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Page history last edited by Jane McManus 12 years, 9 months ago

Libraries are more than books. Some kids need a little direction to get the creative juices flowing. I gleaned the following from a PUBYAC contributor. If you're a member, check out the archives for 2-2011. Please add YOUR comments. Your colleagues would appreciate hearing what works, and what didn't!



See also:

http://learntoknit.lionbrand.com/ A Web site maintained by the Lion Brand Yarn Company to assist unskilled and advanced knitters.
http://www.knittinghelp.com/ Beginners as well as advanced knitters will find a great deal of information on this Web site, which features teaching videos.

Crochet Program



Truthfully, anyone can attend. BUT, here are some breakdowns from other libraries ages

  • 6 - 100
  • ages 8 to 12
  • ages 9+
  • KnitTeen which is exclusively for teens ages 12-18
  • We initially opened the group to children ages 9-17, but found that the younger ones were becoming frustrated with it and decided to narrow the age gap
  • Try offering all ages because the older expert knitters could often share their skills with the younger ones.  It was wonderful to see the teens/kids and the seniors interacting in a really positive way.  It is something to consider.


SIZE OF GROUP: Most were comfortable with 10, it will depend on how much help you have.



  • You would probably draw more people if you provide knitting materials
  •  Place request for donations of yarn and needles in Library newsletter, e-mail, sign in library



  • Used scrap yarn
  • You can buy cheap acrylic yarn for them to learn on.  Check the sales at WalMart and the craft store.  But you can make it clear they could bring whatever yarn they want over and above that. That way, you aren't paying for expensive specialty yarns
  • Local crafters to donate small amounts of yarn
  • If you have a yarn shop in town, ask if they would sponsor your program by offering a discount to group members. 



  • Pre-registration page asking if they wanted a kit or to bring their own materials.
  • I bought needles and yarn, and they took them home.  I see no problem with asking them to bring there own, or get donations if possible.
  • We said to bring needles if they had  them, and had some available that I got at the dollar store or Walmart  (I believe they had them for about $2.25/pair)
  • Large size 10" needles work best, maybe size 8-10.
  • The knitting needles have been a bit of an issue.  I always ask participants to bring their own, but inevitably I have kids come without any.  I tried having loaners on hand, but they never come back.  I think I may buy some and have them get checked out just like any other library item.
  • If they want to take their project home they have to have their own needles provide both yarn and needles and allow kids to take both home with them



  • For each program, I have the kids come in and chat about their knitting projects for a few minutes.
  • Chatted as people knitted, and participants helped each other out.  I spent most of my time helping the beginners.
  • Each student was given a brown lunch bag to store their project in and these were gathered at the session's end (unless they were check out) and stored in a grocery sack.
  • 4 part program, two hour sessions each part.

              First program was learning to knit,
              Second learning to purl and doing stockinette,
              Third was ribbing and seed stitch,
              Fourth class provided a pattern for a cell phone/iPod pouch to do using
          all four things learned and tips on how to read a pattern, what is swatching/gauge, etc.

  • Offer the knitting program as part of their Community Service
  • One-time program where I taught teens to cast on, and the knit stitch.


  • I displayed several small projects and had an array of knitting books on display
  • I bought cotton yarn, so the 6" swatch each teen began knitting could have been used as a dishcloth.
  • I also planned to start the teens on a scarf, but we never really got that far.  It took the whole time just to teach them the knit stitch, and many still couldn't do it by the end of the program.
  • I usually start with a potholder.
  • Wrist cuffs are pretty easy and would go quicker than scarves, for those impatient knitters. Basically, make a mini scarf and when it's long enough to go around the wrist, bind off and sew the two ends together
  • a Charity Day, they knit 7"x9" rectangles for a "Warm Up America" type afghan that I put together and we donate to our local Coalition for the Homeless.
  • Service project for the community Warm Up America:knit squares for one of the charities uses them for blankets.
  • scarf is a great first project -can teach them garter and stockingette
  • option of participating in the charity work of the Pins and Needles program by donating blankets and hats to nearby hospitals' labor and delivery wards
  • Mp3/cell phone holders
  • scarves
  • bookmarks
  • simple messenger purse.



  • Two hours, they chatted and knitted
  • Supposed to be a 3 session program, but different kids showed up at each session
  • Twice a month
  • Friday afternoon after school
  • After school knitting programs
  • Monthly classes
  • Meet once-a-month
  • Bimonthly, but, because of demand, we recently changed it to a weekly program
  • Interest usually dies off during warmer months so we meet once a month
  • (Sat.3:00-4:30) during the school year.
  • 4-week program, and it went really well. We've now formed a knitting club that meets weekly


  • If you're teaching beginners keep the group small, about 6.
  • Make sure they know they will not leave that day with a completed project.
  • a small booklet for beginners with simple instructions for stitches and a guide to reading patterns.
  • nubby or really fuzzy yarn is hard for beginners to work with
  • Hardest session left handed girl who wanted to learn.  She got so involved, she came back again to learn right-handed so she wouldn't have to change the patterns she wanted to try out.  She's been turning out little creatures by the dozen!
  • thicker dowels to make large-size needles, and used very chunky yarn.  It made demonstrating easier
  • teaches the kids to finger knit first...this really helps them learn the concept of stitching
  • Some of the teens can't figure out the "cast on" yet, so I do that for them & they do the straight knitting.
  • light colored yarn easier to see the stitches than with dark colors
  • It's really hard to teach more than 2 people at a time how to knit
  • from what I've read, worsted weight wool (not acrylic) and size 8 needles work well for learners.
  • Don't get any fancier than cast on, cast off, and knit stitch
  • knitting clicks much faster with some people than with others.  Some will be ready for more advanced projects when others are still learning the differences between knit and purl.
  • I would highly suggest getting proficient in picking up dropped stitches, and knowing how to read a pattern and chart.


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