Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 Interview Series Roundup

2014 Hispanic Heritage Month interview series with crocheters and knitters on Underground Crafter

I hope you enjoyed this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month interview series! If you didn’t have a chance to read all the interviews, I’m sharing links to each one today. Click on the photo to go to the relevant interview. Enjoy!

Interview with crochet/knit blogger/designer Andy Nevarez on Underground Crafter
Andy Nevarez, a Puerto Rican crochet and knitting designer and blogger.
Interview with knitting designer Adriana Hernandez/AdriPrints on Underground Crafter
Adriana Hernandez, a Cuban-American knitting designer and crochet/knitting font designer.
Melissa Martinez, Argentinian-American crochet and knitting designer.
Melissa Martinez, an Argentinian-American crochet and knitting designer.
Interview with Andrea Sanchez, knitting designer and blogger, on Underground Crafter
Andrea Sanchez, a Mexican/Spanish-American (mostly) knitting designer and blogger.
Victor Noël Lopez, an emerging Mexican-American crochet designer and prolific charity crafter.
Victor Noël Lopez, an emerging Mexican-American crochet designer and prolific charity crafter.
Trelly Hernandez, a Galician knitting designer.
Trelly Hernandez, a Galician knitting designer.
Letty Giron, a Guatemalan-American crochet maker.
Letty Giron, a Guatemalan-American crochet maker.
Bianca Perez, a Cuban-American knitting designer.
Bianca Perez, a Cuban-American knitting designer.
Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog
Joji Locatelli, an Argentinian knitting designer.
Interview with crochet softies designer, Adriana Aguirre, on the Underground Crafter blog
Adriana Aguirre, a Mexican-American crochet amigurumi designer.
Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog
Spanish crochet and knitting designer and blogger, Rosalia Fauste.
Argentinian crochet, knitting, and sewing designer, Sol Maldonado.
Argentinian crochet, knitting, and sewing designer, Sol Maldonado.
Susana, a Chilean emerging knitting designer and blogger.
Susana, a Chilean emerging knitting designer and blogger.
Fabi Woerner, a Chilean-American crochet designer, and multi-craftual blogger.
Fabi Woerner, a Chilean-American crochet designer, and multi-craftual blogger.

You can find links to my interview series roundups from 2012 here and from 2013 here. Thanks for supporting this series!

Interview with Fabiola Woerner (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

Interview with crochet and bilingual mommy blogger Fabiola Woerner on Underground Crafter

Today, I’m finishing up my interview series in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2014. I’m pleased to share an interview with Fabiola Woerner, a Chilean-American multi-craftual blogger. I met Fabi through a group for crochet bloggers, but she also sews and embroiders, and shares printables and tips for raising bilingual children on her blogs. On Tales of a Crafty Mommy, Fabi shares crochet projects, patterns, and tutorials; sewing and embroidery projects; recipes; and tips for raising bilingual children. On Bilingual Mami, Fabi shares homeschooling ideas. You can also find Fabi online on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. All pictures are copyright Fabiola Woerner and are used with permission. Click on the pattern or tutorial image to link to the relevant post on Fabi’s blog.

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Interview with crochet and bilingual mommy blogger Fabiola Woerner on Underground Crafter
Fabi Woerner.

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

Fabi: I learned to crochet while in was in summer break visiting family in Chile. My aunt and grandma showed me how to do the basic stitches. I practiced throughout my senior year making a scarves and a baby blanket that remained a work in progress for a while.

UC: What inspired you to start blogging?

Fabi: I started blogging several years ago as a way to record my crafts and projects when the list of things I wanted to make far outgrew the amount of time I had available. My first projects were hair bows that I started making for my then 1-year-old baby girl. I picked up crochet again that year when I finished the baby blanket I had started back in college.

Interview with crochet and bilingual mommy blogger Fabiola Woerner on Underground Crafter
Fabi’s free Tea Bag Holder crochet pattern.

UC: In addition to crochet, you also talk about raising bilingual children, cooking, and other crafts on your blog. Did you always plan to talk about each of these topics or did your blog evolve over time?

Fabi: Yes, actually, those have always been topics I have mentioned throughout my blog here and there as part of my everyday life. I am now working on moving that content and have created a second blog that focuses more on raising children bilingually, home-education, and life at home. My other site is called Bilingual Mami.

UC: You share your patterns (as well as other parts of your blog) in both English and Spanish. Why did you decide on a bilingual format and what are some of the challenges and benefits of being a bilingual blogger/designer?

Fabi: I truly enjoy communicating in both languages; both languages are part of me and I just really like using them in every way I can. At home, we speak in English and Spanish all day, so it came to a point when I realized I should be sharing that aspect of myself on the blog as well.

The main advantage is that I am able to connect with many others who crochet in South America. I have truly enjoyed the connection I have made with many Spanish-speaking followers. I don’t think would be possible without using my Spanish.

Some may see it as a disadvantage, but although it takes more time to write a post or translate a pattern, I have truly been enjoying making my content available in two languages. Sometimes online translators miss a few things here and there, so by providing my direct translation, I know the content will be found at its most pure meaning.

Interview with crochet and bilingual mommy blogger Fabiola Woerner on Underground Crafter
Fabi’s Fabric + Crochet Sundress Tutorial.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like in your community when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene in Florida?

Fabi: I grew up in Santiago, Chile, where I lived fairly close to a Crafter’s Market called ‘Feria Artesanal de Santa Lucia’ with over 150 shops available. There I could find knitted socks and hats as well as handmade bags made using the tapestry crochet technique. I’d say this technique is quite popular in Chile due to its proximity to Bolivia and Peru.

Circular Ponchos

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

Fabi: I attended a Chilean school where we had a class called “Tecnico Manual” or Handcrafts. In this class, we learned how to make different crafts throughout each year. I had this class up until eighth grade and I still remember how to make many of the crafts we did back then. I’m so thankful for those years where I was able to experiment with different media that allowed to discover my own creativity. Also, because I began crafting at such a young age, I encourage my own children to craft and paint at home. Everyone has an inner artist and age is not and should not be a limiting factor.

Interview with crochet and bilingual mommy blogger Fabiola Woerner on Underground Crafter
Fabi’s free Crochet Tic-Tac-Toe Board pattern.

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

I enjoy crocheting chevron blankets, including the one I made for one of my children.

I’m also fascinated by granny squares. You get to choose the color(s) and the design and will end up with a one-of-a-kind blanket.

The book Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs is currently on my Wish List. I’ve read awesome reviews on it. Once you learn how to make your motif, you can turn it into anything you want! (UC comment: You can find my reviews of both granny square books, along with 7 others, in this blog post.)

Interview with crochet and bilingual mommy blogger Fabiola Woerner on Underground Crafter
Fabi’s free V Stitch Dishcloth crochet pattern.

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

Fabi:

Thanks so much for stopping by, Fabi, and for blogging bilingually! 

Interview with Susana from Creaciones Susana (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

I’m excited to share an interview with emerging Chilean knitting designer, Susana from Creaciones Susana. Susana is also a maker who sells her finished knit projects in her Etsy shop. You can find Susana online on her (Spanish-language) blogFacebook, FlickrPinterest, Ravelry (as CreacioneSusana, in the Creaciones Susana group, or on her designer page), and Twitter. All images are copyright Susana and are used with permission. Click on the design images to link to the Ravelry pattern pages.

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Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog
Susana from Creaciones Susana.

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

Susana: Initially, I learned to knit crochet with my grandmother. I was about 7 or 8 years old. I remember I started with a circle in various colors, which she surprising transformed into a small bag. At 13 years old, I started to knit with two needles. My first great work was a sock for my younger brother when he was born, it had a nice yellow color and was too big.

UC: What inspired you to start selling your projects on Etsy?

Susana: I always liked to design clothes. I designed for my sisters and friends when I was young. Esty is a great platform to sell your work, allowing you to reach many countries. Also, I thought they understood the process of handmade creation and crafting, and that encouraged me to participate. When I started Etsy didn’t work in Spanish, and I can proudly say that I was part of the many artisans who urged that great change. (UC comment: You can read about Etsy in Spanish! here.)

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog
Wishes Shawlette, a knitting pattern available in Spanish.

UC: What led you to start designing knitting patterns for sale? Do you think you will eventually sell crochet patterns, too?

Susana: I have always knitted my designs. My first pattern for sale I made about two years ago. I concentrated on the shawls, which are my favorites. I try to make easy, simple language, making something different on the design, in general employing the techniques looking for elegant and feminine results. I like to knit seamless, start up or down, with short-rows, shining colors and contrasts.

Expand Your Knitting Skills

About crochet designs, I have some patterns, but I need a crochet tool to make the stitch patterns. I hope to sell it very soon.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog
Whisper Shawl, a knit pattern available in English and Spanish.

UC: Some of your patterns are available in both English and Spanish. Why did you decide on a bilingual format and what are some of the challenges and benefits of being a bilingual designer?

Susana: It was interesting this aspect. I started in English because it is a more accessible market. The knitters love to find new designs on the internet. Often they have read and used patterns more than the Latin-Americans knitters. In this moment, I have some bilingual patterns; I hope to have them available next month for sale.

One of the challenges is, the language in the patterns and instructions when I use English. The symbols and names are very different in Spanish. And one of the benefits is, my English patterns have more views and sales.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog
Cuello Hojas de Primavera, a knit pattern in Spanish.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like in Chile when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene?

Susana: The crafting world started with grandmothers. They trained their daughters and granddaughters. At that time, nobody was thinking about design. In my case, when I was a teenager, I designed and sold informally in a small environment, however, it was exceptional.

Actually, the handmade world is very important and appreciated. It is considered like an ancestral art and interesting commercial activity. There is much exchange between English trends and fashion influences in the general public and lovers of handmade through internet tools.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog
Blue Deep Shawl knitting pattern.

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

Susana: It has influenced me very little. My style is a combination of techniques, several forms and materials for knitting that are very different to the textile scene in Chile.

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

Susana: I do not have favorite books; I used few in my self-education. I have used electronic information, magazines, tips and techniques shared friend knitters. The favorite books that I have are really recent; these are two examples:

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog
Chaqueta Carmencita, a knit pattern available in Spanish.

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

Susana: I visit daily several pages that I love so much:

Spanish:

English:

Dover Books

UC: What are you working on now?

Susana: In this moment, I’m working on new patterns for the spring and summer season (in the Southern Hemisphere). I’m focused on natural elements, soft color, and new textures for my designs. Also I’m teaching new and expert knitters.

Thank you for stopping by, Susana!

Interview with Sol Maldonado (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Today I’m interviewing Argentine multi-craftual designer, Sol Maldonado. Sol creates crochet and knitting patterns as well as sewing patterns and tutorials. Sol can be found on her website, Craftsy (in the bySol and Soles shops), Etsy (in bySol, her crochet & knitting pattern shop, and in Soles, her fabric doll/flower/toy/pattern/tutorial shop) , Facebook, Pinterest, and Ravelry (as soles and on her designer page). All images are copyright Sol Maldonado and are used with permission. Click the design images to be brought to the Ravelry pattern pages.

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Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog
Floral Yummy 3d Flower Granny Square, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet and knit?
Sol: My mother, grandmother and aunts used to knit and crochet after lunch on Sunday visits during my childhood, so I learned with them.

Visit Craftsy’s 5 Million Member Flash Sale!

UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Sol: I started designing my own sweaters because I never liked what was available in shops!
In Argentina there were not many options, designs or colors in the past… but from long ago we have wonderful yarns, so I thought that making my own stuff would be easier and better.

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog
Cape Geometric Neckwarmer, knitting pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: You’re multi-craftual. Do you have a favorite craft or does that depend on the project or season?
Sol: I love them all, but yeah depends on climate a lot!!
These days, it’s so cold now here, I prefer to knit and crochet warm pieces, and as the summer trends start to pop up in magazines and all around, I start planning next summer projects.

UC: You’ve had over 4,000 sales in your Etsy shop. Wow! What tips do you have for new Etsy sellers?
Sol: Sell what you love most and this will guarantee your success.

My pleasure is to make new things always, so my job is to plan-make-publish and design something new again. Because of this, I’m always excited about what I’m doing…if you get bothered about your daily work it will be a loss of energy.

Be aware of what you are best in and go for it!

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog
Tribe Tapestry Granny Square, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like in Argentina when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene?
Sol: In Argentina the yarn scene is high quality since forever….lots of products, colors and textures, and not very expensive.

Here winter is very cold, and knit and crochet are popular practices, like traditional craft.

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog
Bubble Zoe Purse, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?
Sol: Yeah, it influences a lot! As a third world country there are not enough tools or books available ever!!! So, to make something you will have to figure out and work on it with the basic tools, minimize resources as much as possible because tools here are very expensive!

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog
Clamshell and Pinwheel Geometric Pillows, knitting pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: What are your favorite knitting and crochet books in your collection?
Sol: I do not have any collection, since I search for instructions online.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Sol: I’m totally in love with Pinterest, regular people pinning and building trends is the most exciting thing ever to happen in design!

I find inspiration and delight with wonderful photos and trends.

I think that image is everything, Spanish or English – with Google translate tool, it doesn’t matter anymore, and frankly I don’t have much time to read any post, I look only at photos!

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your patterns with us, Sol!

Interview with Rosalia Fauste (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

HHM Rosalia Fauste

I’m continuing my Hispanic Heritage Month series today with an interview with Spanish knitting and crochet designer and blogger, Rosalia Fauste. Rosalia can be found online on her blog, El mon de Rosalia, on Ravelry (as rosalias and on her Ravelry designer page), and on Facebook. All pictures are copyright Rosalia Fauste and are used with permission.

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Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

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

Rosalia: When I was a little girl, less than 10 years old, I saw many women in front the doors of their houses knitting or crocheting. I usually stopped to see why her hands moved so fast and that was the way I became familiar with that skill. Later, being a complete teenager, I got my own needles and wool and asked the ladies who came to my parent’s store for teach me to knit. Then, I learned the basics. As a young lady, I was self-taught through knitting and crochet publications.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog
Camino de Santiago.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Rosalia: I did some work for Phildar in my university years. Maybe my first creation was a cardigan for babies. I always liked to invent, creating new clothes from old clothes. My first conscious moment for design was through the shawls. I made some but I didn’t write the patterns (Camino de Santiago and Transatlàntico). Later, I considered writing to share them with others. I am right now a humble apprentice designer. I have translated some patterns to Spanish.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog
On the Road, knit shawl pattern. (Click image to link to pattern.)

UC: You have quite a few shawl designs. What do you enjoy about shawl projects?

Rosalia: I like shawls that combine many techniques and stitches. They are easy to be born soon and are accessories that are always “must have.” I like the challenge posed by mathematical combinations of the stitches turning into beautiful designs.

Dover Books

Right now, I’m designing a new one whose original idea came a year ago. I am inspired by Estonian stitches and lace. I will also be starting two cowl tests. I work full time, so my dedication to design is limited.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog
Calendulas, a knit shawl pattern. (Click image to link to pattern page.)

UC: Your patterns are available in three different languages (English, French, or Spanish). What are the challenges and benefits of offering patterns in different languages?

Rosalia: I like to offer my designs in different languages ​​in order to reach maximum number of knitters’ or crocheters’ hands possible. Is more work but for now, but that does not matter.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like where you were growing up? 

Rosalia: I was born in a Castilian village and went off to University at 18. I live in Catalunya near Barcelona. I’ve always been surrounded by people who have enjoyed crafts – sewing, knitting and crocheting, and embroidering as well. I have always enjoyed learning new things.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

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

Rosalia: When I discovered Ravelry, I extended my knowledge extraordinarily by learning how other knitters solve their projects or manage their works. I found many people with whom I have shared good moments, and that leaves a pleasant experience. It has also helped me share my designs.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

UC: Where do you find your inspiration? How do you name your designs?

Rosalia: I love many fashion designers and though they all inspire me, I have a few more favorites than others. Anonymous knitters also drive my imagination with their ideas. I am inspired by the old and the new. Also art, painting, nature, and the many colors and shapes that are everywhere. I need to invent pattern and project names that evoke something.

Shop Indie PatternsThanks for sharing your creativity with us, Rosalia!