Saturday, October 23, 2010

Easy Knitting Patterns for Children

Looking through my collection of knitting books to find easy patterns. The students in my class who learned knitting with me last year are now ready to move beyond simply making scarves. When I taught myself to knit I did a scarf first and then a knitted cat pattern which was made in several pieces -- rather tricky to make and sew up. So I know the children would love to make stuffed animals but I need other options to give them.


First up was the Lamb pattern in A First Book of Knitting for Childrenby Bonnie Gosse and Jill Allerton (page 44).

This is perfect! And I know it is widely used in Waldorf Schools (it's even mentioned in Zen And The Art Of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativityduring her visit to a Waldorf school).

I purchased one 85 gram ball (which was the perfect amount of yarn for one lamb) -- Lion's Brand Alpine Wool 100% wool in colorway "Vanilla". It can be found easily at A.C. Moore or here's an online store which sells this yarn for $3.69 per ball, not a bad per-child price for a knitting project! I completed the pattern in an afternoon but left it not sewn up so that I can take it into the classroom, demonstrate sewing it up, and let the children see that it is a flat piece made entirely of rectangles and, therefore, something that they can achieve and which shouldn't intimidate them! It will, however, give them a chance to practice increases and decreases for the first time, casting off several stitches and then casting them on again later.

Next up is my trial run of the "Lion" pattern (which is slightly more difficult). I'm also exploring some flowers in Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowerswhich are knit stitch only, to see if they are simple enough and/or if they turn out well with regular yarn (not something fluffy and fancy and difficult for children to knit with). I will post the results.

If the flowers are simpler than the stuffed animals we may do them first.... perhaps as gift tags on Christmas presents or decorations for the tree!

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