Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Knit 1 Purl 2
History of knitting
The word is derived from knot, thought to originate from the Dutch verb knutten, which is similar to the Old English cnyttan, to knot.
In the knit stitch on the left, the next (red) loop passes through the previous (white) loop from below, whereas in the purl stitch (right), the next stitch enters from above. Thus, a knit stitch on one side of the fabric appears as a purl stitch on the other, and vice versa.
One of the earliest known examples of knitting was cotton socks with stranded knit color patterns, found in Egypt from the end of the first millennium AD. Originally a male-only occupation, the first knitting trade guild was started in Paris in 1527. With the invention of the knitting machine, however, knitting "by hand" became a useful but non-essential craft. Similar to quilting, spinning, and needlepoint, knitting became a leisure activity.
Hand-knitting has gone into and out of fashion many times in the last two centuries, and at the turn of the 21st century it is enjoying a revival. According to the industry group Craft Yarn Council of America, the number of women knitters in the United States age 25–35 increased 150% in the two years between 2002 and 2004. The latest incarnation is less about the "make-do and mend" attitude of the 1940s and early 50s and more about making a statement about individuality as well as developing an innate sense of community.
Within limits, an arbitrary number of twists may be added to new stitches, whether they be knit or purl. Here, a single twist is illustrated, with left-plaited and right-plaited stitches on the left and right, respectively.
During the 1940s, English knitting rose in popularity while Continental knitting fell. This is due to the fact that continental knitting originated within Germany and was spread by immigrants. During World War II, continental knitting fell out of style due to its relationship with Germany. It wasn't until Elizabeth Zimmermann publicized continental knitting in the 1980s that it again was popularized.
Additionally, many contemporary knitters have an interest in blogging about their knitting, patterns, and techniques, or joining a virtual community focused on knitting, such as Ravelry, affectionately known as Rav to fiber-lovers around the world. There are also a number of popular knitting podcasts, such as the Manic Purl Podcast and the Savvy Girls Podcast. Contemporary knitting groups may be referred to in the U.S. as a "Stitch 'N Bitch" where a group of knitters get together to work on projects, discuss patterns, troubleshoot their work and just socialize. In the UK, the term has been "knitting circle" since the early 20th century. (wiki)
I need to learn how to knit... someday.