An Interview With, Designer Feature, For Sale Patterns

Knitspot Fall in Full Color Club

We’ve been a fan of Anne Hanson of Knitspot for as long as we’ve known her. And, this summer, we had the benefit of meeting Erica, her assistant, and our affection grew! So, of course, when we heard about her newest club project, and were asked if a collaboration – and, an exclusive one at that – was something we’d be interested in, of course we said “yes!”

The end result of this collaboration is Floozy, an absolutely stunning triangular shawl and Freefall, a rectangular stole, knit using an exclusive colorway of Meadow, Cornflower. The pattern is exclusive to the club until August 17, 2014 when it will be made available to all.

In honor of the release of the pattern – the yarn portion of the club is sold out, but the ebook (which is stunning every single month) is still available here – we thought it would be nice to have a little interview with Anne. Enjoy!

KW: What inspires you to come up with
new lace designs?

AH: i get a lot of my inspiration from nature;
when i say that, what i mean is that i find a lot of surprising and beautiful
linework in natural forms that i want to interpret into stitches. i also find
stitch motifs very inspiring; sometimes flipping through stitch books, i see a
few that seem to relate and it makes me want to cast on and play with a new
composition

KW: How would you describe your design process (freeform, technical, etc)?

AH: i would say both—i play with putting textures together or
making shapes on my needles, usually with no specific goal in mind. once i have
a composition put together, i decide what type of garment or object will suit
it best; that’s when i get a lot more technical about making it work within a
structure. i do like to have a preliminary chart and pattern put together once
i start knitting the garment for real; that way i can begin checking my work
and my sizing as i go. i prefer to knitthrough a prototype before sending the pattern
to a test knitter or tech editor, but for simple structures and compositions, i
sometimes now write up the whole pattern so we can knit the first
samples together.

KW: Did the fiber content of Meadow
influence your final design? Were there any particular properties of the yarn
that you found particularly well suited to shawl knitting?

AH: oh, how i love this yarn!
yes, i definitely designed the shawl around the material; this is true for most
of my designs anyway, but particularly for ones that are featured in the clubs,
where recipients will be knitting with the same yarn i do. i just adore the
linen content in the meadow yarn—with the other fiber content being SO soft,
there is a danger that the fabric will be too limp; the linen gives it that
little bit of crisp structure to keep it lofty. the soft fibers, of course make
the shawl drape beautifully and provide a lovely sheen over the cable and lace
texture. the yarn and design work together so well, i feel a little prick of
excitement whenever i look at it!

KW: Your output is really impressive!
How do you keep your designs fresh and keep yourself on track?

AH: i really, REALLY love
knitting and designing and i enjoy writing patterns, too (to me they are their
own sort of art form). i have so many ideas i can’t even get to! there are lots
inspirations in the world around me; i never run out of ideas or get bored of
the medium. my dream would be to shed all the office stuff and paperwork and
(especially) email, so i could just spend my time making new designs and
writing.

staying fresh is relative; i remind myself all the time not to
look at things in the same way every day. as soon as i have a strong reaction
to something (especially a negative one) i try to step back and examine it,
maybe do a double take with a new set of eyes. you might not guess this from
the way i dress, haha, but i LOVE fashion and clothing trends; i’ve always got
an eye out for unusual ways of using garments. it’s nice that i get to travel
and see all sorts of different scenery, cultures, and habitats, but travel
isn’t necessary for inspiration—there is plenty at every turn in my everyday world.

KW: Tell us something about yourself that no one would EVER
guess in a million years.

AH: hmmm, great question! while i always wanted to be some sort
of artist and have drawn and painted all my life, i actually started my college
career in a nursing program! my mom really wanted me to be a nurse; i was
trying to make her happy .

{All images © anne hanson + david whitfield and used with permission}

Thanks so much, Anne!

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