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Ann Budd is an introvert.

If you’ve taken a class with her, met her on a cruise, or otherwise interacted with the ebullient Ann, you’re likely laughing in disbelief right now. She swears it’s true.

“I love the teaching. I get so excited. I have so much fun. Then once I get home, my husband’s accustomed to me not talking to him for two days as I recover,” she says.

Budd honed her introvert tendencies while she was a 12 year old in Switzerland, which is where her family wound up during one of her father’s sabbatical years. She didn’t speak the language and found it hard to communicate with her classmates and teachers. Fortunately, knitting was part of the curriculum.


“People talk about how knitting kind of saves their lives in times of stress. I realized kind of recently that it saved my life that year, simply by learning how to do it,” Budd remembers. “It was the one class besides math that I could participate in.”

Outdoing the Swiss Girls

That doesn’t mean knitting was easy for Ann to pick up.

“Swiss girls, when they’re 10 years old, knit matching table lace. I couldn’t hold the yarn and the needles in my hands at the same time. The teacher would give me some modified simpler project,” she says. “It gave me something to do.”


That early experience with struggling to learn might be why Ann is such a popular teacher, one whose patience is always on display in her classroom. Her life outside that sphere, like so many lives, is full of contradictions. She’s an introvert who loves to teach rooms full of people more about their craft. She has no sense of direction—she claims she can get lost in a parking garage—but loves to travel. Just during the past year, she’s been to Australia twice and done three craft cruises. She finds comfort in knitting but has no time to do just that.


“Right now, it’s almost like I don’t have the luxury to just sit and knit calmly because I’m editing or designing. It’s almost always work. I tend to spend the daylight hours at my computer then in the evening I knit if I can,” she says.

A Scientist Turns to Knitting

The young Ann did not see knitting as her future. Her intention was to become a scientist—but it turned out she didn’t like it much and found herself drawn into the fiber world. The first time Ann made money in the industry was working in a yarn shop in the early 1980s. Then she was hired by Interweave in 1989. When the first issue of Interweave Knits came out in the mid 1990s, Budd moved to over to knitting for good and, she says, “never looked back.”


Her books—she has created more than a dozen—represent a master class in techniques and patterns. Her Knitter’s Handy Books series provides recipes, not patterns, for garments of all sorts. A knitter can cook up a sweater in any size, socks for anybody, using the elaborate recipes that Ann created. We can only imagine the proofreading required on this numbers-rich series.

A list of her books can be found here.

Ann has seen a lot of yarn come and go during the years. She’s seen the rise of independent dyers and designers and the fall of novelty yarn. Shops have come and gone, as have magazines and publishers. Now, she thinks, the pendulum is swinging back to what our parents or grandparents did in the 1940s: tailored garments on smaller needles in a finer gauge.

It is a great pleasure to have Ann’s work in Modern Daily Knitting Field Guide No. 2: Fair Isle.


Après-Anything Socks. The fastest, cleverest sock pattern we’ve come across. Excellent footwear for every friendly introvert.


About The Author

Adrienne Martini, the author of Somebody’s Gotta Do It, would love to talk with you about the importance of running for elected office or about all of the drama of holding a seat on the Board of Representatives in Otsego County, New York. Adrienne blogs when the spirit moves her at Martini Made.


  • I can so relate to Ann, except that my sense of direction is pretty good. Thanks for the article, I really enjoyed reading it.

  • Ann Budd – my all time favorite “recipe” creator!

  • Looking forward to “channel” Ann while make the Aprés socks. Thank you for the bio!

  • Many thanks for sharing your love of the craft! Encouraged by your teaching, my Christmas gifts to
    My six grandchildren were a pair of golden socks apiece!

  • Her books are so wonderful!

  • I love Ann Budd! The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns is the first book I turn to when designing my own knits. LOVE the tables! I also know other extroverted introverts, or “ambiverts.” I’m glad that Ann has found a balance in her life. Good for her, and lucky for us!

  • such a refreshing read
    What a beautiful soul Ann is. My gramma taught me to knit and crochet at a very young age, Ann reminds me of her. I now teach my grandchildren. I have one more thing on my bucket list. To go on one of the cruises.

  • I will get to meet Ann at A Good Retreat in May… hosted by my LYS.., A Good Yarn Sarasota. Can’t wait!!

  • Thank you, Ann Budd! I had the pleasure of taking several of your classes! Always enjoy knitting your patterns. Knitting has saved me and kept me afloat during some of the toughest times. Now I have the joy of sharing the art through teaching and helping at my LYS!

  • Very nice article. I really like Ann’s books.

  • Ann Budd is one of my favorite knitting teachers–her books taught me a lot about how to knit sweaters. Wonderful profile!

  • I would like for Ann Budd to send me an e-mail due to the that I am a beginner knitter and purchased her book of sweater knitting patterns and do not understand the shaping of the shoulder and neck portion at the bottom of the page before I can continue. Please help!

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