A Short History of Hand Knitting

Young Knitter Asleep

The fine art of knitting

Today, if you want a sweater or need new socks, a hat or scarf or gloves you just go to the store and buy them – no work involved. Those items were made in huge factories on large knitting machines by the thousands.

But it hasn’t always been so easy in the past… Knitting machines were developed after WWII but prior to 1945, if you wanted or needed a sweater or socks you had to knit them yourself. Knitting hasn’t always been solely a way to pass the time or a crafty hobby. It was a necessity within the home as a way to clothe your family.

It’s interesting to learn that women and young girls were not always the ones who knit. Prior to the 1900’s in many European countries it was the men who knit. They knit as an occupation supplying fine silk stockings, gloves, and caps for the noble society and the royalty of their day. Knitting was considered a fine craft the same as woodworking or printing. The men formed guilds and structured a very intensive apprenticeship program. The women and girls were the ones who spun the fibers to make the yarns used by the men for the knitted products.

However, during WWI, women and children were encouraged to knit socks and caps and sweaters for the men fighting the Great War in Europe. Knitting can still be a fine craft, producing exquisite garments and accessories that will last for years to come with proper care. It all depends on the quality of the yarn that is used and the skill of the knitter.

I feel that knitting is a wonderful preparedness skill to have. Should we fall on hard times or be living during Jacobs Trouble, knitting can help you provide warm caps, scarves, gloves or mittens as well as sweaters and blankets. Knitting will give you the confidence to attempt a repair of a worn sock or a moth hole in a favorite sweater. In future programs I will share a handful of tips for new knitters and give suggestions for how to properly care for hand knit garments and accessories. I’ll even share the reason why that woolen sweater shrunk when you laundered it and tell you how to prevent it from happening again. Hint, it wasn’t the dryer.To me, knitting is another way to walk on the Ancient Paths and it’s an enjoyable way to lead a simpler life.

There are a number of private schools in the States and in Europe that teach knitting to elementary children. They begin in the first grade and continue to require knitting into the early teen years because they recognize the many learning skills that knitting helps to develop. Skills that are crucial for learning, reading comprehension, and memory retention.

You many enjoy reading this article Knitting in Art which is from the Knitting Daily website.

Here is the information about the artwork featured above:

Young Knitter Asleep, a painting by the eighteenth-century French artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), who specialized in portraits and depictions of everyday life.

Do you knit or crochet? Do you have additional information about the history of hand knitting? Please share with us.

Every blessing,

posey sig

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