My name is Ranée and I live in Central Washington with my family of 10. I homeschool, have graduated two, and design in the between times.
We live on a small farm property where we keep chickens, turkeys, ducks, honeybees and, occasionally, pigs, and try to grow some of our own food.
How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear? My mother taught me how to knit when my teachers were on strike during my 5th grade year. She taught me fractions, assigned literature for me to read, and taught me to cast on, knit, and purl. A friend of hers taught me to bind off. Everything else, I learned from magazines, books and, later, the internet. Like many, I came to designing through modifying existing patterns. As my skills grew, I began thinking of ways to create styles I didn’t see and accomplish construction in an interesting way.
What designers do you admire & why? Too many to name, but here are just a few: Jenise Hope, whose designs are fun to make and rather feminine, flattering to many figures and shapes; Linette Grayum, whose designs are inspired by nature and have such amazing & creative construction; Happy Patty Crochet, whose crocheted flowers and plants look so real, you have to look twice to make sure they aren’t.
What does your design process look like? I especially love art, architecture, and geometric design. These are things I like to translate into soft knit fabric. However, sometimes a stitch pattern book will grab my attention, or even the design on a shower curtain. You never know where inspiration will strike. Often, my first step is finding a way to translate a pattern or design from one of these places into knitting, then to apply it in the best way. I try to minimize sewing and really appreciate one piece or modular work, so I try to incorporate these stitches, designs, and objects with that philosophy.
What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most? Most of what I knit are accessories and projects that can be completed rather quickly. Now that my kids are older, I have been moving to make more garments, just because I really do love knit sweaters, vests, and even PJs!
What are you best known for as a designer? First of all, I want to be known for beauty. A close second is accuracy. Those two make a pattern so much easier to make. Beyond that, I think I am distinctive for my use of texture and color, and for creative construction.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community? Cooking, ballroom and Latin dance, reading.
Is there anything else you’d like our knitters to know about you? Designing is problem solving for me. I like to see how I can make something in the simplest or most direct way. I view my job as a designer as making challenging tasks achievable.