Knitting Fun Facts
No one knows exactly how old knitting really is, but it's generally thought to be older than rug hooking, but not as old as weaving.
Since the year 2000, the number of female knitters in the U.S. between the ages 25–35 has increased nearly 300%.
The reason the history of knitting is not known is largely because the yarns originally used for knitting were made of natural fibers such as wool, silk, and other fibers that decompose. The needles are hard to distinguish in archaeological digs from hair picks, skewers, spindles, or the other many uses of a sharpened stick.
Tricoteuse is French for “knitting woman.” During the French Revolution, a group of knitting women would sit beside the guillotine and knit through the executions. The Commune of Paris organized and paid these women to attend beheadings and tribunals “to greet death, to insult the victims, and to glut their eyes with blood.” They would jeer and shriek and knit as the upper class were led to the guillotine.
One of the earliest known types of knitting, done by nomads in the desert of North Africa, used circular or narrow, oblong wooden frames. Nobody knows when the frames were eliminated and knitting began to be done directly on knitting needles.
In recent years knitting has made a comeback, as people have begun to discover the many benefits of traditional knitted clothing, including its higher quality, stress relief benefits and hey, it's a fun pastime!
One of the earliest examples of what we think of today as knitting is a pair of cotton socks found in Egypt from the first millennium A.D.
Knitting was initially a male-only occupation.
The word 'knit' is derived from the Old English 'cnyttan', which means 'to knot'.
Knitting first appeared in England during the 13th century in the form of felted caps that were worn by soldiers and sailors. However, knitting did not become a popular method for creating other garments due to the difficulty of producing quality steel needles.
The first knitting trade guild was started in 1527 in Paris.
Miriam Tegels, currently the world's fastest knitter, can knit 118 stitches per minute!
Mega knitting is a recent innovation that refers to the use of knitting needles that are greater than, or equal to, half an inch in diameter. Mega knitting usually creates more chunky, bulky fabric or an open lacy weave.
Early knitting needles were typically made from bone, ivory, or tortoise shell.
Changes in fashion in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as well as the importation of cheap knitwear, led to decreased interest in knitting because the cost of buying yarn was often greater than buying store bought knits.
During the 1940s, interest in continental knitting (knitting with the yarn in one’s left hand) decreased because of its origins in Germany, while English knitting (or knitting with the yarn in the right hand) rose in popularity.
Both continental and English knitting are used in the U.S. and England. But Japanese knitters usually prefer the continental style and Chinese knitters prefer the English style. Many other countries, such as Peru, Bolivia, Greece, and Portugal, typically use the continental style.