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Needles? Who needs them?

Hello dear knitters,

Last fall I learned something amazing about knitting — we don’t really need the needles to knit. Here is the scarf that my 7-year-old daughter made for her teacher using only her little fingers. Here is the video that we used to educate ourselves about this technique. Basically, the knitted fabric is a palm-wide stripe of loopy stockinette stitch that rolls into a tube. The bulky weight yarn is the best for one strand or you can combine two yarns of medium weight to create a more interesting visual effect.

Scarf_Finger_Knitting
I know it’s been around for a while but the awesome thing is that it is so simple, even 5-year-olds can learn it. And who told me about it? A 10-year-old boy who knits (he uses the needles AND the loom).

After looking at the video, I decided that it’s a perfect craft technique to share with school-age children. I set up a few workshops and at least 40 children (in small groups of ten) had a chance to play with the yarn and create bracelets, necklaces, and even one very thick ring using this method.

This experience inspired me to offer two finger knitting classes and two beginner knitting classes for children during the knit night at the Spryfield library. The library staff supported this idea and published the announcement in the library guide.  We decided to have only 6 children at a time (and they need to sign up through the library) so that everyone can have as much support as they needed.

Well, no children came to the first class, although some signed up. I guess it is quite late at night and it was freezing cold that evening. I felt a little disappointed but luckily I had my children with me and they produced these. My daughter made a scarf for her friend and the black and brown bracelet was made by my 5-year-old son — see what I mean? It’s that easy. (I apologize for the terrible picture quality, I had to take it at night because the red scarf was a gift and was gone the next day).

Scarf_Finger_Knitting3
Can you see it better here? Well, I tried.

Scarf_Finger_Knitting2
While the kids were working on their finger knitting, two ladies came and they wanted to learn how to knit. One of them had some experience and the other one didn’t. We all sat at the same table and at the end of the evening the ladies managed to knit a few rows of garter stitch. One of them was saying “I am doing it! I am knitting!”. Ahh, music to the knitter’s ears.

So I started a social group to hang out with knitters at the library but realized that I really enjoy sharing my skills with other creative beings, especially children. Weird, huh? But I am loving it.

Have you tried teaching anyone how to knit or crochet? I would love to hear your stories.

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