I am really lucky to have been taught to hand knit when I was quite young by my mum. When I was learning to knit, I found the hardest part was simply getting used to how the yarn and needles felt in my hand and how to manipulate them with my fingers. I remember my hands feeling very rigid and awkward at first, but this feeling quickly passed just with a little persistence, practice, a few inevitable dropped stitches and a handful of curiously shaped “squares” of knitting.
Once you have learnt the basic knit stitch, and really got the hang of it, I believe anything is possible. Every other knitted stitch is just a variation of this one technique and, once you are familiar with the basics, you will be well on your way to mastering any pattern you put your mind to.
I studied Knitwear at Winchester School of Art, graduating in 2009. While at university I learnt to machine knit; however, for me, there is no comparison between hand knitting and machine knitting. Hand knitting is charming and has personality, plus the labour involved makes it utterly priceless. Whether you wear your creations yourself or give them away as incredibly generous gifts - a hand knit will be loved and cared for until threadbare. You simply cannot create something so special using a machine - this applies to all handicrafts. The possibilities with hand knitting are endless. You can dream up practically anything and then make it yourself with just needles and yarn. And with this in mind, I find designing and creating knitwear rather exciting.
I also believe that it’s really important for us to create and make things ourselves - it’s such a huge contrast to fast throw-away fashion found on the high street. You really do learn the value of something by creating it from start to finish yourself. You get so much more satisfaction from putting all that time, effort and love into making something you’ll cherish and care for.