A Brief History Of Knitting

A Brief History Of Knitting

A couple of months ago we wrote about the History of Crochet.

Click image to go to this post. 


This week we thought we would do some research to present you
with a brief History of Knitting!

Lyn, Lydia and Kiki Knitting some Mug Cosies.
  • Evidence of early knitting using two needles, is believed to come from Egypt in the eleventh century. One of the earliest archaeological knitted finds was this pair of socks, excavated from Egypt in the 19th Century. It appears they have been knitted in Stocking Stitch.

    Copyright: V&A Museum, Circa 300-499


  • The painting “Visit of the Angels,” by the German painter, Master Bertram, depicts the Madonna knitting in the round.
Visit of The Angels. Circa 1390
  • During the 15th century Knitting Guilds began to appear in France. These guilds, prominently worked in by men attracted wealthy clients whom bought various high quality knitted textile wears.


  • It wasn’t until Elizabethan England  that the development of knitting was driven by the fashion of the time, in particular fitted stockings worn by the men under shorts. These knitted stockings continued to be very popular for hundreds of years. During the 17th century elaborate embroidery was added to the knitted stockings as apart of the fashion at the time.

    Copyright: V&A Museum
  • From the 17th Century onwards the process of knitting is the same as we know today.


  • There isn’t an ancient Greek or Latin word for knitting. The word “to knit” didn’t make an appearance in the Oxford Unabridged English Dictionary until the fifteenth century!


  • Historians have argued that Knitting could have evolved from “nålbinding.” Examples of Nålbinding have come from Syria with this being one of the earliest finds.
    Copyright: Yale University Art Gallery. Circa 200-256 AD

    Nålbinding differs to traditional two needle knitting by the fact that only one short needle is used to splice and knot string together – a process more akin to sewing.

There it is, our brief history of knitting.
We thought these cotton socks excavated in Egypt were
absolutely fabulous.

Historic-Knitted-Egyptian-Socks (1)
Copyright V&A Museum. From L to R. ca 1000-1200 AD.  ca. 1100-1300 AD. ca. 1300AD

Happy Friday Everyone!

Chi Chi Moi



3 thoughts on “A Brief History Of Knitting

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