Leather Knitting Belt horsehair stuffed saddle-stitched heritage gift handstitched Organic, maximum length 44" 122cm #85HH
Dispatches from a small business in
Materials: natural leather, metal rivets and buckles, horsehair stuffing, linen or polyester strong thread, hand stitching, organic packaging
These leather knitting belts, known as makkin belts in Shetland, are 99% organic and hand-made to a traditional pattern in Dorset on the South Coast of England, by a craftswoman in response to the demand for these aids to speedy, relaxed and neat knitting. I frequently update my stock so there will be new colours in all my knitting belt variations from time to time.
DELIVERY: Tracked service wherever available in your country. I send all deliveries of knitting belts by Recorded Delivery service or international equivalent. Please note I may take a couple of weeks to create your belt ready for posting.
I am pleased to tell you that I use non-plastic packaging for my knitting belts (no sellotape!) and all the packaging is paper-based and recyclable.
I make the belts to varying lengths and I measure to one of the centre holes on the leather belt and add generous allowance for ease. I am always willing to punch more holes to accommodate smaller waists - just ask! Belts can be finished with a length of up to around 44" - 122cm. I can make belts to up a length of around 60 inches to special order (see LON belt listing in my store). I will finish to your personalisation requirements and I will make your belt several centimetres (inches) bigger than your normal waistline or upper hipline, as a slightly looser belt is easier to use. If you need a non-standard to fit your own measurement please just ask in the customisation box. For international sizing equivalents see below.
The belts are backed by suede (which helps them to grip your clothing).
My methods are sustainable - no power tools! The belts are cut from the small pieces of leather left over from larger leather items such as bags and clothing, and then handstitched in traditional saddle-stitch using waxed linen or polyester thread. The belt is stuffed with a horsehair mix from a professional supplier and assembled using metal rivets and buckles. Every stage of the process is hand-crafted by myself to a pattern very close to the original Shetland belts. Handling the belt while stitching and stuffing is likely to make slight marks, this is a natural effect of hand-making, It is very difficult to completely avoid them.
A knitting belt allows the knitting process to be speeded up as the right hand is freed from holding the weight of the knitting, especially when working on heavier garments such as ganseys, jerseys, sweaters and shawls, etc. Push the right needle in until it is roughly horizontal while being firmly held. Most knitting belt users knit with their work around waist level as this is more relaxing. Others swear that sat on the hip-line is the most useful and visible place to place it! Hold your hand OVER the right needle, holding your thumb against the needle as a fulcrum. This allows the remaining fingers to wrap the wool and adjust the tension. Bring the pad of the belt towards centre front for short needles, and push it round towards the back for very long needles. You will soon discover your own favourite way of wearing it.
Your left hand does the moving, with the right-hand needle held firm. You will discover that the time taken to adjust to using the belt will usually be only a few minutes. I watched my 9-year old grand-daughter use a knitting belt for the first time, and and in no time at all she had relaxed her right hand grip and was knitting away faster than before. It is not essential to do round knitting either - you can work on 'flat' knitting. Thin needles fit in any hole and will 'jam' nicely - larger needles can be forced into any hole and will spread the leather - keep a couple of holes specially for big needles - I punch a few bigger holes on every belt - there could be up to a week's waiting time for further customised belts.
A knitting belt helps those with a tendancy to cramp as the need to grasp the needle tightly is removed. Other difficulties such as arthritis and missing/damaged digits will be helped by using this belt. If you use the English method of knitting (holding the yarn in your right hand) the movement of your wrist is greatly reduced and you will be able to knit for many hours just like the old professional knitters. A belt takes the weight of the completed fabric off your hand. The needle is held firmly in the horsehair stuffing, which does not pack down, or break up over time. Savvy knitters gather the hems of their work with strong thread and loop it up to the belt, taking the weight off the needles.
Your left hand works as normal, but you will notice that it 'takes over' the backwards and forwards / up and down movements that the right-hand usually manages in 'freehand' knitting. This just happens without any need to work out how to do it!
If your left hand is handicapped by such debilating accidents as stroke or amputation, you could move the knitting belt to your left-hand side and let your right-hand take over all the manipulation.
Finally, your finished knitting will be neater as the tension is evened out. When purling I find that I no longer produce those annoying looser purl rows which spoil so much stocking-stitch fabric; my purling is tightened up - I hope it helps your purling too!
If you watch my Youtube videos ( Woollywoodlanders Channel) you will notice that I am using a knitting belt. My original Shetland knitting belt has been in almost daily use for over 15 years, has softened and shows no signs of becoming worn out. I hope my 21st century knitting belts will last your knitting lifetime too. I read recently that the knitting-belt maker of the long-established Shetland workshop had sadly passed away, and I decided to make my own belts available to knitters worldwide.
SORRY - these knitting belts do not work for circular needles or single knob pins or needles. You need to use double-pointed needles and I offer these elsewhere on my site.
For a knitter smaller than UK 10, US 6, I recommend ordering a Petite belt (see other listing).
If you wish to order specifically for a child please think ahead and order an appropriate size. As long as the 'smallest' hole fits the child currently, any excess will tuck into the belt loop until the child grows.
Measure your waist over clothing, not tight (!) to allow for cardigans etc. For a gift, if in doubt, order a generous waist size and ask me to add additional 'smaller' holes. I don't mind how many holes you want me to punch. I post by Tracked and/or Recorded delivery where available.
I had a lovely review earlier this year: "! just wanted you to know I received my belt today. It is lovely! I can not wait for my quiet time to try it out. We are expecting snow tonight and tomorrow which will be perfect for staying at home and learning the ways of knitting with a belt. Thank you for the care you took in making it. I will let you know how I get on with using it! "
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372 reviews5 out of 5 stars
The belt is professionally made and looking. I used a belt for the first time in my life, it was very easy to lern! And I'm surprised my stockinette looks much more even now. I'll use the belt from now on whenever possible.
Beautifully made item. Received sooner than I expected. I’ve been knitting for 60 years, but struggle with arthritis in my right thumb & wrist. The instructions received with the knitting belt are very clear along with the YouTube video. Already 2 hours into using this accessory, I know knitting is going to be easier and far less painful. Thank you, Lorna! This knitting belt is well worth the price!
I have been considering ordering a knitting belt for some time, to find a seller offering custom made belts at such a reasonable price made up my mind. The belt is made to measure and of beautiful quality, the no plastic packaging was a bonus and delivery was fast. I am delighted with my purchase I have recently started to knit Shetland lace shawls and prefer to use straight needles and using a belt makes this much more manageable.
Absolutely superb. The belt fits perfectly and has already helped with the aches and pains I was getting in my fingers and wrists. Lorna was more than helpful! She was so kind and thoughtful and her products are unbeatable. If you’re looking to buy a belt, look no further! Her belts are so sturdy and the quality of the leather is just gorgeous. The needles I bought to go with it fit perfectly in the belt. Wonderful product and costumer service!
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