My granny loved to knit! My cousins, sister and I all had some rather colourful pieces every year in our Christmas stocking. My two boy cousins had fetching tank tops in colours trending at the time – burgundy was a big favourite. For my cousin Jane, my sister and I, well, we had bright turquoise & white ponchos and white roll neck “ski” jumpers with multicoloured stripes. My husband’s granny knits pullovers and blankets for our children. My guest this week, Kai Poldoja of Grannies Inc has a vision of spreading the love of granny-made knitwear throughout the world and by employing talented knitting grannies to produce a range of bespoke knitwear, they are endeavouring to do just that. Intrigued? I was! So, I caught up with Kai to find out more….
Hi! Grannies, Inc. was launched in 2009 .Grannies, Inc. strives to connect people who love wearing unique, quality handmade garment with knitters who love knitting. Our knitters are passionate, experienced and most importantly, they love knitting.
What inspired the launch of Grannies Inc?
My grandma was a passionate knitter and I remember all the warm socks she knitted for everyone in the family. Most of the time she knitted more than we could wear and all my friends loved my grandma’s socks. That made me think that it would be great to establish a website that connects all those grannies like my grandma with all those people that don’t have a grandma like mine.
If I wanted a particular knitted item design, how do I go about ordering the bespoke item?
Ordering bespoke items is very simple. Just go to www.granniesinc.co.uk and send us some photos of what you want knitted. Our grannies can replicate almost anything from a photo, or they can make your sketch or drawing come to life.
What’s the most unusual or strangest knitted item that has been requested?
We are often asked to knit miniature garments for objects, like bottles. We had a season where we knitted more items for objects than people due to some corporate orders. We once knitted giant socks for a massive statue in the US. But the strangest requests are usually the ones our grannies are asked to knit up: some “special occasion” garments. I won’t share any more details 🙂
To date, what has been your most popular knitted item ordered?
It’s our fingerless gloves, especially the Norwegian Selbu fingerless gloves. People love them, because they keep their hands warm, yet the fingers free to use their smartphones or type. They are super cute too.
Out of your knitted items, has any item been a bit of a challenge for your knitters?
I remember a 5XL jumper. It was knitted to a very complicated pattern. It was quite heavy due to the size and the knitter was struggling to hold the weight of it whilst knitting. In the end it was so big that when we laid it out flat we had to climb on ladders to take a photo of it as the whole jumper wouldn’t fit on the photo. It was a truly beautiful item however. The customer was over the moon.
Your knitters only use 100% merino wool that has been sourced ethically in South Africa and spun in a yarn mill in Devon. Why did you pick merino wool over other types?
Merino wool is one of the highest quality yarns. It’s suitable for various types of garments as it is very robust, yet warm. Whilst keeping you warm it doesn’t overheat. It’s an absolutely gorgeous fabric, all natural with nothing synthetic. It is sustainable and doesn’t damage the environment. We love it.
Your company is based in the UK – are your knitted items able to be made to ship to customers overseas?
Yes, we often have orders around the world. We sold to more than 100 countries, from Greenland all the way to the other side of the world, with one item having made it to a South Pole expedition.
The talent of your workforce is clear to see – and they obviously have a passion for knitting. What do you look for when hiring your knitters?
We look for passion and skill. Our items aren’t the cheapest around, but we like to think they are the best hand knitted items one can buy online.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
On cold days I like wearing my merino base layer and a nice woollen jumper on top. In my view wool is the best fabric one can choose for clothing.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Grannies Inc.
So, dear readers, do you or did you have a granny who loves to knit? What was your favourite knitted item that they made? Or, perhaps you are a grandma who knits? If so, what do you like knitting? Do tell, I’d love to know!
All photos have been published with kind permission from Grannies Inc.