Guest Author - Lisa Linnell-Olsen
Veteran teachers know that it helps students to remember their material is they learn rhyme or song to go along with what they are learning. There is an old nursery style rhyme for knitting that is great to help children (and adults) remember the next movement in knitting. This rhyme has been taught for years in Waldorf schools. It appears in many knitting books - and I am sure that many of my readers are already familiar with the rhyme.
In through the window
Then around the back
Out through the window
And off jumps Jack
Below is a breakdown of what to do at each step in the rhyme for continental style knitting. If you need a reminder, there is a link to a tutorial below.
In through the window Student takes the needle in their right hand and places the tip into the first stitch on the needle. The needle should go in the stitch front to back. This is Jack "going in the window"
Then around the back This is the time to wrap the yarn around the right hand needle.
Out through the windowTime to pull the right needle through the with the wrapped yarn. this is "coming through the window" of the old stitch.
And off Jumps Jack Move the stitch over to the left needle. The stitch is "jumping over to the left needle".
Continue repeating the rhyme for each stitch, until comfortable knitting. It can take children anywhere from once to several times sitting down with needles and rhyme to remember how to knit on their own. Sometimes, after getting this down one time, the next time a child sits down to knit they may not remember what to do, but they will often remember the rhyme. Remind the child of the rhyme and movements to help the child get started again.
There are a few variations of this rhyme. As long as they get the movements down, they are all perfectly acceptable to use to teach knitting.