In Case You Missed It
Our guest speaker was Amy Singer, founder of Knitty.com.
Amy presented a personal and well-documented story of Knitty.com, a website she founded in 2002 with her “ex.” (We heard about him several times during the presentation. It turns out he is still a part of the organization.) This year of 2022 is their 20-year anniversary!
Twenty years ago, in 2002 Amy was a knitter and her day job was in advertising. Summers were slow at work, digital patterns were rare, and she began to think about a website that would be a place for independent designers to find an audience and for knitters to find designs other than in the standard knitting magazines. Their first magazine was on June 19, 2002.
One of their patterns – Clapotis by Kate Gilbert – became a sensation after it was published on Knitty in December of 2004. Titbits by Beryl Tsang, a pattern for knitted breast implants, was hugely popular. This pattern was later published by Knitted Knockers.
Knitty’s patterns were way ahead of the curve as they offered a wider range of sizes from petite to 5X. Some highlights over the years were Judy’s Magic Cast-On, the link to The Swift knitting bag designed by Tom Bihn, and a demonstration called Wombs on Washington which supported pro-choice.
Many now-famous designers got their first exposure on Knitty – Stephen West, Kat Coyle (known for her pussy hat), Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Ysolda Teague, Clara Parkes, Jillian Moreno, and. Ann Weaver to name a few.
In 2005, Knitty made a big change by taking advertisements. They linked with Patreon a crowd funding organization. The results were that the staff and designers could then be paid. As of now there are over 3,000 patrons of Knitty.
Presently on the Web, Knitty has tutorials on YouTube, and sites on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram. Amy’s website is amysinger.ca.
Amy’s story was inspiring – how she started with an idea, found people to help her, made the website financially viable, and produced a personalized world-wide magazine for designers and knitters alike. She has been a trendsetter in the knitting world. We were fortunate to have her presentation at our Guild.
Submitted by Mary Barranger, April 5, 2022
Screen shots from the Guild meeting: