The Boutique

Our boutique has unique artisan quality hand knitted handbags. All our handbags are hand crafted and made in New Jersey. The handbags are all unique designs and not mass produced, but knitted by Lisa, so her boutique is the only place you can find them on the internet. Custom orders welcomed!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Need something for the kids to do this summer?

How about knitting or crochet? It's a practical skill, it keeps the kids busy and it's educational. Educational? Yes! Here's why. Kids get to read a pattern, which helps with reading skills. Kids get math. Yes math! You must count how many stitches you need to make the pattern. Increasing or decreasing stitches is like addition and subtraction.

 As a knitting teacher, I have taught kids to knit, spool knit and finger knitting. Once they get the hang of it, they really have fun. For young kids 8 years and under, I like to teach finger knitting or sometimes called finger weaving.It's fun, easy, improves hand/eye coordination, and all you need is yarn. You can take it anywhere to the park, in the car on a long trip, or just being at home. It's safe too, no knitting needles. Since I can't be there to teach you myself, here is a good tutorial to get you started, finger knitting.

Spool knitting is knitting with a wooden or plastic cylinder or spool with prongs at the top.  Here is an example of a wooden spool.
To use a knitting spool, you wrap the yarn around the prongs on the top of the spool. You use a crochet hook to pull the yarn thru the loops around the prongs. The cord that you start making goes down thru the center of the spool and comes out the bottom. Then the kids can make anything they want from the cord. Here is a good tutorial for the spool knitting.

For children 8 years and older learning to knit may come easier. I was saying earlier that knitting is educational. When a child learns to knit they learn the knitting basics, the knit stitch, the purl stitch, etc., which develops eye/hand coordination. Reading skills come into play because childrren need to read the pattern in order to proceed. Math comes in when the child has to know how many stitches to put on the needle, or to increase or decrease the amount of stitches in the pattern. Increasing or decreasing stitches is like addition and subtraction, and is very important in doing lace knitting, which is all about adding and subtracting.
If you know someone who knits ask them to teach you so you can teach your child. It's a great way for you to spend some quality time with your child. You can also check out your local craft store for knitting classes. Here is an online tutorial you can use if you aren't able to find someone who knits.

One thing I like to do with kids is to tell them to knit squares and all the squares can be sewn together to make a blanket for someone in need. There are many knitting charities to choose from.Here  are a few. Check in your area with churches or hospitals to see if they have a program. Or you can start your own!

Binky Patrol
National organization that knits, crochets, sews and quilts binkies (blankets) for children and teens (ages 1 day to 18 years old) who are seriously ill, in hospitals, in foster care, in shelters, abused, homeless or experiencing any type of trauma. We make and give binkies to children and teens, in hopes of bringing them comfort.  

Caps for Kids
Distributes knitted items to children in homeless, abusive or serious illness situations.

Habitat for Humanity; Greene County, Ohio
Needs quilted, crocheted, or knitted items for annual quilt and art auction to raise money for Habitat for Habitat for Humanity in Greene County, Ohio.      

Heifer International
Donates animals, trees, and other stock to needy families around the world in the hopes of increasing ustainable self-sufficiency. “Knitting Basket” donation provides two llamas and two sheep to a family for income-producing wool.
Websites: or

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