Introduction to Knitting Technology by Henry Johnson

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Introduction to Knitting Technology
By Henry Johnson
Introduction to Knitting Technology

Preface
Knitting is the art of using yarn or thread to make fabric from interlocking loops. Its origin has been traced as far back as the fourth or fifth century B. C.

In the past, knitting has been the occupation of shepherds who kept on knitting while watching their flocks, sailors also used to pass their time in the same way while whiling away the hours of long voyages during the age of exploration, apprentices who studied it in 13th and 14th Century knitting guilds and royal knitters in the court of England at the time of King Henry VIII. At certain times in history, only members of royalty were allowed to wear knitted items. One of the knitted garments on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is a handsome handknitted silk shirt, which King Charles I wore on the day of his beheading. Handknitting is a popular pastime, producing items that are functional, economical, fashionable and fun to make. In addition, knitting offers an opportunity for creative selection of colour and style and allows you to fashion garments that really fit. For all these reasons and more, this book has been introduced. It deals with all pros and cons of the knitting, starting from the primary level.

Contents
1. Knitting and its Origin ...................................................... 7
2. Five Centuries of Knitting ............................................... 84
3. Knitting for Beginners ..................................................... 99
4. Practice Knitting Patterns .............................................. 153
5. Knitting Hints ............................................................... 197

Knitting and its Origin

Defining knitting
Knitting is a way of interlocking a series of loops that creates hand and machine knitted fabric. The loops (stitches) are interlocked using a needle to hold the existing loop while a new loop is formed in front of the old loop. The old loop is then brought over the new loop to form the fabric. Knitting differs from weaving in that a single piece of yarn can be used to create fabric. The fabric consists of horiwntal rows known as courses and venical columns of loops known as wales.

Knitted fabric has useful propenies that make it suitable for a range of garments including tights, gloves, underwear and other close-fitting garments. The loop structure of knitted fabric stretches and moulds to fit body shapes. The air trapped by the loops keeps the wearer warm.

Fashioning, loops and ladders
When knitting, increasing or decreasing the nwnber of stitches in a row widens or narrows the garment being created. Increasing is achieved by moving outer loops sideways on a franle and creating e:\.1:ra loops. This process leaves a small eyelet hole in the fabric known as a fashioning mark. When decreasing, the process is reversed and the loops move inwards. This time the fashioning mark appears where two loops are compressed into one new loop. Garments shaped in this way are fully-fashioned and regarded as high quality. Occasionally some firms used fake fashioning marks to make garments appear to be fully-fashioned.

If yarn in a traditional knitted fabric breaks, the loops unravel and a run or ladder forms. To overcome the problem and to sell more goods, knitters worked to design new fabric structures that were less dependent on individual loops for their strength and unlikely to run if a thread broke. Hexagonal meshes, micromesh, non-run, run-proof and similar fabrics were introduced and appreciated by consmners.

Origin of knitting
The earliest looped fabrics may have been produced in the Middle East. Socks recovered from fourth century tombs in Egypt were rp.ade using a form oflooping known as nalbinding. N albinding uses a single sewing needle to make the loops instead of two knitting needles. Further examples from Egypt date from the seventh century and show loop patterns that suggest they were knitted in the traditional hand-knitting manner with two needles.

In Spain, knitted cushions have been found in tombs dating from the thirteenth century. Purses for holding religious relics, gloves worn du(ing religioUS-ceremonies and knitted girCij~s are also known from this period. Peasant knitting of similar ~te has. been recovered from a Polish cemetery.

Fdur '-surv~g paintings from the fourteenth century show the Virgin j!~ knitting, suggesting that the craft was a familiar activity for womel1. A rising demand for knitted caps led to the development of the English hand knitting industry. References to Coventry cappers were first recorded in 1424. In 1488, the Cappers' Act was passed by Parliament to fix the prices of caps ,and prevent cappers making excessive profits. By Tudor times, caps were flat with a narrow brim. In the sixteenth century, an almost insatiable demand for knitted stockings further stimulated the young industry.


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