First things first, tell us a bit about your business…
I’m Kathryn, the designer behind AmyJ Designs. My partner and I live in a hundred year old limestone cottage in a popular tourist market town in the Peak District.
I have been interested in many forms of handicrafts over the years and have knitted, crocheted, embroidered, tapestried and cross stitched my way through many happy hours.
I’ve been crocheting since I was eight. My grandparents owned a boat on the Norfolk Broads
and we visited and stayed with them often during holidays. During one of these visits my Nana taught me to crochet and over the years I started and stopped as work, family and other interests took priority.
After my third daughter Amy Jennifer was stillborn, I was in a very dark place and crochet helped me through the pain and loss. Over the last few years I mostly knitted, but I’ve always altered patterns to suit my ‘not standard’ size (whatever that is supposed to be) and I adjusted things to my taste. I’d never liked granny squares and so I crocheted doilies and Christmas decorations – I even did craft stalls for a couple of years!
Three years ago I noticed a lot of knitting and crochet groups online. The designs were gorgeous and my enthusiasm was rekindled. I joined a crochet group and something lit a spark. That’s when Amy, my first wrap came into being. I wanted a wrap but I didn’t want horizontal stripes, so I experimented with what is now called C2C. My pattern writing style wasn’t great and after some problems during testing my determination (and stubbornness) came to the fore.
AmyJ Designs was created on the 8th June 2018 on the 28th anniversary of Amy Jennifer’s birth .I started a Facebook group and published my first pattern “Amy” . In memory of my daughter I decided that most of the profit from my pattern sales would be donated to Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity).
What’s your favourite product of yours and why?
If I had to choose it would have to be Amy as this is the one that started everything off.
What yarn crafts are you into personally?
These days it is pretty much constant crochet with a little knitting thrown in when I can
What’s your favourite project you’ve ever made?
Ooh I couldn’t choose just one – but I’m very proud of the 3 blanket CALS I did
What did you like/dislike most about The 1st Wool Monty back in 2019?
Lots of space was a big plus and lots of parking. A few more “resting spots” dotted around would have been good – I was on crutches at the time!
What’s the hardest part of what you do?
Without a shadow of a doubt it has to be self-promotion!
You’re travelling to a yarn show, what are you listening to on the way?
What’s your favourite part of yarn shows?
They are just such a great experience- chatting to people, all the colours and exciting goodies, squishing yarn in person (because I love to buy yarn as much as sell it).
Tell us 3 things we might not know about you…
I used to be a teacher.
I passed my motorbike test at age 57
I owned and rode a Harley Davidson for 10 years including a 3,000 mile trip through Canada and the Rockies
Can you give us any hints of things you’ve got coming up soon?
Some children’s designs and more for plus size
And finally, just for fun, would you rather fight 100 chicken-sized zombies or 10 zombie-sized chickens?
Definitely 10 zombie-sized chickens – zombies scare me!