Categorized | Knitting

How Knitting Became the Hobby of Choice

Knitting HobbyKnitting is the craft process of forming a type of fabric by using yarn. It started out as a craft that many women learned in order to make clothing for the brutal winter months, but over the generations has become the hobby of choice instead.

The Lowly Beginning of Knitting

Knitting originated around the 3rd century AD. The oldest recorded knitting artifact is a sock. Many believe that socks or stockings were the first and most essential items created with knitting. Knit stockings is also where the idea of Christmas stockings was derived from. Europeans are known to have the first knit items that were created by Muslim knitters. Knit items were originally reserved for those families of wealth before it became a product of basic necessity. There are even a variety of European paintings that show wealthy families receiving knitted gloves. Archaeologists have found knit items all over Europe that date back to the 14th century.

Knitting – a Necessity for Warmth

During the 17th century, knitting was a primary task completed by those who lived in the Scottish Isles. These families made sweaters, stockings, socks and other accessories in order to earn money to survive on. Many of today’s different knitting techniques were developed by this culture. This pattern continued until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. During this time period most of the knit cloth production was completed in factories. This increased overall product output but also eliminated the need for at home artisans to make items. Many of them were forced to join the factory working world.

When Sweaters Became Socks

During World War II knitting was promoted by the American Red Cross as a craft to help supply socks to the troops at war. Due to the fact that wool was in short supply during these harsh times, women were encouraged to unwravel those knit items they owned that were no longer wearable and use them to make socks.

In the 1980s knitting took a nose dive in production. The craft was seen as old fashioned and with the boom of factory produced clothing that used machines instead of people, there were few to carry on the tradition of this talent. This dawn of the technological age also meant that consumers could purchase a factory made knit item for a fraction of the cost of making it themselves.

The Ancient Craft Revived as the Hobby of Choice

By the early 21st century knitting began to make a comeback as the hobby of choice. With more people choose natural fibers such as alpaca and angora. Now knitting classes are regularly taught at the local craft store and public library in many areas. People choose knitting as a craft that is relaxing and yields outstanding products. Knit sweaters, scarves, gloves, stockings, socks and other items can be sold for a small profit or given to friends and family as gifts for any occasion. If you are new to knitting, there are kits that come organized with all the tools and instructions you will need to get started on your first knitting project.

112 Responses to “How Knitting Became the Hobby of Choice”

  1. Urban Art says:

    Thanks for the great info on how knitting became a hobby of choice. Most interesting.

  2. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but I’ve realised after reading through some of the posts that it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it.Thanks for the useful info!

  3. Thanks i love your article about How Knitting Became the Hobby of Choice. My gran taught me to knit a long time ago, now I love to knit for my kids and they too are learning now. I need to have the patience of a saint though as I’m sure you can imagine the many dropped stitches LOL.

  4. As you can probably gather I love to knit…been knitting for more years than I care to remember.Amazing how one can knit for so many years and not really know about the history of knitting. Thanks for the great info…

  5. Great knitting article. Keep it up πŸ˜‰ Btw can you post about different stitches and when they are suited please?

  6. How Knitting became a hobby of choice was a very informative article, captured me from the beginning and I wanted to read to the end
    Well done

  7. Thanks i love your article about How Knitting Became the Hobby of Choice – My mother used to knit socks anytime she could get her hands on some yarn during the war years.

  8. cover letter says:

    Your Article about How Knitting Became the Hobby of Choice was very interesting especially the history aspect. I never knew that about Christmas stockings!

  9. Thanks i love your article about How Knitting Became the Hobby of Choice. Awesome tips. Nothing i enjoy more than relaxing with my knitting in front of a warm fire on a cool autumn evening.

  10. Thanks i love your article about How Knitting Became the Hobby of Choice. Most people grew up with a Mom who could sew. Mine didn’t so I’m not sure I’d be any good at it. Good info all the same.

  11. Phil Swanson says:

    Would like to take up knitting as a hobby again. Thanks for informative post.

  12. Been looking for a site that has a pattern for leg warmers. I’d like to knit some for myself. Enjoyed reading your post thanks.

  13. Ive enjoyed what you wrote here. Knitting was a necessity for keeping warm and at least today we have a choice. Personally knitting for a loved one and presenting them with a hand finished garment gives me much joy.

  14. Merle Big says:

    Can’t fault your good info, not only on this post but on this site on all the things I love to do.

  15. Hi, Really like reading your site. You’re right into your crafting. I’d like to make some colorful snazzy legwarmers for the winter time. They can’t be too difficult but I don’t seem to be able to find a decent pattern.

  16. Howdy, I need to ask you one thing. Where have you been hiding? I’ll have to pass this site on to those I know that love anything craft like.Second thoughts will that be a good idea. They’ll never stop talking bout it.

  17. It’s a pity you actually don’t provide knitting patterns as I’m always on the lookout for new designs for sweaters, hats, and gloves.

  18. Wonderful page…had no idea that knitting had been around anywhere near that amount of time.

  19. Carol Lewis says:

    Hello there, Thanks for this interesting post about knitting.Good luck with your site!

  20. Knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one…don’t you just love beginning a new knitting project cus I know I do.

  21. I like Your Article about How Knitting Became the Hobby of Choice – Needlecraft YarnsNeedlecraft Yarns Perfect just what I was looking for! .

  22. Great post…love knitting!

  23. Thank you. Awesome site you have here. Great fan of knitting and think it’s a good idea perhaps to be as self sufficient as possible making own things.

  24. Maggie says:

    I really enjoyed reading your article about how knitting became the hobby of choice. With thanks πŸ™‚

  25. AnnaSimpson says:

    Kits are a good idea for the beginner because you know you have everything you need. Great article too!

  26. Angela B says:

    Knitting makes you feel less guilty for watching TV lol, you can keep yourself busy knitting. There are many charity places that accept knitting too which adds another dimension to it too.

  27. Nice article! For those of us passionate about knitting we ought to be eternally grateful to those who discovered it. πŸ™‚

  28. Beth Jacobs says:

    Such a fun hobby to have! I can think of worse things.

  29. Kathy McBride says:

    Most interesting article you’ve written here about knitting. So many choices are available today in terms of patterns, colors, yarn type. It can make choosing difficult!

  30. Lynette A says:

    It’s not a bad thing if you can knit and sew you can be truly self sufficient in clothing…not bad when in a recession.

  31. Janice Harris says:

    Alpaca is a delightful yarn to knit with and it washes really well to.

  32. Shona McClay says:

    Women were forced to join the factory working world as you say but the upside was that this showed men they were more than capable of working outside the home!

  33. Tracey says:

    Mass produced clothing did become very popular during 1980s but after a while people “cottoned on” (excuse the pun:)) to the fact that mass produced clothing was generally of an inferior quality.

  34. Nice post! So pleased I learnt to knit in my childhood years.

  35. Susan Harris says:

    I fondly remember the first item I made knitting a wonderful scarf that I was very proud to wear to school.

  36. Virginia Thomson says:

    That’s a long time that knitting has been around. I wonder how many new stitches are created today or were they all created way back then?

  37. Josephine says:

    I can see why socks were considered essential when in cold climes

  38. Outstanding post, thanks for filling me in with info I hadn’t yet learned about knitting and its beginnings.

  39. Dawn Brockie says:

    I’m surprised knitting took a nosedive during the 1980s that when my friends and I really got into knitting.

  40. Makes sense that socks were considered the most important item from knitting probably followed by hats I’d say. Thanks for the awesome post…

  41. Good write up! I cam home the other day from work only to find my kitten had dragged a ball of wool out of my bag and taken off around the room with it. But how could I possibly be cross with a very cute kitten!

  42. Janice Smith says:

    Always follow your heart…I’m so over the moon my Nan sat down and taught me to knit…I just love it! πŸ™‚

  43. Janne says:

    Lol in my opinion knitting is the perfect hobby of choice!

  44. Freda says:

    I wonder when and how knitting spread around the world. I presume most cultures around the world do one form of knitting or other.

  45. I enjoy seeing you educating people on where the hobby they like evolved from rather than just current information.

  46. Daisy says:

    The Scots were known for their knitting with the hard winters they experience then and now. Enjoyable reading.

  47. Elaine says:

    Knitted gloves must have been a godsend back in those days when you worked rain, hail, or shine. Captivating article. Thanking you.

  48. Tabitha says:

    I liked your post. Synthetic yarns are seemingly the most popular. It probably is affected by the climate you live in. Do keep writing…

  49. Great web site. Lots of helpful information here about how knitting became the hobby of choice. I am sending it to several pals and additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your effort!

  50. Mariana says:

    Fascinating that you write about the history of knitting – intrigued!

  51. Darleen Buchanan says:


    Good choice of facts in your post.The Red Cross have been around a long time.


  52. Sad for the people who had to join the factory working world. Interesting article. Cheers

  53. Heather says:

    Having Scottish heritage is what lovely to read about the Scots and knitting in times gone by. With gracious thanks!

  54. Saskia says:

    A lot of value here. You have shown that knitting has a long history and I don’t think it will be disappearing anywhere fast even with cheap imported clothes.

  55. Hazel R says:

    Gosh, I s’pose they did really need all the thread they could get their hands on to make the soldiers uniforms during the second world war…good point! πŸ™‚

  56. That was so fascinating to read! You know you take these things up without giving a single thought as to where its origins where, in this case, knitting.

  57. Tina says:

    Hi there, that’s really interesting the background about where knitting has evolved from. Keep it up!!!

  58. Hello. Most impressed with your article. Your research proves knitting has been around an awful long time.

  59. Thanks for this article about knitting ~well done

  60. Thanks for this interesting post on knitting. πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!

  61. Maddie says:

    Wool was indeed in very short supply, so was fabric too for quite a number of years.

  62. Anything knitted for a baby is always appreciated as a gift. There’s an idea for a blog post perhaps. Love your blog.

  63. Knitting is such creative fun isn’t it? Thanks for the post πŸ™‚

  64. celulite says:

    You know when you take up something such as knitting as a hobby it’s always thought provoking to know the history or it. Thanks for your endearing site.

  65. Fabiana says:

    Thank you for sharing about the bobby of knitting. Most interesting to read.

  66. Anonymous says:

    You’d be right on the money there with the Scots. They would have been thrilled to have learnt knitting and produce warm garments with the harsh winters they had and still do.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Admiring your blog content on knitting. Am I mad? Daughter going overseas in three weeks and I’ve decided to knit her a sweater. Hoping I can complete it satisfactorily in that time! πŸ™‚

  68. Sky says:

    Thank you your post about knitting in the past. Enlightening to say the least.

  69. Faith says:

    Your writing about background of knitting was fascinating.


  70. Chloe says:

    You know when I got rid of my children’s old sweaters because they’d grown so much it never occured to me to unravel them and re-knit with other wool. What a fabulous idea!

  71. Hayley says:

    I wondered where the Christmas stocking orginated – thanking you

  72. Ngaire Hislop says:

    Knitting has always been my hobby of choice. Glad it’s yours too!

  73. Kim says:

    I am very grateful for your post about knitting! I just made my very first scarf with tassles. I’m so excited!

  74. Steph says:

    Your post was fascinating to read. Big smiles on this face after knitting my first cotton top! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  75. Veronica T says:

    Hello, found your blogpost interesting. Have you by any chance considered adding some video demonstrations for newbies like me? I’d really appreciate some. Thanks!

  76. Ginnie Plunkett says:

    Re-knitting, if there is such a word is becoming more of a necessity in today’s financial climate – swings and roundabouts I guess.

  77. Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say about knitting, and more than that, how you presented it. Keep it up!

  78. Courtney G says:

    I’m so thrilled. I was looking for my next knitting project and you’ve said it in your post – Christmas stockings – so I’m going to get to it right now. Thanks!!!

  79. Trevina says:

    I think that you are mistaken. I thought men learnt to knit first before women. Interesting article all the same.

  80. Rachel says:

    Lovely article you posted here πŸ™‚ By learning from mistakes made from simple things such as scarves you can improve your knitting as you go as well as experiement with different stitches too.

  81. Susan says:

    Nice article! With the northern winter we’ve just experienced knitting has become a necessity to keep warm! good job!

  82. Thanks for the enlightening post. Are you aware that in Waldorf schools they traditionally teach the children to knit before they lean to write? It is said to help improve their writing ability;)

  83. Raphael says:

    In addition to your suggestions videos of crafting are great to follow along with. Thanks for the post.

  84. Dee says:

    Fantastic useful stuff on your website here. My mom remembers undoing old sweaters to knit up for the ARC!

  85. Wilma Mills says:

    I feel that alpaca and angora are beautful specialty yarns that can be best used blended with traditional wool othewrwise angora in particular is not that hard wearing. Loved reading yr post.

  86. Well reasearched post. I bet ancient cave dwellers wished they’d discovered knitting to keep their feet warm LOL!!!

  87. Bella G says:

    Sadly knitting did take an incredible nose dive in the 1980s. Bought alternatives fall apart sometimes after the first wash. Don’t think we’re any better off because of it.

  88. Anonymous says:

    I had no idea about some of the history of knitters.You learn something every day! With gratitude to you.

  89. That is incredible – 14th century! They wouldn’t have had al the pretty colors we have today but served a very useful purpose

  90. Kristie S says:

    Fascinating that oldest knitted artifact is a sock! πŸ˜‰

  91. Alison D says:

    I’m a great fan of knitting kits for the beginner.

  92. Mary Bishop says:

    Great stuff ! If you’re like me, feel a tad guilty for sitting down watching TV then I tend to not feel guilty if I’m watching TV at the same time as I’m creating something of value, like a new sweater for someone in my family. Anyone else like this lol!

  93. Geraldine says:

    An interesting piece of writing about knitting. If sweaters and socks came first then when did knitted blankets first become popular?

  94. Natasha B says:

    Hello, knitted garments still are highly prized in some countries I believe. Great site πŸ™‚

  95. Deb Lewis says:

    Don’t ya just love it when your pooch runs off with your yarn in his mouth πŸ™

    Liked your knitting article!

  96. Chenelle says:

    Agreed – knitting is a wonderful hobby to have. Not sure what I’d do without my knitting on the long winter nights. Great piece of writing.

  97. Carole Becks says:

    Have you considered how the first human came to wind some sheep fleece to make it into wool and some bright person thought about taking two sticks and putting that twisted sheep fleece onto it to make a beautiful warm garment. Just magic!

  98. Daphne A says:

    Try helping your child to knit their own Christmas stocking…it makes it all the more special or ask Gran to knit one for each child as a keepsake.

  99. Remarkable! I wholeheartedly agree that the knitting kits are the best place to begin.

  100. Agreeing with you there that knitting is a GREAT hobby of choice, it’s creative, relaxing, and fun too. Thanks for your enlightening post. I enjoy your website immensely.

  101. Aaah Christmas stockings that have been hand knitted bring back fond memories….such fun times from yesteryear! I know what I’m doing for this next Christmas!

  102. Mary L says:

    Beautifully expressed :), it was a necessity to get through tough winters.

  103. Carroll says:

    You mentioned many women learned knitting to survive the brutal winters which is really true. Many men also learned how to knit as well.

  104. Don’t forget knitted slippers were also really popular usually in a heavy durable wool πŸ™‚

  105. Anonymous says:

    I think you did an excellent job describing how knitting became the hobby of choice! It brings a lot of satisfaction to complete a knitting project.

  106. Annie S says:

    I would not have thought a sock would have been the first item knitted. It is too advanced. A blanket perhaps?

  107. Anonymous says:

    It must have been a strange site all those women unravelling old sweaters probably drinking cups of tea! Interesting history you shared about knitting.

  108. A well researched article on the history of knitting. Well done doll!

  109. I loved reading such a great post. When times are tough ancient crafts often are revived out of necessity as we’re seeing today.

  110. Excellent blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find high quality
    writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like
    you! Take care!!

  111. Donald says:

    I always spent my half an hour to read this website’s
    articles all the time along with a cup of coffee.

  112. Leilani Pilz says:

    Wow, marvelous blog format! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The whole glance of your site is great, let alone the content!


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