I have been knitting, honestly. I just haven't finished anything I can tell you about... gift knitting (shhhh!) But this post isn't about me...
Clara took to knitting, like, well, the daughter of a yarn shop owner ;) I have always said that she could knit if she'd like but I wouldn't pressure her. She started asking to learn when she was about 2 and a half and I told her she would have to wait until she turned 4. There are a few other things that I recommend to people when they are trying to figure out if it's time to teach their kids to knit. Coloring in the lines or drawing their letters tells you they have the manual dexterity to knit. Having the attention span is also important. If they are the kind of kid that sits and plays with legos for longer than 5 minutes, that's a good start, 20 minutes is even better. Clara is super focused and can play the same game for hours, but that's not entirely common ;) 4 is usually the age these things start to come together, but it's good to wait until you see those signs they are ready rather than use their age alone as a guide. Nothing is worse than getting someone so frustrated that they never want to knit again. If your little one is interested in learning to knit but you don't think you're the right person to teach them, I also have (grand)parent/child rates for my open knits on Thursdays and I'd love to help out ;) Kids are *so* much easier to teach than grown-ups!
Anyway, after her birthday Clara reminded me that she got to learn to knit when she turned 4 and that she was anxious to do it. We talked about what she would like to make and she decided on a toy for one of our kitties so I picked up some 128 Superwash in bright green (of course! her favorite color!) from the shop and took some nice sticky handmade wooden needles out of my needle stash and got her going. She was thrilled, knit a couple of rows, and then promptly forgot about it for a few weeks. This was precisely what I was expecting.
So I was actually surprised when she asked to do more a couple of weeks ago and remembered nearly all of the steps. She was knitting entirely by herself -- and telling stories to her sister at the same time! Those of you who came to knitting later in life will know just how difficult it is to knit and talk at the same time in the beginning. Color me impressed. Josh didn't believe me until he saw her a few days later. A few more rows and we'll have a nice little toy for monkey. Then she tells me she wants to knit her sister a sweater... that's my girl!