Every time I see an Isabell Kraemer design, I want to make it. They are just timeless looking. (And really, if we’re going to spend a lot of time knitting something, don’t we want them to stand the test of time? I do.) She also has designed beautiful shawls and cowls, and her Indigo Frost poncho has been on my list forever. I know you will enjoy learning more about her today. (Note – all pattern links go to Ravelry in this post.)
Loopy: Hi Isabell! Thank you for being in the spotlight today. Tell us, who taught you to knit, and how long have you been a knitter?
Isabell: Hi Loopy! I think I started knitting when I was 15 or so. I was told that we were taught how to crochet in primary school but somehow this experience must have been an awful one because I simply cannot remember this! 😉 When I was a teen, I taught myself how to knit (mostly from books my mom had stored in the darkest corner of her bookshelf).
Loopy: It must mean that you were not meant to be a crocheter, but you were definitely meant to be a knitter! What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Isabell: Sweaters 🙂
Loopy: I could have guessed that! When did you start designing and what spurred that interest?
Isabell: Probably very early, most (if not all) clothes of my dolls were ‘designed’ and hand sewn by myself. After school I was professionally trained as a dressmaker, but never worked in this job after the 3 years of training. I think the first knitwear patterns I wrote were published in 2011/2012 (the free ones … On the Beach, Paulie, and Driftwood). Becoming a knitwear designer was a process that started off with me being a test knitter for some lovely knitwear designers. They encouraged me to write down my notes for the projects (sweaters) I had done without using a pattern. There never was a master plan, and I actually never ever would have thought that I would work as a knitwear designer at some point in my life. But I felt the need for sharing my ideas, and how cool and exciting it is to be able to create modern and wearable sweaters by hand.
Loopy: I agree with that. It really is cool to be able to knit your own wardrobe, and I’m glad you were prompted to put your work out there. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Isabell: This changes every now and then. (Right now I am totally in love with the Don’t Ask cardigan). But the ones I would always come back to in terms of wearing them, no matter how ‘old’ they are, would be Humulus, Reagan, Ashes, and The Purl Code Sweater.
Loopy: All very beautiful and classic designs. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your no-so-favorite part?
Isabell: The most favorite part is trying out a yarn and starting off with an idea. The not-so-favorite part (and I am sure that I am not the only one) is getting my crappy notes into a proper pattern and the grading.
Loopy: You are definitely not the only one. I have heard many designers say they don’t enjoy the grading! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Isabell: Full-time since July 2017. Before that I was working at an Arts and Craft store and had a part-time job (weekends) as a waitress to be able to pay the ‘left-overs’ of my not-so-lucky first marriage. It is hard but I still feel like I have one of the best jobs in the world, no matter how hard it is to keep some kind of a work/life balance running a one-woman-business.
Loopy: That whole work/life balance thing is hard. I think especially for people who really love what they do and love spending time on it. Does anyone else in your family knit?
Isabell: Not really. My mom has been working on a pair of socks for over two years now, which means she knows how to knit but it definitely is not one of her favorite hobbies! 😉
Loopy: Well that sure is a bit long for one pair of socks! But at least she has something going in the knitting arena. Are there other hobbies you enjoy?
Isabell: I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, running, snorkeling, swimming, or just meeting up with friends.
Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off? I’m guessing something to do with the outdoors!
Isabell: My dream day off would be a day at the Red Sea, getting up early in the morning to watch some dolphins, spending a good portion of the day in and under water, ending it with a lovely dinner aaaaaand … some knitting.
Loopy: That does sound like a lovely day with all of your favorite things combined. Ok, last question – Morning or night person? Coffee or tea? English or Continental? Solids or multicolors?
Isabell: Night, coffee, Continental, and solids!
Loopy: Thank you again for joining us today!
Isabell is offering 20% off of one pattern of your choice, from her self-published patterns (Isabell Kraemer’s Ravelry Store). You can find her patterns on Ravelry: click here. The discount code is: TLE2020 and will work from October 16-23, 2020.
And then don’t forget to check out our yarn choices for your new pattern! Here are our favorites for colorwork: Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper, Sandnes Garn Peer Gynt, Fiber Co Lore, Stonehedge Shepherd’s Wool, and Cascade 220.
Have a great weekend, all!
I love Isabel’s patterns! Thank you!
Thanks for another great designer spotlight. Isabell’s patterns are so beautiful that it’s hard to choose between them.
Thank You for sharing. Very inspirational.
Isabell’s designs and her pattern instructions are exquisite; I have made several and look forward to more. I so enjoy wearing my Humulus, fit is perfect.
Thanks for the highlight! Love Isabell’s designs. I have yet to make one of her sweaters, which are always so classic, but have made several of her shawls. Paris Toujours is my fav!
Isabell Kraemer was a great knitting designer , I loved her patterns .
Sorry to trouble you, but there’s a whole section missing in my instructions for your beautiful Mailin sweater. Where are the instructions for Size M1? (Sizes for XS, S, M2, XL and XXL are included, though Size L is also missing). I’m stymied! And I’m pretty experienced…
Hope you can help!
Thank you, Julia
Hi Julia – it looks like there is a thread on Ravelry for questions about the Mailin Sweater. Check here: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/designs-by-isabell-kraemer/3271884/1-25