There are many different ways to make clothes and other pieces of fashionable items, and one of those is knitting, which is also among the oldest methods. In fact, there are Egyptian knitted artifacts that date back to the 5th century. Hand-knitting can be done just by using needles and yarn and does not require the use of any heavy equipment such as looms. With this, it was and still is an accessible and functional craft. There are also many knitting machines available today which can make knitted fabrics faster and automatically.
Knitting has been around for many years now, but it seems like younger generations today are becoming interested in it. It was once considered the province of grannies and expectant mothers stitching layettes, but now, it is enjoying a 21st-century resurgence, particularly among young people. As it turns out, knitting is trendy and mostly an eco-friendly pastime with a wide range of appeals.
At the present time, there are many different types of yarn for knitting that you can buy, including Mohair yarn, which comes from the long, silky hair of Angora goats, offering a finer and smoother texture. Also, since we now have a more advanced Internet world, knitters can share their knowledge and ideas through virtual knitting circles that are found in different parts of the world.
If you want to explore this trendy activity, we are here to help you. In this post, we are giving you more information about knitting, including its advantages and popularity today.
Brief History of Knitting
Historians believe that knitting originated in the 5th century in the Middle East and was brought to Europe by wool traders. What’s interesting is that the examples of early knitting from Egypt are actually made from cotton fibers and not wool. A lot of them have Arabic blessings knitted into them or symbols that are believed to ward off bad luck. Knitted textile form, in the 14th century, was used by fishermen to create warm, woolen, weatherproof jumpers that were used for trips to the sea. Knitting machines were introduced and used in the 16th century to knot hosiery for elite classes.
Soon, knitting became a local industry in Scotland and the Highlands. The industry employed men in factories to knot stockings, which were exported to the rest of Europe. Later on, shawls, hats, jumpers, bags, and other forms of knitwear were made available in the market. In 1816, the first knitting loom was created, and woolen mills were developed to make expensive garments. In 1853, Eugene Rodier set up the very first woolen textile factory.
When the 20th century came, knitwear was included in mainstream fashion. Since the introduction of jerseys, dresses, jumpers, and cardigans by fashion labels like Chanel, knitwear has become practical, fashionable, and a modern choice for both men and women.
Popularity of Knitting
Since the start of the 21st century, knitting has enjoyed an unprecedented revival, particularly among the younger people. In fact, in 2011, a study done by the Craft Yarn Council of America found that one-third of all American women aged 25 to 35 are into knitting, and after 3 years, their ranks increased by 150%. Also, the number of youngsters and teenagers taking up needles doubled.
With this, knitting began to show up among art and craft classes offered at some schools. The craft industry also began to offer a wide range of specialty yarns and designs for items that are loved by the young, including fashionable bags, crop tops, and mobile phone covers. Also, something that added to the appeal of knitting is its growing popularity among celebrities. In fact, shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds have been shown wielding knitting needles.
One of the advantages of knitting for all ages is that it is a totally portable hobby. It means that you can knit while you’re on the bus going to work, while you hang out in coffee shops while waiting for someone, or when you feel bored at home.
Modern Knitting Trends
Knitting is not just done by people who are looking for something to do when they are bored. It’s because there are some knitters who like to go public in a big way. Across the United States, there are knitting groups that organize Knit-Outs in parks, shopping malls, and recreation centers. They do this to demonstrate their craft and teach it to many onlookers. In addition to that, there are other modern knitting trends that you should know about. Here are some of them:
This is also known as graffiti knitting, wherein the colorful knitted fabric is wrapped around lamp posts, trees, and sometimes even on city buses to brighten the atmosphere of the city. This reportedly began in Texas among young knitters looking for a creative way to use their leftover yarn and unfinished projects.
Americans are encouraged to reuse and recycle at all times. Therefore, it is not surprising to find out that knitters are also going green. Increasingly, hobbyists are looking for more environmentally friendly products such as organic wool yarn that are made without using chemical dyes and cleaning agents. They are also interested in yarns that are fabricated from plants, such as corn fibers, bamboo, banana leaves, and soy protein.
Many young knitters enjoy gathering together in groups where they can chat and discuss their craft. Today, thanks to the Internet, knitting groups have gone global. There are lots of websites today that offer instructional videos, chat forums, and even free patterns for all people interested in knitting. There are also avid knitters who maintain blogs by sharing helpful tips and tricks about knitting.
Advantages of Knitting
Here are some of the advantages of knitting that make it the new big thing in today’s generation:
Knitting has been verified to have therapeutic elements that can reduce stress effectively. If you have a stressful job or life, you need to accustom yourself to one or many stress-relieving activities, and you can include knitting as one of those.
Memory and Concentration Improvement
Knitting can also stimulate the mind in a way that a person is forced to retain memory and exercise the next knit carefully. It involves keeping check of what color comes next and the number of rows the pattern needs during the time of knitting. This pushes the mind to depend on its memory centers for processing.
Knitting involves some rhythmic and repetitive motions which can help people achieve a meditation-like state. It sends a person into a tranquil state where you are simply existing and not thinking about the past or the future. Therefore, knitting is a great activity for those suffering from anxiety and other mental illnesses like depression.
In addition to these advantages, there are many more great things you can get from knitting, such as building relationships and simply having something to do. Plus, knitting is an inexpensive hobby that you can try if you are looking for something new to do.
Learning how to knit may not be something that most people want to do, but learning it is also worth it. Today, knitting is no longer for grandparents as lots of youngsters are making it a hobby, too. Aside from providing you with something to do, it also enables you to create something that is comfortable to wear or an accessory that can be useful for you or your family and friends. We hope this post helped you learn more about knitting.