Knitting For Beginners: A Perfect First Project

Today we’re going to delve into knitting for beginners. Kids being the beginners- but maybe you are, too! Basic knitting is really easy to pick up, and you just need to figure out the casting on (getting the yarn on the needle), the basic knit stitch, and binding off (ending the project).

Perfect knitting project for beginners (and kids)

 

Luckily, Youtube makes this a snap, and that’s basically how I learned to knit. There are fantastic videos out there, but I decided to make my own. It’s dangerous to have an iPhone.

Basic Knitting Project

Scarves, while they are a logical beginner’s project, are also a bit daunting because they’re like a million feet long. Plus I think scarves might not be the most exciting thing for kids. Mine refuse to wear them.

So I came up with this felted bracelet project- it involves just enough knitting so they get familiar with the hand movements, but not so much that they lose interest and tuck it away in a corner under their bed.

The second part is that they get to throw their knitting in the washing machine and dryer to felt it. It’s a little thrill to take a piece of knitting out of the dryer and have a brand new, fuzzy item.

Felted Bracelets Project for kids (and beginner knitting adults!) • Artchoo.com

 

Here’s how Wikipedia explains how felting works, because they can do it better than I:

Felt is made by a process called wet felting where the natural wool fibres, stimulated by friction and lubricated by moisture (usually soapy water), move at a 90 degree angle towards the friction source and then away again, in effect making little “tacking” stitches. While at any given moment only 5% of the fibres are active, the process is continual, so different ‘sets’ of fibres become activated and then deactivated, thereby building up the cloth.

Did you fall asleep? Essentially, the friction, water and a little soap make natural fibers sort of mat themselves together. It’s science, folks.

Materials:

Knitting needles size 6 or 7- I would buy wooden knitting needles for beginners, as they tend to grip the yarn nicely.

Yarn -  You will need 100% wool yarn for this project or it won’t felt. Suggestions: Cascade 220. This will be at your local knitting shop, and you need less than 1 skein for this project. Lion’s Brand wool is good, too. You can find this at craft stores, just don’t buy the Wool Ease- it is part acrylic, despite its name.

If you have no local knitting shop, and you don’t want to order online, try Patons Classic Wool from JoAnn Fabric, if you have one of those near you.

 Embroidery thread and embroidery needle – You can find these at craft stores, sewing stores or Amazon.

 

Casting On

 

The Knit Stitch

Binding Off


If your kids are slightly too young for knitting with needles, check out this finger knitting tutorial. It’s a good intro to the concept of knitting.

Felting

Throw your knitted pieces into the washing machine with a couple of towels. Wash on the hottest setting with a little detergent, then dry everything on hot.

Your pieces should emerge felted! You can now cut off one end to make it straight. Measure around your wrist, cut to fit and sew the 2 ends together with a whip stitch. I originally wanted to have this bracelet snap together, but the horrible little snap tool I have didn’t work in the thick felt. Make sure you leave the bracelet long enough to fit over your hand when taking off and putting on.

felting bracelets- a beginner's knitting project • Artchoo.com

 

 Beyond the Knitting Basics

KnittingHelp.com is my very, very favorite site for knitting videos. It’s how I learned to knit- It’s brilliant to be able to watch a technique over and over again, and try it out as you’re watching.

If you’re looking for a couple of lovely books geared toward knitting for kids, these 2 are pretty great:

Kids knitting books

Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of all Ages and Knitting for Children: 35 Simple Knits Kids Will Love to Make

Here’s an article on the therapeutic benefits of knitting, including helping to manage disruptive behavior and ADHD in children.

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh, how knitting tutorials have changed in ten years, when I last voiced a desire to knit and I received a skein of horrible hunter-green yarn, knitting needles, and a Taught Myself Knitting! book that moved around various drawers in my house until I finally gave it to charity.

    Love those little bracelets! Maybe my kids can do them for their annual homemade Christmas gift project that I make them do every year.
    Andrea recently posted…In My LifeMy Profile

  2. says

    Sharing this post with my daughter who took out a knitting book from her school library. First I have to get her needles. I only have crochet hooks. Thanks for the how to. I think videos are so helpful!
    Ann recently posted…Tree Cheers!My Profile

    • says

      Trying to knit with crochet hooks would make her hate knitting forever. :) I think videos are so important for learning things like knitting, because you can stare at those little pictures in books and sometimes they make zero sense until you see the hand movements. I hope she loves knitting!

  3. says

    I love this idea. When I was a kid I tried knitting and I hated it, but clearly that was because the only thing I tried to make was a scarf. I lived in CA! What did I need a scarf for. Obviously what I really needed to make were these awesome bracelets.

    Also, on a side note, is it weird that there is a little note “this post is shared here” with a link to my window art post at the bottom of your post. Is that a ping back?
    Erica recently posted…7 Simple Tips for an Enjoyable Family Game NightMy Profile

    • says

      See? I don’t know why everyone thinks scarves are the perfect beginner’s project! It’s probably because I hate scarves, though. Now get back on that horse and make yourself some bracelets. Now, to address the mystery link at the bottom- I was just linking back to your linky party. Did I mess up? Am I a linky party failure?

  4. says

    I recently got back into knitting, and my almost 7 year old was interested to try, but somehow she has really hard time figuring out tension needed. I think I learned knitting when I was 9 or so, so perhaps she is still a little young? Thanks for sharing this post with Afterschool!
    Natalie F recently posted…Week In Review–October 6, 2013My Profile

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