Throughout 2017 we will be hosting the FGYCo Monthly Design Challenge where we introduce a “design challenge” project using one of our SilverSpun® yarns. Designers will have approximately 2 1/2 months to complete the project. Entries will be voted on by the general public and the design with the most votes wins.
Our January challenge was to design a cowl using a maximum of 2 skeins of SilverSpun® Sport. We had 8 gorgeous designs submitted and after a popular vote we had a TIE for first place (what are the odds?). Amanda Flock was one of the winners with her inspired entry, Windy, using hairpin lace.
In addition to a $100 FGYCo gift certificate and having her winning design published on our website, Amanda also won a guest interview on our blog.
And with that, I give you Amanda …
Can you give us a little background intel on yourself? Where were you born? Do you still live there? How long have you been knitting? Who taught you to knit?
I was born and raised in a few suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I went to college at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL and completed my MBA in Finance online through Capella University. I have been living in central Florida for the past 4 years with my husband, 2 cats, and 18 month old daughter. My mom taught me to crochet about 10-11 years ago, right before I turned 20. I taught a friend to crochet and we both taught ourselves how to knit thanks to YouTube about a year later. I think that I am much better and quicker with crochet, but love the look of finished knit items so much more. I use crochet mainly for bags and blankets and knitting for tank tops, shawls, and chunky blankets.
Where do you do your designing? Do you have a special room in your house, a studio, a favorite chair?
I have a craft room, but I usually do most of my designing where ever I am at, at that time ( in the car, on the couch, sitting in bed, pretty much anywhere an idea hits me). The craft room is great for storage and working on large projects, but for the most part I bring out my knitting books and a notebook and work on my design ideas where ever.
Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature, architecture, fine art, what?
Various things, lately nature has been a big influence. I recently designed a large cable knit scarf, my Climbing Vines scarf. The intertwining of the cables reminded me of the vines climbing up a fence near my house. My most recent design, the Biscayne Shawl, was inspired by the colors and textures of waves in the Florida keys.
Who are your favorite designers (and it doesn’t have to be knitwear designers)?
Helle Slente of Helle Slente Design for her really wonderful designs, especially her brioche designs, Frenchie of Aroha Knits for her beautiful shawls, Kate of KGThreads for her gorgeously woven wraps and delicate lace knit shawls, and way too many more to mention, but those three very talented ladies are definitely worth checking out!.
What is it about designing that gets you to jump out of bed every morning and grab the needles?
There is just something wonderful and fulfilling about being able to come up with a design from scratch and bring it to life with your own two hands, and some yarn and needles or hooks of course. There is an even greater feeling of accomplishment when hearing and reading positive feedback from other knitters/crocheters, especially the designers I admire.
What do you have on your needles right now?
I am currently working on a lightweight asymmetrical shawl, and a few cable pattern designs for a submission.
While designing your piece for FGYCo, what qualities of SilverSpun® did you find most appealing?
Usually cotton yarn is coarse, thick, and hard to work with, but SilverSpun® Sport was a dream to work with, and very soft for cotton!
Do you have any other passions besides knitting?
Crocheting is my first love, as I learned that before knitting, but I am also breaking into indie dyeing of yarn (mostly for gradient cakes with smooth transitions as opposed to solid striping yarn), spinning on a drop spindle, needle felting 3D objects, and weaving on a small table top rigid heddle loom.
View Amanda's winning design here.