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GAL 2015 Interview: Designer Tanja Luescher

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We’re entering the last week of the Indie Design Gift-A-Long over on Ravelry (check it out here if you want to join in the fun!). One of the best things about the GAL for me is discovering new-to-me designers.

Tanja Luescher designs gorgeous lace shawls and accessories. She kindly answered a few questions for me, so without further ado, here’s the interview!

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Tanja modeling her Marion’s Cowl design

Triona Murphy (TM): What inspired you to start designing?

Tanja Luescher (TL): I modified patterns or used recipes to create my own very soon. I’m very small, so I had to make changes to get something that fits me. After a course on shawl design by Renee Leverington I felt confident enough to publish my own patterns.

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Margrit’s Pi Shawl

TM: You have such gorgeous intricate lace designs! What is your design process like for these?

TL: In the beginning, I take out my huge collection of stitch dictionaries and see what I fall in love with this time. Sometimes I have an idea what I’m looking for, sometimes I just let the pictures inspire me. When I’ve found one or more stitch patterns, I change some details here and there to make them work for the item I have in mind, and after that begin to knit. In that phase, a lot can happen. A shawl might become a cowl, stitch patterns get added or removed. I have to see the knitting on my needles to know what the design really wants to be. I envy those who have a perfect plan and a pattern written out before they begin to knit. Maybe I’ll get there some day. :)

TM: Are you participating in the Gift-A-Long as a crafter as well as a designer? If so, what do you plan to make/have you made?

TL: I’ve cast on Vining Roses by Natalia Sha, Fairy Ring Socks by Kirsten McTeer, Pleach by Clare Devine and Sand Tracks Scarf by Tracey Lee. I love this opportunity to knit other people’s designs! :)

TM: Is there a design of yours that you love and would like to see more people make?

TL: Yes, Soraya’s Faroese Shawl, I’d love to see it get more attention.

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Soraya’s Faroese Shawl

TM: What are your design goals for the next year?

I want to have more than 30 patterns available and answer some submission calls. An idea I’ve already begun with is working with Caterpillargreenyarn’s Shawl Striping yarns and see what happens when you use them for other shapes than the triangles that they are meant for. It’s so much fun to experiment with the gorgeous colors!

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