Hunter Hammersen is one of those designers that has an Instagram that you can scroll through alllllll dayyyyyy loonnnnggggg. Her designs, the yarns she works with, and her photos just take your breath away. If I scroll long enough, sometimes I can feel the cold and smell the salt air of coastal Maine.
Her new cowl design, Consilience, made out of Anzula's Cricket, is no exception to her long line of beautiful patterns. I decided to sit down with her over a cup of tea (with lots of honey and half and half!) to discuss it. Okay, we did an email exchange, but the illusion is much better!
Becca: What inspired you to create Consilience? Tell us a little about its creation.
Hunter: This is actually the second iteration of this cowl. The first I knit as a present for someone, but it was in an absolutely eye-searing shade of blue. It was the sort of color that is flat out impossible to photograph, so I didn't do a pattern right away. But I liked the piece enough that I really wanted it to be available, just in an ever-so-much-more-suitable yarn!
I especially loved the shape of the cowl. I have the best time with cowls that are wider at the bottom than at the top (think upside down ice cream cone with the tip cut off) rather than the ones that are a perfect cylinder. I love that shape because the taper means it sits nicely on your shoulders and chest, but you don't end up with lot of extra fabric bunched up around your chin. And it's fun to find a way to incorporate that shaping in the stitch pattern.
Becca: Simple in the round cowls can get boring, so that shape does sound way more interesting! I also love the math part of knitting, so I'm right there with you on making the stitch pattern work.
I know you've worked with Cricket before to create socks; how did you like using it for a cowl?
Hunter: It's delightful. It really is one of those super versatile yarns that will do whatever you ask it to do. It's nice and round and sproingy, so it's going to work for pretty much any stitch pattern. And you can work it at a wide range of gauges and still get a lovely fabric. It's totally one of those yarns I'm happy to have in my stash, because I know it will work for so many different projects.
Becca: My first skein of Anzula yarn was Cricket in 1 Red Shoe. I frogged it a bunch because I didn't really know what to do with it. It was still wonderful to work with and the kinks blocked out so easily!
Do you have a favorite Anzula colorway? A favorite yarn?
Hunter: I like Cricket best of the ones I've played with so far. But I've officially got Silken on my list of yarns I want to use in the future. And have a fondness for those colors that you can't quite place into just one category...like Nimbus or Seafoam.
Becca: I love being able to use one color in several different settings. Those sort-of-neutrals are really fun to pair up with either bright, poppy colors or those darker, sultry colors.
I noticed on Ravelry that you don't have any patterns for clothing, like sweaters. Do you ever dream of designing a sweater or are you perfectly content making accessories?
Hunter: I'm a slow knitter with a short attention span, and I've never managed to actually /knit/ a sweater. So I sort of suspect I'm not the best person to design them. But if I ever get a few of them knit, I suspect I'd have fun designing them!
Becca: I know EXACTLY what you mean. I tried knitting a sweater last year... I think I got through 40 rows of a sleeve. I've made lots of hats, shawls and gloves since then!
Last time you chatted with us, you were in the process of moving. How did that go? How is your new place?
Hunter: We're all settled in and I love it beyond all reason. I'm staring out at the water (and the rocks and the trees and the snow) as I type this, and it's just beautiful. Totally worth all the hassle (and all the boxes...so many boxes) to make it happen!
Becca: You mentioned on social media that this pattern is available for free, how can we get it?
Hunter: Yes! People who subscribe to my newsletter will receive this pattern as a free gift. You can sign up here - https://pantsvillepress.com/freebie/