Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Interview with Guest Teacher Anne Hanson

Monkey Bread Hat and Scarf
Monkey Bread Hat & Scarf by Anne Hanson/KnitSpot
Hey Y'all,

In a recent post I mentioned that Anne Hanson, owner and designer for KnitSpot, will be at HCW teaching in mid-April. Though Anne has a super-busy teach/travel/design schedule, she squeezed in some time to answer a few questions about her knitting life. Here's what she had to say:

HCW: You'll be teaching Fine Finishing and Advanced Lace classes, which suggests you're definitely a detail person. Not all of us knitters are. What is it that draws you to the detailed side of knitting?

AH: That's a good question, because I didn't start out that way as a youngster, haha! I think anyone that works with their hands and really enjoys it, will eventually develop an interest in how beautifully they can execute their work. Perfecting each detail one by one, adds up to an excellent result you can feel proud of. And too, paying close attention to detail is a way of knowing and appreciating your work more intimately.

Ice Fantasia
Ice Fantasia Shawl by Anne Hanson/KnitSpot

HCW: What do you like most about lace knitting?

AH: I like how interesting it is; there's something challenging or entertaining to do on nearly every row. And then watching the motifs come off the needles has a lot of wow factor too!

HCW: Your background in the garment district. How/why did you make the transition to what you do now?

AH: It was just a natural progression; I've been working with needles in my hands nearly all my life, since the age of four years. when I stopped working in the fashion business and took up computer graphics, I still needed to do something with needles and knitting pushed to the forefront for me, being of more interest from a design sense.

Coral Gables - Click Image to Close
Coral Gables Pattern by Anne Hanson/KnitSpot

HCW: You donate 10% of proceeds to non-profits doing good work in the world. WIll you tell me a little about that-- how it came to be and/or how it's working out

AH: I was raised to keep others in mind at all times and to share whatever I had, especially any good fortune that comes my way. I feel so lucky to be healthy, self-sufficient, able to work, and creative enough to make a niche for myself; I just want to do the right thing and share what I've been given

HCW: Who taught you to knit?

AH: My grandmother taught me to knit and my mom taught me to sew and embroider. My dad taught me to question things I wanted to know more about and then find the answers in the encyclopedia or wherever else I could find them (but not to stop asking). They all taught me to appreciate beautiful tools, materials, and fine work.

HCW: If/when you do find time to sit down and just knit for fun, do you have a particular thing you most like to knit or is it more about playing with different ideas?

AH: I don't really separate work knitting from fun knitting; I think all of it is fun! the work part is especially fun because it's challenging and I'm a junkie for that.

HCW: Do you have a general piece of advice when it comes to knitting?

AH: I always say: buy yarn that you love. Do NOT wait til you are a better knitter/more deserving to let yourself buy something nice. You don't have to blow the budget either; there are lots of nice yarns at every price point. You will pick it up to work at every opportunity just to feel it, take care to knit only the best stitches, forgive your mistakes more easily, and most of all, be more likely to finish.

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