Knit, knit, knit, knit, knitting ……..

It’s more than just socks!

 

In the 1980′s, there was no such thing as central heating. If you wanted to get warm then you had to knit yourself a jumper! Everyone was at it.

 

Knitting montage including man in bad sweater!

 

When I was 14 years old, I won first prize in the village show for my snow flake design Fair Isle cardigan. I was praised for my even stitch and exemplary technique. But then I got a job, and suddenly I could afford to buy electric blue cable knits from Chelsea Girl. My knitting needles duly got filed in the bin.

Knitting has recently undergone a resurgence, with knitting groups popping up all over the place. I currently have a rather natty raspberry v-neck on the go – it’s not as impressive as it sounds – I started it over two years ago! However, in an attempt to get back on track, I’ve drafted in Esra, who goes by the name of ‘Knitella’ – a strange fusion of her two favourite things.

 

Over to you Esra ……

Head shot of Esra

 

I have been knitting since I was little, but I didn’t take it seriously until I went to university, and now I just can’t stop!

It’s such a great hobby. You can take your needles and yarn anywhere (maybe not on the plane though). Knitting really makes me feel productive especially when I just feel like watching TV.

 

 

Yesterday my partner asked me, “Who had this brilliant idea of putting two sticks together to make loops that becomes a scarf?” That got me thinking. Who did come up with it?

 

Knitting montage

 

I started researching, and it turns out that the first ‘two needles and threads’ craft started in Egypt in 1000 BC, but with cotton. Egyptian knitting was very relevant to their art and Arabic calligraphy.

Knitting traveled to Europe, appearing first in Spain, when it was occupied by The Moors – it started in the Middle East with cotton and silk, and then it took over in Europe with wool.

Fast forward a few hundred years – knitting didn’t become fashion for clothing until the French designer Elsa Schiaparelli mass produced her bow jumper to the public, and that point defined knitting.

But knitting didn’t only stop at fashion, it also became a form of graffiti called ‘knitting bombing’, a movement started in the US by a knitter called Magda Sayeg (known as knittaplease). That opened wider doors for knitters and now there is NO LIMIT!

This movement came to the UK, and now knitters are knitting a ‘Tree Cozy’ for the Jubilee Garden organized by ArtYarn.

 

Knitting bombing montage

 

If you want to take up knitting, there are so many sources and support for knitters online and in real life – Manchester is full of them!

The three most popular places I know of, are:

Purl city Yarn, Ministry of Craft and Salford Museum and Art Gallery

They all offer knitting classes and Purl City Yarn also offer FREE knitting groups to provide knitting support. Most community centers and churches offer free knitting groups as well, so make sure you ask around.

I hope that you feel inspired to knit, pick up your needles and give it a go.

 

Esra x

 

Photographs: Alison Staples, Esra Alhamal, Free Digital Photos and Dreamstime.

Esra writes her own blog – Knitella

This is not a sponsored blog post.

 

 

 

 

 

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