Knitting through the centuries
The traditional craft of knitting is thought to have originated in the Middle East and the handmade garments were made of natural fibres, such as cotton, wool and silk. The art of knitting consists of the use of two needles to pull and interloop wool into a simple pattern of connected loops to create a finished article that can either be worn on the body, used on a bed or sofa or even made into a soft, cuddly toy for a small child to play with.
Knitting was an essential skill and a way of making practical clothing and was used to protect bodies against the extremely cold winter temperatures and the elements. During the World War years, women, men and children joined together to make knitted items for the troops and to aid the War effort. They made hundreds of knitted socks, scarves, hats, balaclavas and warm jumpers to supplement the uniforms of the serving soldiers. These difficult years were an era of “make do and mend” and the British Government even produced a booklet of the same name to encourage people to unpick old woollen clothing in order to re-use the wool.
Moving forward into the Twenty-First Century and there has been a massive revival and resurgence in families knitting on an everyday basis. Animals such as angora rabbits, alpacas and merino sheep are now used to produce natural fibres in the art of knitting. This helps to bring down the price to take part in this practical skill and makes it much easier to source materials. However, more unique and exotic fibres are also now being used on a wider basis and silk, yak, qiviut and bamboo are just a few of the yarns used. The use of a Knitting Kit produced by professional Wool Couture companies has also seen an increase in popularity and even celebrities are turning to these kits to make their own woollen clothing ranges and accessories.
George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe and Ewan McGregor all have an affinity with knitting and enjoy this once old-fashioned craft. It’s not just male actors who enjoy the click-clack of needles as balls of wool turn into beautiful and colourful items of clothing and toys. Chris Martin from the band “Cold Play” and the activist Greta Thunberg have also confessed a love of knitting and sewing.