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The Loch Ness International Knitting Festival

The Loch Ness International Knitting Festival
By Sophie 1 years ago 856 Views No comments

As September draws to an end, the autumn months are well on their way. The air is cooling and it is the perfect time for warm knitted jumpers and cosy cashmere sweaters. It is also the perfect time for Loch Ness to hold it's annual International Knit Festival. A hub of knitters, and wool fans alike, gather on the windy banks of Loch Ness to celebrate the importance of knitting throughout Scottish history. With a striking backdrop, of craggy mountains and dark loch waters, this serene landscape sets minds wandering through the romantic history of the Scottish knitters.


This jam packed four day event is accessible for professionals and tourists alike. With knitting workshops and informative sessions on offer, it is the perfect place to become immersed in the world of Scottish knitting, while admiring the beautiful highland scenery. You might even spot a Scottish knitting icon or two, as they network with other professionals.



The History of Knitting

Throughout history, knitting has been an occupation of importance for many living in the Scottish Highlands. During the 17th and 18th centuries, entire families would be involved in making jumpers and other accessories. A large influence on the knitting world was the fishing industry. Fishermen would benefit from the thick woollen jumpers, as the pattern allowed for the garment to be breathable. The jumper would normally be of a larger fit to trap air between the garment and the body. This would keep the heat in on cold days, when fishermen were out on the waters. The natural oils, coating the wool, worked as a perfect waterproofing agent. Some jumpers could become soaked in water, to a great weight, before the wearer would start to feel wet. Each community would have a unique knitting pattern, which would work in a similar fashion to tartan. If there was a disaster on the ship, the dead would be easily identifiable by the knitting pattern of their jumper.

In 1589 the first mechanical knitting machine was invented. This would alter the knitting world for ever. Knitted garments could be created in a fraction of the time, which ignited the boom of the knitting industry UK-wide. As the mid-nineteenth century approached, hand-knitting started to wane, replaced by mechanical knitting. Hand-knitting became more of a home hobby and printed patterns and yarn were produced as items of leisure.



In the 1920s, the fashion world pounced on knitted garments, propelling the knitting world into its permanence. As fashions changed throughout the decades, so too did knitting styles and patterns. As the 80s approached, computerised knitting machines allowed for a new perspective and more elaborate patterns. The 21st century saw the resurgence of knitting. The growth of the internet made natural fibers, from animals, more easily available and less costly for people to source. Fibers such as alpaca, angora and merino were used more frequently and grew in popularity along with exotic fibers such as silk.

The modern knitting industry is ever adapting to changing fashions and technological advances. It is difficult to imagine which avenue the knitting world will take next. So much has changed in the past few decades that the future possibilities are endless and unimaginable. The knitting world has come a long way and it is exciting to imagine how it may progress in the future.



Celebrating Knitting, here at Scotweb

Although knitting has changed over the decades, the romance of the old tradition is something of a luxury. There is nothing quite like a new knitted jumper, where the smell of the highlands still clings to the fabric. Here at Scotweb, we celebrate the many methods of knitting, by offering a number of hand-knitted and machine knitted products. From thick woollen jumpers, to soft, cosy cashmere, there truly is nothing quite like a knitted garment. Take a look at our selection of knitted products here: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/multisearch?multi_search...

Far left: Luxury Scottish Cashmere Sweater, Cable Knit: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/products/chirnside-cable...

Left: Luxury Hand-Knitted Icelandic Jersey 'Thor': https://www.scotweb.co.uk/products/luxury-hand-kni...

Right: Gent's Lambswool Crew Neck Sweater: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/products/gents-lambswool...

Far Right: Cashmere 'Golfer' Cardigan: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/products/sworg-ladies-ca...