Today, I’m continuing my Hispanic Heritage Month series with an interview with Galician knitting designer, Trelly Hernandez. Trelly turned to knitting design earlier this year when she had to close her patchwork (quilting) shop and stop sewing for medical reasons. Trelly can be found online on her blog, El Rincon de Trelly (Trelly’s Corner), on Ravelry (as trelly and on her designer page), on Instagram, and on Facebook. Trelly’s answers were actually translated from Spanish to English, but I’ve done my best to keep true to Trelly’s intent and tone throughout.
All images are used with permission and are copyright Trelly Hernandez unless otherwise noted. Click on the picture to be brought to the pattern page.
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Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to knit?
Trelly: My first contact with knitting was in my patchwork (quilting) store. I brought the first yarns to sell from Malabrigo and Noro, and some friends and I were together one day, and there had “my first knitting class”’ with Marta and Tania. In a way, they were the ones who convinced me to enter into the world of knitting.
UC: Your Ravelry profile mentions that you began designing after closing your patchwork shop. Tell us more about your choice to enter knitwear design.
Trelly: I had to close up my patchwork store after a health problem. I have arthritis in both hands and feel a lot of pain when cutting fabrics and sewing. But I found out I had no problem knitting for long periods of time, which also made me relax, helping me to overcome some problems I had in my life. When I considered the benefits that knitting had for me, I began to cope with the possibility of continuing with design, but with knitting needles instead of sewing needles.
Learn to Knit Original Toe-Up Socks on Craftsy!
UC: Your current designs are all self-published. Do you plan to continue self-publishing only, or will you also submit designs to other publishers?
Trelly: Well, I have been designing only for a couple of months now and I have not been thinking about that. But I prefer to wait and see what comes next, because a lot of things could happen!
UC: You blog in Spanish, by your knit designs are all available in both English and Spanish. What do you see as the challenges and advantages to publishing in two languages?
Trelly: I write my blog in Spanish, but in Instagram I write almost anything in English because most of my 1,200 followers are not from Spain. I believe that in the US, knitting is diverse. In Spain, until now knitting was a thing for the elderly. Now there is a trend for younger people, too – even young boys, I love this so much! That is why I like to design in both languages. I just don’t want to miss the chance of being known in my own country but I also don’t like to limit myself if I can do it in English, too.
UC: You live in Galicia, Spain. Is that also where you grew up? What was the yarn crafts scene like when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene in Galicia?
Trelly: I was born in Germany, but I grew up in Ourense (Galicia), Vigo (Galicia), and now I’m married and living in La Coruña (Galicia). Hahahaha, Galicia is big! I grew up surrounded by needles, yarn, and crochet hooks, because both, my grandmother and my mom always knit and crocheted. All my cousins and brothers wore the jackets and jerseys they made for us which were given to other members of the family when we grew up. In those days, I didn’t have an interest in knitting. I can even say I hated knitting because then there were no yarn winders and yarn swifts, so my mother was always forcing me to have my arms raised while she winded the yarn she wanted for her 4 sons…and look at me now!!! My grandmother died some months ago, and my mother is still knitting for her grandsons. She’s surprised and proud of the work I now make. Who would have known?
UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?
Trelly: My mother does cross stitch, crochet, knitting, and I think she made it easier for me to decide and change my profession with no doubts in my mind. I have the genes for this type of work, I swear it! LOL
Recently, I published my new collection of accessories, which I decided to name using Galician names. I love my language. It is rich in beautiful words and I have decided to pay tribute to my land and my roots.
UC: What are your favorite knitting books in your collection?
Trelly: Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits helped me lose the fear of socks. I like them, but I never thought about knitting socks and even less about designing them. This week I published in Ravelry my first sock design, which I called Rande Socks (in English and Spanish, of course) and now I’m working in an e-book with 5 patterns of thick socks with Malabrigo Rios. Each pattern will have two versions: normal socks and high socks, which are my favorites!
UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Trelly: Ufffff, I visit many websites/blogs about patchwork (quilting). I’m still not too deep with knitting, but through Instagram (@trelly7), I follow people that knit and make many other things.
Thanks so much for joining us, Trelly, and good luck with your knitting design career!