Tanja Luescher Interview Gift A-long 2019

Tanja Luescher Interview Gift A-long 2019

Tanja Luescher Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Tanja Luescher, aka Wusel1811 tell us a little about yourself please Tanja.

I’m a knitting designer living in Switzerland with my husband and our three cats. When I’m not knitting, I spin, sew, play the piano or on the computer or read. 🙂

Belt Welt Cowl by Tanja Luescher

Belt Welt Cowl by Tanja Luescher

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

My mother taught me as a child, but I really got into it as a young adult when I met my now husband. We had a long distance relationship and whenever we were waiting at the train station, his hands were super cold. So I decided to learn to knit and make him mittens. He never wore them (or anything hand knit apart from socks), but I stuck both with him and the knitting 😀

What made you want to start designing?

I started designing for mystelf quite soon, I’m really small and wanted something that fits me. I took a class about shawl design and that made me publish my first pattern 🙂

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I love most of them 🙂 But a wonderful part is seeing testers make my design. I love when they are happy with something that I have created 🙂

What inspires you?

Everything. A nice ball of yarn, a beautiful stitch pattern, a picture or just the thought that I urgently need new socks. 🙂

Tigi's Shawl by Tanja Leuscher

Tigi’s Shawl by Tanja Leuscher

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

I’m a full-time designer. My husband got retired early and I love that I can work from home and be with him. My work either happens on the sofa or in my little “yarn office”.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

Shawls. Definitely shawls 🙂 They are just so pretty, so versatile. I love shawls. <3

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

I try to do at least some personal knitting all year round and I usually succeed in taking the GAL mostly off so I can enjoy it and make some gifts. The most knitworthy people in my life, my Dad and my FIL, both live in heaven now, but I usually make something for my husband, his sister and a neighbor / friend. The other gifts are just for me 😀

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

I’d say socks <3 I love handknit socks and you can never have too much of them. Also, my feet are tiny, so it’s not too much to ask for 🙂

Pepsi's Pi Shawl by Tanja Luescher

Pepsi’s Pi Shawl by Tanja Luescher

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Apart from the classics like Malabrigo or Madelinetosh, I love all yarns from Drops and I can never pass by a pretty ball of sock yarn 🙂 Drops is affordable and good quality and variegated or self-striping sock yarns are just so cute <3

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

That’s like asking which child is my favorite 😀 Luckily, I actually have some designs tributed to my four-legged children, so I can say I love everything included in the cat collection. There’s Pawprints on my Heart, a tribute to our Lena who had to cross the rainbow bridge, there’s Tig’s Shawl, Pepsi’s Pi Shawl and Grautier Cowl or Scarf. For these three I’ve created stitch patterns based on words describing the character of the cats – like a secret code. There’s one piece still missing in the collection, Orangina’s Shawl will come out next year.

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

Right now, I’m proud to have finished How to read Charts – a detailed ebook teaching people how to read charts and letting them try out their new skills on a collection of quick patterns – also perfect for gift knitting – from a simple knit/purl cowl to a lace cowl with patterning on both sides. I spent several years dreaming about making this and this time it finally happened!

What’s your favourite colour?

Red, orange, blue, especially autumn tones <3

Pillars of Light Hat by Tanja Luescher

Pillars of Light Hat by Tanja Luescher

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

I discovered the GAL in 2014 and have been a participating designer every year since then. I love the camaraderie, among the designers and among all the participants. It’s such a fun (and crazy) time of the year <3

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

I’ve met my best friends because of the GAL. Mary E Rose is incredibly talented, Annina from the Artesanitarium is super creative, or check out Yvonne from Red and the Wolf Designs – I love her style <3

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

Hunter Hammersen Interview Gift A-long 2019

Hunter Hammersen Interview Gift A-long 2019

Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview with Hunter Hammersen

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Hunter Hammersen, tell us a little about yourself please Hunter.

I was supposed to stay in school for a shockingly long time, get a respectable-sounding job, and quietly become a proper grownup. Instead I got distracted by colorful string, started writing knitting books, and fled to the rocky coast of Maine where I spend a frankly alarming amount of time in my back yard taking pictures of yarn. But don’t tell anyone…I’m still slightly worried someone will find out I escaped and try to drag me back to that other life.

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

I mostly taught myself.  It took a few tries, but with enough books (and these days, enough youtube videos), you can teach yourself almost anything.

What made you want to start designing?

I  am frankly terrible at following directions, so I started making stuff up myself almost as soon as I started knitting.  After a while, folks started asking how I’d made the things I was showing off on Ravelry.  I’ve always been alarmingly willing to tell people what to do, so it wasn’t much of a leap to start writing patterns. 

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I love swatching.  Swatching is where you get to work out all the fiddly bits and make sure that good idea you think you have actually works in real life.  I like the swatching bit MUCH more than the actual knitting.  Once I have everything worked out on the swatch, I sort of want a fast forward button for the actual knitting part!

Nestled by Hunter Hammersen

Nestled by Hunter Hammersen

What inspires you?

I never know how to answer this bit!  It seems to vary hugely from one project to the next!

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

Full time.  I put my first pattern out in 2009.  My first book came out in 2011.  My first self published book came out in 2012.  And I decided to switch to designing full time in 2015. 

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I have a terrible terrible weakness for hat crowns.  They are more fun than they have any right to be!

Various Hat by Hunter Hammersen

Various Hat by Hunter Hammersen

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

Nope!  Somehow having something go from a hobby to a part time job to a full time job means you have very very little time to actually knit.  There are some weeks where I don’t knit a stitch!

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

I’ve never actually had a hand knit sweater.  Now, I totally don’t want anyone to make me one (I am not a small person, that would be a substantial amount of work)!  But if that ever happened, I’m pretty sure I would just about wear it forever. 

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Whatever is headed for my needles next!

Abeyance by Hunter Hammersen

Abeyance by Hunter Hammersen

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

Oh that’s not even a little bit fair.  I’m going to cheat and pick two.  For practical stuff, I love slippers.  Super cozy, don’t take nearly as long as a sock.  Abeyance are my current favorites, but really I love them all.

And for frivolous things, I still think the tiny little leaf babies (the pattern is called Nestled) are unspeakably cute.  

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

My most recent book just came out this week!  It’s called Shoreland, it’s full of delightful socks, and I got drag my friends and family out to all sorts of cold, rocky beaches to take the photos for it.

Shoreland Cover

Shoreland Cover

What’s your favourite colour?

Grey/Gray

 

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

Oh goodness yes.  This is my fifth year participating.  I’m always amazed (and if I’m being honest, a tiny bit overwhelmed) by how chatty everyone is.  It’s lovely to see folks making time to cheer everyone on, especially at such a busy time of year!

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Robynn Weldon’s work is amazing (my recent brioche obsession is largely her fault…she has a lot to answer for!).  Alex Tinsley does all sorts of delightful things, as does Barbara Benson. 

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

Woolly Madly Deeply Online Yarn Shop Cumbria UK

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