Made by hand has been the byword for my work throughout my creative career. Although I sometimes use a sewing machine and at one time I owned a knitting machine, I prefer to work with my hands. Sometimes things made by machine are labelled made by hand and I think it’s important to distinguish the real thing because it takes a lot longer to make.
I have been a handknitter for over 50 years. Gone are the days when it was knit one, drop one on my first knitting project at school, the dishcloth. Gone also are waking up at 5am to knit as I did eagerly in my teens. So too the eight hours a day knitting that I was so fond of right into my thirties. Now I am a more sedate knitter of an hour or two a day, dragged there by my hair screaming, for I honestly wish I could still knit eight hours a day. I find it peaceful and my mother always said I had a Mona Lisa smile when knitting. Yet the hands, wrists, elbows and even shoulders will not allow me to do that any more, so I have to be content to pick it up and put it down in short spells. That’s the beauty of knitting.
Since the last blog on Monday, I finished a colourwork cardigan that had sat around for thirty years! That’s the very last of knitting someone else’s pattern. I have been a knitwear designer for over thirty years myself. I designed and knitted up a lovely little shoulder wrap this week. It’s perfect for the cooler evenings.
I managed six rows of the my new design – a fairisle sweater in true Shetland yarn from Jamiesons of Lerwick. I enjoyed choosing the colours and today the first pattern section was reached. So looking forward to this.
You can find my knitting patterns on Ravelry
and my knitting pattern booklet on the website, 10 fabulous patterns for 15.00 gbp
When I can knit no longer, I sew. Sometimes because of my hands, that has to be on the sewing machine, but I still fit in a fair bit of hand stitching too. The pile of to do for sewing is quite extensive. I remembered I had stalled on the fabulous indigo jacket. This is a sewing machine project, but I am making it reversible therefore all the seams are machine stitched and then stitched in place by hand. I set in the sleeves this week.
I also returned to the new coat project, which is all hand stitched after a break of a week. It stitches up quickly, even though it is by hand.
That’s all for this week. I shall be continuing these handmade projects and maybe more. See you next week.
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021