Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them. This process eventually results in a final product, often a garment.
Knitting may be done by hand or by machine. There exist numerous styles and methods of hand knitting.
Different yarns and knitting needles may be used to achieve different end products by giving the final piece a different colour, texture, weight, and/or integrity. Using needles of varying sharpness and thickness as well as different varieties of yarn can also change the effect.
The word is derived from knot, thought to originate from the Dutch verb knutten, which is similar to the Old English cnyttan, to knot.
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.
Blogs and more information
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 socialise. In the UK, the term has been "knitting circle" since the early 20th century.