Annina has been with Knotions since 2017!
I can’t believe that we never sat down together and do a Designer Focus! Today’s the day – FINALLY
Tell us a bit more about yourself. Where do you live?
I currently live in Western Finland, a walking distance from a big city centrum and a stone’s throw away from a big forest.
Given that many of readers are from the U.S., can you tell us a bit more about it?
It’s in the Northern hemisphere, wedged between Russia to the east, Sweden to the west and Norway at the north.
Our summer months are June, July and August, all the other months are woolen sock months. Our landscape is covered with forests, dotted with some168,000 lakes and we have snow basically from November to April.
Are you from there originally?
I’m originally from the west coast of Finland, a small Swedish-speaking town next to the sea. I’m working on to get a property there and eventually build our forever home there.
Who taught you to knit? And when did you start?
My maternal grandmother taught me to knit sometime before 3rd grade (the year you turn 9), because we were then taught to knit in school and I already had knit garter by that time.
My paternal grandmother taught me to crochet way before that!
What made you want to do knitting design?
Originally; I wanted cool-looking clothes that couldn’t be bought because they didn’t exist or I didn’t have the money for it. This was before online shopping and if you saw something cool on TV you had to DIY it. This was in my teens, mid to late 90’s.
I was an awkward kid, and I hid behind my tough gal clothes and makeup. I didn’t need anyone to know I was really a caring and fragile person.
In 2009 I was studying to be a chef and one of my classmates inspired me to crochet a skull top. I offered to give it to her, but she declined. I was heartbroken and went to the internet to whine about it. People really liked my top and asked for the pattern and that’s how I got started.
Do you design full-time or part-time?
Part-time for now, and I don’t see going full-time because life is full of all sorts of things I want to do as well! Like dyeing yarn!
At this time, I’m also a part-time personal aid for an elderly lady and that takes up some of my days.
What are your favorite things:
- Color: Black, red, purple and silver.
- Yarn weights: DK and thicker
- Fibers: Alpaca, wool and merino. I’m not a fan of plastic in yarns or in the world in general. I’ve become an environmentalist in my old days 😀
What types of objects (e.g., shawls, hats, etc.)
All the things! I used to dislike doing socks, because they usually don’t show, they are either under the cuff of your pants or in your shoes. But I guess in the world of leggings that became untrue and my mind was changed!
Do you have a design that you think people should give a little love?
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From nature. Just yesterday I saw a twig that was perfect for cables!
Scandinavian mythology and Tim Burton have also been a huge source of inspiration.
Also old Finnish tapestry, rococo and gothic architecture
Can you tell us about your signature style?
I’m the Queen of Cables. I design cables. I do cable knitting.
The goth in me loves the traveling vines that are cables and the artist loves the possibilities they bring.
The cables tell a story and you don’t have to guess. They are bold and pop out from the background to show us their beauty.
I’m also determined to show people that beautiful feminine knitwear doesn’t require thin yarn and small needles.
What made you want to design A Nordic Sunset?
The yarn collided with an amazing looking sunset and that’s when I had to do it! I had the yarn in my stash and when I saw the sunset, I knew what to do with that yarn.
What does your typical Annina-day entail?
Green tea in the morning. Knitting and hanging with the knitting community. Cooking, playing with Lego, exercising and the late evening spent on the couch, binging YouTube with some good snacks!
Other than knitting and designing, do you have any other creative endeavors?
Sometimes crochet and sewing. I would love to know how to play guitar.
I would love the opportunity to study to be a graphic designer.
Do you have a stash? Or, once you buy it do you make it up pretty quickly?
Yes I have a stash. I try to knit as much as possible from it, and maybe 50% of the time I succeed! Ha ha. This year I made it into September before buying any new yarn.
Sometimes I buy yarn that is pretty on the skein, but when I get home, I realize it will look terrible when knitted. Or the yarn is too thin for me to knit. My fingers hurt from too small needles. So those yarns, no matter how pretty, are just left in my stash.
And, most importantly – where can we find you?
You can find me on Ravelry, on Instagram as @artesanitarium and always at my website www.artesanitarium.com or you can subscribe to my newsletter to get some behind the scenes stuff, hear the most recent news and learn about test knit opportunities.
I have an Etsy shop where I sell knitted goods, samples and prototypes as well as project bags and other hand made goods.
Knotions: It’s always interesting to learn a bit about someone so far from me! We both share hobbies, but we definitely don’t share weather (I’m in Florida in the US).