Knitting · Meet the Designer

Meet the Designer: Annie Jensen

Hello Friends,

The year is getting closer to drawing to an end( we are but a mere 9 days away from 2017). I was looking at the calender planning future blog posts and realized I have so many I wanted to write for this year. Alas some are just going to have to wait till the new year to be written. Which is ok! I feel like some posts, like fine wine, turn out better when they have had some time to sit and breath! 

I thought it only fitting that we end the year with one more Meet the Designer post. And this one is so perfectly appropriate as this designer is the biggest reason this lovely blog exists! I want you to meet Annie Jensen! First a little story.

Have you ever had something or found yourself with a collection and you looked around  and things kinda hit you like that song by The Killers “Mr. Brightside”? How does that song go..it started with a kiss and ended up like this… Well that’s kind of how my project bag obsession started! 

I went from zero project bags… Well if you want to count the one funny purse that I found second hand and had been using to hold a current WIP. But I didn’t have an official project bag! That is till I ran into Annie in the same Facebook group we were in. One thing led to another and then we were following eachother on Instagram. Then I tried one of her bags! 


I finally had a proper project bag! It was fantastic! I would just grab the bag when I was ready to head out to do errands or go to the park with the kiddos. My project was now so readily available. No fighting what was in my purse to get to my project. It was a downward slope from there! Suddenly project bags from her shop were leaping into my cart! 


I am super excited about the xlarge bag she made for me! I am currently working on a blanket and I really wanted a way to keep the yarn and project safe from curious sticky fingers! Is it not gorgeous? I am able to fit 17 skeins of Biggo yarn from Knit Picks in this bag! 


I am in project bag heaven. Ok enough about my project bag obsession. It’s time to get to know Annie better the Designer of HKNT Bags and up and coming yarn dyer(can you see that beautiful mint Green yarn above?? Annie’s!) 

Annie Jensen courtesy of Instagram

How long have you been knitting? 

I started out crocheting in 2013 as a way to cope with everything happening in my life. It wasn’t bad but there was a lot going on. I did that for a few years obsessively and in the meantime had my daughter in 2014. 

I was home alone all the time with this baby who only stopped crying to sleep in short spurts. I was so tired and so stressed out that I didn’t have the time or mental capacity to crochet, so I would spend time perusing Ravelry thinking to myself, “I would love to knit but that is way too hard. There is no way *I* could do it.” 

I don’t actually remember what prompted me to pick up the needles, but a year after I was attempting to teach myself to knit and it became obsessive after that. I fell in love with the texture of the stitches, the tools, how well beautiful yarns were showcased. At that point for me, luxury yarn was still purchased at JoAnn. 

Project Bags Instagram

Why did you start making project bags? 

It was actually the podcast Get Lit and Knit on YouTube that piqued my interest. I had been sewing for about 12 years, so I had the experience behind me, but I never really applied sewing to knitting.

It wasn’t until they showed on their podcast the project bags their WIPs were living in that I realized I needed them in my life!! There is nothing like having a sticky, curious kid to make me dread investing in quality, luxury yarns. I wanted luxury yarn SO bad though and project bags solved my conundrum. I could keep my kid AND my yarns, haha! 

Garden Party Instagram

How did you get into yarn dyeing?

Call it mommy amnesia, but I can’t distinctly remember why I got into dyeing yarn.  I think at some point I had realized that I couldn’t afford indie dyed yarns, but I could afford the bare Knit Picks yarn and dye my own. 

So I bought a bundle of bare yarn on a splurge and started dyeing with Kool Aid. I quickly progressed to acid dyes and here I am today!

Annie’s hand dyed yarn Instagram

What do you love about being a Fiber Artist and what do you want to share with the Fiber Community? 

With my business, my artistic venture as I like to think of it, I want to share myself with the fiber community. 

I started because I wanted to connect with people and make some friends, start some conversations and *maybe* if I was lucky make some money along the way. It has turned into so much more than I could have imagined! (Thank you!!)

 From here on I want to continue to follow those themes. I want to give my interpretations to people who appreciate and enjoy what I do. I want to make available what maybe wouldn’t be unless I make it. 

The beautiful thing about art is that no matter how many people do the same thing, or follow the same prompts, art is never the same!  

Instagram

Annie it was great to get to know you and a little of your story! Thank you friends for stopping by checking out Annie’s story! I encourage you to check out her shop and see if there isn’t something that calls out to you! Now I know it’s on to a busy weekend! Enjoy! Till next week! In the mean time take delight in your knitting!

❤️Amanda


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Meet the Designer

Meet the Designer: Naomi Bruette

Hello Friends,

I started writing this post earlier and found myself severely veering off my intended topic. I began rambling on about socks. A good topic for sure but one that should get its entire post not try to steal the lime light of my Meet the Designer featurette!

That’s right it’s finally here! A little interview with Knitwear Designer Naomi Burette! You guys, she is simply splendid. I knew from the moment I began working with her that she and I were, as our favorite character Anne is fond of saying, “kindred spirits”.  I am honored in having her join me here today. Grab your coffee and stay a while! Enjoy getting to know Naomi. I sure did!

Do you have a family history with knitting?

Image Source: Naomi Bruette

I love my family history! I come from a very rich history of makers and I’m so proud of it! And of course I love to romanticize everything so everyday things like cooking, cleaning, and ekeing out a living turns into the wonderful tastes of homemade golden bread, creamy potato soup, and tantalizing strawberry rhubarb jam! 

So of course when I tell you that my grandmother knit my grandfather sweaters (A necessity because they were to poor to purchase a sweater from the store. Not to mention they raised their own sheep.) I will of course think that it is the most wonderful thing in the world! 

But seriously, I think even the poorest knitter puts art into their work! There is something so satisfying about looping yarn together and seeing it turn into a wearable object that begs for your utmost attention and dedication. The fact that our ancestors were required to make their own garments and yet turned each one into a piece of art is so inspiring to me! These were women just like us who went through similar daily struggles of feeding and clothing their kids. 

How did you get started with Knitwear Design?

I never thought I would become a knitwear designer. I actually have my education in music and have my masters of music education with a choral emphasis. I graduated from college and began teaching at a K-12 school where I taught 9 preps everyday…which for those of you who don’t know how crazy this is…an average load is 4-6 preps. Anyways without going into everything too much, after my son was born we moved to a different state and I suddenly had nothing to do. So I decided to start a blog! Because of course in the 21st century Mom is synonymous with Blog! Hahaha. 

After some thought I fell back to my creative fiber/textile roots and began my blog Sew.Knit.Create.  Then after playing around with it for several years, trying to earn some income from it, failing, letting go of it for a while….I ended up being diagnosed with a herniated disc which put me on my back in bed for two months. That was last June and I basically stopped everything for those two months except for knitting because I could do that while my oldest watched Netflix all day and my four month old lay beside me. That was when I decided that I wanted to pay homage to ancestors by taking all of these designs that I remember from my childhood and recreating them into a book. A book that would basically document our family history and their relationship with fiber and textiles. 

So with that dream I actually recreated the Julianna Socks (a free pattern on my blog) These were my first written pattern and I really need to edit it as I’m sure there are a million mistakes in it! With that dream in mind I decided to get back into my Sew.Knit.Create business…..to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and then to act on it.  I spent about seven months last year figuring out exactly what I wanted to do. 

I decided that I needed to get back on instagram and randomly/or not so randomly ended up connecting with Franchise of Aroha Knits and ended up being chosen as a beta tester for her Swatch Studio….which was my catalyst to designing….and now here I am! So CRAZY! And that is what I’m doing now! Taking these ideas that have been floating around in my head and turning them into something that I can touch. I like to say that as a knitter I “turn time into something tangible” (Ooh im seeing my brand motto “Making time tangible” )

What inpires you when you knit and design knitwear?

Image Source: Google
 I am inspired by my memories. I am inspired by the places that I grew up. I am inspired by the tawny sand, azure blue sea, and the emerald forests and hills of Nova Scotia. I am inspired by the details in nature. By the gold edge of the changing maple leaf. I am inspired by the dandelion puff. I am inspired by the simple manudane everyday things that are actually at their core so magical in their simplicity. 

What inspired the creation of the Sunlit Autumn Shawl?

Image Source: Naomi Bruette

I love autumn! (Well I love all the seasons…but…) In my neighborhood we have this half-mile maple lined drive that literally GLOWS when the leaves are changing! 

First its just the tips that turn redden and then about the third week of October all those gorgeous maple trees are in full fledged color. So in the afternoon we go for a walk about 3 o’clock and the sun is just perfect and it alights all those maple trees on fire! You feel that wind ruffle your hair, as I struggle to push that tandem stroller up the hill, I take a sip of coffee from my to-go cup, and gaze up at those reds and golds….and the world is PERFECT. 

Image Source: Naomi Bruette

And THAT is what I wanted to capture in my shawl design. So Sunlit Autumn is a feeling that I want the knitters to experience when they knit it and wear the shawl. I want them to forget their struggles of daily life and feel uplifted when they wrap that wooly goodness around them. 

In more concrete words I scoured the web for a yarn that would help capture that feeling that I wanted and I somehow happened upon DragonFly Fibers and found the perfect skein!  

I love to string words together if you couldn’t tell!  Anne of Green Gables has always been like my favorite character ever and I always loved how she could turn the simplest mundane things in life into something beautiful. Why call it Barry’s Pond when you can call it Lake of Shinning Waters!

Thank you Naomi!! Isn’t she a marvelous writer??! I have fallen completely in love with her writing. Just as Anne could bring you in her world with her words so does Naomi! Didn’t you feel that fall perfection in her description of what inspired her shawl?? It’s not to late to join the KAL it’s running till Nov 15th. Look at the beautiful prize that comes at the end!


Speaking of which I need to get cracking on my shawl! I still need to cast on! Have a lovely day everyone!

❤️Amanda