This last of frosty February finishes up our theme of fabulous patterns and Rockstar designers. I love the feedback this theme has gotten. Lots of you have shared your favorites with me in emails and in person, and it's fun to hear about designers you love too! For this series, I've focused on designers who do garments as well as accessories. We all love the quick beautiful cowl, but where Rockstar quality is really important is in garments. We invest so much in the knitting of a sweater. When the knitting is all done, we expect the pieces to go together correctly, and we expect it to fit. Sketching and knitting a gorgeous garment is one thing, but following through with the detailed process of pattern drafting is a completely different, additional expertise. Pattern drafting is the careful calculation and meticulous recording of stitches, rows, and pattern repeats that turn a good-looking design into something knitters can actually use. A good pattern designer has to be an architect creating both the inspired design and the detailed construction plans.
This week's Rockstar designer is Anne Hanson, a talented, meticulous, and prolific designer and pattern architect with more than 380 designs on Ravelry - socks, hats, wraps, blankets, and of course, garments. Anne loves lace and cables, and in her designs these traditional techniques take on a fresh modern look. You would definitely buy her stuff in the store, only you would never find such an array of smart and interesting styles. You can choose patterns for 42 different hats, 67 socks, 50 mittens and gloves, and 22 garments , all really attractive.
Anne's patterns are accurate and well written. I'll add my own personal bias here and tell you that I love that Anne designs here sweaters to be worked flat with side seams and set in sleeves. She is one of those designers you learn from, just by knitting her patterns. The photographs accurately represent the garments' shape and proportion because she uses real people as models - often modeling her garments herself. Which brings me to sizing. Anne herself is a slender, petite woman, but she designs for women of all heights and weights. Her patterns run from XS to XXL and often XXXL. That's really important. Designing across a wide spectrum of body shapes and sizes is challenging, but I believe everyone deserves a great fitting sweater.
If you have not knit anything by Anne Hanson, I invite you to try her cabled hat and scarf set, Monkey Bread, with us Saturday at our Learn and Grow session on cables. Or you could choose a larger project and join us for our next knitting safari which starts March 4th. But do try an Anne Hanson project - you'll learn a lot and be very happy with the result.