Knitting dates to the 5th century; it is believed to have originated in the Middle East and quickly spread to Europe. Early examples of knitted garments often contained intricate artwork and symbols thought to ward off bad luck.
The first knitting loom was built in 1816 allowing for mass production of knitwear. By the 1830s knitting had become a popular hobby amongst ladies in Scotland who would knit shawls, getting together to share knitting books and tips. The hobby continued to grow in popularity and whilst it may have been considered a little old fashioned over the last couple of decades, over the past year, thanks to the pandemic there has been a resurgence in knitting; film stars and music legends have taken up the hobby making it cool once again.
Surveys suggest that there are around 7.3 million knitters in the UK, and I am delighted that some of those creative crafters live here at Canterbury House. It’s nice to enthuse about the craft to a group of like-minded individuals who feel just as passionate as I about the pleasures of knitting.
I learned to knit in my teens and have been clicking those needles back and forth ever since. I associate the pastime with many happy memories, Christmas jumpers, baby blankets and warm scarves.
There are so many benefits to knitting, firstly it unites us as a group. We look forward to sharing patterns and admiring each other’s handywork. We enjoy being in each other’s company and working together on projects. The skill involved keeps your mind sharp and the knitting action itself aids dexterity. The pride we feel when we complete a project is the perfect tonic for our mental health and the joy of gifting our creations gives us such a boost.
Knitting group is held weekly in the lounge, the room is light and airy, the tea is hot and sweet, the cakes are scrumptious, and the company is both stimulating and comforting. I feel contented listening to the chatter and the sound of the needles.
We come together as a group to knit for family, we knit for friends, and we knit for local good causes but more importantly, we knit for ourselves, and it is such a joy.