Today is the last interview in my Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 series. (For those who don’t know, Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 15 and ends on October 15.) I’m happy to interview Maru Minetto, the Peruvian blogger and crochet designer behind Marumin Crochet. Maru can also be found on Ravelry as marumin and on her designer page.
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you learn to crochet?
Maru: My grandma did the most beautiful crochet work. She taught me the basics as a teenager, but I wasn’t any good at it. I had difficulty holding the crochet correctly and ended up very frustrated with my uneven results. I tried it again several years later, before the birth of my son… I bought a few magazines and started crocheting with much better results, so I started to crochet for gifts and charities.
UC: You seem to enjoy making projects for babies and children. What is it about these types of projects that you love?
Maru: I went back to crocheting because I wanted my children to have crocheted items like the ones my grandma used to make for us, (not that I could really do more than bibs and blankets), but that was what drew me back to crocheting. Caps, booties and sweaters soon followed.
Baby projects are finished up fast, and don’t take up a lot of material. Babies and children are a great inspiration and they can wear anything from vintage classic to colorful modern edge items and always look cute.
Even when my kids are all grown up now, there’s always need for baby items for gift giving and especially to be donated to hospitals and children in need and I find it very rewarding to be able to give something done with my own hands.
UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Maru: I think basically the need to experiment, create and have fun. I started by following patterns written by other designers (and I still do crochet items by other designers), but sometimes I have a specific idea and no pattern to follow, so I simply start crocheting and creating a pattern of my own.
UC: Tell us about the crochet scene in Peru.
Maru: As you may know, Perú is well known for its fine Alpaca wool and the excellent craftmanship of our native people. (UC comment: This is definitely true. I work with Galler Yarns, and they import several luscious Peruvian alpaca yarns!) In native communities they learn to spin, knit and/or crochet as children. Several years ago it was also common for schools to teach the basics of knitting and crochet.
There is no rivalry between knitting and crochet that I know of, but knitting is more widely spread as it is almost always related to clothing items as opposed to crochet that is viewed more as a decorative labor (tablecloths, doilies, dishcloths, afghans, etc).
Also, people seem to find it easier to knit than to crochet and it is way easier to find information and patterns related to knitting than to crochet.
UC: Your blog is bilingual. Tell us about your decision to blog in both English and Spanish. What do you see as the benefits and the challenges of writing a bilingual blog?
Maru: I decided upon a bilingual blog as a means to reach more people, and make it easier for my followers. I find that built in translators do not do a good job and the “translations” are almost always “confusing” to say the least. Crochet has its very own “language” and common dictionaries/translators do not have the correct equivalents for crocheting terms.
Blogging in two languages just takes up a little more time.
UC: Do you have any favorite Spanish or English crochet blogs or websites to share?
Maru: There are several blogs I follow. There are lots and lots of creative and caring people in the crochet community who love to share their knowledge of crochet.
- Arte en casa by Nauma
- My Crochet, Mis Tejidos by Luna
- Lacy Crochet
- Crochet Geek
- Dly’s Hooks and Yarns
But my all time favorite crochet blogs are in Portuguese: