The art of knitting has existed in the world for a very long time. However, to date exactly when the first knitted item was made is hard because of the fact that organic fibers used to knit decay quite quickly. However, researchers have managed to find out that some of the earliest signs of knitting were found in the Middle East, from where the art found its way to Europe.
European Origin of Knitting
The earliest knitted items that are known to us were first created by Muslim knitter who used to work under various Spanish royal families. Spain became the origin for knitting in Europe. Knitted gloves and cushion covers created by the hands of these Spanish Muslims can still be seen in the tombs of the Abbey of Santa Maria la Real de Las Huelgas in Spain.
After Spain, knitting found its way to many other parts of Europe, including Estonia, France, and London. The first knitting guild was created in Paris during the 13th century, and knitting had become an advanced craft by this time.
The Knitting Machine
William Lee was an English man who, in 1589, invented the first knitting machine. The country saw an increase in these kind of machines over the next few years, and the hand knitting industry took at major hit. This was when commercial hand knitting saw its demise, and the machines took over. Even to this day, knitting by hand is thought of as a domestic hobby that anything else, but the art is revered in many parts of Spain to this day.