A lovingly hand-crafted jumper from a well-meaning granny used to be a gift received with a grimace. But as the trend for novelty knitwear and customised clobber continues to prevail, the popularity of hand-knits is on the rise. Those of us not lucky enough to know a nana that knits no longer need to feel unloved, however. Grannies Inc is a company that sells made-to-order knits by a collective of talented grandmothers across the UK.
Founded in 2009, the company’s 300 grannies have now become silver surfers too with a newly launched online marketplace for their ready-made wears. Although most stick to commercial patterns, sometimes with a bow or pom pom for embellishment, there’s also room for a bit of personality as Granny Grace’s feisty skull and cross-bones intarsia knits attest. Or you could even commission a knit for your pet .
While most commissions are of the simple hat, scarf and gloves variety, jumpers and baby clothes are also popular. “The strangest thing I’ve knitted was an awful jumper with multi-coloured pom-poms on it,” says Patsy Johnson. The 65-year-old grandmother of four has been involved with the project for nearly four years after she retired from a “very stressful” job in the building industry. Perhaps no-one should tell her online retail is no picnic either.