Meet the Tutor – Anniken Allis
The second in our series of ‘Meet the Tutor’ blogs. In this one we meet Anniken, who runs some of our knitting workshops.
Anniken’s first workshop of 2018 is on Saturday 10th February and is Fair Isle and Steeking.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Anniken Allis and I design knitting patterns and teach knitting workshops.
Can you tell us a bit more about your craft?
I teach a variety of knitting subjects and I love teaching lace knitting and fair isle knitting techniques. Knitting is such a magical way of turning yarn into garments and accessories. Knitting has a meditative quality and you can do it anywhere. I love taking my knitting out and about and almost every time I sit down, I’m knitting
How long have you had an interest in what you teach?
I’ve been knitting since I was a little girl growing up in Norway. My mum was always knitting and I picked it up. I don’t actually remember learning to knit. It’s just something I’ve always done. I stopped knitting for a few years after moving to the UK but when I picked it up again I became interested in designing my own patterns which led to teaching. I’ve been designing knitting patterns and teaching workshops for about 10 years.
Who was the first person to show you this craft?
My Mum taught me to knit but neither of us remember me learning to knit. I was very young.
What do you enjoy most about knitting?
I love that knitting is so portable and you need relatively little equipment. With some knitting needles and yarn we can create very simple things or extraordinarily extravagant things. Some days I love knitting fairly simple shawls in garter stitch, other days I’m knitting a delicate lace shawl or intricate fair isle sweater.
Where do you get their ideas/inspiration?
I get ideas and inspiration from various places. I like to people watch and get a lot of ideas from what I see people wearing or garments I see in the shops. I live in a beautiful part of the UK, Cornwall, and I also take inspiration from the beautiful scenery where I live now and where I grew up in Norway. My fair isle designs are mainly inspired by traditional Norwegian ski sweaters. For my lace designs I take inspiration from various lace knitting traditions such as Shetland, Orenburg, Estonia etc.
What is a good starting project for someone who is new to your craft?
I would recommend knitting a shawl that can be worn as a scarf. There are lots of fairly easy shawls using either simple lace patterns or garter stitch and stripes.
How long will it take a beginner to make something they’ll be pleased with?
A new knitter can knit a simple cowl or hat in a few days or weeks, depending on the yarn they choose. With knitting you can make things as easy or difficult as you wish.
What has been your personal favourite make?
Probably my Midnight Stole which is a delicate, beaded lace stole. When I designed it, it was the most difficult lace project I’d knitted to date. It was a real challenge to design and knit and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Can you teach your craft to someone left handed?
Yes, I’ve had many left-handed knitters in my classes. I’ve also had knitters using the combined continental knitting technique.
What secret tip can you give us?
Anyone can knit! It just takes practice. The more you practice, the better you get. Use the best quality yarn and needles you can afford. There are many good quality natural yarns available at affordable prices. Choosing slightly better quality needles will make your knitting much more pleasurable than buying the cheapest needles available.
And now for some fun ones!
What’s your favourite hobby outside of work?
Knitting! I love knitting and because knitting takes a lot of time, most of my knitting is ‘work’ knitting. I also like cycling, travelling and spending time with my family.
What’s your favourite food?
Being from Norway, one of my favourite foods is roast reindeer. We often have it for Christmas. I also love chocolate and prawns.
What’s your favourite book?
Anything by Jane Austen.
Anniken is teaching Fair Isle and Steeking on Saturday 10th February and Beaded Lace on Saturday 21st July. Both of these are available to book by clicking here.