Based in County Donegal, Ireland, LB Handknits is a one-woman cottage industry. With decades of knitting experience and a love for natural fibres, 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 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 improvisational manner; there were no patterns or written instructions involved. It was not until I was asked to teach a knitting workshop in 2016, that I actually learned how to read patterns... From there, writing them was the next logical step!
I was lucky to snag my first knitting job at the age of 14. A fashion designer who lived in 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 knitting was a valued and marketable skill. While knitting was never my primary source of earnings, I have knitted for hire on and off through most of my adult life for extra income.
As for many, my interest in knitting waned through my teens and returned in my late 20s. But it wasn't until I moved to Ireland in 2013 that it truly gained momentum. 'Inspired' by the damp and chilly weather of the Emerald Isle - as well as by local demand for handknits! - 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.
Today, I design patterns, teach classes, knit bespoke garments, and contribute to several knitting and fibre publications.
If you're wondering what 'LB' in LB Handknits stands for, you can read all about that here.