a chat with Tanja Osswald

Late last month I sat down for a virtual chat with Tanja Osswald, a crochet designer with a unique twist on the technique. Without further ado, let’s jump right in:

Comet by Tanja Osswald

Comet by Tanja Osswald

little acorn:
Many of your crochet designs do not look like average crochet, what inspired you to explore these techniques?
Tanja:
One of the reasons I enjoy crochet so much is that it is so versatile. If I need something stiff, standing up on its own without support, there are crochet stitches I can use. If I need something with lots of drape, there are crochet stitches for that, too. And for everything in-between.

For example, making a garment out of single crochets restricts you to certain options. If you add in linked stitches (which are related to Tunisian crochet) or slip stitch crochet, you have a lot more options concerning drape and shaping.

Besides, it is fun to explore new things just because I have not done them before. Right now, I’m working on developing textures with slip stitches, making spikes, popcorns, and scales.

little acorn:
I love that you look for the right stitch for your design instead of forcing something to do what it might not be best for!
How should a crocheter new to your designs begin?
Tanja:
My patterns are often unusual, so it helps if you are open to learn something new. Reading the techniques section with hook in hand and working through the directions instead of just reading them, is helpful, as well.
Petra by Tanja Osswald

Petra by Tanja Osswald


little acorn:
Yes! It’s one thing to read but to work through what you’re reading before you jump in, often makes the difference between success and complete befuddlement and frustration.
When not making, you can be found…
Tanja:
On Ravelry and in my German language Häkelclub (a crochet forum), when I’m online. Offline, I like to spend time with friends, read and do Yoga.
Guido Roswitha
little acorn:
What drives your creativity?
Tanja:
Curiosity is a strong factor in creating. “How can I make this work?” is what starts a lot of my designs. I have a background in mathematics, so I often see designing from a topological point of view. That is, I knew that horizontal cables had to be possible before I invented them, as well as invisible slip stitch seams.

Another aspect is that I like structures and patterns. Thus, a floor mosaic can inspire me to a shawl pattern. Doodling is a great source for patternings, too.

I also like writing up patterns, putting my sketchy notes into a form that other people can follow. Sometimes, this requires coming up with new ways of description – like symbols for slip stitch lace. My first hand-drawn symbols were made up on the spot and looked a lot more unique than the symbols I use now. They usually encoded a sequence of several stitches. When I wrote my first slip stitch lace pattern (Frechen), I decided it was easier for others to use symbols that are close to what is around – so my symbols became more knit-style.

Berlin Braids by Tanja Osswald

Berlin Braids by Tanja Osswald


Surfing the Clouds by Tanja Osswald

Surfing the Clouds by Tanja Osswald

little acorn:
Ok, I ask everyone, kitten or puppy snuggles?
Tanja:
Both. But if I have to choose, it is kittens. My favorite snuggle memory is when I visited a friend with small kittens. When I sat down for breakfast, they crawled onto my lap and dozed off. I think I’ve never spent so much time at a breakfast table.
little acorn:
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me!


Tanja can be found at www.osswald-design.com.
Her Ravelry group is A Hookful of Splendor.

Fly Fly Mittens by Tanja Osswald

Fly Fly Mittens
by Tanja Osswald

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