Sunday, 3 February 2008

Knitting garments for physical uniqueness

Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to be hand knitters, mainly because we have so much flexibility, I know it doesn't always feel like that when we want to change something in a garment but thats what makes it exciting for me. So whats the relevance of this? Well, my father is hemiplegic, which means he is paralysed down one side of his body, I've never known him any other way because he had an accident which resulted in this condition before I was born, he's an amazing amazing man, despite only having the use of one arm, he's always making things, doing DIY, and working on his vintage car and doing things that lots of most people with two hands wouldn't ever be able to do. However, this morning, we spent half an hour trying to get a glove on his paralysed hand and get the fingers into the fingers of the glove. I was completely frustrated, and so was he, and luckily in the end we found a thumb-less mitten I had made him ages ago, but the only downside is it needed some lining, well, adding thrumbs would have made it perfect, so this is what I will do next for him.

So it got me thinking about how frustrating it must be for people with disabilities. For a few reasons.

1. To have to wear things that don't fit, or you can't limbs in on, and that take a million years to get on.

2. How silly things look when they don't fit properly and how perhaps an ill fitting garment draws attention to your disability and not you.

So I decided to add a section/link to pages onto the shop with free patterns for garments that have been adapted to make it easier for people to wear if they don't fit conventional things. So I need some help with this, I am absolutely sure there are plenty of you that have adapted patterns just like my thumb-less mitten, and I want to put them all in one place so we can create a central resource, I am aware that people have all sorts of disabilities which will mean there will be lots of different adaptations, but we can put them all together so people can find things to knit for their loved ones, which perhaps the might not have done because there was no patterns for a glove for a paralysed hand for example.

So I will get scheming and planning, and I would like some feedback/suggestions either by emails or by comments, let me know if you would find something like this useful, or if you've ever had to adapt things.

Email fyberspatesATbtinternetDOTcom (replace the capitals for the real thing)

My father is happy to be used as a model, so I will photograph my progress of the thumbless mitten etc ;-) 


  1. I really like this idea, I think that it is excellent. I haven't any patterns to contribute sadly, else I would - I hope that you get a really good response. Have you thought about posting a thread on the Ravelry patterns forum for input....?

  2. Excellent idea! For one thing, it can be quite difficult to wear warm clothes in a wheelchair, as all the bulk tends to get pushed up round my middle, and I start feeling like a Michelin man ;)

  3. I'm glad you are getting a page of patterns for the disabled. Most pattters these days do not include us, we need knitted garments just as much as able-bodied people. So good for you. You can be sure I will take a peek on your page.
    I got your email, but am unable to read it, cos thee is a problem with my ISP email service. its getting me down, its been going on for two months.
    Hope you sorted my account probs.

  4. thumbless but not thrumbless? I'm really sorry I couldn't help myself...
    This is such an excellent idea and I love the term physical uniquiness because we all are - unique that is.