LB Handknits is a one-woman cottage industry based in County Donegal, Ireland. I design knitting patterns, teach workshops, knit bespoke garments, and contribute to fibre publications.
If you are interested in working with me, please feel free to get in touch.
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You can find me on Ravelry as LB Handknits. And as @lbhandknits on instagram.
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 knitting patterns ...And of course, 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 happened to live 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.
As for many, my interest in knitting waned through my teens, then 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, I began to knit constantly, experimenting with yarns and construction methods for an optimal combination of breathability, durability, and moisture resistance. Out of this, LB Handknits emerged (and if you are wondering what 'LB' in LB Handknits stands for, you can read all about that here).
Materials and Method
I knit by hand, using natural fibre yarns. My specialty is seamless knitting in the round, whereby an article of clothing is created and shaped in one piece on a set of circular or double-pointed needles.
The seamless method of garment construction dates back to the earliest forms of knitting and was traditional in Ireland until the mid-1800s, at which point knitting-for-hire made pieced assembly more practical for groups of women sharing the work. The seamless knitting method, however, continues to hold unique merits. It is better suited to making adjustments in fit and style at various stages of the knitting process. The finished garment feels more comfortably on the body, without seams digging into the skin. Seamless knitting also possesses a distinctive sculptural look that holds a special aesthetc appeal.
My preference is to work with locally sourced yarns whenever possible.
If you are wondering what needles I use, they are predominantly from DyakCraft and you can read an overview here.