Anna Johanna Interview Gift A-long 2019

Anna Johanna Interview Gift A-long 2019

Anna Johanna, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Anna Johanna, who is a knitwear designer from the tiny northern country of Finland.

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

Here in Finland kids are taught to crochet already in kindergarten and to knit in elementary school. So that’s on 3rd grade but I think my mum had already taught me to knit a bit earlier.

What made you want to start designing?

As a kid, I dreamed of being a fashion designer. I don’t have the skills for that but this is pretty close!
Alho by Anna Johanna

Alho by Anna Johanna

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I have a PhD in statistics so grading and solving all that knit math is the best.
Harmas by Anna Johanna

Harmas by Anna Johanna

What inspires you?

Yarn and photography. Usually, I either get inspired by the yarn. Or then I have an idea of the FO photo I want to take and then I have to knit the FO for the photo. smiley

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I’ve been a researcher at the university for years. Couple years ago I started my knit design company on the side and it has been super busy for the past two years. But now, I actually have so really exciting news as come New Year, I’ll start designing full time!
 
Zopflicious by Anna Johanna

Zopflicious by Anna Johanna

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I love designing sweaters and cardigans – mainly, because that’s what I like to knit. Shawls and socks are lovely too but they’re too quick to finish. I like having projects that take some time so you get to enjoy to project longer.

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I make almost all my samples for me, so I do have lots of time for selfish knitting. But I do love to knit gifts. Few years ago, for to consecutive Christmases, I made all the gifts by hand. That was a lot.
 
Xenakis by Anna Johanna

Xenakis by Anna Johanna

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Socks and shawls.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Not a specific yarn. I have favorite yarn bases. I love high twist base for socks and merino singles for shawls. And in recent years, I’ve been delving deeper and deeper into non-superwash wools. I love the natural feel.
Ruso Socks by Anna Johanna

Ruso Socks by Anna Johanna

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

I think my all-time favorite has to be Harmas sweater (see photo above). It’s knit in non-superwash Kainuu grey (Finnish wool!) and it has all my favorite things at the moment: a tall brioche collar, boxy shape with a cropped hem. And the best thing about it are the extra long sleeves and folded cuffs with thumb holes. No need for mitts with this one!
Rohdin by Anna Johanna

Rohdin by Anna Johanna

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I just released a sweater design called Alho (see above) and it is the most personal design I’ve made so far. It’s named after the farm that my great grandfather bought, where my grandfather was raised, and then my mother. Now, it belongs to my aunt. I’ve never lived there myself but it is the land where my roots are. The sweater is a luxurious blend of cashmere, wool and mohair/silk. And it has this delicate lace insert in the yoke that’s worked with just the lace weight mohair/silk. The lace reminds me of grains and soil – hence the name after my roots.
 

What’s your favourite colour?

This is a fun question since people often laugh when I’m asked about this. I’m into what I like to call non-colors. All the hundred shades of white, light grey and dusty pinks. Anything with absolutely no contrast. I’m often teased about picking too low contrasts for colorwork and stripe projects. Though, when it comes to socks, I like go wild and pick vibrant colors.

 

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my third year joining in GAL. It has been amazing seeing the community interact. I also love seeing how many people knit Christmas gifts. heart

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

There are many! But to mention few, I adore Abbye Knits’ photos. Megan Nodecker has an awesome style and I’m absolutely going to cast on for the Persian Dreams blanket by Jenise Hope some day soon!

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Shawls Favourites Indie Design Gift A-long 2019

Shawls Favourites Indie Design Gift A-long 2019

Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Shawl Favourites

I’ve been having a good look at all the designers for the Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 and found my Shawl favourites from this year’s patterns.   I hope you love them as much as I do.  I’ve included a photo, a link and why I like the particular pattern.  

Shake it up Shawl by Anna Johanna

I loved this shawl pattern, Shake it up by Anna Johanna.   I love it for a couple of reasons, anyone who knows me well would laugh, but partly because of the asymmetry and my desire to always stand out.   But, I think I fell in love with the soft/muted colours and the gentle contrast of this particular shawl design.  It has texture, colourwork, asymmetry and is an absolute stunner of a shawl.

Shake it up Shawl by Anna Johanna

Shake it up Shawl by Anna Johanna

Beeswax Shawl by Amy Van De Laar

Another shawl pattern added to my queue, this shawl is by Amy Van De Laar and goes with her Beeswax set.  I made the hat a few years ago and wear it a lot in Winter.   How could I not fall in love with the accompanying Beeswax Shawl and it’s cute hive pattern?  I do have some mustard/gold coloured yarn that would be perfect for this shawl.  I need more hours in the day!

Beeswax Shawl by Amy Van De Laar

Beeswax Shawl by Amy Van De Laar

Smriti Shawl by Nidhi Kansal

This beautiful shawl pattern, Smriti by Nidhi Kansal, is so elegant and graceful.  Look at the drape and shaping of it, I can see Audrey Hepburn wearing this with a sheath dress, heels and a fabulous hat, can’t you?   

Smriti Shawl by Nidhi Kansal

Smriti Shawl by Nidhi Kansal

From the Ashes Shawl by Rachy Newin

Time for a bit of crochet with From The Ashes Shawl by Rachy Newin.  I know many of you are big fans of Rachy Newin.  Rachy has gone to great lengths to show that crochet is worthy of the most amazing yarns, gradients and colour combinations and I love to see what she comes up with next.

From the Ashes Shawl

From the Ashes Shawl

Rauli by Marie Amelie

I love this photo, the contrast of the cold background and the rich, warmth of the mustard/gold/yarn.  Absolutely stunning shawl from Marie Amelie called Rauli, it’s brioche for all you brioche nuts out there.  You know you want to!

Rauli Shawl by Marie Amelie

Rauli by Marie Amelie

Violet’s Garden Shawl by Michele DuNaier

I wanted to find more crochet shawls and this darling design by Michele DuNaier leapt off the page.  It’s one of her Downton Abbey inspired designs and this is Violet’s Garden Shawl.  I love anything purple so the colour was a winner for me, but the texture and pattern is fabulous.  

Violet's Garden Shawl

Violet’s Garden Shawl

Moraine Shawl by Abbyeknits

I love the colour blocking and the changes of texture/pattern with each colour change of this particular shawl.  The designer is a wizard with cables, check out her hats and cardigans to see more, but this is beautiful.  It helps that it’s Autumnal, rich shades and I’m a Autumn.   Cannot resist it!

Moraine Shawl by Abbyeknits

Moraine Shawl by Abbyeknits

Dragonfly’s Path by Jennifer Weissman

I saw this in the Shawls thread and loved the border cables, such fabulous design and texture.  It makes me want to wear it straight away.  

Dragonfly's Path Shawl by Jennifer Weissman

Dragonfly’s Path Shawl by Jennifer Weissman

Koi Pool by Nim Teasdale

I could have chosen any pattern from Nim’s amazing range, but this one drew me in with colours I can’t resist.   This one is mosaic knitting but is really colourwork stripes with slipped stitches so you only work with one colour at a time.  It can be used to create amazing patterns and is so much easier than stranding when you’re starting out.  

Koi Pool Shawl by Nim Teasdale

Koi Pool Shawl by Nim Teasdale

The Pink Arch by Paola Albergamo

Paola has an awesome eye for colour and her designs always stand out in any crowd but for all the right reasons.  This one features brioche, stripes and a bit of lace, lots of fun for the money and you’ll learn a lot knitting it.

That Pink Arch

That Pink Arch by Paola Albergamo

Every Witch Way by Barbara Benson

Who can resist that pattern name?  Not me, so it’s here.  I love that Barbara has created a simple shawl that allows a highly variegated skein of yarn to shine.  I’m not the only one who has a ton of them with no clue what to knit or crochet.   Now you know, Every Witch Way but lose, right?

Every Witch Way by Barbara Benson

Every Witch Way by Barbara Benson

Aysgarth by Kathryn Folkerth

Whatever is headed for my needles next!

Aysgarth by Kathryn Folkerth

Aysgarth by Kathryn Folkerth

Alright by Talitha Kuomi

Talitha’s designs definitely have an urban, edgy feel to them, just like the designer.  Clean lines, blocks of colour and clever use of shape and drape for a modern look.   I love this shawl, it’s unapologetic in it’s lines, stern and yet quietly confident. It definitely says you’re alright, whatever life throws at you.

alright by Talitha Kuomi

alright by Talitha Kuomi

Seaweed Swirl by Ruth Brasch

A bit of crochet this time and I do love the drape and shaping on this simple shawl from Ruth Brasch, it’s clever in it’s use of highly variegated yarns and whips them into submission.   No more dreaming of what to do with that skein you sit and pet or stare at, never quite know what it wants to be.  I’m tell you, it needs to be a Seaweed Swirl!

Seaweed Swirl by Ruth Brasch

Seaweed Swirl by Ruth Brasch

 

Gokyo by Allison Janocha

I remember Allison designing this shawl and I’ve loved it ever since.  Inspired by the Himalayas and using a yarn called Mr Darcy, I’d have thought this was every woman’s and some men’s dream?   Either way, the changing textures to represent the landscape and the cute knitted edging speak to my heart.  

Gokyo by Allison Janocha

Gokyo by Allison Janocha

 

Drifting Waves by Emily Lipa

Whatever is headed for my needles next!

Drifting Waves by Emily Lipa

Drifting Waves by Emily Lipa

 

Diamond Mine by Kate Poe

I love the simple design, the pretty lace panel in the centre and the name, what girl wouldn’t want a diamond mine?  I have the pattern and I’ve made this for my Mum using some superwash sock yarn, she loves it and claimed it the second she saw it.

Diamond Mine by Kate Poe

Diamond Mine by Kate Poe

Open Ocean by 10HoursOrLess

Whatever is headed for my needles next!

Open Ocean by 10hoursorless

Open Ocean by 10hoursorless

 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Woolly Madly Deeply Online Yarn Shop Cumbria UK

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