KNITTING HISTORY 101 at link! "The oldest real knitting (formed on two sticks by pulling loops through loops) we've got is 'Coptic socks' from Egypt, from around the year 1000 CE. There are quite a few fragments, all of them done in shades of white and indigo, in stockinette. Many of them have Khufic (a decorative Arabic script) blessings knit into them, or symbols to ward off evil, or both." We assume knitting had been around a while before then, given the complexity of this work!