Anna Verschik is a character whose presence exudes self-awareness. Anna is a fascinating mix of intellectual and artisan, a respected university lecturer and a passionate knitter. In cooperation with Anna, five pieces of knitwear were also prepared for our last Mirage fashion show.
Anna, please tell me, how did you find the knitting needles? Have crafts been part of your family too? Do you have any pictures of this topic from your childhood?
My mother used to knit a lot. When I was 7 years old, I asked her to teach me. She taught me the basics. Other things came later, and it wasn’t until my own daughter needed yarn for a craft class that we went to the store and I was blown away by the options. A big contrast compared to Soviet times. Then I thought, I know how to knit, I could start doing something. At that time there was already the internet, international knitting forums, and all kinds of tutorials. I looked at the tutorials and started to think, why knit with stitches If you can do it without them? I immediately started experimenting with my design.
You have found your handwriting and techniques as a knitter, please tell us more about them.
Knitting helped me better understand what style is. If you buy a ready-made item or even order it, it’s one thing, but if you start doing it yourself from the beginning, many questions arise at once. It develops both a sense of style and design skills. I like minimalism, that was kind of clear from the beginning. I can also knit braids or abstract patterns, but the main thing is that the knit should not be overloaded.
Knitwear is timeless by nature - people have been wearing body coverings made of wool for centuries. What are the advantages of knitwear in today's colourful fashion scene?
I have a hard time answering this question. The fabric surface is enchanting, you want to look at it and touch it with your hand.
Your own style is dark and minimalist. How do you think about your clothing choices?
Knitting and design make you think: not just whether you like it or not, but why, and whether you like the picture (a specific model in a specific outfit) or the knit/clothing itself, etc.
Some people want to try many things (think colours, fashions, styles, etc.). However, it has always been important to me to find my own. Some inner voice says that, for example, it can be tested, but it is not mine, etc. The appearance is so-called cold and contrasting, so cold, intense tones, such as emerald green, are suitable. I’ve tried several colours, but I feel like I don’t need them.
You often make knitwear to order. Talk about your cooperation with the client. How do you find common ground?
Most of the time, people look at pictures of knitwear and say: I would like it, but in a different colour, etc. So the customer already has an idea of my handwriting. Good friends sometimes order in general terms, e.g. if they need a summer top with some pattern, then we look at the pictures of the patterns and decide. It very rarely happens that the customer comes to the wrong master, i.e. the aesthetics of the customer and the master do not coincide. I don’t knit wedding dresses or cream pattern sweaters, I usually recommend someone else.
Please tell us about your relationship with accessories, do you have a favourite with a special meaning or story?
I like statement rings. Can’t tell any stories. But I’m happy to see what Estonian jewellery artists are doing.
What colour are you most afraid of? In your case, which colour of the rainbow would spark your eye last? 😉
The answer to this question is clear: the main colour is black, but sometimes there is also dark grey. The creator (or nature) is a brilliant colourist, all colours are beautiful in nature, but as I said, I don’t need other colours in my clothes.
You have made a huge contribution to helping Ukraine. Please also talk about your relationship with this country.
I haven’t done anything huge. I started following events in 2013. at the end in Ukrainian; if you know Russian, you will gain comprehension skills quite quickly. Actually, it’s a big land with powerful literature and poetry, I’m mainly interested in that. I translate Ukrainian poetry, and I speak at conferences about the Ukrainian language and the linguistic situation in Ukraine. We could talk about this topic for a long time, but it would not fit in a blog post.