{Designer of the month}

Switzerland is considered a neutral country. Perhaps it's because of its political restraint that it often doesn't play too big a role in the general perception. Which is, of course, somewhat unfair: Germany's southern neighbor has an incredible amount to offer - also in terms of knitting technology. There are big stories, like that of the yarn manufacturer Lang Yarns from the Wiggertal. And there are the little stories, like that of knitwear designer Simone Ryan from Zurich. That's what we're talking about today. Because just because someone seems smaller at first glance doesn't make them any less significant.

Simone Ryan
Simone Ryan aka Rust Knitwear. photo: © Simone Ryan

Simone is known to many by her stage name Rust Knitwear. From this you can immediately recognize two personal things: First, that English plays a big role in Simone's life - her roots are partly in the USA. And secondly, that rust tones are her favorite colors. Much like Switzerland itself, which has several official languages, Simone is multilingual. In addition to High German, she also speaks English and Swiss German. She learned to knit in school. "My grandma used to knit, too," she says, "so of course that influenced me."

Doll clothes designed 

And so knitting runs through her life. Simone has never really knitted according to patterns. Instead, the 30-year-old has designed clothes herself - also and especially for her big daughter and her dolls. "Maybe that wasn't necessarily always nice," she says with a laugh, "but the desire to create something myself was always there." With the pandemic, Simone discovered Ravelry and Instagram for herself - and to this day is thrilled by the sense of community there. It's also the people from the virtual knitting community who encourage her to continue dedicating herself to designing. At least as important: "Real friendships have also developed as a result," she says.

Lines Slipover
Rusty red for recognition: for example, on the Lines Slipover. Photo: © Simone Ryan

This sense of community that Simone describes in the interview is also reflected on her Instagram account. There she shares many insights into her work and also a bit of her family life. Sharing test knits or promoting the latest model of another designer is part of it for Simone. At the same time, she also shows how the development of her own designs, which cover a wide range of sizes, takes place. "I'm totally into process," she says. That can sometimes lead to her getting stuck on one part until it really fits.

Exciting everyday life

Her openness is also reflected in the fact that she told her virtual knitting community quite honestly about her breakup with her partner last summer. "It turned my world upside down," she wrote at the time. But here again, the beautiful side of the Internet shows. The mother of two receives a lot of encouragement and good wishes.

Nevertheless, she is largely left to her own devices in everyday life. A few hours a week belong to her alone. "I work a lot in the evenings," Simone explains. "But even at breakfast, I sometimes answer a few e-mails or cast on the side." Her kids know that and it's fine with them. "And the better I get tasks done, the more I can focus on them completely afterwards."

This is also where Simone's actual profession comes through a bit: psychology. She is currently taking a break from her studies in favor of her family, but also because of her self-employment. Perhaps that's why the young mother knows particularly well how important mental health is, too. "The way things are now is best for my mental health," she says - and you believe her right away.

Comfortable and suitable for everyday use, but never boring  

So it goes on with Simone. She's currently working on pattern for a shirt that can be knitted with either short or long sleeves. For the fall, she is planning a structured cardigan and a project that she can only tell you more about in due course. Everything always one after the otherr: Rust Knitwear is a one woman business. Grading - calculating the different sizes when knitting - had been outsourced by Simone in the meantime. "But now I'm doing it myself again," she says. The supervision in test knitting had been too time-consuming, she says, because she hadn't "had the numbers in hand" herself. She also does the translation of her patterns, which are always available in English and German, herself. Anyone who has a question about one of her designs will also get the answer from her.

Hector's Bonnet
Rust Knitwears portfoli also includes designs for children. Here: Hector's Bonnet Photo © Simone Ryan

Designing is the main focus of her work right now. She plans to continue with her podcast - but in a way that fits into her everyday life. "When the children are older, I also want to work as a psychotherapist," says Simone. What a nice outlook: That someone who has already experienced and mastered a lot herself will then listen to and help others.


About Sophia

I'm Sophia, live in Hannover and since October 2020 I've been taking care of the blog posts, the newsletter, planning the podcast and coming up with actions for social media. By the way, I also happen to be a knitting addict, which benefits me at work.

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the products in the




Great thing, but my impression is that, like many women, she wants to do everything 150%.
Be careful.
Have a nice weekend


What a beautiful post! Congratulations dear Simone! 🙂
The cosmo cardigan has been on my knitting list for way too long!

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