Today, we have the talented Ambah O’Brien joining us for our Designer Spotlight. You may have seen her patterns such as Lilli Pilli, Inara Wrap, Lamina Wrap, or many more of her beautiful and elegant patterns.
Loopy: We’re happy to have you with us today! How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Ambah: I have been a knitter since early 2012. Initially I learned some very holey garter stitch as a girl, from my mother. It was really only recently that my son – aged 8 at the time taught me how! He attended a Waldorf/ Steiner school and learned at a young age and was a fantastic teacher; he pointed out my mistakes and would make me unravel and fix them – even now he will inspect my knitting. He taught me how to cast on and bind off and purl – I could still remember how to knit. A friend was setting up a LYS at the time and she introduced me to Ravelry and gorgeous yarns, I was hooked immediately.
Loopy: How special to have your soon teach you! What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Ambah: I do have a bias toward shawls but do enjoy making everything.
Loopy: We love shawls too. They’re so much like a warm hug. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Ambah: Gosh, I find that hard to answer. Most things have a little challenge about them. I think early on lace knitting was a challenge for me until my skills improved and I learned to read my knitting and became more confident and able to fix mistakes rather than rip back.
Loopy: Being able to read your knitting is definitely a helpful skill to be able to fix those mistakes. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Ambah: I released my first pattern in February 2013 and am still surprised by the fact that I decided to do it. I was very happy knitting other designers gorgeous patterns and then I had an idea and couldn’t find the pattern for it so away I went – and haven’t looked back I am about to release my 100th design and have more I am excited about working on.
Loopy: Sometimes a spark of inspiration encourages us to take that next step forward. How cool. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Ambah: I really don’t, I have many favorites that I wear regularly, it really is hard to pick one.
Loopy: We agree! But we always like to ask 🙂 What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Ambah: So much to love; dreaming up designs and creating them and then seeing others knit them up with their own gorgeous colour combinations. I really enjoy collaborating with yarn dyers and using their creations to inspire my own. Not so favourite part…..sometimes the design process can involve a fair amount of frogging – but I never regret doing it and always feel better afterward.
Loopy: Even though frogging can be frustrating, the mental relief of correcting the issue is always nice. Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Ambah: No, I work full time designing and have been for about 2 years now.
Loopy: Awesome! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Ambah: I work full time at this, it does take a lot of discipline but this suits me and I love it. I feel very blessed to have the support of my knitting community to be able to focus on this full time.
Loopy: It’s always special when you’re able to focus your time on what you love doing the most. Does anyone else in your family knit?
Ambah: My son occasionally makes a hat and my mother, who was always creating with textiles, was a very talented knitter.
Loopy: It’s always fun to be able to share your hobby with the people around you. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Ambah: I love gardening and cooking and have always enjoyed painting, sewing and anything crafty so I like to find time to dabble in these, it can be hard to put the knitting down though!
Loopy: It definitely can be hard! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Ambah: Either pottering about the house and garden or to go on an adventure, usually with my family, anything goes really I just love to get out and see nature or enjoy beautiful food or music or an exhibition.
Loopy: Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day! Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂
Ambah: Night. Coffee. English (much as I try to be continental!) Solids (and speckles and gradients)
Ambah has given us a 20% off coupon code good from today until November 24! You can use the code theloopyewe for a discount on a single pattern from Ambah’s Designs.
Ambah just released her Astra patterns (Mitts, Hat, and Cowl) this month! As a special promo, if you add the mitts and either the hat or cowl pattern, you’ll be able to get both patterns for the price of one. Additionally, if you’re looking for a KAL, Ambah will be doing an ADVENTurous Wrap KAL soon and you can find out more about it here.