Tag Archives: cuba

Interview with Adriana Hernandez (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

I’m excited to continue the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month by interviewing Adriana Hernandez from AdriPrints. Adriana is a Cuban-American (mostly) knitting and font designer who lives in Germany. Adriana can be found online on the AdriPrints Press blog: Adri Makes a Thing or TwoRavelry, Twitter as @adriprints, and Facebook. All images are copyright Adriana Hernandez unless otherwise noted, and are used with permission. Click on the pattern image to link to the Ravelry design page.

This post contains affiliate links.

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet and knit?

Adriana: My maternal grandmother taught me to crochet when I was four or five years old. First I learned to finger-crochet, and then later I was given one of those silver metal crochet hooks to try it out.  I was a kid who loved handicrafts so I was given fun stuff like bead looms, origami paper, doll-making supplies, and latch-hook rug kits for my birthday.

Knitting, though, came much, much later.  I learned at three different times and it finally stuck on the third go.  The first was an ex-boyfriend, and I picked up the steps really quickly, but dropped it when we broke up. Second was my aunt who taught me on a visit to the west coast. Tia H carded, spun, and knit from her angora bunnies.  What an inspiration!  And finally, one of my house-mates in grad school took the time to sharpen my skills and taught me to purl.  She also gave me yarn and needles.  What an enabler!  Thanks, Ona!

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

Columbia Camisole by Adriana Hernandez.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Adriana: I’ve been involved in the design world for a long time in one form or another.  I originally studied Set Design for Theatre in university and Industrial Design in grad school.  But, I really connected these skills with knitting when I found myself changing almost every pattern I knit to better suit my tastes… Then I figured I might be onto something.  Picking apart the math and writing style of each pattern I encountered taught me a bit about the conventions of the industry, and the rest is history.

UC: All but one of your published designs are for knitting. What do you enjoy about knit designing?

Adriana: I was just talking to someone about this.  I really like the process.  I’m such a process oriented person that I love the analog aspect of it all… schematic + words and numbers + yarn = garment or accessory.  I love that!  The difficulty with crochet design is that I see it as a free-form textile, so it’s hard for me to reign it in in the form of a design.  I find knitting easier to tame with language, symbols, and schematics.

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

The Afternoon Beanie by Adriana Hernandez.

UC: You’re also an illustrator and designer, and the creator of one of the few inexpensive crochet symbol fonts, StitchinCrochet. What led you to create this font? Who is the ideal user?

Adriana: Necessity is what led me to create the font.  There wasn’t anything I liked out there when I started designing.  And to be honest, I thought I’d be designing more for crochet, but then knitting took over my life.  So, when I was looking at symbol fonts, I realized there were plenty of knitting fonts that were functional, but a huge gap in crochet.  So, I made one.  I should mention I had already been dabbling in novelty fonts by that point.  The ideal user for StitchinCrochet is someone looking for a library of glyphs to play with their vector imaging software (Illustrator or Inkscape).  That’s not to say people have found lots of other fun ways to use it.  I love seeing what people do with my fonts.

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

Hopi Mittens by Adriana Hernandez.

UC: On a related note, many indie crochet and knitting businesses, including designers, bloggers, and makers, struggle with issues related to graphic design. Do you have any recommended resources for graphic design to share with them?

Adriana: Although I do graphic design, I won’t say that’s my strongest skill.  I would recommend subscribing to high-design blogs that feature writers (who also design) who are obsessed with graphic design (like Graphic Exchange) or typography (like Typophile).  There are people who are already curating the design world for you.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, thankfully.  Also, there are great online courses on lynda.com and tutsplus.com on basic design skills and conventional uses of type.  That is one thing that makes me cringe instantly when I buy or download an indie pattern… bad typography choices.  Know your audience, and be kind to them.  The end knitter (usually) does not have time to squint through overly elaborate script or teensy weensy type.

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

Amaranth Shawl by Adriana Hernandez.

UC: Like me, you’re Cuban-American, but you’re currently living in Germany. What was the yarn crafts scene like when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene in Germany?

Adriana: I don’t think there was a yarn crafts scene in my circle of friends.  Maybe there was a bit of a general crafts scene, but that’s a stretch.  I remember getting into trouble for selling those lanyard keychains as well as those knotted bracelets made with embroidery floss.  Heheh.  In High School, I know we grunge fans were not afraid to cut up a t-shirt or two.  Safety pins seemed to be the accessory of choice, but I guess an actual yarn crafts scene in my age group was non-existent growing up in Miami.  Only my abuelas (grandmas) and my tia-abuelas (my great aunts) were into it, and so I was, too.  I loved sewing, crocheting, and getting into what they were into. I hung out with my older relatives a lot since we all lived in the same neighborhood.

Germany is as different as can be from where I grew up.  People that are my age had knitting in school.  It was a discreet lesson taught to them by a teacher.  So you’ll find people who love it, and others who hate it because of the associations.  When I got to Munich 6 years ago, people would gawk at our SnB when they’d see us knitting through the window of whatever cafe we were at.  Some even stopping to photograph us.  Now, it doesn’t happen so much.  I think crafts are no longer associated with Omas (grandmas) and the elderly.  I think it’s pretty mainstream here, and there are so many knitting groups to choose from as a result!

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

Easy Lace Loop & Cowl by Adriana Hernandez.

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?

Adriana: Other from my love of bright colors, I’m not sure how much my cultural background has affected my crafting.  Perhaps, it’s too deeply ingrained in my psyche for me to be able to pick out its influences?!  Hahah!

Easy Textured Knits

UC: What are your favorite knitting and crochet books in your collection?

Adriana: The book that’s always out when I’m designing is Shirley Paden’s Knitwear Design Workshop.  I think I cried with happiness when I read through that book.  It was everything I was looking for as a beginning designer.  I actually read it cover-to-cover even though it’s a reference text.

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

Amaranth Headband by Adriana Hernandez.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Adriana: I love Crafty Gemini, who is also from Miami, and for anyone wanting to learn to crochet, she’s doing a series on her blog.  For knit-spiration, I look to the runways and to the history books.  One of my fave sites for historical inspiration is The Dreamstress, and her Monday “rate the dress” series.  Super fun!

Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter

Alhambra Hat by Adriana Hernandez.

UC: What’s next for you?

I hesitate to talk about upcoming projects in any definite way because being a new mom is kicking my butt!  I’m getting used to the ever-changing variable that is my baby boy.  So, I’ve got plans, but he laughs at them. :D  I’d like to revisit all the patterns whose rights have reverted to me and refine them.  We shall see if I get to it this year.  More likely, I’ll put out a new font or maybe I’ll get to work on submissions to publications.  Judging from this past week, though, it’s a toss-up on whether I can manage the concentration required to work on a pattern with a lot of grading involved. Wish me luck!

Good luck, Adriana! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share your story!

Free Pattern: El Guaba

El Guaba, free wrap pattern by Underground Crafter with U.S. pattern abbreviations

Earlier this year, I was invited by the yarn dyer, Stitchjones, to create a one-skein project for her Yarnageddon 2014 Yarn Club. (She’s currently taking sign up for her 2015 club here.) I didn’t have any project idea in mind until the yarn arrived. The yarn is a stunning and vibrant semi-solid red, and my picture doesn’t do it justice. Sharon (a.k.a. Stitchjones) included a note saying that the yarn club (and therefore, pattern) theme was “Real Life Wild Women.”

Stitchjones yarn featured in free crochet pattern by Underground Crafter

This post contains affiliate links.

I immediately knew I had to make something inspired by Celia Cruz, who was known as the Queen of Latin Music and La Guarachera de Cuba. I have countless childhood memories of hearing Celia’s music in the background while visiting my paternal grandparents. I even listen to her songs in my iPod to this day. In addition to her music, Celia was a fashion icon, known for her wild stage costumes, hair, and neckware. (If you’re not that familiar with Celia, you may want to check out my Celia Cruz Pinterest board to see what I mean, or watch this 3-1/2 minute bio on YouTube.)

Celia Cruz Pinterest board inspiring free crochet pattern by Underground Crafter

Just a small preview of my Celia Cruz Pinterest board.

One of my favorite Celia Cruz songs is “El Guaba” from her 1986 album, La Candela. You can check out a live performance of “El Guaba” from the PBS special, Celia Cruz & Friends: A Night of Salsa, recorded in 1998 when Celia was 73(!) on YouTube here.

So, what exactly is El Guaba? Well, it’s a whip spider. And that’s when the inspiration for the pattern hit me. I combined octagons (because there’s one side for each spider leg) to create a simple wrap to wear over any outfit to add a bit of Celia glam to your day. Many of us are not necessarily going to dye our hair blue or wear a dress that looks like a piano, but nonetheless, there are moments when we’d still like to be in the spotlight! I’m sharing the pattern here free on my blog to kick off my celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2014. I’ll be continuing my annual series, interviewing Hispanic crochet and knitting designers, bloggers, and makers. I hope you enjoy the pattern and the series!

El Guaba Crochet Pattern

By Underground Crafter

02-easy 50US terms 50 4-medium 50Crochet a quick wrap using octagonal motifs, an homage to the titular whip spider in Celia Cruz’s “El Guaba.”

Finished Size: Fits bust size (after blocking): XS (28-30”/71-76 cm), [S/M (32-38”/81-96.5 cm), L/XL (40- 46”/101.5-117 cm), 2X (48-50”/122-127), 3X (52-54”/132-137), 4X (56-58”/142-147 cm), and 5X (60-62”/152-158)]. Pictured sample is 2X.

Materials:

  • Stitchjones Big Sky Bulky (100% Montana Targhee wool, 4.75 oz/138 g/220 yds/201 m) – 1, [1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2] skein(s) Power Reds, or approximately 200 – 360 yards (183 – 329 m) in any medium weight yarn.
  • I-9/5.5 mm crochet hooks, or any size needed to obtain correct gauge.
  • Yarn needle.

  • Gauge: 1 motif = 5” (13 cm) before blocking. For best fit, check your gauge.

El Guaba, free crochet pattern from Underground Crafter with U.S. pattern abbreviations.

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:

  • BLO – back loop only
  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • ea – each
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • rep – repeat
  • Rnd(s) – Round(s)
  • RS – right (front) side
  • sc – single crochet
  • sk – skip
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • sp – space
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • tr – treble crochet
  • yo – yarn over
  • *+ Rep the instructions following the asterisk and/or plus sign as indicated

Pattern Instructions:

Center Octagon – Make 1

  • Ch 4, join to first st with sl st to form ring.
  • Rnd 1: (RS) Ch 3 (counts as dc, here and throughout), 15 dc in ring, join with sl st to BLO of top of first ch 3. (16 sts)
  • Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 scBLO in same st and in ea st around, join with sl st to first sc. (32 sts)
  • Rnd 3: Ch 7 (counts as dc + ch-4 sp), sk 3 sts, *dc in next st, ch 4, sk 3 sts; rep from * around, join with sl st to third ch of first ch 7. (8 sts + 8 ch-4 sp)
  • Rnd 4: Sl st in next ch-4 sp, *(2 sc, dc, ch 2, dc, 2 sc) in ch-4 sp; rep from * around, join with sl st to BLO of first sc. (64 sts)
  • Rnd 5: Ch 3, dcBLO in next st, hdcBLO in next st, *(sc, ch 2, sc) in ch-2 sp, hdcBLO in next st,** dcBLO in next 4 sts, hdcBLO in next st; rep from * around, ending last rep at **, dcBLO in next 2 sts, join with sl st to top of first ch 3. Fasten off. (64 sts + 8 ch-2 sp)
El Guaba, free crochet pattern from Underground Crafter with U.S. pattern abbreviations.

First Octagon (left) and Joining Octagon (right) before blocking.

Joining Octagon – Make 3 [4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

  • Rep through Rnd 2 as for Center Octagon.
  • Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc in next 3 sts, *ch 2,** dc in next 4 sts; rep from * around, ending last rep at **, join with sl st to BLO of top of first ch 3. (32 sts + 8 ch-2 sp)
  • Rnd 4: Ch 1, scBLO in same st and in next 3 sts, *(dc, ch 2, dc) in ch-2 sp,** scBLO in next 4 sts; rep from * around, ending last rep at**, join with BLO to top of first sc. (48 sts + 8 ch-2 sp)
  • Rnd 5: Ch 3, dcBLO in next 3 sts, hdcBLO in next st, *(sc, ch 2, sc) in ch-2 sp, hdcBLO in next st, dcBLO in next 4 sts, hdcBLO in next st; rep from * 5 more times, (sc, ch 1, join to RS of previous octagon with sc through ch-2 sp, sc) in ch-2 sp, hdcBLO in next st, dcBLO in next 4 sts, hdcBLO in next st, (sc, join with sc through next ch-2 sp of previous octagon, ch 1, sc) in ch-2 sp, hdcBLO in next st, join with sl st to top of first ch 3. Fasten off. (64 sts + 8 ch-2 sp)

El Guaba, free crochet pattern from Underground Crafter with U.S. pattern abbreviations.

Final Octagon – Make 1

  • Rep through Rnd 4 as for Joining Octagon.
  • Rnd 5: Ch 3, dcBLO in next 3 sts, hdcBLO in next st, +(sc, ch 1, join to RS of previous octagon with sc through ch-2 sp, sc) in ch-2 sp, hdcBLO in next st, dcBLO in next 4 sts, hdcBLO in next st, (sc, join with sc through next ch-2 sp of previous octagon, ch 1, sc) in ch-2 sp, hdcBLO in next st, *(sc, ch 2, sc) in ch-2 sp, hdcBLO in next st, dcBLO in ea of next 4 sts, hdcBLO in next st; rep from * 3 more times, rep from + to * once, join with sl st to top of first ch 3. Fasten off. (64 sts + 8 ch-2 sp)

Top Edging

  • Rnd 1: With RS facing and starting at 2nd (3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th) octagon from Center Octagon, join with sl st to st before first ch-2 sp on flat edge, ch 1, sc in same st, *sl st in ch-2 sp, sl stBLO in next 8 sts, sl st in next ch-2 sp, sc in next st, ch 1, sk 1 st, hdc in next st, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st, ch 1, sk 1 sts, yo twice, insert hook in next st, +yo and draw up a loop, (yo and draw through 2 loops) twice,++ yo twice, insert hook in second st after next ch-2 sp on next octagon, rep from + to ++, yo and draw through 3 loops, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st, ch 1, sk 1 st, hdc in next st, ch 1, sk 1 st,** sc in next st, rep from * around, ending last rep at **, join with sl st to BLO of top of first sc.
  • Rnd 2: Ch 2 (counts as hdc), *scBLO in ea of next 10 sts, hdcBLO in next st, dcBLO in ea of next 11 sts,** hdcBLO in next st; rep from * around, ending last rep at **, join with sl st to top of ch 2. Fasten off.

Finishing

  • Weave in ends with yarn needle. Spray or wet block. 

If you like this pattern, show it some love on Ravelry here.

© 2014 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use it to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2014/09/15/free-pattern-el-guaba/. Thanks for supporting indie designers!

Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 Interview Series: Vanessa Laven

This post contains affiliate links.

This post is part of my 2012 Hispanic Heritage Month interview series.

I’m thrilled to interview blogger Vanessa Laven today.  Vanessa was actually the first person I interviewed on my blog and I’m a regular read of her own wonderful blog, Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts.  Vanessa is also Cuban-American and from the NYC area, so I feel a strong connection to a lot of the stories that she shares about growing up and her family life.  In addition to her blog, you can find Vanessa online on Ravelry, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter.

Vanessa Laven in one of her knit cowls. (Click for blog post.)

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you learn to knit, crochet, and embroider?

Vanessa: My mother had taught me how to knit but it never really stuck, ditto for crocheting. I picked up the Klutz book about crochet and suddenly it clicked with me. I fell in love and I joined a Stitch n Bitch group. I decided to give knitting another try and this time my mom’s advice stuck. My sister, Maritza, taught me how to embroider when I was in the fourth grade but again, it never really stuck. My mom kept nagging me to not embroider all the time because it would ruin my eye sight, so I dropped it. In college, I bought Jenny Hart’s book and kit and this time it stuck. I embroidered a bunch of doodles on to a pair of old jeans and while it looked super cool, I never wore them after that. Plus my hands were killing me. I didn’t know at the time that I should have used a better needle!

Vanessa’s multi-crafty Frida Kahlo doll. (Click for blog post.)

UC: You are multi-craftual. What is your favorite “go to” craft these days?

Vanessa: I find my knitting to be the most portable project, so it’s the one I do the most often. While I do like to crochet, I find that sometimes my crochet stitches end up coming undone if I try to tote it around with me. Plus, I have to look where I’m crocheting. I knit so much that I can do it by feel now, which has become a “party trick” of mine. I once managed to play Texas Hold ‘em Poker and knit at the same time. It was less impressive than it sounds because I really don’t know how to play poker all that well. Embroidery has become a sort of “in between projects” project, mostly because I tend to make much smaller pieces. Plus, it satisfies that part of me that still likes to color in coloring books.

Vanessa’s Lily Owl. (Click for blog post.)

UC: We both have parents who were born and raised in Cuba.  Tell us a bit about your background and the crafting scene at that time.

Vanessa: I grew up in Union City, NJ. At one point, Union City was called “Havana on the Hudson” because we had more Cubans living here than in Havana. (UC comment: Yes, this is where most of my Cuban extended family lives!) When I was growing up, I would say that 98% of my classmates were Hispanic. We had a few Indian and Egyptian students but they were the exception rather than the rule. I don’t remember many people outside of my family crafting, but there were a few businesses advertising hand painted signs. My niece Olivia took a bunch of photos of these signs.

Apparently, most of them have been taken down. I love the look of the lettering but I’ve never really seen them outside of the greater NYC area.  (UC comment: Olivia has a great website of her own here.) 

My town does have an interesting crafty history. Starting in the late 1880s up until the 1990s, there were tons of embroidery factories. My parents worked a few, actually, particularly during the Viet Nam war. The factory they worked at made military insignias like company badges and rank stripes. They would take the big sheets of these home to cut out and got paid for so many that they cut.

My mom also worked in clothing factories. It’s where and how she learned to sew. My father was part of the book binder’s union thanks to one of the places he worked at. He later stopped factory work and became the superintendent of the buildings we lived in. He wasn’t the best handyman but I think part of him really enjoyed it. He used to build and set up model trains and also enjoyed photography, though he was terrible at it.

Vanessa’s Featherweight Cardigan. (Click for blog post.)

UC: Tell us about your blog. How did you get started blogging?

Vanessa: My husband bought a “Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts” t-shirt for me and thought the name would make a great blog for me. I had just finished up chemo two months before and I needed an outlet. He encouraged me to blog about the things I made during treatment. I was really shy about it at first but I quickly dove in. I had a Live Journal account for years so the idea of blogging wasn’t new to me. I’m glad that I listened to hubby because I love to blog like this! It’s given me both an outlet and a sense of purpose which is what I needed especially so soon after being so sick. (UC comment: I’m glad you listened to him, too, because your blog has a really unique perspective to offer!)

Vanessa’s hexipuffs. (Click for blog post.)

UC: You share some of your personal life, including your experience as a cancer survivor and posts about your family, on your blog.  A lot of crafty bloggers struggle with how much is enough/too much to share of your personal life.  How do you find the balance between being part of a community and maintaining your privacy?

Vanessa: I try to keep my personal stories focused on either crafting or cancer. With my cancer experience, I felt best to share the good, the bad and the really ugly because I wasn’t prepared for most of what happened. And if I felt that way, chances are good that someone else does and hopefully I can better prepare them.

I do share a lot about my family’s history partly because I think it’s a unique story, particularly how my parents met. And it’s the easiest way to share with the rest of my family since we’re all around the world at this point. Thanks to Facebook, lots of cousins and uncles (my father’s half brothers) are coming out of the woodwork and finding us. Most of them are still in Cuba but a few are in Miami and Venezuela. My mother’s family are in Cuba but do have internet access so it’s been nice to share with them as well. I’ve often thought about turning some of their stories into a novel, so I try to write those entries as creatively as possible. I also feel like everyone has a great story. Hopefully, I can encourage other people to put the tales of the past down on paper to preserve them. I do regret that I didn’t get more memories out of my father before he passed away.

Vanessa’s Wurm Hat for Olivia. (Click for blog post.)

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting?  If so, how?

Vanessa: I’m not sure if I can say that there is a direct influence, but it certainly is a passive influence. Whenever I pick up my needles (be it to knit or sew or crochet) I feel like I’m part of the past. My mother remembers that her mother, sister, and later, her step-mother, would spend time making bobbin lace when they weren’t busy making clothing for the family. Her friends tell me that they were all taught to knit socks before they were taught the alphabet!  My parents didn’t have a lot of schooling (my mother left school around the 4th grade and my father the 6th) but they both learned trades. My mother’s was more domestic (making clothing for the family and housewares and how to cook) but my father was a cobbler. I think about them when I’m working away and I laugh. What today is considered “hip” and “novel” and “crafty” was, once upon a time, part of a normal education. I remember trying to sign up for Home Ec in High School only to be told that they changed the class format. It was now a parenting class for the girls (and boys) who were expecting. I’m very sad to hear that this isn’t something that was unique to my public school system. If we bring back these skills, I’m sure we’ll see an overall increase in math and reading scores. (UC comment: I agree, Vanessa. We use math all the time in the needlecrafts!)

Some of Vanessa’s embroidery. (Click for blog post.)

UC: You recently moved to Hermitage, Tennessee from the Northeast.  What’s the crafting scene like down there?  Do you have any favorite spots to share?

Vanessa: I’ve noticed that quilting tends to be a lot more popular in the South. I’ve been able to find more fabric shops than local yarn stores. Also, the big box stores like Joann’s tend to rule. Since I’m not really a quilter, it’s been difficult for me to find my niche.

Vanessa’s childhood kung-fu ID card. (Click for blog post.)

 

UC: One of the things that’s unique about your blog is your combination of needlecrafts with martial arts and self-defense.  (One of my favorite guest posts on your blog is by Packing Pretty.  Thanks for introducing me to someone who so stylishly conceals weapons for personal protection!)  Tell us about your interest in martial arts.

Vanessa: I started martial arts when I was in the first grade. My parents put me in ballet and I hated it. Then they tried tap dancing and I hated that, too. The last thing on their list was the kung-fu studio that was near. My brother had taken lessons with Sifu Vizzio and suggested that they sign me up. They did and I loved it! I was finally in training to become a Ninja Turtle. Unfortunately, I had to stop thanks to homework overload but I always carried that regret. I tried some other styles as an adult but it wasn’t the same. I missed Sifu and I missed Fu Jow Pai.

For me, martial arts helps me relax and focus on my goals. The philosophical aspect of it has also spoken deeply to me. I’m not sure I’ve discovered the meaning of life but it’s helped me really think about what I’m doing here. I come out of class feeling like I’ve honed both my body and my mind and I’ve got them working together.

UC: What are some of your favorite Spanish or English language craft blogs to share?
Vanessa: In Spanish, I love Che Crochet. She’s an Argintine crocheter and makes some really nice stuff. Of course, I also have to mention FreshStitches as an English crochet counterpart. Stacey’s designs are fun and really modern. Mighty Distractable also makes me feel better for having a thousand interests and a short attention span.

I also read Craftzine to keep up to date on the latest crafting news. And I love to listen to CraftLit while I’m busy. Heather Ordover is a great hostess and knitwear designer in her own right. She’ll be starting Jane Eyre (my favorite book), which has wonderful knitting references, in October. I think I’ll work on something lacey and fancy while I listen.

UC: What’s next for Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts?
Vanessa: I do have some pieces in the works of my own. I’m currently designing a cancer awareness hat that should be released in November. And I’ve got some more book reviews and tutorials in the pipeline so keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks! I’m not quite sure what next year has in store for Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts, but I’m always open to suggestions.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story, Vanessa!