Knitting lives together

Along with just learning how to knit, Daniels said the activity forces the children to use math, science, improves their self-esteem and helps better their ability to focus.

"There are problem solving skills that can happen during knitting that they can work out," she said. "They're taking a risk because it's not an easy thing. They have to get used to it. But then they start seeing the success that happens with it."

There have been some students Daniels has had that have a hard time focusing on their work to the point where she's worried they won't be able to get through it. Once the knitting unit comes along, Daniels said the kids sometimes surprise her.

"There was on girl in particular in first grade and she finished a small purse," she said. "She far surpassed her classmates, where in class they seem to be ahead of her but not in this. Think of what that did for her self-esteem that she could be successful in something the smartest kids were not successful in."

Students even learn how to improvise while they are knitting, helping them to better learn how to be quick on their feet. Ebert said there are times where she will be doing a certain stitch that won't turn out as planned. The end product becomes their own design.

"Sometimes when you make mistakes they actually turn out to be better than you thought they would be," she said.

Anderson experienced this herself as she showed off a hat where she originally made a mistake but ended up creating her own design.

"I doing it but then I made a mistake and it ended up pretty," she said, which Daniels said is called a "design element."

While the knitting is helping the children with not only life skills but also giving them confidence, Daniels said they are "being involved in something that's so much bigger than themselves."

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