Knitting is a popular craft that involves using two or more needles to create fabric from yarn. By looping the yarn over the needles and working the stitches in a specific pattern, knitters can create a wide range of items, from scarves and blankets to sweaters and hats. Knitting is a versatile and accessible craft that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. With a few basic tools and some practice, anyone can learn the basics of knitting and start creating their own unique items. Whether youre an experienced knitter or a beginner, knitting is a relaxing and rewarding hobby that can provide hours of enjoyment.

A woman knitting a jumper

The Origins of Knitting
The exact origin of knitting is unknown, but it is believed to have originated in the Middle East or Egypt and spread throughout the world over many centuries. Knitting was used to create functional items such as clothing, blankets, and towels, as well as decorative items such as lace and tapestries.

Knitting in Europe
Knitting became popular in Europe during the Middle Ages, where it was primarily used for practical purposes such as creating warm clothing for the cold climate. By the 16th century, knitting had spread throughout Europe and was a common household craft. Women would often knit items for their families, as well as for sale at local markets.

The Industrial Revolution and Knitting
During the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, knitting became increasingly industrialised. With the invention of new machinery and techniques, knitwear could be produced more efficiently and at a lower cost. This led to the mass production of knitwear, which was sold in shops and exported around the world.

Knitting Today
Today, knitting remains a popular craft, with many people enjoying the process of creating their own unique items. It has become a popular hobby, with knitting groups and workshops offering an opportunity for people to come together and share their love of knitting. Whether knitters prefer traditional techniques or modern approaches, knitting remains a versatile and rewarding craft that offers endless possibilities for creativity and expression.

In conclusion, the history of knitting is long and varied, reflecting its versatility and versatility as a craft. From its humble origins in the Middle East, to its rise as a popular household craft in Europe, and its industrialization during the Industrial Revolution, knitting has remained a beloved and enduring tradition that continues to captivate and inspire generations of knitters around the world.

To get started you will need, knitting needles, a pair of scissors, a sewing needle and a useful crochet hook. You will also need a pattern to work towards.

Depending on what are trying to make you will need balls of wool in the required colours. Wool is a natural material usually made from the fleece of a sheep but you can also get more exotic fibres.

Casting On
The first stitch consists of a slip knot on the shaft of one of the needles. Hold this needle in your left hand and the other in your right. Insert the right needle point into the slip knot and under the left. Holding the left needle move your left fingers to steady the right needle and pick up wool from the ball with your right index finger. Releasing your right hand use your index finger to bring wool under and over the right needle point. Replace your right hand fingers to the right needle and draw wool through the stitch with the right needle point. Slide into the back of the new stitch the left needle point and then remove the right. Pull the ball of wool to ensure a good fit for this first stitch. From back to front, insert the right needle point into this first stitch. Repeat stages 4 to 8 until there are thirty stitches on the left needle, to complete a cast on row.

First Knit Row
Holding the needle with stitches in your left hand, insert right needle point into the first stitch moving from front to back, as in the previous section. Using your right index finger, bring wool under and over the right needle pint and draw it through the stitch. Slip the stitch from the left needle to the right, to complete one knit stitch. Repeat the above for each stitch on the left needle, until the last stitch has been done and a row of knitting is completed.

To start the next row, hold the right needle in your left hand and the free needle in your right. Repeat 1 to 3 for each stitch and work through the rows of knit stitches until the required length is reached. Then all of the stitches should be cast off.

Casting Off
Knit your first two stitches. Insert the left needle into your first stitch, then pull it over the second and off the needle. This completes the casting off of one stitch. Knit another stitch. Insert the left needle into your first stitch on the right needle. Pull it over the new one and off the needle. This completes the casting off of another stitch.

Repeat the second stage until there is one stitch left and then cut the wool leaving a few spare centimetres at the end, which can be put through the final stitch and woven through several stitches to ensure that it is held securely in place.

Most knitting patterns for jumpers advise knitting the neckline then sewing it up down one side. A neater neckline is achieved by knitting on 5 needles like a sock - Sandra Bean.