Interview with Crochet Dynamo – Amanda Perkins

 

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I came across Amanda one day while trawling the internet. Amanda live in beautiful Exmoor, Devon, in the UK.    I was totally amazed by her use of triangles and circles not to mention her vibrant colour combinations.  A little while later I received an email from Magda de Lange where she was raving about Amanda’s work and advised that I should buy one of her patterns.  Without much hesitation that’s exactly what I did.  I now need to just source the yarn for this beautiful project.  Here is the pattern I bought, and once I get started I will share my progress with you.

Amanda is truly inspirational and has carved out a very specific and unique crochet identity for herself.  Read this inspirational interview we did with Amanda.  I know you are going to love her work!!

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What inspires you?

The short answer is colour, shape and yarn.

I could write pages and pages for the long answer.  The inspiration for each blanket normally comes from several different sources, rather like ingredients in a recipe.

The colour is normally dictated by the yarn, I only use natural fibres and when I find a yarn I like I want to buy all the colours so I have the whole colour wheel to work with. I prefer softer tonal colours, I was a indie dyer for 12/13 years and exclusively used natural plant dyes, so my palette has nearly always been based around natural colour

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places and things, they normally have some personal relevance to me, such as historical quilts, I went through a quilting phase in my early 20’s, a lot of my blankets in my new book are inspired by the quilts I made 20 years ago, a couple of them are actually inspired by fabrics my mother and aunt used for dress making, my mother’s is bold brash geometric patterns from the 60’s/70’s and my aunts is liberty fabric.

Other inspirations include a computer game my children played when they were young, kaleidoscopes, crop circles, the solar system, historic maps, Persian carpets, Islamic tiles etc etc etc

My most recent blanket Kissing Circles was a result of my tec editor telling me you can’t make a blanket from circles because it won’t lay flat, I don’t like being told I can’t do something so set out to find a way to make the circles work, which lead me to do a lot of research and discover amongst lots of other circle based things Descartes kissing circles theorem and the Smith chart.

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 When did you start crafting / knitting / crochet / sewing and who taught you?

I don’t remember, I’ve been doing them all my life. Working with textiles runs in my family, my mother worked for Singer and both she and my aunt made all their own clothes. My maternal grandfather was an upholsterer, his mother and grandmother were professional seamstresses and so it goes….

 Tell me about your product / service / concept

I design crochet blankets, I prefer to design blankets as they give me a huge canvas to work with. I sell the patterns and at the moment am working on a book due out next year. And occasionally I hand dye yarn.

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  How did it all begin?

I’ve always “made it up as I go” even as a small child and so found it impossible to follow a pattern. I spent 2 years at art college studying general art and design, eventually specialising in textiles, which I’ve been working with ever since in various guises. The only thing else that I ever wanted to do was have babies, I had 3 and was able then to dedicate my life to textiles. My babies grew up surrounded by yarn, fabric and sewing machines, strangely only my middle one has grown up with any interest in textiles. She knits, spent years working with me in my indie dyer business, she has now discovered making blankets and like me makes it up as she goes and can’t follow a pattern.   However my oldest one is a painter, my baby is a computer games designer

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 What do you think will be the next big thing in the world of craft? (especially your area of expertise)

I don’t really know, but I hope crochet will begin to be taken seriously and become respected as a craft in its own right. And stop being a second class citizen to knitting and not just be something you do with all your old yarn to use it up

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 Who on the international craft scene do you admire most and why?

Kaffe Fasset and Sophie Digard for their use of colour and shape and the fact they have spent their lives developing their idea’s and bringing their craft into the 21st century

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 Where can our readers find you (Pintrest, Instagram, Facebook, Blog address etc)

I’m everywhere!

https://www.facebook.com/amandascrochetblankets

http://amandascrochetblog.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.ravelry.com/designers/amanda-perkins

https://twitter.com/queenieamanda

https://www.pinterest.com/queenieamanda/

https://instagram.com/queenieamanda2/

What is your favourite blog and magazine and why?

I don’t really read blogs or magazines as I like to keep my mind clear of other peoples ideas so I don’t end up copying them sub consciously. But I do read books.

As a teenager and in my early 20’s I loved Vogue and a French magazine called “100 idees” I think it became Marie Claire.

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What is your favourite craft?

Crochet of course

If you had more time on your hands what would you do?

Crochet and go on long driving adventures, maybe drive across America coast to coast, or from here (Exmoor, Devon, UK) across Europe to North Africa or China or across Russia. Anywhere just as long as I had my crochet and as long as I could come back home to Exmoor in between journeys.

And have more brain space at the end of the day to be able to read more.

Lula Scarf

Have you bought something online and if so what?

Yarn, yarn and more yarn

Dvd’s of tv series, so I can have something playing in the background that I don’t need to concentrate on too much.

All my clothes and shoes, I hate shopping and avoid shops at all costs

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 What magazines do you buy?

I don’t, but occasionally I will buy our local North Devon Gazette Newspaper.

Would you buy a pattern, or the whole kit online?

No, for the same reason I don’t regularly read blogs

 What is your favourite yarn store / craft store and why?

They are all on-line

At the moment I am working with lovecrochet.com and have several future projects in the pipeline, so they are my “go to” yarn shop

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 I love nice people who make truly cool things!  Amanda Perkins is such a person. 

Let the Hellohart team know what you think about Amanda’s designs!

Colourful yarn blessings!

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