like knitting should be). ​

Teaching knitting as an inexperienced teacher can be challenging. Once you’ve introduced these “pre-knitting” activities, you may also want to find a more experienced knitter to help, if possible.

Get Familiar with Your Knitting Materials

Start by letting your kids play with the yarn – wrap it, wind it, tie bows with it, braid it, touch it – just to get the feel of fabric/yarn on their skin. Then when it comes time to knit, they already have the awareness of yarn as a material. I taught my granddaughter to finger knit (she had never done it), and she was very excited at all the possibilities that opened for her! She has also enjoyed exploring loom knitting from kits. Long live fiber arts – let’s not give up on them!

Another idea is to start by letting kids make their own knitting needles. You can sand down chopsticks smooth, and then glue wooden beads to the ends: nice and simple. This craft gives kids a sense of ownership over their work before they began knitting, which can increase their frustration tolerance!

Utilize Step-By-Step Videos & Stories

Sunny’s Mittens is a great book with a story that contains knitting directions right in the events of the tale. I would read a bit of this and knit along with the story. The child would also knit along, if interested. We would read a bit, knit a bit, stop and get our knitting sorted or show what the written directions in the story meant. 

We also highly recommend the DVD, The Art of Knitting 4 Kids . If a tutor isn’t available for knitting, then this video is great! Be sure to also check your library, for many libraries have knitting clubs.

Another site that we absolutely adore and share with Oak Meadow families is called “Knitted Bliss.” It includes story books to inspire future knitters for three different age groups: ages 2-4, ages 4-6, and ages 6-9. The title of each book is a joy in itself! Shall I Knit You a Hat is one of our favorite Christmas books for 6-9 year olds!

Remember that learning to knit is a process just like learning to read or write. It takes time and patience, and it may be that your student isn’t ready for this handcraft. if your student doesn’t initially take to knitting, you may need to set it aside until they feel ready. Keep the materials accessible and nearby—you never know when your student might be ready to explore the wonderful world of knitting.