Patience practice and praise

I’m currently teaching a 7 year old to knit.  He is picking it up very quickly but he wants to be able to knit like Mum NOW!

Of course as Mum has been knitting for nearly 40 years that is not as simple as it looks.  Currently he can cast on (thumb method) and knit, purl will be next.  Most of his stitches are even with a really good tension but sometimes there is a hole or a half made stitch to be fixed.  I have found that with teaching children the following really help:

  • Praise the effort
  • Praise well made stitches
  • Point out the good when they show you the bad
  • Help fix errors as soon as they notice them
  • knit a few rows to get them started
  • Let them develop their own style after showing them your way of doing it
  • Reinforce practice makes perfect and making mistakes is normal
  • Use brightly coloured yarn and neutral needles so they can see the stitches easily
  • Let them make their own mistakes – if you watch TV while knitting telling them not to won’t work, let them watch and then point out how to avoid the errors next time (look at what you are doing).
  • When the number of mistakes starts getting higher it is time to put it away for another day.
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