All About Knitting Part - 1
When you hear the knit, the one word that comes to your mind is handmade. Knitting is an art form that has been known for centuries. Very few people take up knitting as a hobby. This blog is to help you get acquainted with this beautiful craft called knitting.
As per Mariam Webster, the word knit (बुनाई) is defined as:
1: to form by interlacing yarn or thread in a series of connected loops with needles
2: to link firmly or closely knitted my hands
Knitting as a word appeared around the 14th century. Knitting has seen a lot of changes throughout the years. From being practical to fashionable, facing diminishing popularity and many years down the line stealing the show with people gaining more interest in the craft.
Types of Knitting Methods
There are two types of Knitting styles that are being used around the globe, viz.
English method: It is also known as the American knitting or “throwing” method. Here, the yarn is held in the right hand and thrown over the needle to form a stitch. It is popular in England, and parts of Europe. The English method of knitting is also used in India.
Continental method: It is also known as German Knitting or “picking”. The yarn is on the left side and the left index finger is used to pick the yarn and form a new stitch. This method is popular in northern and eastern Europe.
History of Knitting
Initially, knitting was mainly a male-dominated occupation. In Paris, around 1527 the first knitting union was established where women were not allowed. In 1589, the first knitting machine was invented by William Lee under Queen Elizabeth I. After this event, knitting has been taken up as a leisure activity at home. Knitting does have a history connected with World War 1. The women were given the national duty to aid soldiers on the battlefield by knitting socks, caps, etc.
Women knitting during World War I
Knitting Frame by William Lee
There is also a machine that assists in handmade knitting. It can be used to make scarves, cowls, hats, flat pieces, etc. This makes the knitting process faster but it still involves hand movements to make different patterns or designs. The Indian knitting industry is growing every year with an upward trend.
These events have been inspiring many more women to embrace this craft as a hobby. A study conducted in the U.S. during the period 2002-2004 for the same. It shows an increase of nearly 150% of women knitters between the ages of 25–35. The same trend is followed in India as well. India now also exports knitted clothing across the globe.
Recently there is a new term coined called Megaknitting. This method uses knitting needles of half an inch diameter (size 17 around 12 mm) and above coupled with super thick yarns also called bulky yarn weight classification 5.
Benefits of Knitting
There are three main reasons why people are more interested in taking up knitting viz.
- Creative outlet
- Stress buster
- Acts as a natural antidepressant
- Provides a feeling of accomplishment
The benefits of knitting have seen many Indians taking up the craft. In India, many schools have introduced knitting in their curriculum to increase awareness and interest in this art form at a younger age.
Here are some knitting facts that are many people who are not familiar with:
- A person burns 55 calories by knitting for half an hour.
- Knitting helps ease chronic pain and protects the brain from ageing.
- Women’s Institute in The Royal Albert Hall in 2012 achieved the record of the largest number of people (3,083) knitting together.
- A 13 hours knitting marathon broadcasted by SlowTV in Norway achieved 1.3 million viewers.
- World's Fastest Knitter, Miriam Tegels can stitch 118 stitches in one minute.
- Early knitting needles were typically made from bone, ivory, or tortoiseshell.
- The first documentation of 126 knitting patterns was published in 1611 by Johann Siebmacher.
One of the knitting patterns from Johann Siebmacher’s documentation.
The Original Knit is one such baby clothing brand from India that endorses hand knitting. The Original Knit has tied up with mothers from Himachal and the foothills of Punjab, India to hand-knit baby clothes by themselves using two knitted needles using the English method.
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