Those who have never tried to knit or crochet might not realize that the fiber arts have quite an interesting history. Even experienced crafters might not know that there are tons of fun facts about cotton yarn and the practice of knitting. If you’re looking to impress your friends or fellow knitters, here are some facts about knitting yarn that you probably never knew:
- No one knows exactly how long knitting has been around
Because knitting yarns decay with time, it’s nearly impossible for archaeologists to determine how long this art form has been around. Although the sharpened sticks found at numerous digging sites resemble knitting needles, they could also be tools with totally different uses. Experts think the craft may have originated in the Middle East and later brought west during the Crusades. What we do know is that the word “knitting” didn’t appear in the English language until the 1300s. The art of weaving is thought to be older than knitting, but most people think that crochet came after the practice of knitting.
- But we do know how long yarn has existed
Approximately, anyway. The earliest known samples of fabrics and yarns were found in Switzerland and were thought to be nearly 7,000 years old!
- Knitting was thought to be a man’s enterprise
While knitting with cotton yarn is now seen stereotypically (and unfairly) as “women’s work,” it was initially a male-only occupation! In 1527, the first knitting union was established in Paris, France — and no women were allowed to join. After the knitting machine was invented in the late 1500s, knitting by hand became a useful hobby, rather than a necessity. Since it transformed into a leisurely craft, this may explain why it was no longer considered a male task.
- Knitting is a record-breaking pastime
Runner David Babcock broke a Guinness World Record for his time in the Kansas City marathon: five hours, 48 minutes, and 27 seconds. If you’re wondering what’s so special about his time, he managed to run the entire race while knitting a scarf that measured over 12 feet long! And in 2012, knitters gathered in the Royal Albert Hall in London set the record for the most people knitting simultaneously; they had 3,083 people knitting, all told.
- Knitting is a healthy activity
Not only can knitting or crocheting with cotton yarn relieve stress, improve motor function, and prevent arthritic diseases, but it also burns calories! When you knit for a half hour, you can burn up to 55 calories — so if you spend a good couple of hours working on your knitting, you could potentially burn off 200 calories or so.
- Knitting is changing all the time
The popularity of knitted fabrics has waxed and waned throughout the years, but there are always new advancements being made. Traditional choices like wool and cotton yarns are still prevalent, but there are also new fibers being used. Yarns made of soy, hemp, alpaca, bamboo, microfibers, and other exotic blends have emerged into the marketplace, which provide more choices for artisans and hobbyists alike.
If you want to get involved in a hobby that’s both fun and rewarding, why not give knitting or crocheting a try? Our beautiful, high-quality yarns and exciting patterns are a great place to start. To find out more, contact us today!