Another Fort Collins-based designer we are proud to profile is Amanda Berka. She is a former assistant editor of Spin-Off Magazine and has had patterns published in several Interweave Press publications, including her Big Thaw men’s pullover in the current Holiday Knits magazine that was photographed here in the shop and house. You may also have knit or at least seen Amanda’s Squatty Sidekick or Feminine Mittens, both popular free patterns on Knitting Daily’s web site.
Like many, Amanda learned to knit from one of her grandmothers as a young girl. She took on knitting a long hat whose extra length also served as a scarf for her first project, but then knitting slipped from her interests until at the age of 16 she wanted a sweater in a department store. Her mother felt it would be better to invest in classes and yarn than in the pre-made sweater so Amanda would take better care of the garment. After the teacher insisted she work her way up to a sweater by knitting a scarf and mittens she finally got to knit her sweater which she still has – moms always know best, don’t they?
Whether choosing patterns to knit or designing her own, Amanda prefers simplicity with interesting details. This is evident not only in the pattern mentioned earlier but in this month’s free pattern – No Fuss Mitts. She chose to let the rustic luxury of Manos del Uraguay’s Silk Blend take center stage in a simple gusseted stockinette stitch fingerless mitt with all edges finished with a picot hem. As a wife, mom of two boys, 1 and 3 years old, and an engineer by day Amanda has slowed her knit design and teaching pace but still enjoys knitting when life allows.