The oldest knitted artifacts are socks from Egypt, dating from the 11th century CE.
A Knitting Shepherd ! see how he is perched,involved concentrating on his weaving task’ what mystery surrounds the high seat,
Another night another time,as time keeps silently motionlessly moving,passing, turning running, never stopping nor will ever stop…this is the mysterious truth of time, we keep watching the numbers and needles on the face of the clock,but we never notice the darkness disappear to let in the light, nor the shadows as they lengthen…we admire and stand in awe of the sunset but we never feel the sinking or vanishing of the golden shining ball, where does it go ? perhaps we know that it will come again…so from the needles on the clock my eyes fall back on the needles in my hands…
I have to complete my knitting projects …I must …its winter again…has it taken me so much time? what have I been doing? I wonder …knitting comes out of knitting’… nothing comes out of no knitting..it stays there…any work untouched will not finish …neglected? well not exactly…just a bit due to Summer and then the Fasts …and now some other duties and now the love of writing…would you be able to gather so many words..thoughts …stitches socks ..er…sentences…and now back into the 1950s I go..remembering Mother her sister and sisters-in-law all would be knitting…by hand, no machines no sir…yes I remember the magazine ‘Woman & Home’ this had beautiful knitting patterns… for me and my elder sister, till we did not start knitting from this magazine, it was Nora and Tilly the wonder paper cut out dolls in the center page…for days the paper dresses would occupy our time after school work…how happy those dolls made us..I do not remember any knitted garments..just skirts blouses jackets socks hats etc..perhaps scarves…my history of knitting began at home with family…yarn or wool or ‘oon’ in our native language would be foreign…Beehive wool’ three ply 4 ply I still hear mother’s voice …the magazine was in English..so proud of my mother and aunties ..they could read knitting instructions…and create such amazing cardigans and pullovers….little by little the love of knitting designs color creation warmth and love was being un felt instilled, like the passing time.
The oldest REAL knitting (formed on two sticks by pulling loops through loops) we’ve got is ‘Coptic socks’ from Egypt, dating to around the year 1000 CE. There are quite a few fragments, all of them done in shades of white and indigo, in stockinette. Many of them have Khufic (a decorative Arabic script) blessings knit into them, or symbols to ward off evil, or both. All look really cool. And may I point out for the fiber-snobs among us, that all of the really ancient knitted fragments we’ve got are knit out of cotton. Yes indeedy, cotton. Wool wasn’t used for knitting until way later.
Life of a Coptic Sock
Hawara, the place where the sock was found, is a good example of Egypt as a Greek occupied land under Roman rule – mixture of Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.
No one knows how old knitting really is, though it is generally thought to be older than crochet and younger than weaving.
Many ancient textile fragments thought to be knitting have turned out to be nålebinding (Danish for literally “binding with a needle), an ancient form of needlecraft that is sometimes referred to as “single-needle knitting.”
The history of knitting is not well known because fabrics used for knitting are made of wool, silk, and other fibers that decay rapidly. Additionally, knitting needles are hard to distinguish beyond a doubt from hair picks, skewers, spindles, or the other many uses of a sharpened stick.
Historians posit that knitting is a relatively recent invention because there are no ancient legends of knitting like there are legends of spinning and weaving, such as Arachne, Ixazaluoh, Nephthys, and Amaterasu. There are no ancient gods or goddesses who knit.
The earliest known types of knitting by nomadic people in the desert places of North Africa actually used circular or narrow, oblong wooden frames. The knitting action was similar to “bobbin work.” Historians are unsure when the frames were dispensed with and knitting began to be directly on hooked knitting needles.
One of the earliest known examples of knitting (formed on two sticks by pulling loops through loops) were a pair of cotton socks found in Egypt from the first millennium A.D. Many of them have knit into them khufic (a decorative Arabic script) blessings, symbols to ward off evil, or both.
And now the strange fact or is it ? Men-Only Knitting Fact
Men ruled knitting guilds for centuries. Knitting was initially a male-only occupation. In fact, when the very first knitting union was established in Paris in 1527, no women were allowed… uh…believable ?
1527 Paris here we take a brief break….more soon…meanwhile I will think about woolly socks …I Never had a pair…I mean woolly ones….