Schools stopped teaching knitting as part of the national curriculum in the UK in the late 1980’s and more recently on Shetland in 2010. Knitting is still taught as part of the Waldorf school curriculum and is returning to schools as an extra curricular activity in many places across the UK.
The benefits of knitting in schools are huge and I would encourage you to seek out local community projects and school projects to get involved with if this is your type of thing. As adults many of us love knitting together and knit nights, and bringing this social aspect of the craft to younger knitters has many social, emotion and developmental benefits.
Fine motor coordination
Critical thinking and problem-solving
Libby Summers has successfully been running a knitting club in her local primary school, Copthill School for the last 12 months, the club meet up for an hour each week and it's attended by children from Year 4 though to Year 6. Admittedly Libby says it was hard going at first to get the children all at the same point of learning but the work she has put in has really started to pay off and the club now has ten devoted knitters.
In June of last year Libby's knitting club worked on a group knitting project, they had their own stall at the Summer Fete where they sold items they had knitted, they also gave mini knitting lessons.
As a knitter you can also give back by helping to teach knitting to other younger knitters. There are many ways to get involved. I have included some links below to help you on your way but it would also help to chat to teachers or other parents. See what is being offered locally and find out if you can contribute to existing programmes or start new ones.
Here are just a few ideas tips to get you started:
Knitting for All is an Edinburgh based organisation that encourages knitting for all ages.
Cat Bordhi has a wonderful school curriculum guide that would be helpful to share with educators and community programmes.
Hazell Tindall is working to bring knitting back to Shetland schools – this interesting project is worth looking at for ideas.
The Craft Club is undergoing some changes at the moment but they have a search function to find active craft groups in your local area.
This article is a little more academic in nature but very interesting all the same. It discussed knitting in Waldorf schools.
If you are already involved with knitting in your school then we'd love to hear your story, please share in the comments below.
Happy knitting! Clare x
About the Author
Clare Devine is a writer and designer. Originally from South Africa she has nomadic tendencies and is currently knitting her way around the UK. She is passionate about all things fibre related (especially if it’s grey), knitting, travel and sunshine in equal measures.
She regularly blogs at www.yarnandpointysticks.com. You can find her on Ravelry as Knitsforklipskaap, Twitter as @KnitShareLove and Instagram as @Clare.Devine.