WML Knitting Studio
As we shelter in place, we are looking for things to keep us busy. Check out these ideas and knit on!
Rita will offer suggestions
for each site.
Step 1 - Ball Winding
Children are usually very interested in learning to wind a ball of yarn or string and actually it’s a useful thing to know. You will find clear instructions with pictures at
lionbrand.com/blog/how-to-make-a-ball-of-yarn. This is much more fun for a child if an older sibling or adult is learning as well. The web site helps to slow up teachers who have been winding one ball or another without thinking for years and shows the steps in great detail. Children learning to knit can tangle an innocent skein of yarn beyond your wildest imagination. I strongly recommend winding into balls first.
For one looking for more of a challenge check out web sites that show you how to wind a ball of yarn that pulls from the center. I found sites that use the center of a roll of toilet paper to do this. When you get good at it and need the next challenge learn to wind a ball of yarn that pulls from the center on your thumb. You might also search for the name of the tool that does the job of hand winding to make a center pull ball. In the end you may choose to purchase a ball winder. As you get into knitting and purchasing finer yarns in hanks you may find a yarn swift handy unless you have willing hands to help you by holding the hank of yarn while you wind the ball. Those willing hands may tire of the chore and gift you a yarn swift of your own.
Step 2 - Finger Knitting a chain
If you have yarn (preferably bulky yarn) in your home and would like an easy introduction to finger knitting for you or your children, check out the finger knitting videos online. I recommend
“Finger Knitting Tutorial, Waldorf Crafts”. The presenter shows a simple way to create a slip knot for that first stitch then goes on to demonstrate two different ways to hold the yarn as you create this strong cable from yarn. Young children will have better luck with thicker yarns like bulky or worsted weight.
I spent ten minutes teaching Cade, who is seven and is left handed, to finger knit. He took off like a finger knitting pro. It worked for him to attach his cable to a door knob once he got going then he just kept backing up to keep it taut while he worked on it. He now has a way to make any yarn/string much stronger.
Some finger knitting in this way will advance to finger knitting their finger knitting. Children are excited to teach others once they have mastered the simple instructions. While substituting in a fourth grade classroom I taught most of the girls and one boy to finger knit during their noon recesses. The one boy in turn taught nearly all the boys in that class how to finger knit. His grandfather came to the door of the classroom one morning about 8 with a skein of yarn he had driven 15 miles to purchase before he went to work. It’s what you do for your grandchildren. You will find great suggestions on line for what to do with the yards and yards of finger knitting kids may create – bracelets, skipping ropes, gift ties, scarves, etc.
Step 3 - Finger Knitting on Four Fingers
This kind of finger knitting will create a tube and there are many videos online for learning. Some of them may vary a bit in the initial set up on your fingers but the basic idea is the same once you get going. This method is similar to what a knitter using needles is doing. Two of the better sites I found are “Montessori Inspired Finger Knitting Ideas and Tutorials to Use” and “How to Finger Knit Episode 80”.
Step 4 – Hand Knitting With Loop Yarn
Before we pick up needles to knit for the first time we might try the following just to get our brains tuned into what we are trying to accomplish when we knit. I ordered a few skeins of loop yarn (Lion Brand Off the Hook yarn) from Joanne’s Fabric. Loop yarn is another way to knit without needles. The yarn label has the following note, “Go to lionbrand.com/offthehook for videos to get started and several patterns for what you can make”. There you will find 3 videos you will find useful – “How to Use Off the Hook”, “Knit Without Needles! How to use Off the Hook”, and “Tips for Off the Hook Magic”. I recommend that you watch those three videos before you order any loop yarn so you will know what you are getting into. Pay close attention to leaving a free piece of yarn at the beginning and the end and to how each project is ended. The yarn label also notes that one skein will make a hat, two will make a scarf and three will make a baby blanket. I would start with a scarf. There’s a great choice of colors from which to choose.
The checkers baby blanket free pattern on the Lyon Brand web site clearly demonstrates the relationship between a knit stitch and a purl – a knit stitch being a purl stitch from the back, a purl stitch being a knit stitch from the back. Check it out and see what I mean.
Are you ready for needles? Check out “Free Learn to Knit – 5 Lesson Course”
Here’s a great opportunity for “knitting with needles” learners. It’s a free Learn to Knit - 5 lesson course offered for learners seven years old and up. Bulky yarn and size 10 (American) needles are recommended especially for children but one could use whatever is available. Worsted weight yarn and size 8 or 9 needles would also work. Just sign up for this course and get started!