The Art of Knitting
Knitting can quite often be associated with the arrival of a newborn baby. The sight of a pregnant mother rocking and creating a small sweater or blanket for her child is a well known scene for many of us. It is said that when you knit a sweater, scarf, blanket or booties with your own hands and gift it to your loved ones, it signifies the concern and love that you feel towards them. How true is that?
During ancient times it was compulsory for all young women to be acquainted with this beautiful art. But due to the invention of knitting machines, it became more and more of a recreational activity. Knitting literally means the method by which a thread or a yarn is weaved to prepare a cloth.
Threaded loops which hold together all the threads is known as stitches. These loops or stitches are pulled through each other. The two stitching needles hold the active loops until a new loop is put through them.
Although knitting by using machines belongs to the contemporary times, the art has its roots, in the ancient Egypt civilization. During an excavation in Egypt a beautifully knitted cotton sock was found, which dates to the later half of the first millennium A.D. The first commercial application was done in Paris in the year 1527, when the first knitting trade guild was started.
Immediately after the invention of the knitting machine, creating pieces of this artwork hand lost its importance. However, a recent study does show that at the turn of the 21st century this art has regained its position and is the rage with the people in the metros. To knit the woolen threads into cloth, two needles are used.
These needles are available in a wide variety, ranging from bamboo needles, glass needles, circular needles and so on. The type of the needles decides the distance between two stitches. Hence, by using different types of needles, one can create variations in their product.
As the needles vary in their size and types so does the type of yarn. The two basic types of yarn are the S-twisted yarn and the Z-twisted yarn. Though many of us use yarns in not more than a single color, variations can be created by using different colored yarns. To increase the durability of the final product, a single thread of synthetic yarn combined with pure wool is used. This not only increases the durability, but produces a product that requires lower maintenance than a pure woolen product.
Once the beginner has become well acquainted with the different types of stitches like stockinet, purl, garter, and so on, she can add some decorations to the finished product to improve the wear and look of the fabric. Bobbles, sequins, beads, etc., compliment the beauty of the object. Embroidery and appliqué work can also be done to give the object a professional touch.
If the embroidery on an object resembles knitting, then it is known as Swiss darning. Colored beans, leaves, flowers, etc., can be added to the final product to increase its beauty. These objects can be knitted into the garment using appliqué work.
Art enthusiasts can work magic using different types of stitches, textures, yarns and decorations once they are well rehearsed with the basics.
This is truly an art that requires imagination and creativity. After learning the basics of knitting, it is your enthusiasm and creativity that guides your way in the beautiful world of this art. Hence, the beginner who is learning this art should keep her scope for imagination wide, to absorb the beautiful world outside.
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