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You may remember Amanda as the author of Rainbow Crocheted Afghans: A Block-by-Block Guide to Creating 10 Colorful Blankets and Throws, which I recently reviewed here. You can find Amanda online at her website, Amanda’s Crochet Blanket Adventures, as well as on Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter.
Interview with Amanda Perkins
Amanda: My granny taught me to crochet at a very early age, I have always found crochet a lot easier than knitting and didn’t learn to knit until I taught myself at art college when I was 19.
UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Amanda: I started designing in 2007. At the time I ran a hand-dyed yarn company and needed pattern support for my yarn. As I found crochet easy it seemed like the logical place to start.
UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?
Amanda: Colour, shape and the landscape around me. I’ve always been obsessed with colour and 13 years of being a hand dyer refined my understanding of colour. And I’m fascinated by geometry and the way shapes fit together. I live on Exmoor, next to the sea. It’s an amazingly beautiful part of the UK. I can lay in my bed and watch the colours of the hill on the other side of the valley change daily.
UC: Although you also knit, you primarily design with crochet. What is it about crochet patterns that you enjoy?
Amanda: I don’t knit very often as it frustrates me. I have to admit I also find it boring. I think in crochet, it just comes naturally, and love writing patterns. I try to make my patterns as easy to follow as possible and so include lots of step by step and colour charts. To me the patterns are an artwork in their own right.
UC: Most of your designs feature motifs. Why do you like motif projects?
Amanda: I like using the motifs as pieces of a jigsaw. I always join the motifs as I make the blanket as I love to see the design emerge. I design as I go and quite often change the design while making it. Plus if I make a mistake I only have a few stitches to frog.
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects for challenging yourself?
Amanda: A big blanket with a complex layout and lots of colour changes. The real challenge comes when I write the pattern to make it easy for my ladies to follow. I like having a big canvas to play with.
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects for giving as gifts?
Amanda: Yet again blankets. At the moment I am working on a very special secret design for my first grandbaby who is due to be born in a few weeks. I want the blanket to be finished in time for the baby to be wrapped in when she/he comes home from hospital.
UC: Besides your own book, what are your favorite crochet and fiber crafts books in your collection?
Amanda: I love books and have a big collection. I’m a huge Kaffe Fasset fan and have all his books. Other favourites include a book of antique Amish patchwork quilts, several books on Persian carpets, and Japanese crochet motifs.
UC: Are there any crochet or fiber blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Amanda: I don’t read many blogs as I’m too busy trying to keep up to date with mine. But I do spend far too much time on Pinterest, Instagram and of course Ravelry.
Thanks for spending time with us, Amanda!
9 Colorful Crochet Blanket Patterns by Amanda Perkins
Now that you’ve gotten to know Amanda a bit better, are you ready to be inspired by her patterns? In addition to her beautiful projects in Rainbow Crocheted Afghans: A Block-by-Block Guide to Creating 10 Colorful Blankets and Throws, Amanda also sells individual patterns as instant downloads in her Etsy and Ravelry shops. Here are nine of my favorite colorful crochet blanket patterns in her collection.
- Top row, from left to right: Kaleidoscope Afghan/Blanket, Scrumptious Bubbles Blanket, and Foxgloves Blanket (which is also one of three patterns in the Foxgloves ebook)
- Second row, from left to right: Kissing Circles Afghan/Blanket, Rainbow Over the Foreland Blanket, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Blanket
- Bottom row, from left to right: ZigZag Blanket, Spyro Afghan/Blanket, and Rita Blanket (which is also one of six patterns in the Into the West Motif Blankets ebook)
If you enjoyed this roundup, follow my Crochet and Knit Blankets board on Pinterest!