Knitting is truly a practical craft. Whereas woven cloth has to be cut, shaped and styled, all of this can be done with the yarn when knitting it. Actually, the need to convert yarn into a fabric and shaped garments was responsible for the very invention of knitting.

How long ago was that? A pair of knitted woolen socks found in an Egyptian tomb may date back to the fourth century B.C.E. About 3,000 years ago, in Arabia, different-colored yarns were used to form designs. Men, not women, established the craft as a skilled profession.

Knitting has never been so easy as it is today. Patterns are available with instructions for practically every known garment. Modern styles call for stitch designs that simply beg you to have a try. With only a few lessons, the beginner can learn elementary essentials, and the use of thick, chunky wool makes for quick progress.

Tips for Beginners

But how can you go about learning how to knit? The knitter’s craft itself is very simple, requiring only a set of knitting needles, a ball of wool, cotton, silk or linen. A single loop is made on the end of the fibre that is being used and from this loop the stitches are cast on to the needles, the basic action of the craft consisting of transferring the loops from one needle to another; ‘weaving’ the new set of loops transferred on to the second needle from the first set of loops by passing the point of the second needle through the loop, wrapping the fibre over the point of the needle, and then passing the loop over the fibre wrapped round the needle. By working across the back of the loops a purl stitch is produced, knitting and purling being the foundation stitches out of which the most simple and elaborate patterns are created.

Yes, knitting is a rewarding and practical hobby. The pleasure it gives is no doubt one of the reasons why it has lasted so long and spread so far. Another reason is its providing a variety of clothing. Knitting has a unique past, it is a practical hobby for today and it has a promising future. So why not make it your hobby too?