Amy Duncan joined us early on in IDP and I couldn’t be more delighted to have her in the program. Her patterns are all fantastic fun projects and give us a glimpse of her personality through them – can I just say I’m in love with her Laodice Shawl? I have the sample here & I like to wear it around the office. Though it does looks better on her:
It been great to get to know Amy (we both share a deep love for The Amazing Race) and I’m so excited to share my interview with her!
How long have you been knitting?
I started knitting three years ago this past March.
What motivated you to learn to knit?
According to my partner, we were sitting on the couch one day when I said “I’m going to learn to knit.” She then challanged me to a crafterly duel and said that she was going to begin cross stitching again. I won.
Who taught you to knit?
I bought a “Teach yourself to knit” kit off of Ebay, complete with thick Barbie plastic needles and acrylic yarn. It was an Epic Fail. Then I turned to Youtube. It was like light bulb turning on. After that, I was like a kitten chasing after a ball of yarn rolling down a hill. The obsession grew exponentially. The rhythm, the motion, the counting were like a swan song to my restless hands and mind. Having a useful (most of the time) item at the end was icing on the cake.
What was your first project?
If you count the disastrous kit, it was scarf. Ok. A scarf chunklet. My first project was a brown washcloth with the letter E in the middle. I had no concept of what was happening in regards to the pattern. Just blindly following the written directions. I was about half way done when I realized that the patterning was working upside down. It was such an exciting revelation. I may have squealed out loud.
What is your favorite fiber to work with?
I love love love pure merino wool. I’ve also recently become obsessed with sock yarn. I’m a sucker for a soft hand and a bright, circus horse colour palette.
Is there anything in particular that inspires your designs?
I’m fascinated by texture in everyday objects. Decorative manhole covers, fencing, skylines. I never know when a shape or colour will catch my eye. I’ve always been known to take pictures of random items. It wasn’t until I started exploring designing that I realized that was what I had been taking such pictures for so many years for. Stock piling!
Who are some of your favorite designers?
Norah Gaughan, Wolly Wormhead, Ysolda, and Stefanie Japel are among my favourites.
How long do your designs take to create from start to finish?
Not including giving my test knitters time to do their magick, I’d say from conception to finished pattern can take about a week or two. Mind you, I’ve not entered the world of garment designing. Yet.
Anything else you would like to add?
To me knitting is like cooking. You can take a list of ingredients and techniques and make something fantastic that is all your own. I often say, much to my baker of a partners dismay, that knitting patterns are like recipes… guidlelines. Add your own spice and flair and create something amazing that only you can do. I love it.