Tag Archives: peru

Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 Interview Series: Maru Minetto from Marumin Crochet

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

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.

Maru Minetto.

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.

 

Maru Minetto's White Baby Bolero pattern.

 

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.

Maru Minetto's My Lavender Sachet pattern.

 

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.

 

Maru Minetto's Cute Baby Sweater pattern.

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.

But my all time favorite crochet blogs  are in Portuguese:

Thanks so much for stopping by Maru, and sharing your thoughts and links with us!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Free pattern: Twisted crocodile stitch keyhole scarf

I am pleased to share another free pattern in collaboration with Galler Yarns!

Download Twisted Crocodile Stitch Keyhole Scarf PDF Pattern.

I actually finished this keyhole scarf around Thanksgiving, but have been waiting to release the pattern before sharing pictures.  (I took these pictures in Central Park on the same day as my Chubby Sheep free pattern photos, so you may see some background similarities.)

I love keyhole scarves.  I commute on the subway and share a work space (and coat rack) with many people, so I don’t like carrying around a lot of big stuff in the winter because there is no place to keep it.  If you’ve been to New York City in January, though, you know you still need to bundle up  in the winter.  A keyhole scarf is my compromise because it keeps you warm but is small enough to stuff in your pocket when you hang up your coat.  (Hint: It is also a great last minute gift, since it is much faster to make than a full length scarf!)

This is a self-portrait of me wearing the completed twisted crocodile stitch keyhole scarf.

I made this keyhole scarf using Galler’s Heather Prime Alpaca.  This yarn is a DK/sport/#3 weight superfine alpaca grown from Peru.  I love alpaca yarns, and Heather Prime Alpaca is super soft.  Somehow, even though I didn’t pick the color myself, the folks at Galler Yarns must have known that I love everything in the purple family because they sent me color 207, which is a heather purple.  The yarn skein is so large (0.5 lbs or 600 yards!) that you can make two of these keyhole scarves with one skein, and still have some yarn to spare.

Here’s a more artsy self-portrait, in black and white.

I really have to thank my pattern testers, Daynawithay, patriciaelizabeth, soxvixen, and ss9904 on Ravelry, for all of their great suggestions, including the one about reducing the size of the keyhole in the final pattern.

Here’s a detail of the keyhole opening. It is small to keep the warmth inside.

I really had a lot of fun with this stitch…

Here’s a stitch detail.  You can see the yummy heatheriness (ok, I know it isn’t a word) of the yarn.

… but it was hard to explain.  So I included a one page photo tutorial in the pattern.

A picture from the photo tutorial.

I took the pictures for the tutorial over the weekend at my sister’s place.  She has great natural lighting and a white desk, so I didn’t even need a background piece.

If you like the pattern, please show it some love on Ravelry!

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis!