Knitting is a craft which really hasn't changes significantly over time. A trip to Scandinavia really drives that point home, as one can see the same craft utilized for survival by the earliest humans inhabiting the cold northern regions as is used to lure shoppers today. In Bergen, we visited the Cultural History Museum where we found an entire exhibit devoted to the history and regionalism of knitting in Norway.
On the first floor, visitors view the university's Viking artifacts...including early weaponry from the bronze and iron ages, as well as early cloth-making tools. Inside the recreated turf-roofed Viking home, visitors see life-sized models of family cloth makers hard at work.
Upstairs, the more modern traditions of hand knitting are on display. The first room is devoted to spinning wheels and looms, discussing the early mechanics of making yarns. Entering the hand knitting section one encounters a carefully preserved cloth fragment...the very earliest example of knit fabric. This section of knitting was excavated in Bergen, Norway, and dates to 1500. Here is an incredible knit silk tunic which dates to 1600. A regional display shows examples from the 18th and 19th century of designs and techniques particular to each area of Norway.
Walls in this room are decorated with historic photographs documenting village knitting in situ.
Finally, the interactive layout of the final room was designed for children, though was spare, elegant, and inviting for all ages...with areas for carding the dyed wool, and desks for learning the basic steps to knitting and purling stitches.