Why your child needs a knitting loom

Our six-year-old son had tried knitting in the past. We’d bought him knitting needles and the turquoise yarn he wanted. I’d YouTubed how to ‘cast on’ and vaguely remembered my grandmother’s instructions from a long, long time ago.

I think the plan was to make a scarf, but he never finished it. The needles were difficult for his little hands to maneuver and the tension was always off. We couldn’t figure out how to keep the yarn from getting a death-grip on those needles — so tight that we couldn’t sneak the second needle under the loop.

Every few months he’d discover it and try again … until he got frustrated (again).

But then we learned our 11-year-old neighbour had been knitting hats for years, and they were flawless — different colour combinations and styles with nice, thick, stretchy brims. She insisted it was really easy, but I was hesitant. I told her about the abandoned scarf (a.k.a. skinny yarn strip of broken dreams) sitting in our craft cabinet in the dining room.

No, she assured us. You don’t use needles. You use a loom! 

You just wrap the yarn around the pegs and lift up the loops, basically like the Rainbow Loom bracelets my kids love to make. No eye-pokey needles? I was sold and our son was desperate to give it a try. He actually started talking about opening a hat store.

I headed to my home-away-from-home, Atlantic Fabrics, and picked up a set of four hat looms (all different sizes) for under $20. It included a little plastic needle (which is only needed for a minute at the very end of the project) and a hook, similar to a Rainbow Loom hook …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

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