Chiara: The Knitter

I’m a big fan of handmade products. Besides having a unique item for myself, buying handmade products supports the artists. I buy directly from the makers who are passionate about their craft. Handmade products are made with love. It’s amazing to know the stories behind them. This time, I want to introduce Chiara, the Knitter.

Chiara The Knitter

Knitty Gritty by Chiara

Chiara Karenina Manuel started knitting in 2016 when a good friend gave her a pair of needles and acrylic yarn. She used all the YouTube tutorials she watched to make artworks. At first, she was into crochet but she wanted to make larger items so she started knitting.

I am inspired with people who can make something useful and beautiful out of just thread or yarn. It also calms me and challenges my creativity in creating beauty through my hands.

Chiara Manuel of Knitty Gritty
Chiara The Knitter
Lola Carmen, Chiara’s grandmother, taught her how to crochet at a young age. She used to crochet blouses for all the female members of the family every Christmas.

Knitting with a Purpose

Chiara The Knitter

Chiara has a heart for cats and dogs. She provides the basic needs of foster dogs by selling Kitty Hats. They are so cute, I bought two! Would you believe that she used to foster NINE dogs?

Chiara The Knitter
Kitty Hats made by Chiara

She found a way for people to switch to sustainable dish washing sponges through her knitted abaca scrubbies. She makes hemp scrubbies, cotton bath poufs, and cotton rounds.

Chiara The Knitter
Chiara uses recycled paper bags as her packaging. Even the tags are printed on recycled papers!

According to Chiara, full time knitting means earning according to sales. Knitty Gritty only produces what’s needed and wanted. The challenge is that she only earns from what she can deliver. Her income depends on the volume of orders. Furthermore, Chiara is planning to organize a group of women who knit so it can be their source of livelihood.

Chiara The Knitter
Because of her passion and advocacy, she was featured in Pambansang Almusal, Radyo Pilipinas Dos 918kHz, and ABS-CBN DZMM Teleradyo (Sakto with Kuya Kim and DJ ChaCha).

Travel with Chiara

Although she’s based in the Philippines, her handmade warmers, from cowls to scarves, have traveled a long way. Her crafts have been to Japan, Netherlands, Taiwan, China, United States, New Zealand, Hong Kong, among others.

Chiara The Knitter

I bring my yarns anywhere, I knitted on a speed boat ride from Abra de Ilog to Puerto Galera, on a Bangka during our island hopping in Palawan, bus rides, train rides, FX lines – simply anywhere where I don’t want my time wasted.

Chiara, The Knitter

Favorite Place

My favorite place would be Kiangan, Ifugao. I will never forget immersing with the locals and experiencing farming at the rice terraces! Nagacadan Rice Terraces in Kiangan, Ifugao is a UNESCO world heritage site that will really take your breath away. A shot of tapuy, cold air, and warm people, I will definitely come back.

Dream Destination

Batanes. Ever since I was young, I have been curious of Batanes because it is the topmost island of the archipelago. Now that I have an idea what wonders it can promise, I can’t wait to travel and visit Batanes!

Travel with Karla

Be driven by your capacity to create and remember to respect your time and make others respect your terms. If others are not willing to purchase according to your rate and schedule, they aren’t the right audience for your craft. At the end of the day, people should put premium on the skill, the time, and the quality of the item they are asking us to make. Put premium on handmade and never sell yourself short for this to be sustainable.

Chiara, The Knitter

Do you want to be a knitter? Are you fond of using handmade products? Follow her on social media.

Travel with Karla

Besides writing about my travel adventures, I also feature amazing people that I meet in my journey. Chiara is one of my org mates from UP Community Broadcasters’ Society. She’s my classmate when I was in college.

If you enjoyed reading her story, you might also read about some of the artists I featured:


  1. I also love handmade products a lot!! I have been doing a lot of DIY projects as well in my own home for the some of the very same reasons!

  2. It’s been so long that I want a knitted scarf inspired of Harry Potter’s Ravenclaw house until now but it’s too expensive for me as a student who is only depending on allowance haha. I wish I had a relative doing this also huhu so that I can have one. By the way, tama na ang drama haha love those products by mentioned knitters ????

  3. Naalala ko yung lola ko, she used to do that before, d ko nga na-a-appreciate noon pero ang ganda pala.. I find it hard to do, it was one of our projects nung elementary ako.. That’s why I admire people who is very passionate of doing it.

  4. I remember this traveler who also knits and uses subway, and she make a scarf while travelling. Each color symbolizes the time of traffic (was it heavy or not) and it was so cool.

    I couldn’t help noticing her 2nd photo with that guy painting the wall. Was he painting in a private place or that is a public place coz it looks like not an art but vandalism – I don’t support people who expresses their thoughts through vandalism.

  5. Adorable.. growing up, we use to showcase our creative talents, we use to have art and craft class in our neighborhood, made me fall in love with hand made item but all those love seems to have go as no one care where or how anything is made anymore. I really do admire you, those are very nice.

  6. Wow! I went through a knitting phase last year and I still have a sizeable yarn stash. Loved how I was able to make all sorts of cool stuff for myself and my friends too.

  7. What an inspirational woman! I love the quote of hers you shared because it is so true! Love her works too!

  8. Nakaka inspire si Ms. Chiara.. I am also an artisan (retired?????) kaya alam ko din iyong effort and all sa paggawa ng mga handmade products. We actually have a cabinet full of my crafts materials na ayokong ibenta kasi may plano pa akong bumalik kapag malaki na si little one.. Go, keep inspiring others Ms. Chiara..

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