Knitting Rhymes for Teaching How to Knit


I was thrilled to discover recently that there are rhymes to help kids (and adults) learn how to knit!

The most well-known knitting rhyme is to help you remember the basic knit stitch:

In through the front door,
Around the back
Peep through the window,
And off jumps Jack!

Here’s a quick video so you can see how the rhyme works with the stitch…


This rhyme is used at the Waldorf School where they teach knitting and crocheting to young girls and boys as part of the curriculum (read more about that here).

Here’s another rhyme for the knit stitch found on YouTube:

In through the rabbit hole
Round the back of the big tree
Up through the rabbit hole
And off goes she!

Here’s nice simple one:

In through the front door,
Once around the back,
Peek through the window
And off jumps Jack!

Here’s a rhyme for learning the Purl Stitch:

In under the fence
Grab that sheep
Out of the fence
And off we leap.

You can hear the rhyme and see the purl stitch in the video below…

Here’s another rhyme for the purl stitch:

In front of the fence,
Catch the goat,
Back we go,
Jump off the boat!

Note: These rhymes are for English style knitting.

It’s great to teach children how to knit or crochet. I still have fond memories of my mother teaching me how to crochet and my husband’s grandmother teaching me the basic knit stitches.

There are also health benefits to knitting. according to Wikipedia, “Studies have shown that hand knitting, along with other forms of needlework, provide several significant health benefits. These studies have found the rhythmic and repetitive action of hand knitting can help prevent and manage stress, pain and depression, which in turn strengthens the body’s immune system, as well as create a relaxation response in the body which can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, help prevent illness, and have a calming effect. Pain specialists have also found that hand knitting changes brain chemistry, resulting in an increase in ‘feel good’ hormones (i.e. serotonin and dopamine) and a decrease in stress hormones.”

So what are you waiting for? Pick up some knitting needles or a crochet hook and create something from scratch!

-Mama Lisa

UPDATE: We came across some more rhymes, including one for the very young and another for older kids…

Here’s a nice simple one for little kids…

In, around, through and off.
In, over, through, and off.

Here’s a gruesome one for learning the knit stitch, one that would be difficult to forget. It seems many use this to teach kids 8 and up…

Stab it
Strangle it
Scoop out the guts
Toss it off the cliff!

Or this variation:

Stab them,
Strangle them,
Let them down,
Dump the body.


Here’s one for the knit stitch Continental style:

Under the Fence
Catch the Sheep
Back you go
Off you leap.

For the purl stitch Continental style:

In through the back way,
Then rope the hog,
Back out the gate,
And jump off the log!

This article was posted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 at 8:08 pm and is filed under Arts and Crafts, Crocheting, Knitting, Mama Lisa, Rhymes by Theme, Rhymes for Knitting, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

7 Responses to “Knitting Rhymes for Teaching How to Knit”

  1. Tinker Jack Says:

    Great rhymes, indeed. But only for the so-called “throwers”.

  2. Lisa Says:

    I added two rhymes above for knitting Continental style.

  3. Lisa Says:

    Here’s a rhyme I found for binding off from this site:

    Pete and Repeat are sitting on a log and Pete jumps over Repeat who’s left? (Repeat!)

  4. Lisa Says:

    Here’s an old knitting rhyme that can be found in the book “English Folk-rhymes: A Collection of Traditional Verses Relating to Places and Persons, Customs, Superstitions, Etc” by G. F. Northall
    K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1892:

    “In Northamptonshire, when girls are knitting in company, they say-

    Needle to needle, and stitch to stitch,
    Pull the old woman out of the ditch;
    If you ain’t out by the time I’m in,
    I’ll rap your knuckles with my knitting-pin.

    The ‘old woman,’ ‘out,’ and ‘in,’ are the arrangements of the wool over and under the knitting pins [needles]…

    …Knitters in the sun at Wensleydale used a very short time ago to sing one. Though it simply consists of numerals up to twenty, it is most curious, and, seeing that it is evidently in the Norse language, … In modern orthography [actually it’s from 1892]-

    (I) Yahn, (2) Jyahn, (3) Tether, (4) Mether, (5) Mumph, (6) Hither, (7) Lither, (8) Auver, (9) Dauver, (10) Die, (11) Yahndic, (12) Tayhndic, (13) Tetherdic, (14) Mitherdic, (15) Mimphit (Jiotuis mumphit), (16) Yahn a mimphit, (17) Tayhn, etc., (18) Tethera, etc., Methera, etc., (20) Jig it.”

    According to Wikipedia, “Yan Tan Tethera is a sheep-counting rhyme/system traditionally used by shepherds in Northern England and earlier in some other parts of Britain. Until the Industrial Revolution, the use of traditional number systems was common among shepherds, especially in the fells of the Lake District. The Yan Tan Tethera system was also used for counting stitches in knitting. The words derive from a Brythonic Celtic language. Though most of these number systems fell out of use by 1910, some are still in use.”

  5. Lisa Says:

    Here’s a rhyme for casting off:

    Knit yourself over,
    Invite your friend too,
    Leapfrog over,
    Lie down Sue.

  6. T Says:

    @TinkerJack Not so. “Off jumps Jack” was how I learnt the continental style too, as you go behind the yarn when you knit stitch.

  7. Carol Says:

    In through the bunny hole
    Round the big tree
    Out of the bunny hole
    And off goes she

    This was my granny’s version
    I was taught to knit when I was around 4 in 1964

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