Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Unwind with the Knitting Swede

Yes! More wonderful vendors and this time it's the Knitting Swede, better known as Tanja. Tanja will be joining Unwind as a vendor so I asked her to answer a few questions and share some of her crafting experiences with us...

Please introduce yourself and your business in 2-3 sentences.
I am a fiber obsessed, knitting Swede living in the UK, having left Stockholm for London 18 years ago. After years in the Square Mile I felt it was time for a change in my life so I started The Knitting Swede. I did so with a focus on high quality [BFL based] yarns sourced from ethical British suppliers and breeds indigenous to The British Isles & Ireland – with the hope of introducing some Swedish yarns/fibre in the future.

What treats can we look forward to seeing at your stand during Unwind?
Hopefully I’ll have a little something for everyone J

As far as yarn goes; fresh out of my kitchen is the amazingly soft and luxurious Charisma, a BFL / Silk mix dyed up in some of my best selling colours as well as some new colours.
Charisma both is and isn’t a new base… it’s not been listed in either of my shops as I intended for it to ‘debut’ at Unwind. However, word got out, and some of my existing customers have already asked to have this base dyed up as they did not want to wait until Unwind to get their hands on it (or as one customer said: what if you sell out before I get there!!??!)

When it comes to new colours, the highlight is a Star Trek inspired collection of 5 new and beautiful colours, 3 of which you can see here in my Whisper base:

Whisper in 3 of the Star Trek Inspired Collection © The Knitting Swede

And finally, as to patterns, I have been working on a shawl design especially for Unwind. I can reveal that it’s a beaded shawl in the Charisma base, and as with most of my designs, simplicity is the key.  A little teaser:

Brighton Pearl © The Knitting Swede

Where do you find constant colour inspiration from?
Most recently; Star Trek.  I saw Star Trek Into Darkness live at Royal Albert Hall not long ago and the combination of the visuals of the film and the amazing live music by the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus was the inspiration for my latest (and only!!) collection.
Generally speaking though, my inspiration tends to come from nature and travelling and occasionally books or films.  What I do with the inspiration though, is very much affected by moods.

You also like to dye fibre, what blends do you enjoy working with the most?
I do dye fibre but not in very big quantities. I think I’m very much in the ‘still learning’ phase when it comes to fibre, as it is a much, much trickier medium to dye compared to yarn.
But, as with yarn, I must admit to my love of working with BFL.  In my humble opinion, no other fibre beats BFL.  It is a delight to dye, spin and knit with.

You’re also a designer, what kind of knitted item do you enjoy working on the most?
That’s an easy one J.  As you can tell by the few designs I have released; shawls!
I love designing shawls and shawlettes as much as I love knitting and wearing them. To me, a shawl is the ultimate accessory. It can be worn with anything and everything, and is as practical as it can be beautiful!

I also very much enjoy fingerless mittens, but for some inexplicable reason I have only ever written up one pattern… hmm, I might have to do something about that…

What are you looking forward to the most about Unwind?
Having grown up on an island in the Stockholm archipelago I’m looking forward to going to the seaside for a weekend - and I’m really excited to be exhibiting at my second yarn event as the first one was such a great experience.

I’m also looking forward to meeting a lot of creative, yarn & fiber loving people who are travelling to Brighton for the event from around the world.

A big thank you to Tanja for taking the time to share some insight into her knitting world. You can find Tanja’s website/ etsy shop by visiting or The Knitting Swede on Etsy. To keep up to date with all of the latest TKS news, keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook and the blog

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