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This reference provides a full history of hand knitting by tracing the development and refinement of the craft. With special attention to the social aspects of knitting, it examines the changes in tools and techniques within different regions. Examined in detail are the history of European knitting before 1500, knitting in Britain from Henry VIII to the Commonwealth, from the Restoration to 1835, during the 19th century, and during World War I and after. Further explorations consider local traditions in the British Isles, knitting as practiced east of the Adriatic, and developments in the Americas. Absorbing reading for knitters and nonknitters alike, this book also defines knitting in relation to other yarn crafts such as crochet and nalbinding and offers a historical glossary and a transcription of the earliest known English knitting pattern.