Teaching Others to Knit and Crochet

If you know how to knit or crochet or both, have you ever taught anyone that skill?

I’ve been fortunate to teach a number of my friends how to knit and crochet. It all starts when someone says, “Can you make me _______?” Usually, for me, being asked to knitting or crocheting something for someone robs me of inspiration. Mostly, I like to think of a person, come up with a plan, and then get to work. I love making things for people, but having someone specifically ask me for something makes me reluctant to do it. Maybe it’s the rebellious teen in me, so usually I respond with, “I’ll teach you.”

I’ve taught some of my friends the basics, and they have blown me away when I see them take the skills I taught them and create something magnificent. One friend makes the most beautiful purses. Another one has made everything from a simple scarf, to baby sweaters, to knitted gloves. You can check out her projects here.

left-handed crochetThe most difficult student I had was my niece because she’s left-handed, and it took me a while to realize that she needed to mirror my movements. You see, normally when I teach someone to knit, I sit side-by-side with my student and have their right hands do what my right hand does. But with Camille, I had to sit her in front of me so that her left hand did what my right had does. Once we figured that out, the rest was easy. She prefers to crochet, though, and she’s lazy about practicing, but once she picks up that hooks and sets her mind to it, there’s no stopping her.

My youngest student was only four when I first started with her. But to my amazement, she picked it up quickly. Did you know that there are special knitting needles for kids? The set comes in one blue and one red needle, presumably to make it easy for the child to realize that all the stitches on the blue needle need to be transferred to the red one and vice versa, but Ella picked it up in one day.

first book of knitting for childrenIf you want to teach a child to knit, there’s a great book I like to use. It has simple patterns for making stuffed animals. One of my favorites is a knitted elephant. The book is filled with how-to pictures. I believe it’s also been used in Montessori schools. I got my copy on Amazon, but your local library might have it, too.

Want to learn to knit or crochet? Try your local yarn store. Most stores either have beginner’s classes or they offer free social knitting nights were you might get the help of more experienced knitters and crocheters. Check it out and leave me a message of any locations you find. I’ll try to keep a list.

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7 thoughts on “Teaching Others to Knit and Crochet

  1. When I was in college I organized a crocheting program for the residents in the dorms. I gave them a skein of yarn and a hook and taught them the basic stitches to make a simple scarf. I don’t think I ever had to teach a leftie, but thanks for the tip to have them sit directly across from you. I’m sure that will come in handy.
    One thing I have noticed is that some of the people who have asked me to make them items already have experience with crocheting. So instead of just making it I persuade them to practice with me. No matter how long it’s been since they last practiced eventually they get back into it on their own. Have you experienced that?

    • It’s amazing how many people who think they can’t pick up the skill end up loving it. Remember my friend with the amazing sweater projects on Ravelry? I tried teaching her on several occasions before she finally picked it up. Now, she’s making things for other people. I’ve also had many who know how to crochet ask for things, but I like your approach. If you practice together, it becomes a social activity, and you can be there to help if someone runs into problems. It’s fun to choose yarn and patterns together. I’d love to see some of your work. I guess it’s time to check out your blog 😉

  2. My grandmother would crochet all day and all night and then once a month my aunt would collect the afghans Grammy made and my aunt would deliver them to the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas for the kids who were being treated. Her mother quilted before that and I am the very lucky beneficiary of an original Pennsylvania Dutch crazy quilt, which hangs framed on the wall in my home. My sister crochets now, but I have yet to learn. Thanks for the book recommendation, maybe I’ll see if I can find one for crocheting.

    • I bet that’s a beautiful quilt! I’m a tad jealous. I don’t have any keepsakes from my grandmothers.

      You should give crocheting a try. Once you master the chain, then single crochet stitch is easy, and you build from there. Try your local yarn shop for help, too. Usually they’re very nice about ones who want to learn.

  3. Hi Sonia!
    I was always fascinated by crochet and last week I got basic needle and some yarn for experimenting. One of my friend told me how to do the basic loop or whatever it is called).
    Can you guide me a bit on where to learn the basic and what be the easiest to make as my first project. I am really excited and look forward to ny help you can provide!

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