Tanja Luescher Interview Gift A-long 2019
Tanja Luescher Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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 🙂
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
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?
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