Hunter Hammersen Interview Gift A-long 2019
Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview with Hunter Hammersen
Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Hunter Hammersen, tell us a little about yourself please Hunter.
I was supposed to stay in school for a shockingly long time, get a respectable-sounding job, and quietly become a proper grownup. Instead I got distracted by colorful string, started writing knitting books, and fled to the rocky coast of Maine where I spend a frankly alarming amount of time in my back yard taking pictures of yarn. But don’t tell anyone…I’m still slightly worried someone will find out I escaped and try to drag me back to that other life.
How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?
I mostly taught myself. It took a few tries, but with enough books (and these days, enough youtube videos), you can teach yourself almost anything.
What made you want to start designing?
I am frankly terrible at following directions, so I started making stuff up myself almost as soon as I started knitting. After a while, folks started asking how I’d made the things I was showing off on Ravelry. I’ve always been alarmingly willing to tell people what to do, so it wasn’t much of a leap to start writing patterns.
What’s you favourite part of the design process?
I love swatching. Swatching is where you get to work out all the fiddly bits and make sure that good idea you think you have actually works in real life. I like the swatching bit MUCH more than the actual knitting. Once I have everything worked out on the swatch, I sort of want a fast forward button for the actual knitting part!
What inspires you?
I never know how to answer this bit! It seems to vary hugely from one project to the next!
Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?
Full time. I put my first pattern out in 2009. My first book came out in 2011. My first self published book came out in 2012. And I decided to switch to designing full time in 2015.
Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?
I have a terrible terrible weakness for hat crowns. They are more fun than they have any right to be!
Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?
Nope! Somehow having something go from a hobby to a part time job to a full time job means you have very very little time to actually knit. There are some weeks where I don’t knit a stitch!
If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?
I’ve never actually had a hand knit sweater. Now, I totally don’t want anyone to make me one (I am not a small person, that would be a substantial amount of work)! But if that ever happened, I’m pretty sure I would just about wear it forever.
Do you have a favourite yarn and why?
Whatever is headed for my needles next!
What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?
Oh that’s not even a little bit fair. I’m going to cheat and pick two. For practical stuff, I love slippers. Super cozy, don’t take nearly as long as a sock. Abeyance are my current favorites, but really I love them all.
And for frivolous things, I still think the tiny little leaf babies (the pattern is called Nestled) are unspeakably cute.
Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?
My most recent book just came out this week! It’s called Shoreland, it’s full of delightful socks, and I got drag my friends and family out to all sorts of cold, rocky beaches to take the photos for it.
What’s your favourite colour?
Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?
Oh goodness yes. This is my fifth year participating. I’m always amazed (and if I’m being honest, a tiny bit overwhelmed) by how chatty everyone is. It’s lovely to see folks making time to cheer everyone on, especially at such a busy time of year!
Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?
Robynn Weldon’s work is amazing (my recent brioche obsession is largely her fault…she has a lot to answer for!). Alex Tinsley does all sorts of delightful things, as does Barbara Benson.
How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?
Quick links to our shop
Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns