It’s round two of filming with Jaime and Amber of Fancy Tiger Crafts and we’re level eleven of excited in the office because these ladies are awesome.
Behind the Scenes with Fancy Tiger Crafts
Where do you live?
Amber: Denver, Colorado. We both live in Baker, which is a really cute little neighborhood near downtown. And yes, we’re next door neighbors.
Do you have any adorable pets/kids/life partners we should know about?
Jaime: Yes, I have two cats: Lucy and Loopy. And I live with my partner Matthew.
Amber: I have a cat named Egon and a husband named Eddie.
How did you get into sewing and knitting?
Jaime: Growing up, my mom actually owned a craft store so I was always doing creative things…but this was in the 80s, so it wasn’t the same stuff I’m doing now. There was a lot of sponge painting and stained glass and macrame. I started knitting in 2001, and after the store opened I really got into sewing.
Amber: In 2003 my sister taught me to knit – it was actually on a long road trip home from Oregon and I just learned. I really love knitting because it allows you to express your creativity but you’re also making something functional.
What is the toughest part, for you, of these crafts?
Amber: I like learning really technical aspects of knitting. I think a lot of knitters are scared of those technical patterns, but I think it’s beautiful to do intense versions of this craft. It’s challenging, but in the most fun way. And you end up with a beautiful product. And the stitches are still simple, there’s just more of them to learn.
Jaime: I also like taking on challenges because it makes me better. I really like projects I’ve never done before. Quilting is hard for me because I’m not a perfectionist, and you really have to get your points to line up. But I’ve made lots of quilts that I really love.
What advice do you have for beginning fiber artists?
Jaime: You have to let yourself make mistakes. These skills all take time and practice.
Amber: It’s great to spend time with other people who are into the same craft — even beginners. Obviously, experienced people are also a great resource.
A lot of the things I’ve learned are from the community at our Craft Nights.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Jaime: We’re constantly around our customers, so it’s easy to get inspired by their fabric purchases or even an outfit they’re wearing.
Amber: I would say the online community also provides a lot of inspiration. Oh! And our staff is always wearing handmade, so it’s great to see what everyone else is working on.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Amber: Naomi Ito, who designs all the Nano Iri fabrics.
What are your favorite materials to work with?
Jaime: WOOL. Number one is definitely wool. Especially for knitting. I’m also wearing this hemp cotton jersey that’s really beautiful – I love making garments with it. I also really like linen for knitting and sewing.
Amber: I really any fabric with linen. You can probably tell that we like any fabric or yarn that’s more rustic than refined.
What is your most favorite thing you’ve ever made?
Jaime: A Lopi sweater I knitted from a pattern called “Stroker.” It’s warm and sturdy and I bring it on every camping trip. I love it so much that I’m thinking about making another one in case this one get lost or wears out.
Amber: I do…but I lost it. It’s almost hard to talk about. It was a Quince & Co. sweater I knitted in their Owl pattern and it had duplicate cats stitched around the yoke. I hand-dyed the yarn for the cats with a friend. It was an amazing cardigan and I even considered putting up “LOST” signs around the neighborhood when it went missing. Seriously. I’ll never make another one like it.
Note to readers: If anyone in the Denver area knows of the whereabouts of this sweater, you will receive a one year free Creativebug subscription. For reals.
Be honest – how much fun is it to film these Creativebug classes? Or at least get to hang out in SF for a while?
Jaime: So fun.
Amber: It’s pretty amazing. The whole film crew is really good at directing and they’re just great. It’s really enjoyable and we’re pretty excited that we got to come back.
Do you enjoy being in front of the camera?
Amber: I was a little afraid at first and it’s still not the easiest. I still have moments where I forget which words are supposed to be coming out of my mouth.
Jaime: I’m totally fine in front of the camera.