Workshop opens about half past eight, when ladies start to come in. There are over 400 registered knitters, but approximately 200 active ones. Usually not all the 200 ladies come in here to knit; they come here when they have ready items to stuff and sell. Those who have other responsibilities besides knitting, like Anna (“she’s in charge of everything, HR, patterns, ladies, we would be in deep trouble without her”), Monica and Susan (dyeing), Helen and Tabitha (yarn storage and issuing the yarn), Evelyn (issuing patterns, records) and Purity (records) are here 5 days per week 8 hours a day.

So first the ladies get a pattern, needles and yarn and then they knit usually home. When they are finished, they come here and wash the pieces, sew them together and stuff them. When all is done, they put the items on the desk and then Kay and Kerry starts the quality checking. They check that the item or toy is correct by all measurements, so not a leg of a monkey is longer than the other. Then they check the seams so they are tight. Then they check for holes in the toys, if the back weaving is done too loosely or carelessly it might cause a hole somewhere, which is of course something anyone wouldn’t want. Due to this quality checking buyer can be sure that the item is safe to give to small children.

Quality check

If the toy has issues, the issues are told and written down to the lady to fix. If the item is correct, they buy it from the lady. So ladies are paid daily according the items they make. There is no minimum or maximum amount they have to do, only the deadline on the order whereby the finished item should be made. When there are new patterns in testing, ladies are paid by hour for making them. That’s to make sure that if there are mistakes in pattern, one can ask the lady to undo it and do it again without it being unfair moneywise to the lady. Not all the ladies know how to read so the knitting patterns are drawn, not written.

“That really makes us appreciate the ladies even more, it’s amazing how many patterns she has in her head.”

 

Kenana ladies

 

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Salla Thure