Everyone, meet Annie Haas! She’s a knitwear designer whose patterns we adore (especially her new “Crescent” poncho pattern pictured below. GORgeous.) She’s answered some fun questions below about her life and creative process, so after you’ve been inspired by her interview, be sure to check out her Ravelry shop and Instagram feed!
Tell us about who you are and what you make/sell!
Hi my name is Annie and I design knitwear patterns.
Where do you work? From home? Do you have a studio space?
Actually, I am also an Acupuncturist, and I work in a holistic health center about 20 hours a week. As far as knitting/designing goes, I do that everywhere. I literally carry at least one (but more likely two or three) projects/new designs with me everywhere I go, and am knitting every chance I get. I do love to knit at home and often do (especially while my son is napping). My partner loves to crochet so sometimes our date nights are just us at home crafting together after our little man is in bed.
I do have a studio space that is definitely a work in progress ( I am a little embarrassed to admit it but right now it looks like a yarn shop exploded in my space and on my desk.) I am in the process of organizing and figuring out the best way to store my stash. I also do a lot of work at a local coffee shop that I frequent 3+ times a week, and I kind of think of that as my office space away from home and work…
How/when did you fall in love with the yarn world?
Wow, this is a tough one, but I would have to say that it was around the time that I learned to spin (first on a drop spindle then on a wheel) and when I started using all natural fibers and nicer yarns (yep I definitely started knitting with acrylic yarn from a chain craft store back in the day). This was about 7 years ago. This was also the time that I started dabbling in knitwear design, and I would have to say that my fiber obsession and appreciation has been growing exponentially ever since.
Did someone teach you, or are you self-taught?
Definitely a little of both. I first learned to knit when I was about 6 from my great grandmother. I picked it up again during my undergrad, but for about 10 years I literally only knit garter stitch squares of varying sizes. When I moved from California to Michigan I decided to take up knitting again, and a co-worker and fellow fiber enthusiast taught me how to purl and cable, and I hit the ground running (or knitting) from there. In terms of knitwear design, with the risk of sounding a little cliche, I would say that experience has been my best teacher and I definitely learn from my mistakes….and as a self-taught knitwear designer, you have your share of those.
Where can we shop for your patterns?
I have a shop on Ravelry, and Etsy shop. I am working on getting a website up and running, but computer work has never been my forte, and let’s face it, I’d rather be knitting. Oh, and you will be able to order hard copies of my patterns through Deep South Fibers by the end of May!
What are some of your favorite materials/tools?
What are your other hobbies?
I love to cook, listen to records, podcasts and audiobooks.
What is one of your favorite patterns you’ve ever made?
Hmm, right now I am really in love with one of my newest designs, Crescent (named after my above mentioned great grandmother who taught me to knit). I love a poncho, and this one combines texture and colorwork (two of my favorite things,) and the yarn I used for the colorwork (either Stonehedge Fiber Mill’s Crazy DK or Spin Cycle Yarns Dyed in the wool DK is so fun to use for colorwork because every skein is different; it creates this really fun color striping effect that I loved watching develop as I knit it. (I knit two already!)
Do you have any fibre-crushes?
I just finished a design using Quince & Co. Tern and I LOVE the way it knit up, and the drape of the fabric is amazing. I am also crushing hard on some Madeline Tosh Merino Light that I have in my stash (it’s on deck for a new design), I also just got to use Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn for the first time and I loved it!
Who inspires you?
My two younger sisters, they are both amazing. Frida Kahlo (my favorite artist), and my good friend Andrea (@dreareneeknits) who was brave enough to jump into the world of knitwear design as a career and she is just so talented and successful, I am so happy for her.
Do you have any favorite fibre books?
I love Barbara G. Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I think the first two are my favorite.
Any new skills/products you’re loving right now?
I just recently got a square gauge ruler from Twig and Horn, and I have to say its a game changer for checking gauge.