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Larcenous Knitting Rhymes and Other Poetry

Knit Rhyme 1Many knitters recognize this children’s rhyme as the way to make a knit stitch, but have you ever considered that it could also describe a crime?

Neither had Jennifer Hoyden, a knitting teacher at a shelter for homeless families in New York City. She was shocked when her students told her it sounded like a teaching tool for burglary. Wow! As a teacher, I know that I need to adapt my message to fit the needs of my audience, but that’s a tough crowd!
Knit Rhyme 3This got me thinking of rhymes that we use to teach the basic knitting stitches. There are quite a few of them, yet there is some disagreement about which are most descriptive of knit stitches and purl stitches. For example, some people consider the “bunny hole” rhyme a description of purling, while to me it sounds like another knit rhyme.


Generic rhymesYet these two seem to describe purling, but could be used for either knit or purl.

Knit rhyme 2While it’s nice to have these mneumonic rhymes at our fingertips (at the tip of our tongues?), when the unexpected happens, teachers have to adapt quickly. Here’s the new rhyme that Jennifer made up on the spot to replace the one about that sneaky Jack.

How’s that for fast thinking? And it encourages cleanliness instead of larceny!

What’s your favorite rhyme for teaching beginners, young and old?


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Photos by Pezibear on Pixabay. Used under Creative Commons CC0.

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