Knitting. A fairly young textile technique in Europe, likely imported from Africa. There is solid evidence of knitting in Europe by the 13th century and among the earliest finds are a silk cushion from late 13th century, Spain, and a fragment of what is believed to have been a mitten in Estonia. Alms purses appears during 13-14th century. Also knitted in silk. Gloves and caps shows up around the same time.
Bertram von Minden aka Master Bertram painted the knitting Madonna around 1390/1415. The knitting Madonna is knitting a jumper to baby Jesus on four needles. The knitting is from bottom to top and the needles are thin and looks like metal. The yarn balls are kept in a basket.
Today you can have a look at the whole altar cabinet in Hamburg at the Kunsthalle, see the full altar cabinet here.
Phots by Historical textiles, cred if sharing.
/Amica and Marria