May 17, 2023
by James Roberts
STORY mfg.’s Latest Hand-Knitted Pieces Are So. Very. Slow.
by James Roberts
May 17, 2023

Ask anyone who’s attempted to hand-knit a scarf or a simple beanie, and they’ll tell you that progress is slow. Knit one, purl one; knit one, purl one; knit one…

You might have knitting all day, but all you’ve got to show for it is a slightly wonky small square. It’s why, when you see anything like STORY mfg.’s latest knitwear pieces, you can’t help but be in awe. The time, skill and love that goes into each knitted item is visible in every knit and purl.

The Brighton-based brand has been dropping small collections recently, often themed around specific crafts like embroidery, crochet, and now, hand-knit. Four new pieces arrived on its website earlier this week: three jumpers and one cardigan. It’s a method of releasing products that works for a brand that doesn’t produce mass quantities at speed. It works for a brand that cares deeply about every single product that it creates.

So, what are we getting so excited about? First up, there’s the playful Twinsun Cardigan: an oversized, stretchy Grandad number finished with corozo nut buttons. A hand crocheted appliqué turnip, tomatoes on the vine and a row of organic carrots root this piece in the natural world. As with all these knitwear pieces, it’s made with 100 percent organic cotton and dyed with natural ingredients by hand.

Similar to the cardigan is the Spinning Jumper, featuring two reassuring kittens with the phrase “Everything Will Be OK.” The dyes used for these pieces include jackfruit and indigo, and natural ingredients from India and the Himalaya like kaduka and Babul tree. The careful and skilled combinations of these ingredients results in surprisingly vivid and colorful garments.

Finally, there are two color variations of the Weaver Jumper. These multicolored pieces are made with a special hand-knitted rectangle woven-like pattern, which STORY mfg. says “only the most skilled and patient knitters are able to knit.” Strips of hand-knitted colored bands weave in and out of each other to create these rich tapestries – far more impressive than anything my grandmother could make.

Hand-knitting is an old and time-consuming task. With simple tools and simple materials, whole garments can be created from anywhere. It’s why, for centuries, hand-knitting has been a technique used by nomadic people on the move – there’s no need for large looms or unwieldy machinery. Since spreading out from Egypt and North Africa, and into Europe, hand-knitting has been stereotyped as a hobby for the elderly. But it’s far more than that. It weaves deep and complex stories.

STORY mfg. has elevated this seemingly domestic technique without having to make it overly “luxury”. As STORY mfg. states, “you’d be hard pressed to find anyone hand knitting naturally dyed yarns, even for luxury brands, because it’s so slow.”

They might be slow to make. But these knitwear pieces will stay with you for a lifetime. Shop the hand-knit collection (at your own speed) on the STORY mfg. website.