03 December 2009

Homemade knifty knitter!

I just made a Knifty Knitter! Basically an easy to use knitting loom, Knifty Knitters are a great fine motor and concentration activity for children (and adults, too!). Ever since I saw this post on Craftzine, I've been thinking of ways to make knitted wrist warmers with my Lunch Bunchers at school.

Whenever it rains, I bring an indoor project for us to do together. It's gotten to the point that the children actually hope it will rain, and rejoice when it does, so we can do another project together. I will have to post some photos of our past activities. One of the first things we did was finger knitting. Only involving yarn (I chose some variegated acrylic to make things more interesting) and your fingers! The children loved the project, though they only made "bracelets." Since then, they occasionally ask me if I will teach them "real" knitting. I only have an hour in which to teach them a project, start to finish, including clean up time. So, I'm not sure we're quite at the point where I can teach them knitting with real needles. But Knifty Knitter, or loom knitting, we can do! I bought a GIANT skein of fun coloured, variegated yarn and am going to split it into equal balls so the children can make little wrist warmers for themselves. I'm more than halfway into my first one, and could barely stop to write this post! I think they will really enjoy this! Best of all, including the fantastic yarn, this project will cost only $1.25 per child. If you'd like to make your own knitting loom, here's a basic tutorial. I will post photos when I make the rest for the children.
Make your own Knifty Knitter
(for child size wrist warmers)

Materials (to make one loom):
5 Low temp glue gun sticks (the oval kind, about 5" long)
1 pvc pipe "hub" (hunt around at your hardware store, it's with all the elbow shaped sections, only this piece has no screw threads, mine 2.5" in diameter and about 1.5" tall)
duct tape (coloured would be fun!)
Glue dots (optional, but quite helpful)

Here's what you do:
  1. Cut the glue sticks in half so you have 10 sticks, each about 2.5" long.
  2. If you are using glue dots, evenly space 10 of them along one edge of the pipe. This will be the "top" of your loom.
  3. Stick one glue stick half to each of your glue dots, leaving about 0.5" space at the bottom, so that about 0.75" sticks up beyond the top of your loom. These are the pegs around which you will wrap your yarn, so don't make them too short or your knitting will easily slide off. Of course, don't make them too long either or it will be difficult to actually knit.
  4. Once the sticks are held in place by the glue dots, use the duct tape to hold them on tightly. I pressed in the edges to really prevent any wiggling. Align the edge of the tape with the top edge of the loom. You will only have about 0.5" to wrap under the bottom edge.
  5. Wrap a second piece of duct tape around, this time aligning the edge with the bottom of the glue sticks. This will generate about 2" of tape hanging off of the bottom of your loom. Cut slits in this tape to allow it to fold nicely into the inside of the loom. Stick down each of these "flaps."
  6. Make sure the tape is all stuck down so it won't catch on any of your yarn, and you're DONE!
If you make a loom, I'd love to see it and photos of what you make!

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