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DonniDonni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift.
Just last week I learned how to finger knit so that I could teach my just-turned-4 year old.
I recently taught my daughter how to knit, (starting with making her own needles) and I was surprised at how easy it was for her. Welcome to The Magic Onions where the MAGIC of childhood and the WONDER of nature collide to make EACH MOMENT a precious gift.
With Elizabeth Dehority’s permission, I am going to share with you the letters she has written to Larkspur, and some to me as well in the order in which we have received them. I will give a list of Elizabeth’s recommendations at the end of this post, so that this tutorial of sorts can be revisited and those things she recommends easily found. Your mom put pictures of your beautiful cast on row on her blog, and it was the very first thing I saw this morning. Teaching four and five year olds to knit at the Montessori school by my house is one of my favorite things to do. I always offer up each chemotherapy for some particular intention, and tonight was your knitting relationship with Lark….
Tonight is a chemo night, and tomorrow I will be pretty much worthless, but I PROMISE you some notes on teaching little ones. More knitting with small ones thoughts might not be till Tuesday, the day after chemo I usually sleep most of it through. Seeing the pictures of your first knitting last week reminded me of so many brand new knitters I’ve known.
Most of the kids I have taught how to knit have been in the primary classrooms at the Montessori school by my house. If you have the child knit two of them, you can add a bag of beans to the middle, sew them together and make a bean bag!  If you are knitting with wool, such as the Paton’s you can even help the child to wet felt the squares first, adding another element of fun to that first project.
I hope that Elizabeth’s words will help you teach the little ones in your life to knit, as they have helped me. I just learned to knit and that’s what my teacher kept saying to — in around through off, and the two legs! I actually came across your blog from your lacy newborn hat pattern on ravelry and stuck around to browse awhile, enjoying the tone of your post. I promised ESD tonight that I’d look up the letters to Larkspur since she explained to me the story of the little rainbow doll hat in the Top Secret Book!
My three-in-January-year-old daughter asked for help in knitting a baby blanket today after she was caught getting into my knitting. I am teaching a group of children to knit and was looking for some child friendly patterns when I came across this article.

It’s important to us that she uses beautiful yarn too and we spend a little extra to buy her top quality yarn in beautiful colors.
I can’t even count as high as the number of children who now knit at that school, because even though I can only teach some, they all end up teaching each other. I am a praying knitter… I do not sit still well AT ALL and knitting while I pray has been essential for my spiritual life for a LONG time.
But you need to have something to say while this is going on, otherwise it’s “Hey! It’s a little different teaching kids in a school than knitting with your own kids at home.
I only know 1 stitch because I watched a lady in the waiting room while our cars were in for repairs. I loved watching the concentration and joy on her face as she realized that she was creating something. I love that it may produce something wonderful but it is so much more than just the product. I put a very sloppy drawing down at the bottom… Pretend your knitting needle is a horse and think about your stitch like a little guy sitting on his horse.
For three and young fours, or often boys up to 5, 99 % of the knitting we do is actually the adult’s yarn and needle manipulation.
What are you doing to my knitting!) But things that demand such high level of concentration from such little ones musn’t last too long without little breaks.
I was four years old, and my mom had just taught me to knit, purl, and pick up dropped stitches. Did you know that some children have never actually seen anybody knit, and don’t even know that wool comes from sheep?
First of all, it would be way too expensive to buy fancy knitpicks harmony circular needles for everybody, even though I think they are the very best to learn with. I will be once again teaching a group of 1st through 4th grade students to knit this school year and was looking for some inspiration.
I find it magical to watch her in her own world while she works with her hands and the lovely wool.
The hand eye co-ordination needed is excellent practice and it’s a super activity for connecting their left (technique) and right (creativity) brains. The second thing is this: for lots of people, especially boys, knitting helps make it easier to sit still and be a good listener.
The instructions and encouragement from Elizabeth are just what I needed to help me help my own Elizabeth with her project.
Our cat Beamer can feel the beautiful energy that radiates from her when she’s knitting too as Beamer often curls up next to Kitty and sleeps with a constant purr.

Well, I need the kids to be able to sit and listen while I explain about wool and sheep and how they get the wool off the sheep, and how we can spin it into yarn.
Even when I’ve got a whole classroom of kids to teach, I always let them learn how to actually knit one at a time. If the person learning how to knit is four years old, or maybe five, I usually cast on twenty stitches for them and teach them how to knit across.
I am not sure how long her interet will last, but I look forward to the moments we might have knitting together.
But, what I am most enamored with right now is the aspect of knitting that demands a child to start on a project and work on it for many months before it reaches completion. As they chant In around through off, etc, they will naturally start reaching for the yarn to bring it around, and helping you click it through. My mom and dad have a film movie of it, though… maybe my dad can get it put on a DVD so I can upload it and show you. But you know how when yarn comes in a big round hank, and you get to hold it out with two hands while someone else winds it into a ball? Say nothing about it, just notice as they take over the tiniest movements, when they start to press your hand into the right direction ever so slightly. In our fast paced modern world, when does a child work on anything longer than a few minutes, let alone 4 months!
While we talk about yarn, the kids use really fine sandpaper to make their needles SOOOOO smooth that they can’t feel any rough spots anywhere. They sand and sand and sand… Then they use polymer clay to make a knob for the non-pointy ends.
Sometimes I think I should take the yarn and put it INTO hanks, just so kids can try getting it FROM the hank into balls, since most of the kids have never gotten to do that at home. Then I take the polymer clay knobs home and bake them in my oven and glue them on the ends of the polished needles. Then the next day I bring the brand new knitting needles back and we can really learn to knit. I’ll tell you all about that in a minute, but first I have to put George back to sleep.

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