I’m Anna and I never imagined knitting was something I would do for a living. I was lucky enough to have a Grandmother who, with immense patience and fortitude, taught me and my best-friend-from-next-door to knit when we were about 7 years old. It was an on-again, off-again thing for years but a decade ago, the on-again period coincided with the explosion of brilliant independent designers becoming accessible to knitters through Ravelry, along with a rapidly expanding range of beautiful, pure wool yarns and I was thoroughly hooked. The acrylic novelty yarns and intarsia of the 80s and 90s were never going to do it for me, but yarn that tells the story (and even smells of) the sheep it came from and the people who produced it- swoon!
I started designing for Knit Now magazine when it was founded and I’ve since worked in collaboration with yarn companies including Eden Cottage Yarns, Baa Ram Ewe, The Knitting Goddess, Daughter of a Shepherd, Birlinn Yarn and The Island Wool Company, developing accessories (mainly hats- one of my favourite things to design)
Often it’s the yarn that inspires my designing- whether it’s the possibilities for texture or drape or the colours created by the dyers (or Mother Nature). I also love a bit of retro and nostalgia and I’m influenced by places and spaces, both wild and urban- I’m a townie who loves walking in the hills! My ‘eclectic’ (some would say ‘dodgy’) music tastes often find their way into my designs too, as does my slightly more high-brow interest in art, design and literature, especially from the early twentieth century.
Most of the time there’s a story behind the designs I publish but ultimately my aim is to help people make (to somewhat mangle the original edict from William Morrris) things that they both know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.