Knitting is the art of using yarn or thread to make fabric from interlocking loops. Its origin has been traced as far back as the fourth or fifth century B.C. to sandal socks discovered in the Middle East.
In the past, knitting has been the occupation of shepherds watching their flocks, sailors whiling away the hours of long voyages during the age of exploration, apprentices who studied it in 13th and 14th century knitting guilds, and royal knitters in the court of England at the time of King Henry VIII. At certain times in history, only members of royalty were allowed to wear knitted items. One of the knitted garments on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is a handsome handknitted silk shirt, which King Charles I wore on the day of his beheading.
Many ready-made items of clothing are knitted by machine, including sweaters, shirts, undergarments, socks and stockings. If you look closely at such items, you will see that the fabric is made up of many small, interlocking loops. Hand knitted fabric looks much the same, although handmade stitches are slightly irregular, and have become a fashion look much in demand in recent years. Today, handmade sweaters can sell for hundreds of dollars in retail stores. Once you learn to knit, you can make your own instead of buying them.
Handknitting is a popular pastime, producing items that are functional, economical, fashionable and fun to make. In addition, knitting offers an opportunity for creative selection of color, texture, and style, and allows you to fashion garments that really fit. For all these reasons and more, we think you will enjoy learning the art of knitting.
The “How To” series of easy-to-read and use needlework instruction booklets is designed with you in mind. Whether you are a beginner looking for basic instruction that will get you stitching quickly with correct techniques, or an experienced needleworker looking for a handy reference guide, you’ll want to keep the “How To” series close at hand. Each volume in the series explores a different type of needlework: needlepoint, embroidery and cross-stitch, knitting, crochet, and much more. You’ll find lots of helpful hints to build your confidence, make your learning experience relaxing and fun, and most important, make your finished project something you’ll be proud of for years to come.