Hi! I'm Mandy Bee and that's me to the right wearing a Doctor Who-inspired scarf I designed and knitted up myself. I never thought I would become a knitter, let alone design my own patterns! I was a geeky kid who grew up in Florida and most of my time was spent on a computer. Then, as an adult, I got a job making things on the computer (web design, if you’re curious).
“Ok, seriously, I've never had so much fun reading a knit pattern ” @swansnest.lahlah
When I design, I try to keep the experience of knitting in mind to design things that are fun to knit! I like to explore different techniques and get my inspiration from my interests (like Dungeons & Dragons or teacups).
I try my best to explain how to do each technique needed in my patterns or point knitters to people that do it much better than I do. Either way, I make sure no one is lost. I keep the instructions lighthearted with helpful notes and tips throughout!
My Crafty Journey
One day I stumbled onto this cute stuff called “amigurumi”. I squeed and decided I needed that cuteness in my life. I bought yarn for the first time in my life and stumbled through learning how to crochet with books and YouTube. I fell in love with making real things with my hands. There is something amazing about being able to say you made something yourself! My love for crochet evolved into an obsession with knitting and the fiber community. And here I am, 10 years later, designing my own knitwear from scratch.
Things I Love About The Fiber Community:
- I love learning about different fibers (animal, plant, and synthetic) and how they work with different stitch patterns. One of my favorite books: The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn
- Making things with my hands just feels amazing! I love sharing my FOs but even more, I love seeing others’! (Seriously, pop into my Discord and share your work!)
- The passion! I decided I wanted to try out being a knitwear designer after listening to interviews from different people in the fiber industry on the Woolful podcast. I loved listening to their stories of breaking away from their day jobs and not doing the ‘normal’ or ‘expected’ thing. I wanted to immerse myself in the fiber community and become part of it!
In December of 2014, I quit my day job as a web designer to have more freedom to travel. I didn’t really have any specific plans, just some hopes that I would make something work. It took a while before I picked a path, becoming a self-improvement book junky. Focusing on knitwear design, I’ve started to feel a pull to help others find what gets them excited and feeling geeky because that’s what’s made me feel more myself in these past few years!
I dream of a geeky world where everyone is super excited about their interests and shares that joy with everyone around them by making things (get some inspiration here). I want crafters to realize they’re not just ‘making a fandom project’, they’re embracing the love they have for their fandom and bringing more joy to the world. Every bit of happiness you create for yourself creates that much more for the world. <3
I want to inspire others to be themselves and to be playful in their creativity and their lives. I have fully embraced being a geek and that part of my personality has drawn similar people into my life. I thought by this time in my life (in my 30s), I’d be a super serious adult, but I’ve become more fun than I was through most of my 20s! By embracing my own quirks and not caring what other people think about me, I have grown to be more confident and I live a life that I just frickin' love! I hope to extend that confidence to awesome knitters around the world by not only helping them make their own knitted things but by also showing them that opening up and being more themselves in all situations feels awesome. <3 Be yourself, be geeky, be awesome!