Guest Author - Kimberly Misra
Want to inspire a life-long interest in your craft loving child? Introduce them to knitting! Knitting can be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but once your child figures it out, it will all be worth it. To get them started, put together a knitting kit that includes everything they will need to create their first project. Knitting kits are a great gift for holidays and birthdays, or for a child recovering from an illness or injury who needs something to do.
Here are a few items to consider putting in your kit.
A book about knitting. A good book about knitting will provide advice on techniques and ideas for future projects. Look for one written specifically for children that includes easy and fun patterns. My favorite is Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of all Ages by Melanie Falick. It explains knitting in an easy to follow manner and includes lots of inspiring color photos. I found myself referring to it when I was learning to knit!
An easy knitting pattern. If you don't want to purchase a book, look for a pattern or two to print off the internet so your child has something to start with. The Lion Brand Yarn website has a searchable database of free patterns rated by difficulty level. Good options for beginning knitters include easy hat patterns, scarves, or knitted dishcloths.
Knitting needles. Needles come in so many different sizes that a trip to the craft store can be mind boggling. This is where your book or pattern comes in handy. Your pattern will tell you which size needles to buy. You might also want to pick up a pair of needle point protectors, little rubber caps that can be placed on the needles when not in use to keep the work from falling off.
Yarn. Your pattern will also tell you what type of yarn (worsted weight, sport weight, chunky, etc.) that you need. You will need to check the yarn labels at the store to find your desired weight. Be sure to get the amount called for in your pattern. If you need to purchase more than one skein, make sure that the dye lot numbers match to ensure consistent color. You will find dye lot numbers listed on the yarn label.
Scissors and tape measure. If your child is old enough to handle scissors, include a small pair in the kit. Consider adding an inexpensive fabric tape measure; it will come in handy for pieces that are knit to a specific size.
A yarn keeper. Yarn keepers are plastic containers designed to hold a ball of yarn. There is a hole in the center of the lid to allow just enough yarn to come out, keeping the whole ball from getting tangled.
Something to put it all in. The best container will be something that is portable so kids can easily move their knitting around the house or even around town. A basket with a handle or an inexpensive tote bag work well.