Meet the maker: JamKnits - The Chuffed Store Meet the maker: JamKnits - The Chuffed Store
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Who are you, where are you from and what do you make?

I’m Jamila and I have a small business called Jamknits.  I’m from Lebanon but moved to London after meeting my husband in the late 70’s. One of the ways I stay connected to my beautiful homeland is by cooking Lebanese food at home and passing on our culinary traditions to my daughter and grandson. 

I’m a handknitter after falling in love with the practice by chance but completely wholehartidly. I was shown the basics 40 years ago and took it up simply as a hobby but it quickly became an obsession! After retiring from my PA role a decade ago, I decided to pursue knitting and designing my own pieces full time and began selling them initially at craft fairs and markets.

My aim has always been to make beautiful and stylish knitwear that is also practical and functional, using only the finest natural yarns that I can get my hands on.

 

What Inspires you?

I find the beauty and unique textures of the natural yarns themselves inspiring.  I can’t wait to be able to spend hours browsing wool shops and the haberdashery department in Liberty again!  The work of other makers is also endlessly inspiring, not only knitters but also other textile artists such as the weaver, Erin Barrett and the embroiderer, Tessa Perlow.  I love their use of colour and I am always myself drawn to and most excited by yarns in vivid shades and creating knitwear in them that I think will lift the mood.

 

What is your workshop Luxury?

Just being able to work from home is itself a luxury for me – to be able to listen to a podcast whilst working with my feet up and a cup of tea is wonderful! The only thing that would make my work space truly luxurious would be a comfier chair – I’ve been searching for years and still haven’t found the perfect one!

 

Your Favourite Lunch?

This is very hard for me to answer as I simply love food! I like to think I have more discerning tastes but I have often unflatteringly been described as a human dustbin. We eat very well at home as my daughter who used to work in private catering cooks every day, mainly Middle Eastern food and Italian as my husband’s mother was from Naples.  So I think a perfect lunch would probably be a combination of those 2 cuisines- a bowl of hummus swimming in olive oil with some za’atar flatbreads and then a big plate of spaghetti with clams, lots of garlic, parsley and more olive oil!

 

Best spot in the British Isles?

I love visiting the Northumberland coast, in particular the small fishing village Seahouses, where my father-in-law comes from.  The amazing Bamburgh Castle is nearby and the natural beauty of the coastline is breathtaking.

 

What do you find challenging about being a creative?

I’m still yet to master the ability to switch off.  I always have so many ideas buzzing round my head that it’s hard sometimes to relax and recharge.

 

What would you like to learn next?

I’d love to improve my sewing and to learn embroidery. Although I know how to hand sew and to use a sewing machine, I’d really like to learn more complex techniques.

 

How do you let your hair down?

I love to stretch my legs after sitting knitting for hours, so a long walk in one of the beautiful parks near where I live is a genuine joy. I also love and really miss trawling charity shops for hidden treasures and bargains. The ultimate way I like to let my hair down however is to go to a fantastic restaurant and feast! Excited to be able to do that again!

 

What are you listening to at the moment?

I listen more to podcasts than music to be honest. Current favourites include the Off Menu podcast with James Acacster and Ed Gamble and That’s Not My Age with Alyson Walsh.

 

What makes you feel well chuffed?

Nothing makes me feel more chuffed than seeing or hearing from a happy customer. Knowing that they love what I made for them is the greatest reward.  And the fact that I’m doing what I love is amazing too!