Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A Simple Knitting Verse for Kids


We have been reading "Children of the Forest" as it was a present for Seraphina's Birthday.

I love the way Elsa Beskow's stories take your imagination on a wander through childhood lands where fairies dwell and nature is infused with wonder.

The stories have no peril, or conflict, they meander, and as you walk with them you begin to notice how magic really does exist in the simple things of life.

The best stories always seem to open the door into the deepest part of a child''s heart and mind.

I remember, as a child, my very favorite stories were the one's my Mum told me.

Stories about everyday little happenings in her childhood.

The small details, involving the smell of fresh picked garden tomatoes sliced up on my grandmother's ancient, gnarled wooden bread board, or the way her neighbor used to call her hens in at night.

These reminders of the sacredness of the everyday would captivate and sooth to the core of me.

"The details make life holy. If you want a little happiness in life don’t forget to look at the little things. It is a poet’s work to see the incidental, pluck it, place an appropriate silence around both sides and see the profound in what passes for a passing moment. It is an artist’s job to as much discover art as create it. Prayer is a way of making the common profound by pausing, tying knots around a moment, turning our life into a string of pearls."

Noah Ben Shea

tilly knits poppy's scarf

On other knitting news, Matilda has begun to knit a birthday scarf for her doll Poppy.

It is a glorious patchwork pattern of random garter and stocking stitched rows. with an odd, unexpected eyelet here and there.

The only problem is Poppy's birthday has to keep being moved forward, as her scarf is taking a little longer to knit up than Matilda expected.

I teach knitting through story...

The story goes like this.

 Illustration 1.  This picture shows holding the needle with the cast-on stitches in the left hand and the empty needle in the right hand.  The yarn travels from the stitch on the left needle over the forefinger of the right hand and down to the ball.

We go across the field,

  Ilustration 2:  This pucture shows the right needle inserted in the stitch underneath the left needle.

around the tree,

 Ilustration 3.  This picture shows looping the yarn from the existing stitch on the left needle up and over the right needle in a clockwise motion, ending with the yarn on the right.
 Ilustration 4.  This picture shows sliding the right needle and the yarn on it down and forward through the stitch on the left needle

under the bridge

 Illustration 5.  This picture shows pulling the right needle and the new stitch up in front and through the loop that is on the left needle

and over the stile....

 Illustration 6.  This picture shows the new stitch on the right needle

This soon be shortens to the simpler version:

  • Across
  • Around
  • Under 
  • Over.

This helps the child to imagine a scene as they work with their hands aiding memorization of the process.

tilly knitting
The illustrations were provided by Lionbrand Knitting's useful how to knit page.


  1. I love teaching kids how to knit. We use a similar poem that shortens to in, around, through, off...somehow the rhythm of the words creates great knitters!

  2. I teach my kiddos in a similar way. Ours ends up across, around, under and through. Love the busy hands there. BEskow's work is so soft and magical.

  3. Gorgeous to see your daughter knitting! Such wonderful skills to pass on :-)

  4. I think any doll living in your home would be blessed!
    Thank you for the knitting rhymne. I haven't had a chance to teach a wee one yet, but now I will be ready! I copied the poem to my special book so I won't loose it.
    Have a great yarn along day.

  5. Those baby booties are adorable. I love watching kids learn to knit. So much concentration involved! Jacinta

  6. I love the photos of your daughter knitting!!!

    The rhyme I use to teach little ones goes: in through the front door, run around back, out through the window, off pops Jack (or add a name) (Actually, I've used it to teach a couple adults who just couldn't get the 4-step process!!!!!!)
    Lucky Dolly. Looks like her birthday is coming up any day now!

  7. The photos of your daughter knitting are precious! And I love the rhyme you use to help teach knitting to your children. I am saving that to use with mine as well!

  8. What amazing pictures. I saw your flickr then your blogs and I am so blessed. You have that art spirit in you and such a homey motherly flair for what's important. I love it! Can't wait to see more...following.

  9. what a lovely photo of your daughter knitting..I think I would have enjoyed that book too as a child.

  10. Lovely photographs!
    How lucky Poppy will be when her birthday finally arrives.
    I love Children of the Forest, too :)

  11. How lovely of your daughter to knit a scarf for her dolly's birthday, pattern sounds unique! Those bottees are so small and cute!!
    My kids love the Elsa Beskow books and we are slowly making a collection that we keep on display!!

  12. Seeing your little one knitting is precious :) My daughter knows how to knit but it's just not her craft of choice (she's 22yo) I remember teaching her though and it was fun! Psst, I love her sweater she is wearing too!!!

  13. Yay for learning to knit at a young age. My daughter needs to polish up her skills. You're right - one well-loved Poppy - I'm sure she will appreciate the handmade gift! :)

  14. I love that quote! I must write it down...

  15. That book looks so good!
    And what a wonderful quote!

  16. What a refreshing post - I felt the pause you created around this moment.
    "These reminders of the sacredness of the everyday would captivate and sooth to the core of me." - Beautiful words!

  17. What a wonderful post. Beautiful knitting and a beautiful quotation. Poppy will be so happy and surprised when her birthday arrives!

  18. I'm sure Poppy will adore her scarf!

  19. such soft pretty pictures :-)

  20. It really is the little things that make life wondrous. Reading the details that your mom shared with you made ME nostalgic and peaceful, it's all in the happy details. :) Love that your daughter's doll's birthday has to keep being moved... such a simple solution! :)


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