When Did Knitting Begin?
Although pre-dated by weaving, knitting was believed to have originated in the Middle East. Because of trade routes through the Mediterranean to Europe. It was, however, Spanish royalty in the 13th century who seemed to really start the fashion for knitted items, employing Muslim craftspeople.
Not For Commoners!
During the Middle Ages, knitted clothing was definitely a provision for royalty and the upper classes. The poor would’ve worn rough hewn, woven garments.
A Growth In Popularity
Knitting really took off in the Elizabethan era, with knitted stockings providing warmth and comfort for for a wider audience than just nobles. The popularity of knitting was such that many knitting schools were set up during the era.
It’s A Man’s World
While knitting has a reputation of being a more female-centric hobby, this wasn’t originally the case. In the first 400 years or so of the UK knitting industry, knitting was performed almost exclusively by men.
The longest scarf in the world is a the result of a charity attempt by the volunteers and supporters of a Welsh children’s hospice called Ty Hafan. It began in May 2002 and was completed in June 2005. The scarf was stretched out in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and reached an amazing 33.74 miles (54.29 kms).
Most Famous Knitters
Knitting has attracted people from all walks of life, including major celebrities. Famous knitters include Elizabeth Taylor, Courtney Cox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Scarlett Johansson and Julia Roberts.
There is a regular contest in Minneapolis, USA, to find the fastest knitter in the world. The current winner is Hazel Tindell from Shetland in Scotland, who pipped several other skilled knitters to the winning spot. It was her personal best of 255 stitches in three minutes that won the contest.
The Longest Knitting Needles
Another record breaker, Penzance’s Julia Hopson has the notable distinction of actually knitting with the longest needles in the world. Using knitting needles of 3.5 metres in length and 6.5 cms in diameter, Julia was able to knit a stocking stitch tension square ten rows of ten stitches.
Largest Number Of Simultaneous Knitters
The record for the biggest group of knitters at one time took place in March 2011. The Coventry Knitathon was a huge world record attempt bringing together 699 knitters from all around Great Britain. This incredible feat was undertaken in Coventry Cathedral, and raised over £6,000 for Comic Relief.
- Photograph by starshaped [Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)]
For a great selection of Artesano Yarn head over to Yarnfest’s wonderful online store. Home to all your knitting needs.