History of knitting

The word is derived from knot and ultimately from the Old English cnyttan, to knot. This woman is knitting at a coffee shop. Knitting is often done in a group with other knitters. Although knitting may have had a reputation as hobby one does alone, it is becoming more and more of a social activity. Knitting guilds and other knitting groups or knitting clubs are becoming exceedingly popular. One of the earliest known examples of knitting was cotton socks with stranded knit color patterns, found in Egypt from the end of the first millennium AD. Originally a male-only occupation, the first knitting trade guild was started in Paris in 1527. With the invention of the knitting machine, however, knitting "by hand" became a useful but non-essential craft. Similar to quilting, spinning, and needlepoint, knitting became a leisure activity. Hand-knitting has gone into and out of fashion many times in the last two centuries, and at the turn of the 21st century it is enjoying a revival. According to the industry group Craft Yarn Council of America, the number of women knitters in the United States age 2535 increased 150% in the two years between 2002 and 2004. The latest incarnation is less about the "make-do and mend" attitude of the 1940s and early 50s and more about making a statement about individuality as well as developing an innate sense of community. During the 1940s, English knitting rose in popularity while Continental knitting fell. This i

due to the fact that continental knitting originated within Germany and was spread by immigrants. During World War II, continental knitting fell out of style due to its relationship with Germany. It wasn't until Elizabeth Zimmermann publicized continental knitting in the 1980s that it again was popularized. Additionally, many contemporary knitters have an interest in blogging about their knitting, patterns, and techniques, or joining a virtual community focused on knitting, such as the extremely popular Ravelry. There are also a number of popular knitting podcasts, and various other knitting websites. Contemporary knitting groups may be referred to in the U.S. as a "Stitch 'N Bitch" where a group of knitters get together to work on projects, discuss patterns, troubleshoot their work and just socialize. In the UK, the term has been "knitting circle" since the early 20th century. A knitting machine is a device used to create knitted fabrics in a semi- or fully automated fashion. There are numerous types of knitting machines, ranging from simple spool or board templates with no moving parts to highly complex mechanisms controlled by electronics. All, however, produce various types of knitted fabrics, usually either flat or tubular, and of varying degrees of complexity. Pattern stitches can be selected by hand manipulation of the needles, or with push-buttons and dials, mechanical punch cards, or electronic pattern reading devices and computers.