I knew in Waldorf schools they teach every first grader how to knit, so I thought, OK, what's their trick? I started researching how Waldorf schools teach children to knit, and came across this little rhyme:
"Look in through the front door,
Go around the back,
Peek in the window,
And off jumps Jack!"
I know this is a common little rhyme, but I had never heard it before. After I saw it, I knew that I wasn't going to have any trouble teaching her. I wish I had learned to knit this way! I decided to have her go through the whole experience of learning to knit, starting with making her own needles. Ideally, we would have seen a sheep get sheared, then see the wool get spun into yarn first, but since it's winter, we will have to wait until spring to see a seep shearing. I already have a farm that we can visit lined up. She has seen someone spin a couple of times, and I thought that would do.
For the needles, I got a 1/4 in. dowel, fine sand paper, and some little caps for the ends. I cut the dowel into ten in. lengths, then Anna got to work.
She caught on so quickly I was amazed. The rhyme broke every step down, so the she could understand what she was suppose to be doing. So much better than me saying, "Now put your needle in here, around here, now in here", etc. I can't get her to weave the yarn through her fingers to control tension, but she seems to get on OK without doing it.
I got single ply "fulled" wool yarn for her to learn on, since I figured that would be easiest, and I got cream so that we could dye it too.