Whenever I knit something new, or
think about all the projects that are still
on the "back-burner", the one thing I
never think about is where did this all
As of right now, it is thought that knitting
came along sometime in the late Middle
Ages, 1200-1500 A.D. It was brought
into Egypt by nomads, and from there,
carried into lower Europe by way of
Spain. Once there, knitting traveled all
over the European continent.
During the Renaissance, craft guilds were
all the rage, and knitting was established
as a true craft. After all, once the art of
spinning created yarn, then innovative
ways to use the yarn came along.
Different areas of Europe invented
different modes of knitting. The Fair
Isles, a group of islands north of Britain,
give us Fair Isle knitting, one which is
characteristic of knitting with many
colors, and changing colors frequently.
Intricate lace patterns are indicative of
France; fishing communities off the coast
of England gave us the Guernsey style.
Both of these types of knitting are quite
intricate, and the latter very colorful.
Of course, knitting found its way to our
world as well. During the Civil War, both
sides took to producing much needed
items for the soldiers. It was here that
knitting became linked to patriotism; a
link which has only grown stronger over
Once the Industrial Revolution came
along, knitting machines were able to
produce what hand-knitters never could.
Yet, with all the modern innovations
which we live with, there is nothing
quite like settling in with needles, yarn,
and a good pattern. Add some friends,
a sprinkling of good conversation, and
the beautiful world of knitting, is a place
you could live in forever!
Nowadays, we have not only our families,
and friends to knit for. There are so many
needy causes and organizations out there just
looking for a little "hands-on" help.
The Old English definition of the word
"craft" tells us that the word meant
"strength". As we knitters well know,
in learning, enjoying, and passing on,
our beloved craft, therein lies knitting's
The Shakers certainly had it right when
they said, "Hands to work, hearts to God."