Teaching Knitting

Can anyone weigh in here? I need advice, I’ve been asked to teach beginner knitting ( and maybe conduct an experienced group) at a local maker’s shop that carries lots of yarn. Not exactly what we call a LYS. Anyhoo, I’ve never done this, not sure I want to do this but am willing to give it a try. Tips and advice welcome! Also how much does one charge? The shop owner has mentioned the idea of $15-20 PP. For 1 hr?, not sure. I’m thinking of using the MDK booklet Skill Set for my guide/lesson plan. I’d be so appreciative to hear from any of you who have done this, thanks so much!


I have done this. I recommend providing a ball of yarn and a pair of needles to each student. If left to their own devices, beginners could show up for class with a ball of black boucle salvaged from their grandmother’s garage. Yes, I’ve been there. I would provide a ball of worsted weight yarn in some light color and a pair of single-point wooden needles. We would charge $30 for two two-hour sessions (yes, two sessions held a week apart to allow for practice time). Limit class size to no more than six people. Casting on (long-tail cast-on) will take up most of the first session. Each student should ideally get hands-on help with this. I used to teach children to knit and also child-parent pairs using this same technique. You could write to me and I can send you the lesson plan I cooked up. Great fun will be had by all. Good luck and best wishes!


Thanks for this! I would love to look at your lesson plan, would you email it to me?
You mentioned “we”, did you teach with someone else?

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I teach at a local shop too! I do mainly advanced classes, but my friends teach the beginner classes…they find a small project…like a scarf, works well, and keeps them interested.

I get paid by the hour at the shop…$20 per hour…since these are .experienced knitters, not a lot of hand holding goes on, just watching, giving tips, setting up the project, etc. so I feel it is a fair wage


I would also suggest printing our a pattern with no copyright infringement or just a garter stitch scarf that you design, this will help with how to read a pattern and give everyone something to do during the one week break. You might talk about yarn and bring a sample of some accessories (scissors, needle to weave in ends, stitch markers) With the pattern in hand you can also teach how to count rows (tick marks etc) so they can keep their place. Best of luck sounds like a lot of fun (sorry family teachers here…)

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I usually recommend making a rectangle that can be joined end to end into a cowl as a first project. You can do a sampler of knit and purl stitches and introduce stitch markers.
I also limit my beginning classes to 1 - 1 1/2 hours.


Yes that sounds fair, than you for the input

Great suggestions thanks so much!

How do you teach them to join the ends? Do you get into kitchener with them?

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Yes, I will dig up and send. Covid ended all teaching.

By we I meant the shop owner. I forgot to mention I did not get paid, but did the teaching because I retired from my career in high tech and became a nearly full-time volunteer teacher, so did not need the extra income. I recently saw the advert from another LYS which is asking $30 for each session. Plus students have to bring their own ball of chunky yarn and size 10 needles. This is northern California.

The other we I was thinking of was the school where I volunteered. They had a knitting and crochet club. We taught 4th and 5th graders. Those kids were fantastic to work with. First project was a bookmark.

You’re going to have great fun and meet interesting people!


We usually overlap the cast on and bind off and fasten it with a few buttons. Embroidery will also work!


I see, nice!

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I agree with Emmy. $25-$30 for an hour or 2 depending on location is very fair,especially if you are supplying yarn and needles. I would also suggest they buy the mdk app. Also I would have a loud alarm to remind you of the time to leave and another for 1/2 hour later just to really help you stop.


Super, thanks so much!

I’ve done this too, for JoAnn’s. Wooden or bamboo needles are preferred, I recommend the knitted cast on, & have them make a square (see the knitted bunny made from a square on Ravelry) or a rectangle cowl
I was paid $15 per hour, per student


That’s a very cute and clever pattern, thank you!


Hi Emmy, I never did receive the lesson plans you offered to share. Would you mind emailing them to me? I gave you my email address in my post above on April 16. Thanks so much for offering! Beth


Hi, Beth,

I certainly have dropped the ball on this. I sincerely apologize and hope you will forgive me.

Attached are handouts I used. On looking them over, I feel they may not be adequate for what you’re looking for, so I’m adding here my approach to teaching adults.

  • Knitting is universal, and there are many methods of doing it. We will learn the (?) method. Once you become comfortable with knitting, you might want to explore some of the other methods.

  • The only requirements for knitting are yarn and needles. Your yarn and needles should match. For example, thicker yarn usually requires thicker needles. Thinner yarn requires thinner needles. We will talk about this more as we progress.

Note: Provide info on how to read a yarn label. Not just weight of yarn but washable vs non-washable, natural or synthetic fibers, etc.

  • The only way to learn to knit is by practice. It may seem awkward at first. but soon your hands and your brain will catch up with each other and it will get easier. So don’t be hard on yourself. Try to relax and enjoy the process of learning something new. It’s good for you.

Note: Info is out there on how knitting is good for you. Even for people with ADHD, Parkinson’s, etc. knitting can be done and is helpful.

  • To knit anything, you need to know the following basics: casting on, the knit stitch, the purl stitch, casting off. We will learn those first.

NOte: Demonstrate how to cast on the long tail cast-on (one of many types of cast-ons but the one that is used most often). We developed a simplified method of casting on that does not require a slip knot. You can search thru Youtube to find a good video. Another tip: Have your students take out their phones and video you as you demo the cast-on. They can watch videos at home over and over again.

Another tip: We found that teaching cast-on is most effective when you teach not more than two people at a time. This is very hands on. If they leave the classroom, how can they continue at home if they haven’t mastered the cast-on?

Tip: We would have new knitters cast on enough stitches to make a coaster. Fifteen to 20 stitches. Worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles.

  • Let’s talk about yarn and needles. Different yarn weights for different purposes. Needles to match yarn weight.

  • Once cast-on, let’s learn knit stitch.

Note: Demo knit stitch. They can record on their phones. Also provide links to Youtube videos showing someone doing it the way you do it (less confusing this way).

  • Practice doing knit stitch.

  • Next, let’s make a purl stitch.

Note: Demo same as with knit stitch.

  • Finally, let’s cast off.

Note: Again, many ways to do. We will learn one way. Here’s a link to Youtube.

Note: I never had anyone who could learn all four things in one session, unless you have a marathon half-day. Important to encourage rather than discourage new knitters. It takes a while for hands and brain (yes, your brain creates axions that store muscle memory, and axions grow stronger when the movement is repeated, so it takes a while).

What to do if they don’t have Internet access? If they have cell phone, video you showing how.

Next steps: increasing via yarnover or knit front/back, slip stitch, decreasing via k2tog.

Resources: Where to find free patterns, how to read a pattern, where to find yarn and needles, other knitting accessories (stitch markers, measuring tape, etc.)

(Attachment Knitting101_LoomisBasin.pdf is missing)

(Attachment Knitting101.pdf is missing)


My attachments were rejected. Please email me at emmyari@yahoo.com so I can send direct to you.


Now I’m proving what a complete dork I am. You did send me your direct email address some time ago. Found it and sent you the missing attachments.

They are in pdf format. I don’t have full Acrobat, only Acrobat Reader, so am unable to convert to jpeg or other formats as required by MDK.