Here at creacrafts we’re all familiar with the idea of a knit-along (KAL) – your build-up throw is the perfect example. But what if you combined a KAL with a role-playing game (also known as an RPG)? Then you’d get a Yarn Quest! Tania Richter (aka AetherFang) is the creator of these inspirational knitting experiences; she describes them thus:
“Yarn Quest is one part knitting pattern, one part Role-Playing Game, and one part Choose Your Own Adventure. Each quest is a knitting pattern, and as the player leads their character through the quest they come across enemies to battle, choices to make, and items that all influence the patterns knitted on the project. That’s what makes Yarn Quest so special – almost every project is unique.”
Tania is also the designer of some gorgeous fantasy-inspired patterns – go to – https://www.ravelry.com/designers/tania-richter. We wanted to know a bit more so we asked her a few questions:
Can you describe a typical Yarn Quest?
A typical yarn quest often starts with the player’s character being transported to the land of Yarnia. They are tasked with taking on a Yarn Quest, and through the Yarn Quest they discover that there are issues in the land of Yarnia. They have to fight and defeat monsters to save Yarnia. Throughout the story, dice are rolled to determine what monsters you fight and the sights you see. This creates a knitted tapestry of your character’s adventure through the land of Yarnia. This often takes place with a scarf pattern, but also has been used for cowls, hats, and fingerless mitts.
People are familiar with KALs but how does the role playing game element in your Yarn Quests work?
The role playing aspect is twofold. First, you play as a character that is created through traditional RPG methods. You roll dice to determine what your stats are, and your stats will influence dice rolls throughout the game. Second is the dice rolling. Your entire project is based on randomly generating numbers through rolling dice. There are various outside influences that can change the numbers you roll and switch which charts you knit.
What inspires your designs?
I’m very inspired by art and fantasy. A lot of my patterns are based off of drawings and paintings that I’ve done. Celtic knots are one of my favorite things to design, and they play a pretty important role in my knitting design. I like to push the boundaries of illustrative knits.
You write fantasy novels: are there any authors or books that have inspired your writing – and your knitting?
Oh boy, there are quite a few. I’ve been pretty heavily influenced by Japanese light novels and manga along with the English pantheon of Ursula K. LeGuin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin McKinley, Terry Brooks, and Neil Gaiman. I’ve also been influenced by quite a few games, especially Japanese RPGs such as ‘Tales of the Abyss’ and ‘Monster Hunter’.
When did you start knitting and how did you learn – are you self-taught or did a relative or friend teach you?
I am mostly self taught as a knitter. My mother taught me how to crochet when I was 9, and in college I learned to knit from my room-mate’s boyfriend. I learned a lot of what I know from Youtube knitting tutorials.
Your patterns use the ‘double knitting’ technique – if possible, can you give us a brief explanation?
Double knitting is my favorite form of colorwork. With double knitting you’re essentially knitting two pieces of fabric at once so your project is perfectly reversible with one side being inverse colors of the other. Double knitting is far less complicated than it looks, all you have to do is knit, purl, and read a chart!
Is it possible to knit your designs using other colourwork techniques?
Absolutely! While they are designed for double knitting, instructions are included for colorwork in the round. I have also seen a few people who have crafted their projects with Tunisian or mosaic crochet.