The Highland Clearances, which saw the eviction of a significant number of tenants during the 18th and 19th centuries, is the most infamous chapter in Scottish History. This complex system of events that occured for more than 100 years, cleared the land of people to allow the introduction of sheep pastoralism.
Weaving and knitting was such an important occupation among those living in the Scottish Highlands during this time, that whole families were involved in the making of clothes and essential garments as protection against the harsh weather.
Hand knitting declined over time, as consumers could purchase the same item for less. The craft was seen as old fashioned and children were rarely taught to knit in school, unlike myself during the heyday of the 60's. The most influential change has been with the growth of Craft Fairs and the spread of the Internet, which has enabled knitters to share advice and patterns with direct access to supplies, rather than relying on local resources.
This 21st century resurgence of knitting has also seen a new form of street art, known as Yarn Bombing. Knitted pieces are displayed in public places, usually without permission, but brightens up any surrounding.