I’m excited to feature a dynamic young knitter today! As a designer of adorable knitted toys who is just 15 years old, Cassidy Clark has wowed me with her talent, and after interviewing her, I’m even more charmed. I think you will be too!
You may have seen Cassidy’s designs on Ravelry. If you’re like me, you’re just as impressed by her photography skills as by her knitting.
Read the full interview after the jump!
Anna: You’re a prolific designer by any measure, and at 15 years old, your catalog of designs is especially impressive. How and when did you start designing?
Cassidy: Thanks so much! After the knitting bug hit (quite hard, if I may say) in mid-2009, I altered the patterns I used if I wanted something a tad different. After creating projects from already-made patterns, I started to understand the ins and outs of the craft and began coming up with my own ideas. My yarn stash and various pattern musings could be found all about the house in practically every room, and I’m not known to pick things up!
Anna: You have tons of likes and many projects listed for your designs. How do you spread the word about your patterns?
The Designers Challenge group (check it out!) on Ravelry.com is probably the area in which I most showcase my designs. I’ve also been lucky enough to be a featured designer on Knit Picks’ website. But other than sharing my project pages to groups, I don’t do much else in the way of advertising. I’m thrilled with how far my patterns have gotten.
Anna: My favorite of your designs has to be the rubber chicken. Hilarious! Can you tell me how the idea to knit that came to you? Are you a fan of old slapstick comedies?
It’s a strange story. At my school, we have an original way of welcoming new freshmen to their first year of high school—a game called “Chuck the Chicken”. Without going into all the details, it encompasses throwing rubber chickens, running in circles, and making a fool of oneself. To symbolically show my appreciation for my teachers at the end of that year, I knitted them little rubber chicken ornaments. I think they got a kick out of it!
As for the slapstick comedies, they’re before my time. I generally don’t watch too much TV—I prefer movies and audiobooks!
Anna: The shaping in your King Aroo pattern is really superb. Did you do a lot of sketching and swatching when designing that project, or was it more of a trial-and-error process?
I’m so glad you like it! Just by drawing out what I hope the finished product will look like, I can usually get my design how I want it the first time. When I was first starting out, I was enamored with knitting animals and toys and such (and spent nearly all of my free time doing so) and learned how increases and decreases can be used to make exactly the shape I’m looking for. As in the case of King Aroo, which involved many separate pieces, the limbs and accessories took more time to create in order to get what I was envisioning.
Anna: Since you’re 15, I assume you’re in high school. Do you do any knitting at school, or is it strictly an at-home activity for you? Are many of your friends into knitting too?
I try to carry around a knitting bag around with me at school so I can pull it out during dull parts of class. Although knitting isn’t altogether a “popular” pastime, I do have a few school friends who also enjoy it. We taught a knitting class to elementary school kids before this past winter break, so hopefully we will have increased our school’s knitting population a bit!
Anna: What are your hopes for a future career? Anything in the fiber arts?
As of the moment, I’m interested in far too many things to say for sure what my ideal career would be. Traveling, teaching, reading (can you read for a living?), eating, taking photos, and owning a cranberry farm are among the few I think would be fab. But whether it’s professionally or recreationally, the fiber arts will definitely be included in my future somehow!