Based in County Donegal, Ireland, LB Handknits is a one-woman cottage industry. With decades of knitting experience and a love for natural yarns, I aim to create uncomplicated and flattering pieces based on traditional technique.
A writer, artist and recovering academic, I was initially taught to knit as a young child. Age 4 seems far-fetched, but it must have been around then as I remember learning to knit and to read at roughly the same time!
Both my mother, and my paternal grandmother were knitters and set out to teach me, separately. From them I picked up a mixture of the Russian and the German methods, probably best described as 'hybrid continental.' From the start, I was taught to knit in an improvised manner; there were no patterns or written instructions involved. If you wanted to knit a skirt, I was shown, this is how you knit a skirt. And this is how you knit a sweater. It was not until much, much later that I even realised patterns existed. And to this day, I remain mostly a 'freestyle' knitter.
My first Kniting job was at age 14. A fashion designer who lived near my home town tasked me with knitting for her upcoming runway show. She treated me professionally and paid me fairly for the work, making me aware at a young age that this was a real and marketable skill. While knitting was never my primary source of income, I have worked as a knitter for hire ever since.
Although my interest in knitting waned through my teens, it returned in my late 20s, and continued to grow steadily through my early 30s. But it wasn't until I moved to Ireland in 2013 that it truly gained momentum. 'Inspired' by the weather, I began to knit constantly, experimenting with yarns and construction methods for an optimal combination of breathability, durability, and waterproofing. In 2016 I began teaching workshops and published my first pattern in 2017.
If you're wondering what 'LB' in LB Handknits stands for, you can read all about that here.
I am available for local one-on-one instruction and have experience teaching classes, small and large. Techniques I specialise in include continental knitting, seamless knitting, top-down sweater construction, and sock knitting. To arrange a visit to your classroom or knitting group, please get in touch.
In Northern Ireland, I am represented by Row by Roe in Limavady, Co. Derry. If you find yourself in the area, a visit to this wonderful yarn shop is a must.
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