Traditional Handknitting

7 Sales


Traditional Handknitting

7 Sales On Etsy since 2014

0 out of 5 stars
Pam Connolly

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Pam Connolly


Gansey Sampler Doll Sweater Pattern


No reviews in the last year

lorrainebatty on Dec 23, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

Love it, love it. It was a delight to knit, more please.


A Traditional Cottage Industry

I learned to knit in a very roundabout way. Many years ago, when I was training my Australian Cattle Dog to herd sheep, I helped out with the shearing at the farm where we trained. The shearer was a woman who raised her own sheep for hand spinners, and she encouraged me to take home some fleeces and learn how to spin. I signed up for a class at one of my local yarn shops, bought a spinning wheel, and took off! I didn't know what I was going to do with the yarn I was spinning, so I bought a book called "The Knitting Goddess" and taught myself how to knit. I LOVED it!

My Irish heritage naturally led me to Aran knitting, and through Aran knitting I learned about fisher ganseys. My must-make list grew so long and so fast, I didn't know how I was going to be able to afford the yarn for all those sweaters. Just in time, an acquaintance asked if I ever knitted for pay. She wanted a matching pair of Aran sweaters for her grandparents, who had emigrated from Ireland and were about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. It was an extraordinary project, and just like the Shoemaker and the Elves paid for enough yarn for four more sweaters...and the customers kept showing up!

The idea for this business started taking shape when a friend suggested I sell my handknitting at my local farmers' market. I applied and was accepted for the 2012 season, and my little cottage industry has been growing ever since.

A genuine cottage industry is a home-based business that hardworking women run in their "spare time" to make ends meet. Handknitting was an essential part of many fishing households for centuries, with women and older girls working on knitting projects in between growing a kitchen garden, gutting and packing fish and carrying them to the market, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children. Often the income from handknitting was the only real cash families had.

This is a tradition to be proud of, and I am delighted to be preserving and passing along the disappearing craft of gansey knitting while earning an income that helps our ends to meet. Thank you for buying from me!

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