As part of the original Around the World in 80 Skeins tour, stop 20 was to visit Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes, a knitwear designer living in Switzerland.
**Ágnes is participating in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry with 292 other designers from 21 countries. 20 of her beautiful patterns are 25% off through November 21 @11:59pm EST with code giftalong2014 – come join us!
Hi, Ágnes! Where do you live and where are you originally from? What do you miss most about home?
I’m originally from Hungary and moved to Switzerland in 2009 after I met my husband. I miss my family most but fortunately, I can chat with them or call them whenever I want to. It would have been much different a few decades ago!
What’s the best thing about where you live?
We live at the edge of a small village and the view is wonderful; there’s a lake nearby, there are hills with grazing cows, the Alps on the horizon when the weather is nice. I love being so close to nature yet being able to get to a city in 20 minutes.
How did you get started knitting? And how did it turn into designing?
I learned the basics at school at about 11 I think. A few months later, I got a reference book from my mother and I remember trying my hands on the various cable patterns I found in it. I designed my first sweaters for me and my brother at about 13 but I didn’t consider it as a future profession at the time. I didn’t even realize I was designing 🙂 I graduated as a language teacher and worked as one until early 2011. Then I felt it was time for a change. I can’t even remember how exactly it started, how and when I decided I wanted to do this as a profession and not as a hobby. But in a few months’ time, I had my first patterns out and my website launched. In the following year, I got my first acceptances from magazines. It was all like a dream come true.
Do you have a favorite local yarn store?
Well, it’s not in Switzerland and I’m not sure I’ll have the opportunity to go there ever again but my favorite LYS is the “All you Knit is Love” in Barcelona, not far from the Picasso Museum, I was there about 4 years ago. I loved the atmosphere there and the staff is very friendly.
It looks adorable – and I wouldn’t be able to resist the name! Where is your favorite place to work?
We have a large comfy couch, which is one of my favorite places. I also enjoy knitting in the garden when the weather is nice.
What is your design process?
There has to be a starting point. Like a very basic idea for a design, a theme for a collection, a yarn I really want to work with. First, I decide on the most important aspects that I don’t want to change later (e.g. shape or yarn weight). Then I usually start experimenting with stitch patterns, make a few charts and knit swatches to see how they look and if the pattern and the yarn are a good match. If they aren’t, I either change the pattern or the yarn. However, I can’t say I always follow the same path when I design. And sometimes the design develops really quickly but it can also be a long way with a few setbacks (and ripbacks).
Do you have a favorite design in your portfolio that is inspired by travel?
One of my collections takes the knitters on a Caribbean Cruise . It all started with a yarn that looked sooo tropical I decided it had to become a Tropical Morning . And then I thought, why not make a whole themed collection? I might have been inspired by the film Wide Sargasso Sea and A Caribbean Mystery in the Miss Marple series, both of which I have seen several times.
They are all beautiful designs and I can definitely see the Caribbean influence in the colors! Thank you so much for being a part of the blog tour!
Find Ágnes on Ravelry: AgnesKutas where you can join her Ravelry group: Agnes Kutas Knitwear Design