Knitting is a great craft to teach young people. A simple knit stitch is easy to learn and the double needles make it easier to create stitches of consistent tension. If you watch for sales or yard sales, it is easy to pick up knitting needles and yarn for very little money. With or without adding a purl stitch to the knitting knowledge of the kids and teens you are teaching, they can do several service projects to help those who are homeless, do not have housing and clothing that keep them adequately warm, or a host of other things.
The simplest of course is the knit stitch scarf. Binding on 16 or twenty stitches and then doing five or six feet of knit rows before binding off, allows a young person to practice knitting and see quick results. The scarf can be donated to homeless shelters or assuming it is legal in your town, wrapped around a pole or bench in an area where homeless or poor people may notice it. Make sure to attach a note explaining the scarf was made for anyone who needed it and add a scripture or words of encouragement (check local ordinances for legality of leaving abandoned scarves around town and don’t include any personal identifying information!).
The wonderful thing about knitting is that once your students become more confident in their craft, it creates a warm familial environment for chit-chatting as they knit. This gives you a comfortable time and place to encourage your students to open up to you about their struggles, successes and problems. It also gives you ample time to respond with godly advice, which somehow doesn’t seem as threatening when given over clacking knitting needles.
If you don’t know how to knit, but want to work with a group of young people, ask around. Many women are more than happy to share their knowledge for free with newbies. In fact, I finally learned to knit by attending a mother-daughter knitting club a neighbor had in her house once a week for one summer.
Once your students become more advanced, there are tons of free patterns online that can have them knitting blankets for foster children, wash cloths for soup kitchens, caps for preemies and much more. There are even multiple sites requesting knitted donations of various things to be used in serving others.
God has gifted us in many ways. Even though your students may never become master knitters, they can use the knowledge they have to serve others. Who knows, they may even learn some godly advice while they are knitting with you – and that’s always a good thing.