Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

Interview: Anna Rauf


Today’s Gift-A-Long interview is with Anna Rauf, a designer I discovered as part of Gift-A-Long. Anna lives in Poland and is the co-moderator of the group Knitting Break – Przerwa na dzierganie on Ravelry.

Anna Rauf modeling Billie Hat

Anna Rauf modeling Almandine hat

How did you get started designing?
I like to create different things, I’m not saying only about knitting right now. I just like to create new things in any area of my life. I love to cook and making some new dishes, I love to bake and making new cakes, I love to changing the look of my house pretty often etc.

When my little one was born, I wanted to make something special for her. I made a dress. I wasn’t really experienced knitter that time. I just did my best. Writing a pattern for it wasn’t my intention… but I received many requests about the pattern from different people from Ravelry. I had all of my notes, so I decided to write everything up. Pattern was prepared only for newborn size, but when I set up a testing thread, some other people started to asking about bigger sizes. I had no idea how to prepare them, so I read some guides, asked my friends, who already had some experience in this theme and slowly counted everything for 8 sizes.

When I realized that designing not only for myself, but also for others, can be very pleasant and give a lot of satisfaction? When I saw my little one’s dress prepared by others. I saw it in different sizes, different colors and it was incredibly pleasant feeling!

And so began my adventure with designing…

Branchee dress

Branchee dress

What inspires your designs?
I could say everything. But mostly my daughters, my husband… they are the biggest inspiration to me in any area of my life.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
I can’t give you one answer. Because sometimes it is yarn and sometimes the inspiration… but mostly I’m making some sketch first. The idea is evolving in my head and then I’m looking for some suitable yarn.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
When I’m making something for children, I often follow my eldest daughter’s tips. Although she is only 6, she had good taste and she knows what she wants… and because I like making things she will be wearing willingly, I’m always asking her what she thinks about my idea, if she likes it or maybe she would make some changes. She loves to draw, so sometimes we are working as a real team!

Billie Cowl

Billie Cowl

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I’m not sure if I can answer you for this question yet. I have only few designs as far and each gave me pleasure and other experiences. I think I will be able to answer you for a few years, when I will have more experience…

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?
I don’t have one specific favourite base. I have one favourite brand – Colour Adventures yarn. So if I could knit only with one yarn from now on I would like to have any base from Colour Adventures yarn. I believe the most reasonable would be to choose some fingering (i.e. Dia Shawl), because I could always knit with few strands held together, if I will need something thicker. This is the most amazing yarn I’ve ever use. Soft, nice next to skin (which is important to me, because I’m really sensitive person!) and it just flies off the needles. Colors are vibrant, full of depth, and fully saturated through the yarn. It’s a pleasure to work with any Colour Adventures yarn, so it is definitely my desert island yarn.

Not Only for Christmas Hat

Not Only for Christmas Hat

What’s your “comfort knitting?”
Hmm… I think that everything can be good to knit even if I’m tired, maybe just besides some complicated lace or lots of cables, because knitting always allow me to rest.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
I think that my latest design – Snowstorm Cowl. I know that it was released not so long ago… I love it to pieces, but I had a problems even with finding an appropriate number of testers and all my patterns before had more sales during the first day after publication, than this one had even after a few days.

Snowstorm Cowl

Snowstorm Cowl

Which three GAL designs are top of your list to cast on?
It is really hard choice, to point out only top 3 designs. It will be easier to give you my top three designers from GAL, rather than top 3 patterns. It would be for sure something from Monika Sirna, Justyna Lorkowska, Jenn Emerson… but it is really narrowed choice, there is much more interesting and lovely designers there, I love and admire!

Continental or English?
Honestly? I’m not sure about my technique of knitting. My mom showed me how to knit and purl long time ago… and I’m even not sure if I’m making everything the way she taught me. I found Combination Knitting group on Ravelry and I feel I’m there… I make knit stitches a different way working flat and a different way working in the round. The same about purl stitches. I could say I’m a very intuitive knitter.

What’s the best thing about knitting?
Creating, relax, satisfaction… possibility of having something unique – one of a kind!

When the Sun Goes Down hat

When the Sun Goes Down hat

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Don’t be afraid of trying new techniques. Lace, cables, short rows, colorworks… everything can be so interesting and give you a lot of fun. Don’t be afraid of trying new garment’s constructions. Maybe the one you avoid is the one you will love? Don’t be afraid of making any modification to design you are working with! Everyone has different shapes, different taste, different length comfort zone and if some change to the design will give you more satisfaction – don’t be worry to make it! I believe the designer will be happy, that you made something you love!

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I want to knit more garments for myself. I’m knitting mostly for my kids, but I have some dreams also 🙂

View all of Anna’s patterns here. All photos are copyright Anna Rauf. All images used by permission.

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

posted under interview, Knitting

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