Saturday, June 25, 2011

Learning to Knit

My daughter, son, and I have really enjoyed the Knitting book by Klutz Press.  We were six, eight, and well into adulthood by age when we got it, and all of us found the directions easy to understand and the needles simple to handle.  Like all Klutz books, this one comes with everything you need to finish the projects in the book.  My two kids quickly decided on their own projects, but the provided ones teach you how to cast on, knit, purl, decrease, make a buttonhole, cast off, and sew your finished project together.  As a beginning knitter myself, I found the illustrations to be better than those in my "grown up" book.  The descriptions of what to do if you made a mistake were clear and easy to follow.

We were also inspired by the How to Knit book from the Usborne Art Ideas series (now out of print).  Like all the books from the series, this one is lushly illustrated.  I actually purchased it before the Klutz one, because the projects were so cute.  In addition to hats, scarves, and purses, there are little monsters, pillows,  and knitted flowers.  The projects are a little more advanced, but so inspiring.

I liked it that both books had projects that could be completed in a fairly short time.  Both books have some projects that would appeal to boys, but the Klutz book shows girls in virtually all the photos, which is unfortunate.

The Waldorf philosophy suggests that knitting is a necessary skill before learning to write.  If nothing else, it trains our fingers to be a bit more coordinated than they were and it allows us to bring something useful and creative into the world.  Younger children who aren't coordinated enough to knit with two needles may enjoy learning how to finger knit.  Here is one tutorial, and you can find many more including YouTube videos by using your favorite search engine.

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