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Several paintings from Europe portray the Virgin Mary knitting and date from the 14th century, including Our Lady Knitting by Tommaso da Modena (circa 1325-1375) and Visit of the Angel, from the right wing of the Buxtehude Altar, 1400–10, by Master Bertram of Minden.
as well as tax lists, prove the spread of knitted goods for everyday use from the 14th century onward.
Knitting is the process of using two or more needles to loop yarn into a series of interconnected loops in order to create a finished garment or some other type of fabric.
The word is derived from knot, thought to originate from the Dutch verb knutten, which is similar to the Old English cnyttan, to knot.
Unlike weaving, knitting does not require a loom or other large equipment, making it a valuable technique for nomadic and non-agrarian peoples.
These complexities suggest that knitting is even older than the archeological record can prove.
Earlier pieces having a knitted or crocheted appearance have been shown to be made with other techniques, such as Nålebinding, a technique of making fabric by creating multiple loops with a single needle and thread, much like sewing.
Their high level of knitting skill can be seen in several items found in the tombs in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, a royal monastery, near Burgos, Spain.
Among them are the knitted cushion covers and gloves found in the tomb of Prince Fernando de la Cerda, who died in 1275.