Welcome to knittingthroughthebackloop, a blog about knitting, knitwear and the history of knitting!

Why ‘knitting through the back loop’?

The technique of knitting through the back loop (ktbl) is a twist on the standard knit stitch- you approach the stitch differently and it leaves the stitch in an altered orientation. In this blog, I also enjoy looking at knitting from a slightly different angle- not just contemplating individual projects and patterns, but also considering knitting, knitwear and knitters as part of a wider context. This includes a consideration of knitwear design within the wider world of fashion and exploring knitters as a fascinating part of our social history.

Main sections include:

In Fashion: knitting and knitwear as part of the wider world of fashion- and how our knitting projects exist within our wider wardrobes. This includes Trending: analysis of the latest styles in catwalk knitwear and the knitting patterns that embody these prevailing trends (e.g. New Season Knitwear: Playing with Proportion). Plus Wardrobe Review: considering pattern choices and wearability, and how to adapt existing knitwear for current trends. 

Mindful Making: the art of knitting and being a knitter. This includes a wide range of topics, from a consideration of how we approach our knitting (e.g. How to have a Happy Knitting Year!   and To MKAL or not to MKAL?), to a focus on popular styles in knitting (e.g. Best of Brioche), considering seasonal fibres and patterns (e.g. Here Comes the Sun: lightweight linen), and musing on the work we create (e.g. When wrong is right: a celebration of the wrong side of knitting).

From the Archives: the history of knitting- in terms of style and pattern, but with a greater focus on knitters themselves: who knitted, why, how and where, and what did they make? This section includes several mini series of articles, e.g. always knitting (examples of the newspaper coverage of remarkably incessant knitters in the 19th century- e.g. From the archives: Every other woman in Scotland knits…) and The knitting cure- an upcoming series on how knitting has been considered an aid in mental health for over a century. Many thanks go to the fantastic British Newspapers Archive, a vast database of British newspapers from the 18th century onwards, that enabled much of my research.

Spotlight: this section could also be considered ‘other’ or more accurately, ‘random knitting-related topics that caught my attention and which don’t quite fit anywhere else’. This includes one-off articles about knitwear at the winter Olympics (Olympic Knitting), striking knitted costume choices in Knits on Screen: Ordeal by Innocence, or a review of a recent designer or pattern collection I stumble across (like these adorable woodland creature inspired mitts, Spotlight: an eye for detail).


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A little bit about me

My name is Jules and I live in the south of England. I’ve been knitting since I was about 6, although it only became embedded in my everyday life since 2012- which is, not coincidentally, the year I discovered the incredible knitting database and community, Ravelry!

My knitting palate: I’m pretty eclectic in my knitting tastes- I knit a wide range of items, from jumpers and shawls to cushion covers and hot water bottle cases. I have recently, and reluctantly, conceded that my preferences do not extend to sock knitting, even though I love the cosy finished items!

Favourite technique: Probably lace work- I really enjoy the actual knitting and the end result-and the effect of blocking out lace work and seeing the pattern revealed seems endlessly magical to me! I also love stranded colour work- I’m hoping I may actually manage to fulfil my ambition of knitting a yoked, Nordic stranded sweater this winter!