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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 100 Colorful Ripple Stitches to Crochet: 50 Original Stitches & 50 Fabulous Colorways for Blankets and Throws
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.)
UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
- Lanas y Ovillos – Spanish blog with tutorials and videos that are very easy to follow.
- The Patchwork Heart – Blogger from England shares her beautiful color combinations in handmade blankets.
- I also enjoy Moogly, My Hobby is Crochet, Look At What I Made, and Crochet Street to mention a few.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Fabi, and for blogging bilingually!