Annika Andrea Wolke Designer Portrait

The future of craft needs to be more sustainable

Inspired by everything and nothing, Annika collects stories, is passionate about using up her yarn stash and is trying to be more spontaneous.

design style

I would describe it as developing

I came to design only a few years ago…

after initially taking up knitting as a hobby, so it’s a work in progress. I like comfort, layers and simple shapes but beyond that I wouldn’t say that I have a defined style. As I grow and change as a person so do the pieces I design, and I’m finding that I’m learning as much about myself in the process as I am about knitwear.

Annika Andrea Wolke Designer Design Style
design process
Annika Andrea Wolke Designer Design Process

I start with swatching

an integral part of the design process

When I first started knitting, I absolutely hated swatching and usually just wanted to get on with whatever project I had selected, which has resulted in a number of jumpers and cardigans that didn’t actually fit because my gauge was off. But now I see it as an integral part of the design process and as an outlet of creativity, enabling me to try out new stitch patterns and ideas.

I am inspired by everything and nothing.

I am constantly observing and absorbing things around me, but I don’t think there is one particular thing I look to for inspiration. My design icon is not one person but everyone around me, be it someone I see on the street or people I follow on social media. I hope that my designs reflect this and are accessible to everyone.

Annika Andrea Wolke Designer Recent Design Left
Annika Andrea Wolke Designer Recent Design Centre
Annika Andrea Wolke Designer Recent Design Right

On my knitting needles now is a cardigan and a jumper for myself

and I’ve always got a few presents for other people on my needles too. I love to wear things that I have made for myself as I find it really empowering.

The best advice I’ve ever been given was by my mum

who told me to go and do my own thing and if for any reason it doesn’t work out, I always have a home. There’s a real freedom in the reassurance of a safe place to return to.

yarn stash

Is not as big as it used to be

I'm trying to give some away!

I can admit that it used to take over my whole spare bedroom and guests had to share the room with boxes of yarn! but recently I have sorted out a lot of leftover yarn from long completed projects and given it to friends. I also try to limit buying yarn to when I have a specific project in mind so that I don’t create too much waste.

Annika Andrea Wolke Designer Yarn Stash
I love to collect
Annika Andrea Wolke Designer I Collect

stories and knowledge (according to my friends!)

I am not very attached to physical items

unless they have a specific meaning, like my spinning wheel that was the last gift I received from my dad before he passed away. But I love to read and to listen, to learn the stories of different people and how their lives look and feel, for me it’s the best education.

happiest when

I have the time to do the things that are most important to me

making things, reading, yoga, going for walks, and being with family and friends

All these things are at their best without an agenda or time limit, and it’s the same for knitting, which is why I aim to design projects that are achievable to fit into the busy lives of most knitters.

Annika Andrea Wolke Designer Happiest When

When I’m not knitting

I am reading, practicing yoga, or cooking and eating food.

If I wasn’t a knitwear designer I would be a cookery book editor

I love cookbooks and trying out new recipes so I think I would be quite good at it.

The future of craft

needs to be more sustainable as the impact of climate change becomes a reality for more and more people. I think the focus should be on using the resources we already have. Skills to mend as well as ways to re-use and re-imagine the yarn, fabric and whatever else we have at home should be taught, practiced and shared.