From Believer Magazine:
The craft of knitting is such a prominent literary act that a subgenre of literature—called “knit-lit”—has formed. Within this subgenre, there are several motifs, including what is colloquially referred to as “the sweater curse”: the idea that when someone knits a garment for their love interest, the act will seal the demise of their relationship. Knitting a garment by hand is a deeply intimate act, which perhaps explains why authors are attracted to its symbolic potential. Knitting also has an unassuming quality. The act evokes peace and domestic tranquility, and it is often employed to convey these sentiments. A knitter can become a vehicle for change, too, propelling a story forward through their handicraft. A character may weave intricate narrative webs, sometimes suggesting warmth or safety, and other times disguising the places where heartbreak, deceit, and evil may lie. If you look for them, you’ll find them—somebody in the corner, knitting a hat or a scarf, quite possibly something containing the depths of their affections or, just as probable, the names of the people they wish dead.
. . . .
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax:
The Once-ler goes against the Lorax’s wishes and deliberately cuts down every last Truffula tree, decimating the environment in the process, in order to knit and sell Thneeds, in-demand and versatile garments.
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield:
Affectionately referred to simply as “Peggotty” (which is another word for a knitting loom, or a “knitting Nancy”), Clara is the warm and caring housekeeper frequently found knitting in her idle time.
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women:
The March sisters knit as part of their household duties, which is a point of contention for Jo March: “I can’t get over my disappointment in not being a boy… and I can only stay at home and knit, like a poky old woman!”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities:
Madame Defarge knits her revenge by encoding in her creations the names of those she wishes to die by guillotine. She is reminiscent of the Greek Fates, who measured man’s lifespan by a length of yarn, the cutting of which symbolized death.
. . . .
Jane Austen, Persuasion:
Mrs. Smith is taught to knit by her nurse, and it becomes a source of joy for the unlucky woman: “As soon as I could use my hands, she taught me to knit, which has been a great amusement; and she put me in the way of making these little thread-cases, pin-cushions, and card-racks…”
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter:
Molly, mother to all, knits Weasley sweaters as annual gifts for friends and family—usually with their initials knit onto the front.
Link to the rest at Believers Magazine