Knitting in North America

Jacklien Fernendus

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I have worked in the knitting industry for the past 15 years. When I was a child, my grandma used to knit and enjoy spending time with them on an easy chair in the winter to keep them warm and occupied. Now that I work in the modern knitting & Fashion industry, I see the same fascination in my 4-year-old daughter’s eyes when seeing me working.

knitting in North America


Knitting is a method of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn using needles. It is an ancient craft that dates back to the early civilizations of Egypt, Peru, and China. Knitting has a rich history in North America, where it has been used for practical purposes such as clothing, blankets, and socks. However, over time, knitting has also become a form of artistic expression, with contemporary artists and designers pushing the boundaries of traditional knitting techniques. In this article, we will explore the evolution of knitting in North America, from its practical origins to its emergence as a vibrant art form.

The practicality of knitting in North America

Knitting has been an essential part of North American history since the colonial period. Early settlers relied on knitting to create clothing, blankets, and other items necessary for survival. Women were the primary knitters, and the skill was passed down from generation to generation. Knitting allowed them to create durable, warm clothing for their families, as well as to generate income by selling their knitted goods.

During the Industrial Revolution, knitting became a more efficient process with the invention of knitting machines. The mass production of knitted items, such as socks and underwear, became possible. This made knitting more accessible to people of all classes, and it became an integral part of everyday life.

World War I and II also played a significant role in the practicality of knitting in North America. Knitting was used as a way to support troops by providing them with warm clothing and blankets. Women were encouraged to knit for the war effort, and knitting became a symbol of patriotism and support.

knitting in North America

Knitting as a form of artistic expression

In recent years, knitting has undergone a transformation from a practical craft to an art form. Contemporary artists and designers have used knitting to create intricate and elaborate pieces that challenge traditional notions of what knitting is. The emergence of knitting as an art form has been facilitated by the rise of social media and online communities, which have allowed knitters to connect and share their work.

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Contemporary knitting communities, such as Ravelry, have been instrumental in creating a space for knitters to share their work, patterns, and techniques. These communities have also helped to promote knitting as a form of artistic expression. Knitting is now being used to create sculptures, installations, and even architectural designs.

Knitting has also become an integral part of the fashion industry, with designers using knitting to create unique pieces that reflect their vision and aesthetic. Knitting has become a way to express individuality and creativity, and it has challenged traditional notions of what fashion should be.

Knitting trends in North America

In addition to its practical and artistic uses, knitting has also become a trend in North America in recent years. DIY knitting has become a popular pastime, with people of all ages and skill levels taking up the craft. Knitting has become a way to create handmade gifts and to personalize clothing and accessories.

Sustainable knitting has also become a trend, with many knitters choosing to use eco-friendly and ethically sourced yarns. Knitting has become a way to reduce waste and to create items that are both beautiful and Fancy.

Knitting has also been found to have mental health benefits, and it has become a way to cope with stress and anxiety. Many people have turned to knitting as a way to practice mindfulness and to promote relaxation and calmness. Knitting has also been used in therapeutic settings to help people dealing with depression and other mental health issues.


Knitting has a rich and diverse history in North America, from its practical origins to its emergence as an art form and trend. The craft has evolved over time, reflecting changes in society and culture. Knitting has become a way to express creativity, individuality, and sustainability, as well as a way to promote mental health and well-being. The future of knitting in North America is bright, with new techniques, trends, and communities emerging every day.

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Is knitting only for women?

No, knitting is for everyone. While women historically dominated the craft, men and people of all genders are now taking up knitting.

Is knitting difficult to learn?

Knitting can take some time to master, but it is a skill that can be learned with practice and patience. Many resources, such as books, online tutorials, and knitting classes, are available for beginners.

What materials do I need to start knitting?

To start knitting, you will need knitting needles and yarn. There are different types of needles and yarn available, depending on the project you want to undertake.

Can knitting be therapeutic?

Yes, knitting has been found to have therapeutic benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety and promoting relaxation and mindfulness.

Is knitting sustainable?

Knitting can be sustainable, depending on the materials used. Many knitters choose to use eco-friendly and ethically sourced yarns, and knitting allows for the creation of long-lasting, reusable items.

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