Designer Amy Astle chats about passion, patterns and parenting.
Amy Astle is a crochet designer who lives â€œin a little house on a hillâ€ in Nottinghamshire with her husband and their two young children. She selfpublishes her patterns, which she then sells through Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, LoveCrochet and allcrochetpatterns.net.
Amyâ€™s design journey began at a young age, when she first discovered crochet. â€œI was around 10 years old when my Grandmother bought me some old craft books from a jumble sale,â€ she says. â€œThey had all sorts of crafts in them like embroidery, knitting, dressmaking and crochet. I had a go at crochet and never looked back!â€
Amy went on to do a degree in Textiles, cementing her love of â€œfabrics, buttons and texturesâ€ before finding her niche as a pattern designer.
Of course, self publishing means that you donâ€™t just have to design the pattern â€“ you also have to do all the other bits and pieces that turn a finished design into a professional pattern that people can buy, as well as promoting and marketing your designs. â€œI do all my own work
including photography, sourcing materials and blog work â€“ all while being a full-time mum,â€ she says.
Amyâ€™s typical day is a combination of crochet work and full-time parenting. â€œI spend the morning with my babies, going on play dates, taking them to a local museum or to the park,â€ she explains. â€œThen after lunch itâ€™s nap time for them and crochet time for me! I do most of my work while they sleep in the afternoon or in the evening.â€ Itâ€™s a familiar combination with crochet designers, finding the small bits of freetime in amongst the parenting to create a crafty career that can coexist with young children. Itâ€™s hard work, but can often provide the best of both worlds.
A browse through Amyâ€™s designs reveals a gorgeous collection of colourful blankets and fun intarsia cushions, including some very on trend woodland creatures designs, all worked in a soft and recognisable colour palette. â€œMy baby blankets are probably the most popular, however my intarsia designs are a very close second,â€ she says. And her design philosophy is simple: â€œI design from my heart, not from my head. I always think the most important thing is to design something you are passionate about, and something that you would love to own yourself. I am a very visual person and love making creations that I invent in my mind. I also love putting colours and images together to give a particular â€˜feelâ€™.â€
As for the future, Amy is happy to carry on as she is. â€œI already have lots of plans for more patterns. I would love to work more on building my portfolio of designs and continue to develop my own unique style.â€ We look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!
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