Easy Knitting for Kids

And an ingenious idea for balls of yarn!

Bethany and the hat she made

Last year my middle daughter got a knitting tool set because she wanted to make hats like a friend of hers was making.  She went at it for months on end, then it got laid aside.  Suddenly she’s picked it up again, and has taught her younger sister to do it, too.  Today they’ve completed one hat each.  It’s a nifty tool that we bought at Walmart, but probably exists in other places.  It’s just that we have just a few stores within 20 minutes of our house.  If we want more variety we have to drive at least 45 minutes.  But I digress…  The ones they are using are round and have a bunch of pegs around the circle.  The yarn is wrapped around the pegs, then a second time, then with a little hook, the bottom row is lifted up and over the top row and you have a row of knitted product.  You just keep wrapping and lifting and when it’s the size you like you stop, cut the yarn, thread it through the loops on each peg, pulling off the loops, pull it tight, knot it and voila!  You have a hat.  Or a scarf, or a tube that you could sew together with other tubes to make a blanket, or whatever.  If you buy one, you get instructions, so you don’t have to rely on the vague information I just gave you.  It’s wonderfully easy and the girls love it.

Earlier today Bethany told me about a wonderful gift Thomas Jefferson made for his mother.  She didn’t like the cat playing with her yarn or her feet while she knitted, so he made her a stool with a drawer in it.  The drawer was big enough to fit a ball of yarn and had a notch in it that the yarn could be pulled through.  So his mother was able to keep her feet on the stool away from the cat, and the yarn IN the stool away from the cat while she knitted, pulling the yarn out of the stool through the hole.  What a great idea!

Hannah knitting

While Hannah was working on her hat, the yarn kept tangling on itself in the skein.  So I showed her how to make a ball of yarn and sat with her taking it off the skein as she rolled so it wouldn’t tangle.  While we did this I was thinking that we need something to put the ball in, using a similar idea to Jefferson’s.  We don’t have cats in the house to play with the yarn, but balls of yarn do have a habit of falling and unrolling, which can be frustrating.  Just as we finished it hit me.  I went to the kitchen and found a small plastic drink cooler with a large pop-up spigot.  The yarn ball fit in it perfectly!  Then I threaded the yarn needle with the end of the yarn, dropped it through the opened spigot and screwed the lid on and removed the needle.  Now if it drops it won’t unravel all over the floor, and when she’s done for a while she can leave the yarn hanging out of the spigot and close it, which will pinch the yarn in there and it won’t have to keep getting threaded back through!  A great idea, if I do say so myself  :-)