I finished my Larch cardigan a couple of weeks ago, but the KAL is still kicking, and hopefully if you’re playing along at home, you’re close to wrapping up yours to be eligible for the prize drawing!
I can tell you that Larch will most definitely not be the last Savory Knitting pattern I knit. Now, when I’ll find the time to knit those other patterns is a different question. This two-month knitalong is really a celebration of Amy Christoffers, a dynamic talent in our knitting world, and it seems only right that we get to know a little bit more about the creative genius we’re all enamored with right now. I wanted to do this much sooner, but you know all about good intentions and plans and real life interference and all that. (Plus, you know, I was knitting a couple of cardigans.)
Q: How long have you been knitting?
A: Since 1999…
Q: How did you first learn…
A: My Grandmother tried to teach me when I was 8 or 9 but she wasn’t a very patient teacher and I wasn’t very interested so… I learned in college from a library book (the Principles of Knittng, how lucky was that!?)
and what first drew you to the craft?
A: A lace scarf in lavendar mohair. It was love at first sight, but a really bad choice for a first project.
Q: How long have you been designing knitwear?
A: Since I finished that first project, (it ended up nothing like lace). I’ve been writting patterns since 2010.
Q: How would you describe your overall design aesthetic?
A: I don’t know… I try to make things that are interesting to knit without being unnecessarily difficult. More importantly they need to be wearable not just comfortable, something you actually wear every day because it looks good and makes you feel good.
Q:Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
A: You know that old chestsnut “write what you know?” I’ve wanted to design clothes since I was 6 years old and I have a huge (HUGE) library of magazine clippings but, since anybody can (and does) look at the same fashion magazines and catalogs for inspiration, I try to look around me at my environment for ideas that will make my projects different.
Q: Texture seems to play a large roll in your designs, as opposed to color work or specific silhouettes. (By texture, I mean visual, as in letting the color variations in the yarn do the work. or tactile by incorporating stitch patterns.) What draws you to this design element?
A: I love color work, LOVE IT. I hope you’ll start seeing more of that soon. Knitting draws me to it. There are so many ways to decorate a surface, (painting, carving, emboridery…) but knitted texture patterns are unique and special to this medium.
All photos © Amy Christoffers
Q: Acer was the first garment pattern you published, in early 2010, and you’ve published more than 40 patterns in magazines, online, and under your own Savory Knitting label. How do you manage to stay passionate about designing knitwear?
A: It ebbs and flows. Generally the busier I am the faster the ideas come and when I hit a quiet spell I have a backlog of sketches and swatches to motivate me all over again.
Q: AND HOW DO YOU GET IT ALL DONE?!
A: I have no idea.
Q: If you are willing, please describe your general design process–do you sketch first, swatch first, etc.
A: Most of the time I sketch first, to get an idea for the whole of the idea, then swatch. Sometimes though the swatch sort of takes over and the whole idea spins off into something else and the original sketch gets saved for later. I think the most interesting work comes when you can be flexible and let ideas evolve.
Q: I realize this is probably the most difficult question, but do you have a favorite design that you’ve published, and if so, why is it your favorite?
A: Goldfish Mittens! Because they’re silly and practical. And small.
Q: You also sew and paint, what other, if any, creative outlets do you enjoy?
A: Cooking, bread baking, sometimes I enjoy gardening but I am not very good at it which takes some of the fun out of it. Also, parenting is a very creative endeavor and it takes a lot of the energy I used to have for new and exciting.
Q: Favorite fiber?
Q: English or Continental?
A: Continental… I started out English and I can go back and forth as needed.
Q: Cake or pie?
A: Neither. (C is for cookie, is good enough for me!)
Thank you, Amy, for inspiring us all and being so helpful when we have had questions throughout the knitalong!