I have been so amazed at how easy loom knitting is that I decided to share it with my seven-year-old daugther, Piper, too. I have received a couple of emails asking if I thought loom knitting would be appropriate for kids and I have seen a couple of posts on the Cricut Message Boards asking the same question, so I thought it would be fun to share this experience.
I had planned to show her the week after Christmas, but one day the week before Christmas she plopped down beside me and asked me to teach her. So... I did. We made a quick rolled brim hat for her doll. Today, she wanted to make another to coordinate with her doll's scarf that was part of a gift of doll clothes I had for her. (The doll clothes were featured in a previous post; click here to see that.).... And this time I had my camera!
For her rolled brim doll hats, she used the blue round loom from Knifty Knitter (the smallest one in the set).
For this hat, she chose a Homespun yarn (the same one used for her doll's scarf and leftovers from a scarf I did for my mom). It is considered a 'bulky' #5 yarn. I liked this because it requires fewer stitches to complete the hat! A quick project is essential! (This took about an hour from start to finish on the doll).
She used a stylus (so do I!) to e-wrap. It goes sooooo much faster and the tension is perfect and automatic. This one was just a drinking straw cut to size. The yarn was threaded in using a pipe cleaner. The only challenge she found using the stylus was that the wrapping can uncoil and so it helps to keep your straw/stylus near the end of the yarn, next to the pegs!
Because she was using my leftovers, her yarn was in a ball and not in a center-pulled skein. Placing the yarn ball in a bowl on the floor made it easy for her!
I did find that she likes to really pull the yarn off in a big loop when knitting off the pegs. I showed her how to tug at the "fabric" she was creating to even up the loops a bit. She also had to be reminded to wrap in such a way that the fabric was being created on the inside of the loom and the loops were wrapped on the outside. I finally found the right language to convey this: the string between the two pegs needs to be on the inside.
I was shocked that my daughter didn't know the term "tape measure"!! (I mean really, I have failed as a crafty mom!) So, I corrected that right away and taught her how to measure her knitting so she would know when the hat was large enough to quit. (I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a fast project for teaching this to kids!)
She is good with a needle so doing the gathered cast off was a cinch for her!
She said her favorite part was using the loom tool to pop off the final stitches and pulling the string to gather up the hat!
Ta-da! She posed for the picture and then ran off to practice cartwheels!
OK, here's what I figured out in doing this (just in case you were wondering):
- Make sure your kiddo is able to sit at a task for at least a half hour. Taking a break is no big deal (we did) but taking several would be a problem I think!
- Choose a quick project. I wanted something she could do in about an hour. (Let's face it, if it doesn't go well, you don't want it to last longer than that!)
- Stay nearby and check that the stitches are correct before a row is ended.
- Make a straw stylus. The stylus made this so incredibly fast and I didn't have to worry about explaining yarn tension. It does that automatically!
- Choose a bulky yarn.