Monday, December 08, 2014

Interview With Ruth Brasch

Karen: A Puff Stitch Infinity Scarf
 In conjunction with the Independent Designer Gift-along 2014, today I am featuring an interview with Ruth Brasch, an Independent Designer who blogs at Brasch Elegance. Ruth has a number of gorgeous designs in Knitting and Crochet that you can check out on her Ravelry Designer page (and you can even check them out even if you are for some reason not yet on Ravelry): Ruth's Designer Page. If you're on Ravelry, why not join her Ravelry group? She has plans for testing new patterns in the near future, and you'll be among the first to hear about them: Brasch Elegance Designs

How and when did you first learn to knit and crochet?
My mother taught me to knit when I was about 6-7. Nothing fancy, just the basics - I think I only knit garter stitch for years! One day I found a crochet hook in her drawer and asked her what it was. She said she didn’t know how to crochet, but my grandma could teach me. Well, my grandma lives in North Carolina, so she taught be to chain stitch when I was about 12, but then we left to go home! The rest I learned by getting out books from the library - you know, the ones with the diagrams and the black and white photos? That’s most of how I learned!

Ode to Summer

How did you decide to start designing?
My first “design,” if you could really call it that, was just a pair of fingerless gloves that I made up a recipe for, because I didn’t have anything like Ravelry to look up a pattern, and couldn’t find a pattern I liked. I made a couple things like that for a few years, but in the past year I realized that I’m working off other people’s patterns most of the time, and tweaking them to make them how I want them to be - why not just make my own patterns instead? I saw a few textures and stitches online that I really liked, and couldn’t find a pattern for them, so I started making them up myself!

Are there any other crafts that you enjoy working on? I see you've taken up spinning (I've been enjoying drop spindling since May myself), how are you liking it, and what sort of projects do you have on the go?
Well, I did just recently start drop spindling, but it’s sort of slow going for me at the moment because of the Christmas season, and the fact that I just discovered designing! I’m currently working on a baby alpaca 2 ply, which may get finished by next Christmas (haha), but my ambition is to buy a spinning wheel so my limited spinning time will be more productive!

What is your favourite yarn to work with at the moment? Do you have a favourite fibre and yarn weight? What would be your dream fibre to design something for (or spin for that matter) if you have the chance?
At the moment, I really enjoy Paton’s Colorwul, and have been making a lot of projects in bulky/super bulky weight purely because of time constraints. Ideally, I would like to work with a worsted/aran weight alpaca (can you tell I have a new obsession?!), but I don’t get the chance to work with higher quality fibers very often, as I’m on a budget. I have plans to design a “soft and squishy” collection, if you will, out of nicer/higher end yarns - purely because I want to, and don’t get the chance to often.
A Whale of a Cowl

I find I watch a lot of shows or listen to a lot of podcasts while stitching; how about you? Which do you enjoy and/or recommend?
I’m currently watching shows like The Mentalist, Doctor Who, The 100, and White Collar. I like shows with a lot of dialogue, so I don’t have to look at the screen very often - my husband and I often joke that crafters listen to shows rather than watching them.

Do you have any upcoming designs that you are able to share details with us at this time?
I’m planning a collection of textured cowls - I wanted to have them published before the Gift A Long, but just didn’t get to it in time. My Black Walnut Infinity Scarf is actually planned to be included in the collection, so more along those lines.

You've a number of lovely cowls (I'll share a link to them here) for both knit and crochet, and cowls have certainly been trending well lately! Tell us about what you think makes for a great cowl, and if you have plans for more coming up.

Black Walnut Infinity Scarf
I see you’ve noticed my current design obsession! For cowls or infinity scarves, I like versatility, and an interesting stitch pattern. I like scarves that look harder to make than they actually are - usually they start because I see an interesting texture or stitch somewhere and can’t get it out of my head. Like I said, I plan to make a whole collection of them in a similar fashion to the Black Walnut Scarf.

Thanks so much Ruth, and, to everyone out there, hope you are all enjoying the Gift-along!

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