Historic Folk Toys: Craft, 'My First Knitting Set'
The My First Knitting Set includes two of our exclusive 8-inch long by 1/4-inch diameter wooden knitting needles, acrylic yarn, and illustrated instructions. For all those people who say, "I wish I knew how to knit." Well, here is your chance! This is the perfect beginner's set! Our knitting set is also great for group instruction and beginners' workshops.
Historical Background: Knitting needles are available in various sizes (from 2mm to 9mm) and in many lengths -- from about 7 inches for small needles up to about 15 inches for jumbo needles. Not all knitting needles are straight! Some are circular and are joined together by a flexible piece of wire or plastic. These are used for knitting large tubular items without seams, such as sweaters. Circular knitting needles made of nylon come in lengths up to 36 inches, depending on the "size of the needle." They are normally used in pairs. Knitting needles either have a bob at one end or they are double pointed.
Pieces of knitted works that date back to the 7th century have been located in Arabia. It is believed that sailors, soldiers, and tradesmen spread this craft from the Middle East to Europe. The first knitting guilds were set up in 1527 in Paris, France, and were dominated by men. Women did the spinning and men did the weaving and knitting. The art of knitting spread throughout many European countries, and each country seemed to adopt its own special emphasis. Southern Europe concentrated on church work. France, Spain, and Italy specialized in fine, lacy stockings, gloves, and knitted jackets, while German and Austrian knitters utilized the wool available and became known for the their wall hangings.
Knitting popularity continued to grow, and William Lee invented the first knitting machine in 1589 when he realized that the process of knitting could be done much faster. Knitting guilds began to decline by the mid-1700s, but domestic hand knitting, which had now been adopted by women, continued.
Alice Mores Earle states in her book, "Child Life in Colonial Times": "Knitting was taught to little girls as soon as they could hold needles. Girls four years of age could knit stockings and mittens."
During the 19th-century wars, soldiers needed knitted items to protect them from the cold so this need provided work for knitters. Circulating libraries and women's magazines promoted knitting. Knitters living in remote areas still practiced the traditional patterns that were handed down by generations before them. The Fair Isle sweater was one of these. The popularity of the authentic Fair Isle hand knitted sweater began in 1920 and continues today.
PACKAGE DIMENSIONS - 4.75 x 7.5 x 0.5