some excerpts from a document on historical knitting:
In England, knitting expanded rapidly in the 15th century, and at the beginning of the 16th, a number of strong Knitters Guilds were formed. A long and difficult apprenticeship was rigorously regulated: it took three years, after which the apprentice, now called a Companion or Journeyman, was to spend another three years working and studying elsewhere. After this six-year period he was admitted to the rank of master artisan upon the completion of:
A rug measuring eight by twelve feet
A shirt or jacket of wool
A pair of wool slippers
All this work had to be executed within thirteen weeks.
The rug had to be of a complex pattern composed of leaves, flowers, and birds, stylized in a conventional fashion and using twenty or thirty colors. This would not be the floor rug we know today, but a tapestry to adorn a wall
It is a curious fact that knitting, in the Middle Ages and even earlier, was a masculine craft, while women spun the yarn