Isabell Kraemer on Aine – Echoes of Heather and Stone

On the blog today we welcome the talented Isabell Kraemer to chat about her design, Aine, for Echoes of Heather and Stone. Aine is a beautiful garment with a colourwork yoke inspired by torc necklaces.  I hope you enjoy learning a little about Isabell’s background and design inspiration below.
Welcome Isabell
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background?
I live in a small medieval town in south-west Germany with my husband, son and three crazy and beautiful cats.
My grandmother tried to teach me to knit when I was very young but without success and I eventually taught myself from books when I was at school.  I put my needles down as I got older because I always wanted to be a fashion designer so I went on to study dressmaking after I left school.  I got back into knitting after discovering knitting blogs and Ravelry.  I started to test knit for other designers like Joji Locatelli, Veera Välimäkia and Heidi Kirrmaier.  I would always adapt the pattern to make it more my style and was encouraged to write my own patterns.   I am so grateful for my test knitting experience and have been able to use this knowledge along with my tailoring education to create patterns which I hope are accessible to all.
 
Can you tell us about your design process for Aine?
My design process is always chaotic.  It starts with some thoughts and scribbling.  Normally I cannot work quickly enough to get the ideas into my sketchbook or onto any scrap piece of paper or napkin I can find.  I thought with this design that I wanted to have a colourwork yoke sweater and the Nua yarn is absolutely perfect for this.
 
Within Echoes of Heather & Stone can you tell us about your inspiration for the design and then how it translates to your finished piece? 

Ireland has such a rich history and I wanted to reflect some of its culture in this sweater design.  My aim was to create a contemporary design that recognised the geometric lines and shapes of the ancient Celtic symbols.  My idea was to design a torc-like yoke (necklace) incorporating some of the stylised and energetic circular forms of Celtic runes but with a more modern (current) twist.  With Aine, I hope I have achieved this.
 
Where did the name of the pattern come from? 

When I first heard Aine I thought it was a beautiful name.  I then found out if was an
Ancient Irish name that means splendour, radiance and brilliance.  Apparently, Aine appears in folktales as “the best-hearted woman who ever lived – lucky in love and in money”.  What more could anyone ask?
 
What level of knitting experience would you need to knit this sweater? Is it one that you would recommend to adventurous beginners? 

Definitely adventurous beginners.  Although there is colourwork involved it is not too complicated and gives a great result.  The sweater is worked in the round from the top down so there is no seaming and you are able to try the garment on to ensure the correct fit.
 
When knitting Aine, do you have any tips for knitters to take care or watch out for? 
Hmmm.  The only thing I can suggest here is to highlight the size you are knitting if you can.  This way it makes it much easier to keep track of the increases for your size.  There are rather a lot of these at the beginning of the pattern.
 

The sweater is knitted with Nua yarn, do you have any tips for knitters working a sweater with Nua? 

I think that the thing I love the most about Nua yarn is the combination of the fibres it uses – wool, yak and linen.  This makes the yarn really easy to work with and gives the finished garment wonderful drape.  In my opinion, the heathery effect of the yarn makes the colours more lively and have more depth than a plain solid alternative.  The only tips I can give when working with this yarn is to take time to enjoy the knitting process, the yarn is wonderful, and to have fun picking colours for the yoke.

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Thank you so much, Isabell, for taking the time to answer some questions on your Aine design for Echoes of Heather & Stone. If you would like to hear more from Isabell you can find her over on Instagram and you can find more of her beautiful designs on Ravelry here.
There will be more upcoming releases from Echoes of Heather and Stone coming soon and if you want to be one of the first to hear about the books release dates and launch party then sign up to the Stolen Stitches newsletter here. You can read previous posts about Echoes of Heather & Stone here and the book is now available for presale here! 

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