Lena Skvagerson, Lead Designer of Annie’s Signature Designs, was our guest today on the Yarn Thing podcast. It was a wonderful visit to close out May with!
Lena grew up in Sweden, she was not taught to knit or crochet by her mom, but in school, everyone is taught sewing, knitting, crocheting as well as woodworking. At a point, when she was a teenager, there was mohair sweater trend and Lena says her mother wouldn’t knit the sweater, so she went with friends, got the yarn and made it herself. After that she was ‘just knitting’, without thought that this would be a career. She was working in a construction company’s office, taking pattern writing classes at night. A job was posted at DROPS that everyone told her she should apply for, and she was part of their team for 25 years!
Lena says she learned so much while she was there. Watching the company grow and step into internet and website, being contacted by Ravelry and stores all over Europe and then spreading into the US, first into California. This was especially exciting for Lena personally, as her father lives in California. As she continued to work for Drops, getting patterns published in magazines for them, developing relationships with publishers in the US, Annies asked her become the Lead Designer at Annie’s. She finds it exciting to work on the entire design, working with tech editors, playing with new yarns… She works with them remotely from her home in California (moved there ten years ago) as Annie’s is in Indiana.
A recent new thing for most of us is the Annie’s Signature Designs Lookbook, A Knit version or Crochet, that you can look through on your computer or other device, perhaps you find something you’d like to make, you can purchase the kit directly through the website, or just get the pattern, even through Ravelry so you have it in your library forever.
One of the designs that’s become a hit, is the Circle Vest. (Links to Ravelry) It’s crocheted with Red Heart Yarns Unforgettable, so it’s obtainable for everyone! Perfectly photographed at the beach in the Lookbook… Another beautiful garment is the Wanderlust Cardigan, knitted with a hoodie in Beroco Weekend, an Aran weight, so you can see that Annie’s works with many different yarn companies, and Lena says she appreciates the ‘work horse’ yarns that will be around for a long time and at lower prices, making it available to more crafters.
Lena has also been an expert on the Knit and Crochet Now show (have we heard so many wonderful stories from those folks lately?) for the seasons 6 & 7.
IF you missed getting to hear this LIVE, it is still available as an archived episode where it aired originally: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/05/31/lena-skvagerson-lead-designer-of-annies-signature-designs or with your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio. There is also behind the scenes video on Marly’s Facebook page.