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"Knitting is formed by hand with needles or by machine. It can be created in flat-shaped pieces that are then sewn together, or worked in the round. Hand knitters have used a variety of needles, usually of metal, through sometimes of wood, bone, bamboo, ivory, and, in the twentieth century, plastic. Needles typically have pointed ends, though in some countries, such as Portugal, they are hooked. The circular needle became increasingly popular during the twentieth century. This double-ended needle with a flexible central section is used for knitting tubular pieces, but also affords greater comfort for flat knitting, as the weight of the fabric rests in the knitter's lap. Sets of smaller double-ended needles are commonly used for knitting socks or for areas with a small circumference."
Shen, Lindsay. "Knitting." Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion, edited by Valerie Steele, vol. 2, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005, pp. 307-311. World History in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3427500345/WHIC?u=ann79305&xid=a4a578a1. Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.