My Yarn Obsession: The Benefits of Teaching Your Children to Knit + Crochet

If this is any indication, I had to mop the floor 3 times, and sanitize 2 dining room chairs (potty training incident).

We (plural) may have cried during the homeschool math lesson on multiplying by 3’s. (Lord help me when we get to long division…)

I was cranky. The kids were cranky.

So once the potty-trainee was down for his nap, I headed over to my yarn basket and rifled through until I found a current WIP (That’s knitting lingo for “work in progress”.  You’re welcome.).  I  grabbed my knitting, told my daughters to grab theirs, and we sat down together on the couch.

Now, please don’t be disillusioned…there were still some squabbles over yarn, and it was by no means a cure-all.

However, after about 20 minutes, my blood pressure was a little lower and I was able to add about 8 rows to my never-ending-poke-my-eyes-out-with-wool-yarn shawl.

I’m a huge fan of knitting (and, more recently, crocheting) and here’s why:

[I’m going to reference knitting for most of the post, but this also includes crocheting. I’m lazy, and it takes forever to type out “knitting and crocheting” every time…hang with me peeps.]

-Knitting is creative, and that’s a gift that God has placed in each woman’s heart.  We need to create.  Ladies, we make people! So whether it’s knitting, sewing, cooking, construction, woodworking, painting, mechanic work, gardening,  auto painting, or basket weaving – it doesn’t matter!  There’s something in all of us that needs to order, create, nurture, refine and cultivate – and depending on your particular skill and gifts, it will look different, but achieve the same thing within each of us.

-Knitting is stress relieving.  The repetitive patterns and motions are calming and many psychologists believe that knitting lowers blood pressure and is an excellent exercise for those with ADHD [raises hand].

-It’s an excellent skill to develop in children because it teaches them to sit, concentrate and asses patterns.  It’s also a great exercise for fine motor skills…of which I didn’t realize that I didn’t have until I picked up a pair of needles.  (p.s. It’s great for fine motor skill formulation in adults too).

-It teaches you to enjoy the process as much (and maybe more) than the outcome.  I’ve made some pretty ugly stuff, I’m not gonna lie.  My first dishcloth ended up triangular.  However, creating with your hands should be a great tactile experience, so choose some scrumptious yarn and comfortable needs/hook  and simply enjoy creating.  Even if the outcome goes into the scrap pile or is eventually unwound and recycled.

-It teaches perseverance.  Friends, I have been working on the same shawl since last spring.  Some of you veteran knitters will roll your eyes at my newbie complaints, but I’m all about immediate gratification…of which knitting, typically, is not.  

-It’s a great quiet time tool.  Because it does require concentration, especially while you’re learning, it’s great for quiet afternoons.  Also, we homeschool, so while we’re doing our history, poetry, and our read-aloud stories, my girls will grab their knitting and sit quietly while I read.  (I know. seriously.  It works)

-Now, a word on crocheting.  If you’re just starting out, or if you have younger children, I’d recommend starting with crocheting. Its fast, y’all.  In my opinion, much faster than knitting and the projects that I have done so far have been completed in HALF the time.  Plus, when you’re crocheting, you’re only dealing with ONE stitch at a time.  If you make a mistake, you unwind one stitch and it’s (usually) an easy fix.  Knitting, in my opinion, is much harder to fix, because each stitch affects the rows above and below it.  Also, it’s much easier (in my totally novice opinion) to find smaller, less time intensive crocheting projects that kids can complete in one setting.  This is ideal for the younger crowd.

Want to get started?

-I taught myself to knit and crochet by watching youtube.  It can be done!!!  Some of the videos are great. Some not.  But do a search for knitting and crocheting tutorials and you’ll pull up a library of clips to get you started!

-Check out – it’s an amazing database of knitting and crocheting projects.  It’s free to sign up, and you can search for patterns by craft, yarn, difficulty and more. (and come find me on ravelry- I’m “CheekyMama” ) {grin}

-I also love  Their website is beautiful, their tutorials are great, and alot of their patterns are easy enough for beginners!

Pinterest.  Need I say more?  You can find some great free patterns, and come join me and check out my knitting and crocheting boards!

-Don’t forget to check out your library for knitting and crocheting books.  Most of them have tutorials and dozens of free patterns.

-Don’t spend a lot on materials (not at first).  I have been able to find needles and hooks at our local thrift store, or you can find them at a Wal-Mart or a craft store for just a few dollars.  As for yarn, I love getting a basic acrylic for a few dollars; it’s great for practicing and it slides easily on the needles.  It’s also great to have some cotton on hand.  Start with a few dishcloths (I like this pattern) – then it won’t matter what they look like and you can practice some new stitches (then scrub your counters).

-That being said, once you’ve got the hang of it, don’t be afraid to invest in yarn and tools that you love.   Although some larger items like rugs or purses may actually save you money to make yourself, unless the supplies were given to you, once you factor in your TIME, you aren’t saving much by making your own clothing or household items.  Keep this in mind: You are not knitting or crocheting to save money, you’re doing it to create.

Do you knit? crochet?  What are some of your favorite on-line resources?  Link them up in the comments and then join me on facebook and share some of your crafting-wisdom! 

Link up at Raising Homemakers, Raising Arrows, Little Homesteaders, Simple Lives

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