Knit Wit

Knitting as a distinct art has a murky history but knitting historians like Richard Rutt and others agree that, for at least the past several hundred years, knitting and crochet (the older practice) have been cottage industries and/or sources of mental or physical creation. It’s interesting that this roughly coincides with that period of activity in Anglophone culture from which we draw many of the inspirational quotes we see today, in all areas of human endeavor. I’ve done some research to find as many quotes related to knitting and crochet as I could. I have to admit that I’m not including some too-breezy aphorisms (“I’d rather be stitchin’ than in the kitchen.”)—some of these feel too much like T-shirt slogans to me—or those that specifically mention only women (“Women like to sit down with trouble – as if it were knitting.  ~Ellen Glasgow”). This is an equal-opportunity site! Please feel free to contibute to this witty, knitty list. If you know of any that are not here and should be, please reply below or send to subject line “Knit Wit” at (replace that AT with @ to foil the evil spamspiders). To wit!


  • We might knit that knot with our tongues that we shall never undo with our teeth. ~John Lyly (Note: I LOVE this quote; it manages to be wise and kinda hot all at the same time!)


  • The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary.  ~Mary Kurtz


  • The screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression serves only to strengthen and knit the repressed. ~John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (Chapter 19)


  • “In the rhythm of the needles, there is music for the soul.” ~From an old sampler.


  • Needlepoint is  the delicious art of filling in holes with wool.  ~Carole Berman and Jennifer Lazarus


  • Knitting is very conducive to thought.  It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.  ~Dorothy Day


  • I like making a piece of string into something I can wear.  ~Author Unknown


  • I keep my end tables full of needlework and quilting so I don’t have to dust them.  ~Author Unknown


  • Knitting is a boon for those of us who are easily bored.  I take my knitting everywhere to take the edge off of moments that would otherwise drive me stark raving mad.  ~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End:  Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much


  • If the knitter is weary the baby will have no new bonnet.  ~Irish Proverb


  • A #6 aluminum needle has been known to furnish an excellent emergency shearpin for an outboard motor.  ~Elizabeth Zimmerman


  • Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit, either.  ~Elizabeth Zimmerman


  • Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence.  Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.  ~Elizabeth Zimmerman


  • If I stitch fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise?  ~Author Unknown


  • Many estates are spent in the getting, since women for tea forsake spinning and knitting, and men for punch forsake hewing and splitting.  ~Benjamin Franklin


  • The innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care… ~William Shakespeare, Macbeth


  • Knit your hearts with an unslipping knot. ~William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra


  • It is easy to say how we love new friends, and what we think of them, but words can never trace out all the fibers that knit us to the old. ~George Eliot


  • I think we ought to stick to our knitting on the topics that American people care about. ~Sam Brownback


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