Risë Burgie’s Rainbow Ruana: Crochet Designer Interview

Intro – Today we’re talking to crochet designer Risë Burgie, who contributed the Rainbow Ruana crochet pattern featured in our June 2024 issue.

Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired your design for this month?

I have always loved Rainbows and I wanted to design a rainbow inspired gender-fluid piece that would flow with this month’s Pride Issue and as an Ally to the LBGTIA+Q Community I wanted to design a piece that would be large enough to give the Pride Flag all its due. I feel my Rainbow Ruana encompasses those features and is dedicated to the many families and friends who rally under its banner.

What were some challenges about designing this piece?

Trying to write a simple pattern for a simple design construction. This piece has no shaping, just 4 rectangles and a square… not rocket science. Lol. I’ve learned to allot myself more design time for larger pieces in the future.

What’s your favorite aspect of this piece?

It’s versatility! The Rainbow Ruana can be worn front-to-back and back-to-front or side-to-side and it can be worn open, closed, or even belted!

If you were to create a sibling piece to this one, what would it be?

A Hooded Poncho made from four squares, each worked using a different stitch pattern.

What sort of customizations are you hoping creators will make when they crochet this piece?

I hope they will customize length and width measurements to fit their personal needs, adding or subtracting length or width where they need it and that they may be inspired to create their own design turning their favorite stitch patterns into rectangles and those rectangles into a custom designed Ruana of their own. This simple yet elegant design lends itself to unique finished results by using a variety of base fibers such as bamboo or silk blends would add incredible drape, acrylic would produce a lighter weight piece and wool or wool blends would provide warmth. Lace weight yarns would be ethereal. I hope they will feel free to rearrange the placement of the panels or decide to only use one or two pattern stitches for all 4 panels. They could add crocheted ties as side closures, and a crocheted belt. I envision many beautiful Ruana creations in the future.

How did you learn to crochet?

A childhood friend taught me how to crochet when I was 8 years old… she was only 7.

Is there anything you’d like to learn how to make?

I want to delve into more Free Form Crochet.

What is the most important thing you would want someone who’s just starting out to know?

Be patient.

What benefits has crochet brought into your life?

Creative outlet and escapism from everyday life with positive end results.

What is your favorite crochet technique or stitch pattern?

Single Crochet as of late.

Do you crochet more for yourself or for others?

I enjoy crocheting for others, especially for babies and children.

What are the smallest and largest items you’ve ever crocheted?

A beaded crocheted treasure bag necklace about the size of a quarter and a twin-size Granny Square stitch afghan.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever made?

A Willy Warmer and Pasties for a friend.

What project are you most proud of?

A pair of baby booties I designed and made for my nephew when I was around 10 yrs old. And of course, The Rainbow Ruana!

Do you do any other crafts? How do they compare to crochet?

Yes, I learned to knit when I was only 4 years old, I also, spin, make jewelry, do off-loom beadweaving, make soft sculpture dolls, I love them all!!

How can our readers find you on social media?

I have a Ravelry account under Azureknitting, however I must admit to not being very active the past few years.

Are you a crochet designer who wants to contribute to Crochet Foundry Magazine? We work with independent crochet designers to produce the gorgeous designs featured in our magazine. To find out more, visit our Submit a Design page and be sure to sign up for our Designer Calls be notified of design opportunities.

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