The Sewing Box Magazine (english version)

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We are a team! Translation: Carmen Pérez

Editor-in-chief: Anabel García-Plata Roberto Hinojo

Marketing & advertising: Carlos Berges

Management, editing & writing: Anabel García-Plata

Collaborator: Melanie Mariscal (Gallimelmas)

Artistic direction & layout: Clara Palomero

Distribution: SGEL Pineapple Media (INT)

Cover layout: Clara Montagut

Address & contact: The Sewing Box Company Avenida República Argentina, 24, 2 41011 Sevilla

On the cover: Esther Gili Proofreading: TSB Mag Team

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The Sewing Box 9 (El Costurero 15) ©All right reserved. ISSN 2444-295X Legal Deposit: SE 150-2020

Edited in Seville, Spain by The Sewing Box Company www.thesewingboxmag.com info@thesewingboxmag.com

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In previous numbers we celebrated our tenth anniversary. Ten years creating, exploring and discovering everything related to the artisan world and its artisans. A decade in which we got to see how the handmade went from being just objects we made with our own hands to building ourselves from the inside as we created them. In which way? They became moments for our development, both in an emotional and an intellectual level. The perks are many: improving one’s self-esteem, generating more sustainable forms ofconsumption or just as a hobby. One way or another, it enriches us. In the middle of a change of eras, where we’re leaving the learning to the “machines”, stopping to look at our hands and recognizing our ability to make things with them is a way of reminding ourselves of who we are and of what we can make. Mexican textile artist Gimena Romero sees it that way, “embroidery is an entertainment in which we teach ourselves to inhabit time.” For Ameskeria, Loopy Mango, Greendotori and Pica Pau, sometimes we’re compelled to something and everything leads us irremediably to it (in this case, the artisan world.) In this number, besides portraying the history and projects of seven international makers, just as many explain to us why they made amigurumi (those 3D-knitted Japanese dolls) their craft specialty. We’ll learn to knit with Pamela, from Bricall BCN, the haberdashery which was born in 1940 and whose pattern archive will soon see the light. You’ll also be able to revel in an illustration gallery, our little homage to those who make us live Art through our senses. Enjoy and learn with us about all that the handmade can offer you.


index

Crochet

6. Ameskeria 12. MissDIY 18. Poleomenta Crochet and embroider

24.

Tunki Crafts

Knit

30. Loopy Mango

Punch Needle

36. Greendotori

42.

Embroider Estudio Gimena Romero

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48.

50.

What is an amigurumi?

Getting to know Pica Pau

Amigurumis Special

58. Amigurumei 64. Duende de los Hilos 70. Granny’s Crochet Hook 76. Maria atelier 82. Sweet Amigurumi

88. Learning to knit with Pamela

94. Craft experiences by We are Knitters 102. The illustration gallery


Crochet Designer www.ameskeria.com

amesker i a

Leire Villar lives in Barcelona, was never very clear on what her calling was. She’s worked as a waitress, a secretary, a sound tech, a photographer… Until one day when she discovered crochet and it helped her channel and develop a creative side she wasn’t familiar with. She started knitting in 2009 in a crochet course and she was fascinated from day one, so from then on she kept researching. “At the time, there weren’t many resources in Spanish, so I learned to read diagrams in Japanese crochet books. I think this is conveyed a lot in my work.” Ameskeria is a Basque word meaning fantasy, imagination. With that premise in mind, she has attempted to build her style, with the intent of bringing freshness to a traditionally classic world: simple, easily-made designs, color, amigurumi, geometrical patterns, etc., all of these are her main personal brand. She’s currently working on a few commissioned projects for different brands and taking a break from the courses; on her web we can find a myriad of patterns and the option to join her small club via e-mail.

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She works from home, a beautiful flat with papered walls with tree trunk patterns, hydraulic floor tiles and white furniture. The best setting for a crafter who wakes early, has breakfast, checks her e-mails and media and organizes her day based on her pending jobs and their corresponding deadlines. In the morning, she takes advantage of the natural light for the pictures and, in the afternoon, she does everything else up until seven o’clock; from that magic hour on, she gets to knit all the minutes she can.


START OUT

KNIT

Set a plan to see if it’s possible to make a living out of it. If the answer’s yes, go for it without fear, from the heart and without comparing oneself to others.

My favorite project so far is my e-book “Sashiko Jacquard”, which was born after a trip to Japan. It has five tapestry crochet designs which mimic the traditional Japanese embroidery style.

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Behind the artist, with that chimerical life we can only imagine, there’s always a great effort and complicated work: keeping the public’s interest, monetizing it, dealing with the uncertainty. It’s not just crochet in the life of this craft brand; Leire also has a full-time job, “most of my income comes from photography and the content I’m commissioned by brands and publishers. The difficulty in dealing with uncertainty is what affects the creative process the most for me. To be honest, it’s an unstable job and sometimes insecurity paralyzes me.” For the future, she would like for Ameskeria to develop a less functional, more artistic side; she would like it if it weren’t as difficult to keep the public’s interest and monetize it so that she could enjoy more the process of doing what she loves: creating.

Get inspired I find inspiration in travels, in nature and in the memories of my childhood. When I’m creativel y stuck, what works best for me is goi ng for a walk and the n make random drawin gs, without having any thing to do with whatever project I’m workin g on. Distracting my min d before going back to work is always goo d for me.

LEAVE YOUR MARK I would advocate the importance of female manual labor in the economy of harnessing and the need of it transcending and being recognized outside of the intimacy of the home.

FOLLOW Other than craft profiles, I love humoristic ones. Some of my favorites are @flavitabanana, @rocioquillahuaman and @javirroyo. For activism, I love @eugeniatenenbaum and @desireebela, because of how they communicate. And in the textile field, I’d highlight @thefiberstudio, @susanna_bauer and Vanessabarragao_work.


Tote Bag Pocket

To make this pattern, Leire was inspired by the classic foldable bags our grandmothers carried with them when they went shopping. It’s a renewed classic, like almost all the other projects in the book Zero Waste (made by Ameskeria and edited by The Sewing Box), which has the purpose of promoting the use of any alternative to plastic.

USED STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS

MATERIALS

Chain Single crochet Double crochet Slip stitch

3mm crochet hook 50g of beige cotton 50g of bone white cotton 1 button Scissors Tapestry needle

MEASUREMENTS 14x14cm

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Tapestry crochet

Intermediate

Tips

Ending Face the wrong sides of both pieces.

When you’re working using different colors in tapestry crochet, the piece has two sides: the right and the wrong. So, when you’re working on the right side, hide the threads on the wrong side and the other way around for when you’re working on the other side, that way the piece will be bound off.

Insert new thread in one of the upper corners and sew one piece to another, working single crochets into the sides and the base. The upper part must be left open, as if it were a small bag. Turn the pocket around. Sew a button to the center of the frontal piece and the closing lace to the upper part of the back piece.

Pattern

Start with 32 chains (29+3) and follow diagram 1. The three chains at the beginning of the line count as the first stitch. You will have 30 stitches per line for the whole labor. At the end, work a line of single crochets around the piece (see diagram 2 for how to place them.)

Finally, turn the pocket around once more so that the button is on the inside and sew the pocket to your tote bag.

Finally, bind off and hide the threads. Work a second piece the exact same way. Work 50 chains and join the last to the first with a slip stitch. Keep working a slip stitch in each chain, as shown in diagram 3. Bind off leaving a long tail which will later be used to sew.

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START 32 chains (29+3)

Chain START 50 chains

Single crochet Double crochet Slip stitch


Crochet Designer www.missdiy.es

missdiy

When you get into a new hobby, you never know how it will end, maybe forgotten in the back of a drawer, maybe it’ll turn your life upside down. That’s what happened to Ester Blanes, crochet specialist and designer from Murcia. She studied veterinary medicine and, despite being a big animal lover, she never did get to work as a vet. “I chose a different life to my colleagues, working on the Internet, managing blogs on different topics. During that time, I got to enjoy my job a lot, which gave me a lot of freedom to travel and manage my own time. “In 2014, I opened a YouTube channel about crafts and a blog, in which I did a bit of everything; I started sharing tutorials for t-shirt yarn projects which people loved and it really connected them. Little by little, I started growing, I made some collaborations with brands, I managed the contents for another DIY channel, and I kept working on advertising with blogs.”

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Because she had her YouTube channel, she was able to connect to a public that enjoyed DIY. On that moment, she realized that that was her path, she wanted to make more crochet projects and she decided to drop everything to focus on creating more elaborate designs, with better quality, which she couldn’t make before because of a lack of time. That’s how MissDIY was born, a web full of XL crochet patterns, the technique she specializes in and which made way for “The Crochet Club”. It’s a membership which comes with exclusive content and weekly updates. “In The Club, I share all the knowledge I’ve acquired all these years, with step-by-step video tutorials which are easy to understand, so that anyone who wants to learn how to knit, make pretty and unique designs no matter the difficulty level they have or the place they come from, can do so dedicating a bit of time to themselves.”


Some of the projects she has in her new web are: the Panda Friend backpack, a macramé garland, the Mikonos Sandals, the Ananda bag and a crochet kimono, which she adds to every Monday with new pieces, downloadable patterns, instructions, basic stitches, materials lists, etc. “Each week I prepare a new project, so I have a pretty intense work rhythm when it comes to creating new projects and, right now, I’m starting to work on more seasonal designs.”

START OUT

KNIT

Be original and know what public you want to connect with so that you can contribute something different. And above all, be willing to multitask and look for time to learn, even if you don’t have any.

One of my favorite patterns is the Panda Friend Backpack, which is in the Crochet Club. I made it thinking about my son, so I was especially caring with it. I’m very happy with the result and every time he uses it, all the moms at the park fall in love.

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Get inspired I’m inspired by clothes and décor stores. I like to keep up with the trends to see what’s in fashion and how I can adapt it to crochet designs. Besides losing myself on Pinterest and visiting the blogs of designers in other languages. When I feel blocked, I take the opportunity to do some self-care, go for a walk, meditate, read, but especially, unplug.

MissDIY is a full-time job. From her workshop/study, which she shares with her husband, she designs, engraves or knits. “I used to resort a lot to my followers’ petitions and, although I still take them into consideration now, I have so many projects done and so many to be done that I have more than enough ideas left in me.” She’s also thinking about giving classroom courses to connect more with people and share experiences. New projects, new challenges. Like many creators who share content freely, the jump to generating information in other ways is not always well-accepted by her followers; “people don’t understand all the time and effort behind each project.” However, her great dream still is creating a huge knitting community to share their projects, their fears and worries “so that I can help them feel valued, make them trust themselves, feel that with time and dedication they can achieve anything they want.”

LEAVE YOUR MARK

FOLLOW

I see craft as an escape route from the modern world in which our more creative, primitive side awakes to focus on something that’s beyond being stuck to technology and consumerism.

@Bee.cakes_, a baker from Murcia who makes such beautiful cakes which are also so good. I’m inspired by entrepreneur women too, like @arantxa_canadas, @charuca and her podcast, and @balamoda.

To me, it’s a way to dedicate time to ourselves, better our self-esteem and alleviate stress.


Snow Day Mittens

In order to make this project, Ester was inspired by the typical snow mittens, but more crochety; “looking for a design that looked well but was also dense so that the cold wouldn’t slip in through the stitches.”

MATERIALS

USED STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS Dc: double crochet Fp dc: front post double crochet Sc: single crochet Ps: popcorn stitch Inc: increase Dec: decrease ch: chain St: stitch/es Ss: slip stitch A: meaning the 7 stitches from line A in the graphic B: meaning the 7 stitches from line B in the graphic

150g Casasol Veggie Wool in Eucalyptus 5mm crochet hook Tapestry needle

MEASUREMENTS 26cm long, 10cm the wider part, 8cm the narrower part.

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Crochet

Intermediate

Tip

If you want the cuffs to be a little looser, make the first row of double crochets without the chain. To make the thumb longer, make an extra row of double crochets before the last row of single crochets with decreases.

Pattern

Left mitten

20 stitches chain R1: make 20dc (20) R2-5: *1dc, fp dc*x10 (20) R6: 1inc, 9sc, 1inc, 9sc (22) R7: 1inc, 21dc (23) R8: 7sc, A, 9sc (23) R9: 1inc, 22dc (24) R10: 8Sc, B, 9sc (24) R11: 24dc (24) R12: 8sc, A, 9sc (24) R13: 24dc (24) R14: 3ch, ss in st number 7, 1sc in st number 8, B, 12sc (the last 3 st will be made taking one thread from each chain), close off the row with a ss in the first st.

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Next, keep crocheting the main part of the mitten: R15: 20dc (20) R16: 10sc, A, 12sc (20) R17: 20dc (20) R18: 10sc, B, 12sc (20) R19: 20dc (20) R20: 10sc, A, 12sc (20) R21: 20dc (20) R22: 10sc, B, 12sc (20) R23: 2dec, 2dc, 4dec, 2dc, 2dec. Stitches 3 and 8 are front post, just on top of the front post st in the row below (12) Close off.

Left mitten thumb

R15: 10sc. Take one yarn from each chain of the 3ch between the thumb and the forefinger (10) R16: 10dc (10) R17: 10sc (10) R18: 8dc, 1dec (9) R19: 1sc, 4dec (5)

Close off. Right mitten

20 stitches chain R1: 20dc (20) R2-5: *1dc, fp dc*x10 (20) R6: 8sc, 1inc, 9sc, 1inc (22) R7: 20dc 1inc, 1dc (23) R8: 11sc, A, 5sc (23) R9: 22dc, 1inc (24) R10: 11sc, B, 6sc (24) R11: 24dc (24) R12: 11sc, B, 6sc (24) R13: 24dc (24) R14: 1fp dc, 3ch, 1fp dc counting 7 st backwards and 10sc around the thumb.

Right mitten thumb

R15: 10dc (10) R16: 10sc (10) R17: 10dc (10) R18: 8dc, 1dec (9) R19: 1sc, 4dec (5) Close off.

Main part of the glove

Next, keep crocheting the main part of the mitten: R15: 20dc (20) R16: 9sc, A, 4sc (20) R17: 20dc (20) R18: 9sc, B, 4sc (20) R19: 20dc (20) R20: 9sc, A, 4sc (20) R21: 20dc (20) R22: 9sc, B, 4sc (20) R23: 1dec, 2dc, 4dec, 2dc, 3dec. Stitches 11 and 16 are front post, just on top of the front post st in the row below (12) Close off.


Lawyer and Knitter www.poleomentatejiendo.com

Poleomenta

There’s a certain kind of addiction to knitting and creating something from scratch with only yarn and needles. Far from being a “pernicious vice”, for Sandra, trained jurist, it meant a breath of fresh air. “If I’d been told, years ago, that needles would end up becoming my biggest passion, I wouldn’t have believed it. I had never thought of myself as a creative person because I thought that was for those who painted or wrote really well. Nowadays I think we are all creative, we just need to get out the passion we carry inside.” She’s currently balancing her half-time job as a lawyer in a multinational’s legal counseling department with Poleomenta, her web about craft and online store with patterns and knitwear. “When my youngest daughter, the third, was born I started knitting. I had to spend a couple of months resting and, since I can’t stay still my mother told me: child, why don’t you retake knitting or something? Otherwise you’re going to go crazy and you’re going to make us all crazy.” Since then, she can’t live without needles and yarn balls.

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At the beginning it all started as a hobby, and after a pattern designing course, a knitting club at her children’s school and a lot of eagerness, Poleomenta was born. This blog represents everything that feeds this Valencian’s creativity (tricot, crochet, lifestyle); it’s where she lets her imagination fly, creating stories she tries to depict in her patterns. “After some very bad years I’ve landed on, with a very painful separation, I realized it’s fundamental to love oneself and do what you’re passionate about because if you’re okay, everything else will be too. If not, it’s impossible. And for me, Poleomenta has been my lifesaver.” Soon she’ll be launching her online store, with knitwear and material kits + patterns. “Besides, I’m working on a mentorship in which I’ll not only teach how to knit and pattern design, but for a few months I’ll also be joining the people who sign up to teach them how I managed to believe in myself and liberate my creativity, my organization tips, the benefits of knitting and much more.”

START OUT

KNIT

Design your life’s pattern and start living the life you want to live. The path will be an ongoing education in which you’ll have to do and undo, but this is the most beautiful way to learn. Meanwhile, relax and enjoy the ride.

I think all of them! Although I love knitting baby’s and children’s clothes, especially hoods; they’re my weakness and I’ve always loved them. Now I want to knit a sweater for me because I almost always knit for others and it’s been a while since I made something for myself.

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Get inspired My three children are, undoubtably, three teachers. They’re my main source of inspiration. Creativity is something all children are born with but then, lots of times, they lose it as they grow. Because of that, I try to foster it in them and not only by knitting or sewing, also painting, taking photographs, writing or cooking. And, in the end, it’s always them who end up inspiring my new ideas or projects. I’m also inspired by photography a lot and I’ve done lots of courses. I like to take the camera and the kids and go out for a walk and take pictures of things we like.

FIND BALANCE

FOLLOW

Normally, when I’m blocked, is because I have so many things in my head, the ideas can’t flow through. Being alone with three kids and two jobs is not easy and it requires lots of organization. What I usually do is go to a nice café with my planner and a lot of colors and pencils, I get a coffee and I spend some time writing and putting my ideas in order.

One of my favourite social networks is Instagram, besides I love photography. I follow the accounts of @weareknitters, @courtneyadamo and @ilovemrmittens.


Celia Hood

Sandra has an especial predilection for hats and hoods, to make this she was inspired by the ones her grandmother made for her and her sister when they were little. “My daughters love wearing them!”

USED STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS

MATERIALS

ch: chain Sc: single crochet Ss: slip stitch Dc: double crochet Cs: crab stitch

1 yarnball (in gray) 8mm crochet hook Tapestry needle

MEASUREMENTS Size 10-12 years 24cm tall x 18cm wide

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Crochet

Easy

The best way is to try it on as it’s being made, and don’t be afraid to make and unmake, that’s the best way to learn.

Tip

R6: 2 high chains, *1dc, 1ch, 1dc*, in all the stitches from the row below and in the space left by the 2 chains from the row below, join to the first stitch with a ss to work the hood in circles.

Pattern

For a bigger size, you can make the 6th row as many times as necessary.

Make 4 chains and join them in a circle with a slip stitch.

R2: 2 high chains, *1dc, chain, 1dc* in all the stitches from the row below, join to the first stitch with a ss to work the hood in circles.

R7: now that the hood’s circle is done, we’re going to start knitting its “body”. Make 1 high ch and work 1sc in all the stitches from the row below, leaving 10 stitches unworked, which will be the neck’s base. If you think it’s too big, you can adjust by working a single crochet, not in all the chains, but every other chain or every two chains. For this pattern, 51 stitches were made.

R3: 1 high chain, 1sc in all the stitches from the row below and in the space left by the 2 chains from the row below, join to the first stitch with a ss to work the hood in circles.

R8-15: 2 high chains, 1dc in all the stitches from the row below (51), going back and forth in each row. If it’s too small, you can keep going a bit.

R4-5: 2 high chains, *1dc, 1chain, 1dc in the first stitch from the row below, 1ch, leave one stitch from the row below unworked*, repeat until the end, join to the first stitch with a ss to work the hood in circles.

R16: 1 high chain, 1sc in all the stitches from the row below (51).

R1: 1 high chain, 7sc inside the circle made by the 4ch, join to the first stitch with a slip stitch to work the hood in circles.

R17: 1 high chain, 1sc in all the stitches from the row below (51).

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Now what’s left is the neck part, to fasten the hood. For this, hook on the first stitch of the base and work 2dc, 1 chain, 2dc, until the end, so that a gap is left for the ribbon. Once it’s done, make a knot and close off. Hide the threads at the beginning and end of the hood with a tapestry needle. Tie the hood with a lace or with a strand made with the same yarn you used to make it.


Diseñadora textil @tunkicrafts

tunki crafts

Blanca is a youngster from Madrid who studied economy and work in the private banking sector for 3 years. After a while, she decided the world of numbers wasn’t for her and she begun her adventure. She packed her things and moved all the way to Peru, to travel and live new experiences. It was precisely there where she fell in love with the world of looms and where Tunki Crafts started shaping up. “Tunki is the peruvian national bird, which is unfortunately endangered. It was there that I learned a lot about hand-knitting from the locals.” Back home and settled in Menorca, she decided to open an online store with handmade products, most of them home textile pieces made with eco-friendly, high-quality materials and only one design available of each. “I would define my style as modern and timeless, I love to make clothes that can be used in 20 years and will still be up-to-date. At the moment I’m focused on my search for fibers which, other than soft and pretty, expresses something more.

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In that sense, I focus a lot on the stories of the threads I work with, their traceability and impact on the environment. I like to think that, this way, my products have an added value, knowing that each knitted piece leaves behind a positive mark.” Besides working daily on her looms, Blanca teaches and “is always busy on a thousand different fronts.” She was in charge of managing the annual crafting fair in Menorca and she’s preparing a variety of projects related to Menorca as an ideal destination for a crafting retreat. “I have an endless list of things I want to do but there aren’t nearly enough hours in the day (and I get up at 5 in the morning in order to seize the time to the max!).”


Living in Southamerica first and in Menorca later meant a before and an after for her creativity and her way of looking at life: no day is like the one before. “As I was saying before, I get up very early and after a good breakfast is when my day really begins. Every day I intend to have time to weave with the loom, knit with two needles, do some exercise, play the drums, etc. I almost always manage but, if I don’t, I compensate the following day. Since I’m very methodical, once I’m done with my daily to-do list I go for a walk on the beach or the mountain.”

START OUT

CROCHET

Giving advice isn’t easy, each project requires very intimate considerations. The best thing is to be clear on who you are and what you like to do. Don’t pay attention to the comments because sometimes they’re destructive.

It’s very difficult to choose a favorite project. Each time I finish one I think it’s the most beautiful and most special! The one I prepared for TSB is one of the most special ones because it was with this labor that I discovered a local brand I fell in love with because of their threads and way of doing things.

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Get inspired The day I decided to mov e to Menorca I won the lottery. It’s the best place to find inspirati on and let myself go. Liv ing in the middle of nature , if I need a creative impuls e, I open the door and, jus t looking at the woods, I’m already filled with ene rgy. If I need an extra boo st, I take my motorcycle and I go take a walk on the bea ch.

This “adopted” Menorcan seems to have found the ideal place in which to create and launch her project as a craft entrepreneur. Although the challenges are many, her need to create something different is up to the task. “My main goal is to find the audience that values two aspects which are very important to me: natural fiber and artisanal manufacturing. Plowing one’s way through the large fast fashion companies can be complicated and beneficial at the same time, since more and more people are looking for unique clothes that last a lifetime, made in a sustainable way and with natural materials. My dream is being able to give myself entirely to what I like best, what I have fun with, what makes me happy.” Best of luck, Blanca!

LEAVE YOUR MARK

FOLLOW

It’s good enough for me to make my students have a nice time in the workshops while they learn something new. It fulfills me to feel that I’ve inspired other people to develop their creativity.

I’ve recently discovered @ktgillies_surfacedesign and I’m hooked on the shapes and colour mixtures she creates. And I’ve been a huge fan of @tuksmithofficial for a long time, because not only is their music very authentic, it’s through their Instagram account that I’ve gotten to know many other interesting artists on the music scene that are less mainstream.


Sheep Tapestry

Since she lives in a country house, she’s lucky enough to be visited by her neighbor’s little sheep. “One day I was knitting some rustic wool and I came up with the idea for this circular tapestry.”

USED STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS

MATERIALS

Simple stitch 1x1 ch: chain sc: Single crochet Inc: increase Dec: decrease Sl st: slip stitch *...*: repeat sequence between asterisks

dLana* rustic wool: 100g white 50g brown 80g gray dLana* worsted wool for the body 30 cm embroidery frame Crochet needle number 10 Tapestry needle

MEASUREMENTS 30cm diameter

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Tapestry and crochet

Easy

Tip

Do it step by step and patiently.

Pattern

Base for the sheep’s face (circular loom) With rustic wool in light gray. 1. Prepare the warp with the ring inside the frame. 2. With gray rustic wool, make a knot on the frame and place the threads as pictured. Placing the thread on the opposite spot, you’ll achieve a star shape with an odd number of tips.

3. Once you have the star, wrap the thread you’re doing the warp with around the central threads. That way you’ll make them more organized and centered.

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R9: *7sc, 1inc* R10: *8sc, 1inc* R11: *9sc, 1inc* R12: *10sc, 1inc* R13: *11sc, 1inc* R14: *12sc, 1inc* R15: *13sc, 1inc* R16: *14sc, 1inc* R17: sc and close with a sl st. Leave a long tail at the beginning and another at the end. Fold in half and use the last tail to sew with the tapestry needle. Set aside. 4. Start knitting with a different thread going above one then below the next (as pictured) until you fill the frame.

Eyes X2 (crochet)

With double rustic wool in brown.

Ears X2 (crochet)

With double rustic wool in brown. R1: 3ch R2: 2 sc (02) R3: 1ch, 2inc (04) R4: 1ch, 4sc (04) R5: 1ch, 4sc (04) R6: 1ch, 1inc, 2sc, 1inc (06) R7: 1ch, 6sc (06) R8: 1ch, 1inc, 4sc, 1inc (08) R9: 1ch, 8sc (08) R10: 1ch, 1inc, 6sc, 1inc (10) R11: 1ch, 10sc (10) R12: 1ch, 10sc (10) Leave a long tail at the beginning and another at the end. Fold in half and use the last tail to sew with the tapestry needle. Set aside.

Top (crochet) With double rustic wool in white. R1: magic ring, 5sc R2: 5inc R3: *1sc, 1inc*, repeat sequence between asterisks * (idem until R16) R4: *2sc, 1inc* R5: *3sc, 1inc* R6: *4sc, 1inc* R7: *5sc, 1inc* R8: *6sc, 1inc*

Make 5ch and join in a circle with a sl st. Set aside. Once all the extras have been knitted, start by sewing the top. Let it protrude 1cm above the frame. Sew it to the ring. Once the top’s sewn, do the same with the ears by placing them slightly under the top. Finally, sew the mouth as in the final picture and place the eyes. If you want to add a body, you can make a braid or a chain with worsted wool and your tender little sheep is ready.


Shop and Kits for Knitters www.loopymango.com

loopy mango

When they started the company 15 years ago, Oejong and Anna couldn’t have imagined what it would eventually become. It all started with Oejong’s knitted creations in a tiny storefront in Avenue B of Alphabet City, Manhattan. Over the years, Loopy Mango has evolved to become a knitwear and DIY brand: a destination for knitters seeking good quality and design. Waejong Kim was born in Korea. After graduating from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies she worked as an interpreter and later opened a Korean fusion restaurant in Nagoya, Japan. She moved to New York right after 9/11 and worked for a corporate housing company. She taught herself how to crochet, took a long vacation and never returned to the corporate world. On the other hand, Anna Pulvermakher was born in Russia. She moved to Seattle, USA with her family and after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Mathematics she worked for Microsoft and Expedia as a Software Test Engineer. In 2003 she moved to New York to pursue her dream of becoming a professional artist.

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The two friends met at a fabric painting workshop at Fashion Institute of Technology. One day, randomly, Oejong found a crochet hook in her suitcase. She crocheted day and night, so much so that she quit her job and, on her end, Anna was so surprised by her creations that she wanted to share them with the world. That’s how Loopy Mango was born, with the motto “anyone can be creative, all one has to do is try.”


When they design, they always have beginners in mind, so they try to simplify the projects as much as possible. “It is a part of LM’s mission to encourage beginners to continue to learn and challenge themselves after learning simple basics. We are always thinking about what the next step should be for our knitters.” All of their products, kits and knitwear are handcrafted with 100% merino wool at their mill in Key Largo, Florida. You can get them in their website, flagship store in Beacon, New York and at over a hundred specialty stores around the world.

The entire process from sourcing the fiber, developing colors, picking and carding the wool, spinning it into yarn, designing and hand knitting each piece is operated by Oejong, while Anna takes care of the more administrative part of the business. The Loopy Mango universe is made of quality pieces with a modern, simple, timeless style, but mostly they’re accessible, “with our kits, anyone can make luxurious accessories and home décor items in just a few hours, or even minutes.”

START OUT

KNIT

First, find a niche. Do the research and create a unique product that will differentiate you from others and don’t compromise the quality. It is very important to build a strong brand identity that keeps the attention of your customers, as well as justifies the price you’re asking people to pay.

Sounds cliché, but I like all of our designs. But I can give some tips to crochet: you can use patterns for your guideline but don’t be afraid to make it into your own by using different materials, fibers. Also, don’t be afraid of making mistakes, you can always do it over. The more you knit and crochet the more you learn.

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Can you still have challenges after 15 years of intense work? So far, in 2019 they’ve seen the birth of their second brand, Maison Loopy (home textiles) and their first pattern book “Loopy Mango Knitting: 34 Fashionable Pieces You Can Make in a Day.” Besides, they dream to open a textile museum filled with their own products as well as curated textile arts and crafts from all around the world. Don’t let the needles stop moving!

LEAVE YOUR MARK I feel crafts in general kind of skipped a generation. Nowadays, young people are more curious about crafts and they don’t have a bad stigma about making things by hand. Crafts have become a medium of expression and creativity.

Get inspir ed To me, insp iration is everywhere . Nature, people, mo vies, art, etc. I often go to a museum when I need to clear my head and fe el creative When I can’ . t go to a museum, I take a bath . “A clean bo dy mind”, that , a clean is a Korean saying.

FOLLOW No one in particular. I try to limit the time I spend on the networks as much as I can.


Ph: Mari Juliano

Fisherman Rib Cowl

Making this cowl in the fisherman rib stitch will give you a chunkier and more three-dimensional look and feel compared to a traditional rib. It is achieved by alternating rows of regular knit and purl with rows of P1B and K1B—so simply insert the needle as if for a knit stitch but below the strand of yarn and do the same for P1B on alternate rows.

MATERIALS

USED STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS

Merino No. 5 by Loopy Mango, 5.3 ounce (150 g) balls each approx. 74 yards (68 m) (100% wool) 1 ball in Red Riding Hood US size 19 (15 mm) circular needles, 16 inches (40cm) or 20 inches (50 cm) long

Brioche stitch k: knit p: purl stitch st/sts: stitch/es

GAUGE

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

4 sts = 4 inches (10 cm) 8 rows = 4 inches (10 cm)

8½ × 13 inches (21.5 × 33 cm)

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Knitting

Beginner (time to complete: 30 to 60 minutes)

Tip

A stitch marker is essential when knitting this style. If you don’t have a stitch marker, just use a piece of yarn or thread in a different color.

Pattern

1. Cast on 28 sts. 2. Join yarn to work in the rnd, being careful not to twist sts. Place marker. 3. RND 1: K28. 4. RND 2: *P1, K1B; rep from * to end. 5. RND 3: *K1, P1B, rep from * to end. 6. RND 4 TO 15: Rep RND 2 AND 3. 7. Bind off and finish.

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Graphic Designer and Punch Needle Expert @greendotori.studio

greendotori

Juhyun Myoung worked as a graphic designer for over 15 years in her native country, Korea, until she decided to change her life and create Greendotori. “I quit my job and began to learn various things because I wanted to work with my hands rather than with computers. I have learned a lot of things that I have dreamed of, such as wood carving and ceramic art. However, wood carving and ceramics require a lot of space and a lot of tools, making them more difficult to enjoy.” So she looked for something she could have fun with at home more easily and she found it thanks to yarn and wool. Under the name of Greendotorimixing the sensation of the green fruit and the sound of the acorn in Koreanshe showcases all her work made with these materials and, especially, with the punch needle technique; “I want to do something like fresh fruit.” A year ago, she started working with this embroidery technique, which doesn’t require any additional knowledge, so anyone who wants to make something crafty can learn quick and easy.

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“At first, my friend introduced me to what punch needle was. I found it interesting, so I started not only searching through the Internet and books, but I also tried to make it myself. I created solid teddy bears which brought to memory when I had made a teddy bear doll for my first love, my nephew.�


Beyond adorable and cute figures, this Korean designer wants her projects to be useful and accompany us in our daily life. That’s how she came up with deer-shaped cushions, handkerchiefs with tree trunks on them or dolls that remind us of Alice in Wonderland. She works daily from her studio; artisanal things take time and she publishes all her hand-made products and tutorials in her YouTube channel every month. All of this world of woodland creature figurines and fairytale characters actually arises in her garden, where she grows vegetables; “gardening is my healing point. I love to cook delicious meals with seasonal vegetables, it gives me good ideas for my crafts and refreshes my mind.”

START OUT

KNIT

Experiment and face different fields and activities without putting yourself limits. You can find your own colors and styles if you try to look for real images in nature instead of artificial ones. Then practice, try to create a new one with your own hands.

My favorite pattern is the deer hunting trophy worked with punch needle. I wanted to make a long-neck pattern, but it didn’t work well the first time. But I have never given up the search for what I really wanted to make. I was so happy when I solved the problem and achieved the result I wanted.

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Without her garden, Greendotori would not have been able to finish her first book, one of the biggest challenges she has faced as an artisan. “Writing a book about my handicrafts was a whole different thing to me. I had to collect all my work as a writer and take pictures as a photographer. But I never complain, because I feel grown up during this time and proud of myself as well. I hope to share my work and knowledge of the handmade with other people in this book project.” She has been a graphic designer for over a decade, so designing is easy to her. Now, as a “crafter”, she’s trying to do things different to how other artists do it. “When I have a new idea, I search for images and I make sketches, then I create a pattern that is entirely new and mine. There are different ways of working with needles and it’s easy to acquire the skills using books and YouTube channels, but what I would really like to do is introduce a new way for people to make their own patterns.

Get inspired Since I started growin g vegetables in the garden , I have noticed that the different vegetables of each season are very cut e. Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, radishes and carrots inspire me to think about what I will expres s in the future with my work.

LEAVE YOUR MARK

FOLLOW

I’m used to working alone and I search for the easier path so that anyone can follow me and enjoy all of this. I would like for everyone to know how much fun it is. Start calmly and enjoy, without stress. You don’t have to compete with others when you’re doing it for fun.

Right now, I’m interested in flowers. I like making paper flowers. I love artists such as @woodlucker, @meadowandfawn, who makes sculptures and @mikaelabartlettfelt, who makes real animals with wool.


Punch needle fox

Juhyun Myoung enjoys reading different craft books, they’re one of her main sources of inspiration. Among her favorites is the Animal Encyclopedia, “I like making sketches for animal characters.” That’s how this fox was born, made with the punch needle technique, have fun creating it!

MATERIALS

4-5mm yarn (A black, B ivory, C orange) Oxford Punch Needle #10 regular (1/4’’) 14cm embroidery frame 100% cotton monk cloth, one piece 36X36cm, another one 18X18cm 10mm masking tape, scissors, needle, pen, screwdriver

MEASUREMENTS 14 x 14cm

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Punch needle

Easy

Tip

Beginning

Fix the pattern to the back of the frame with masking tape, turn the frame over and use your phone’s flash under it to draw the pattern.

1. Prepare the fabric by inserting it into the embroidery frame. It’s important to tighten the metal fasteners of the frame with a screwdriver to secure the fabric as tightly as possible. 2. After cutting the printed pattern, draw the (B) pattern on the 18x18cm fabric. 3. Place the 36x36cm fabric on the frame and do the same thing with pattern (A).

Technique

Thread the punch needle and insert deep into the fabric. When you lift the needle again, raise it almost in contact with the fabric, moving it at regular intervals. Sew it with a flat stitch. This creates a rich loop on the back, which is used as the front. (B) pattern is attached along the left angle line with masking tape to prevent loosening.

Embroidery

1. Thread the needle. 2. Punch along the inside of the (B) pattern with yarns B and C and fill the face. 3. With yarns A and B, punch pattern (A) along the inside of the eye line. 4. Punch along the inside of the face line and fill the face. 5. Turn the frame over and arrange the line with a needle.

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r

â“? r

ea

ea

Assembly 1. Place the masking tape on the back side (loop side) of the patterning surface in line with the outline. 2. Leave a 1cm seam allowance and cut along the masking tape outline. 3. Hand sew as shown in the image.

C

A

A

B

â“‘ B C

4. Press the remaining seam allowance inward. Do not remove the connected needle. 5. Connect workpieces (A) and (B) by groove. 6. Wind black threads to make a nose 1.5cm in diameter.

7. Connect the nose to the center of workpiece (B). 8. Embroider the mouth. 9. Ears are made with raised leaf stitches in place of the ears. Make both. 10. Turn the frame upside down and round the fabric. 11. Pull the thread, cut the fabric and put it inside the frame to finish. 12. Make a mustache. *Find this graphic in the digital annex.

B


Textile Artist www.estudiogimenaromero.com

estudio gimena romero

Art is a broad field, encompassing many techniques but one same goal: to express emotion through materials as different and varied as words, paintings and, why not, embroidery. Mexican textile designer, Gimena Romero, knows this process well. During the last decade, she has thrown herself into investigating and producing embroidery as an artistic technique. She has exhibited in different countries (Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, France, Portugal, Ukraine and Spain.) Her pieces are part of both private and national art collections (MoMA in New York, in the Design area and the Art Collection of Banco de México.) Besides, she has five publications, some of them narrative, some poetry and some on textile investigation. The essence of the Gimena Romero Studio is herself and her workspace, where the whole process takes place: inception, drawing, patterning, embroidering, technique, etc. “It’s the place where I write, create, give shape to what I wish and then share it with other people.”

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Currently, she balances her more artistic side with her job teaching classroom courses (“Darn the memory”, “Vanilla Botany Workshop” or “Mexican Embroidery Workshop”) and with AcuPictae, working with a small team who supports her. AcuPictae is a platform with embroidery content for all kind of persons, from those looking for a technical challenge to those who aren’t really sure what a needle is. It includes different projects, exclusive embroidery articles, podcasts, etc. “I’ve been creating this project for five years, since I realized the richness, the magic of embroidery is not embroidery itself; it’s everything that happens around the process and how the intimacy of embroidering twins us. It’s not just to help the technique reach the wider public, it’s to help the public reach new ways to interact with what they do with their hands. The technique has always been essential to me, therefore this search of excellence. I think it’s thanks to it that we can access other levels of awareness granted by this work, which are only accessible through a careful, observed process. In AcuPictae we won’t just embroider, it’s an invitation to search for your own voice through embroidery; it’s a platform for people who are passionate about life who speak through embroidery, because embroidery is a language and we all have something important to say. This web is a place where we can embroider together no matter the time or place in the world you are, because it’s constantly available.”


Gimena has gone around de world looking for information and knowledge about embroidery. She dumps all this experience in her work, an artistic production reflecting on the poetry of subjects such as memory, femininity, the organic environment, the body or magic, through a wide variety of materials and techniques which evolve through time, such as painting, engraving, embroidering or drawing. “There are two types of embroiderers: people who embroider and people who make embroidery. Personally, it’s clear to me that I’m a person who embroiders; I’m not even interested in embroideries, finished pieces bore me; on the other hand, the process absorbs me, bewitches me, embellishes me.”

START OUT

EMBROIDER

Discipline, compromise and authenticity. You don’t need to be resistant to hunger but it helps a lot. No, it’s not an easy path, to choose nor to follow, but I am certain that we all came to share something, the medium to choose to do so doesn’t matter as long as your message is real and authentic; people notice that.

I have enjoyed the making of all my projects, creating a book is wonderful, when I wrote “Water Strand” it filled me with love and it flowed, literally, like water. But among all, I think AcuPictae has been the biggest challenge and, at the same time, the most fascinating; I’m enjoying drawing, embroidering and preparing the projects I’m putting out there a lot.

In the end, if you don’t believe in your project, if you don’t bet everything on it, no one else has to. Live it with passion, everything else is just consequence.

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Get inspired In my day to day, in the shower, wi th my puppies, with the people I say hello to every day. Be sides, through AcuPic tae, we’ve created a podcast, “Sti tch and red”, wher e incredible em broidery professionals, a bottle of wine and I talk about di fferent subjects, star ting with our gues ts’ fields.

An art that makes us reflect on the time we live in and how we can solve daily-life issues with our own hands. “DIY is present when I cook, when I polish my shoes, iron my clothes, even when I make a piece of furniture from scratch with pieces of wood I have around home. If you think about it, DIY is a way to solve everyday tasks with your hands’ wisdom.”

LEAVE YOUR MARK

FOLLOW

I think Art makes us better human beings since it’s a tool that allows us to see ourselves from a spiritual perspective, what kind of mirror does that? I think if I manage to inspire one only person to live with passion, I already made this world a little better and I can rest easy.

I infinitely love @bee_nfluencer, @errer_ is a girl who works with still life such as cabinets of curiosities, @joannaconcejo inspires me a lot and so does @moonriselan, I love @flor_devenus and I buy everything from them, but also @thesacreddmension. There’s also @pipa.romero and @ estudiomerceria, whom I love and follow because they’re part of our team, of course.


Things that happen when you sew

Gimena’s world is full of especial feeling and moments. Her inspiration when making these sketches comes from her workspace, “it’s my table while I sew, for tea and coffee afternoons, with the materials, in silence and company.”

USED STITCHES

MATERIALS

Closed chain stitch

Double thread to sew with the colors shown in the graphic. Number 17 frame Fabric for embroidery or similar Sewing needle Scissors

MEASUREMENTS 17cm diameter

LEVEL SKILL

TÉCNICA

Easy

Embroidery

Tip

I don’t really care for the finish, I make knots and hide the thread. But recently, I’ve been making the finish at the front, always careful not to mess what you’ve already embroidered.

Pattern

Trace the drawing with the help of a pencil and a piece of paper, move it to the fabric. Next, place it on the frame. This embroidery is made with the closed chain stitch, which is a linear stitch. The filling is made placing one line next to another. Follow the images instructions to learn how to make it.

1

2

3

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Colour guide

All outlines are made with 310.


What is an Amigurumi? by @gallimelmas

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The word Amigurumi, as everyone already knows, is a combination of Japanese words “Ami”, which means crocheted, and “Nuigurumi”, which means stuffed doll. In 2005, when I discovered them, almost nobody knew how to pronounce it or even knew what they were. They were barely seen on the Internet and the first patterns that started going around belonged to books in Japanese, with which the crafters that were beginning at the time had to make do and decipher. You could say then that amigurumis have their origins in Japan (although there’s also evidence of them in old European magazines about crochet labors) and it’s, without a doubt, the Japanese who give a much more profound meaning to these dolls, as they consider them good luck objects and personal charms with a soul, and not just plain dolls or decorations. It was just that which made me, and many other designers and crafters, fall in love with them. Being able to picture mainly animals in a cute way, almost kawaii, such as bears, cats or rabbits who can also wear clothes or have anthropomorphic features, dolls, food or inanimate objects from daily life, opens a wide range of design possibilities. Currently, imagination is the limit and they’re even mixed up with crocheted accessories to make bags or funny cases, and more. Really, amigurumi aren’t exactly a technique, it’s just a kind of crochet labor, as are shawls, blankets and hats. The only difference is that you work in 3 dimensions, working in a spiral and, normally, the pieces are started with a Magic Ring (a slipknot that allows to close the beginning.) But the best thing is the amount of different techniques that can be used in order to give them volume or texture or color. It’s not just about working in single crochets, we’re talking about crochet stitches with volume, tapestry crochet, sewing parts, embroidering details, felting, etc. Even using different cotton threads to achieve incredible effects. Although many demote them to simple toys for children, they’re more than just a handmade doll. They’re one of the more complex crochet labors that exist and, every day, more and more knitters and designers who make them take one more step. The Amigurumi world is constantly growing. Learn more about amigurumis in this special with The Sewing Box and six of the most prominent designers in the field.


GETTING

The Art of knitting and creating something from nothing may seem like magic, but when, in addition, everyone likes everything you make, it means you have a superpower.

Yan Schenkel, Argentinian amigurumi designer, is one of the few people who have it, no doubt. In 2009, she left a job that didn’t fulfill her to throw herself into the world of textile design. 10 years later, she has become one of the most loved makers, whose books have been translated to several languages and became the biggest cornerstone for those who love these crocheted dolls; and she hasn’t stopped creating from her small study/ house, full of plants, running children and many balls of twine.

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TO KNOW

P I C A PAU


Pica Pau is one of the more international amigurumi designers there are; for those who don’t know you yet, which we doubt, who’s behind this and how did it start?

‘ve always been very curious, really nerdy, especially when it comes to animals, plants, and mankind’s general culture. My brother and I have watched all of the National Geographic videos a thousand times and read every encyclopedia we could find, a mix of Jane Goodall and Indiana Jones (that can be summed up in my love for Duck Tales.)

Social media are a bubble in that sense, we feel like we all know each other, and we think that that’s “everyone”, but nothing could be further from the true. I’m Yan Schenkel,Yanina actually, but I’m not really attached to my full name so it’s just Yan. Since I can remember, I have always made things with my hands and have always loved it. It almost always was about paper and pencils but, since my mother knitted and did all the crafts that were in fashion at the time (it was early 80s so: tricot, macramé, loom, etc.), I also got to do a bit of them. So, other than notebooks, pencils and toys, I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by thread, yarn and craft magazines. Like almost every mother, she didn’t have the patience to teach me, but at least she helped me cast the stitches on the needles. I was around 8 years old or so when I learned to knit.

To get from there to being a professional, I “just” need to organize what’s in my head. I normally search Pinterest for the images I need, and I make folders: animal pictures, colors, illustrations, architecture, clothing, movies, etc., everything that gives me a similar feeling to what I want other people to get with a specific labor or doll. Obviously, things aren’t really as idyllic, they don’t always go well and, mostly, the finished result is far from what I had in mind (I usually like the process more than I like the actual doll.) And then, as in life, there’s a lot of trial and error. Many notebooks, many annotations, many comings and goings. It’s very rare for a doll to get done in the first try. I usually make, at least, three prototypes per character. And many times it doesn’t really end up like I want it to.

I started crocheting a little bit later because, as a kid, it didn’t really attract me. My mother is from Brazil and almost all of our towels had crocheted lace, which I didn’t like at all. So I rediscovered this technique as an adult, thanks to a university colleague who knitted in between classes. But she didn’t have the patience to teach me, so I took my mother’s old magazines and learned how I could. That was around 2005, we barely used Internet so there was no point in looking for YouTube tutorials, because they didn’t even exist. When I started taking it “seriously”, that is, when I started to write everything I designed, I learned the stitches’ names, with all the skills I had already acquired on my own, like holding the needle as a knife or making the single crochet in an X shape. Knitting was always my second favorite hobby (drawing has always been the first one), but with time it became, unintentionally, my profession and full-time job. In 2009 Pica Pau “was born”, and the rest is in my blog! Where do you find inspiration? How’s the process of creating an amigurumi? Everyone probably gives the same answers, but let’s say in the ordinary. I really am a fan of everything to do with illustration, animation, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. I love books and dolls (if I had a bigger house I’d probably have rooms dedicated to them.) And, as it happens with the need to hand-make things, that passion for fantasy-as it were-is something that’s always been there. Something I shared (and still do) with my brother since we were little, which I now do with my three children too. So there it is, in my memory and in my day to day.

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How is a day in your creative life? My “creative life” is CHAOS. As a designer or crafter, I’ve always worked from home and my workshop is my living room. I get up at around 6:30 in the morning. We (my husband and I) prepare the kids for school and, around 7:40, if I’m lucky and my youngest is still asleep, I can sit down and work for a bit. Usually it doesn’t happen and I have my daughter on me by that time. Then housework (tidying up rooms, going shopping, preparing lunch) all of it while carrying Luisa. If I’m even luckier and she gets hanged on something (games or a musical video), I can sit and work for a while before going to get my eldest daughter from school. After, the rest of the day is more or less the same. There’s a routine that isn’t really routine, which is to take up every single minute I can get in order to knit a bit, write a bit, take a picture or two and write down a couple of ideas. It’s a lot less than what I could do before Luisa was born, but I’m a mother since I was 21 years-old, so I’m used to spreading myself thin along many activities during the day. Anyways, nothing too extraordinary, things all mothers go through: multitasking. It’s tiresome, it seems like you never get to do anything but it’s obviously not like that. You get there; it’s a lot slower, a lot less romantic than Pinterest pictures or an influencer’s Instagram, but you get there. And creativity is there, among dirty plates, piles of dirty clothes and the messiest living-workshop in the world.

What’s the Pica Pau pattern that your followers have knitted the most? I can’t really tell, but it must be either Robin Unicornio, Marcia Alpaca or René Yacaré. It’s one of those three for sure. And your favorite? Well, that changes a lot. Right now, I have a couple of new favorites which haven’t been published yet. But of the ones everyone knows, it’s probably Víctor Rana, Murray Nutria, George Mc Ornitorrinco and René Yacaré. And the hardest one to make? Of the published ones, probably Robin, but only because I’m not really a fan of unicorns and it was hard to put love into it. Any craft trick to make amigurumis perfect? The less, the better. I mean, I feel like I’m making them more and more complex, but that’s more because of “market requirements” than personal preference (crafters with a lot of experience ask for more and for new challenges all the time.) However, I always have in mind something a teacher would always say to us: “if you need to decorate the drawing for it to work, it will never work.” What he meant is that the drawing should work from the beginning, with the first structural lines. If it needed shadows, colors or a million details in order to “look good”, then there was something that wasn’t working from the beginning. It’s the same thing with dolls. I can add clothes or accessories to finish the concept, but the shape, the body, the doll’s face, the character in itself, that needs to work from the beginning, thus the number of prototypes!


It seems like the amigurumi dolls are becoming more and more popular, what’s your opinion on that? Other than being a trend, one of the reasons is probably that it’s liked by people who don’t really knit. For example, in my case, I crocheted, but I’m really not a fan of knitted clothing and, in making dolls, I found an excuse to knit, which I love. Besides, I think they normally are relatively easy to make (one doesn’t need to know a lot of stitches), it’s easy to carry around and very sellable. That is, they’ve become objects that are sold in design stores, fairs, etc., and they’re wanted a lot as a gift for children and for not-children too.

During these last few years, you’ve published a book, expanded your family and planted some plants. What’s the most gratifying part of your job? What are your hopes and dreams for Pica Pau’s future? I’m already on my third book and my third child. I don’t want any more kids, but I do want more books. Saying what’s the most gratifying part is difficult. Right now, in this moment, I feel like everything is chaos. I’m incredibly thankful to everyone, but I think I need some perspective because I’m in the middle of the storm. Probably what I like the most is starting something new, projecting. Just thinking about making a character, a color palette, a new book, that fills me with joy. It’s something I would do even if it was just for me; actually, my first book was thought as just for me. Now it’s harder to do everything. Not just because I don’t have time (hi, my daughters), but also because I feel others’ gaze, which didn’t happen before. I really appreciate people’s love and it helps me but, at the same time, I feel a pressure that keeps me awake at night way too many times. It’s nobody’s fault, but the feeling of having to fulfill so many people’s expectations of me is very strange, it’s something I don’t know I’m ready for. I do it, I keep going, but I don’t know if as well as I would like to. And I’ll say it again (because there’s always someone who gets offended), without all the love and support from the people who value my work, I wouldn’t be doing this. I am more than thankful for all the opportunities knitting, yarn and colors keep giving me. I want to keep making books, but probably not just for Pica Pau. Little by little I’m entering the world of threads with a line of cotton twine with my name on it. Each year there are new things I could have never guessed. And there I am, seeing if I can do more. Always stressed, always complaining, but happy and thankful, I think. I don’t know any other way to be.

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Can you recommend two other artists that inspire you or who you especially admire?

Lastly, what tips would you give to someone who wants to entrepreneur in the world of craft?

Just two? Impossible! Alice and Martin Provensen, Marc Boutavant, Charles Harper, Mary Blair and many more illustrators. Then, Wes Anderson. Fantastic Mr Fox was one of the greater influences when I started Pica Pau. And dolls, so many! But I forget their names. Right now, I can think of Erin Paisley, Hine Mizushima, Abigail Brown and Polka Dot Club.

If they’re going to be selling what they make, learn to value your work. You need to look for advice when it comes to prices. Value quality over quantity, both when it comes to the materials you use and with what you produce. And if you sell a lot, get an accountant, taxes are a headache. If you want to design, be curious, study, investigate. Don’t stay locked up in the craft world because everyone ends up making more or less the same. And it ends up being boring, very boring. Look for references elsewhere, movies, architecture, clothing design, cartoons, sculptures, etc. Think about how each of them has very personal baggage, take advantage of it. And I can’t avoid the subject of copying: we all copy in order to learn, that is how everything is learned, but it’s just that, learning, studying. If you’re going to be designing, copy everything you want and need in order to learn but never ever sell the copy as your own design. Saying “I can’t do it” is much more honest and laudable than wanting to sell something that doesn’t belong to you. And lastly, being “successful or well-known” in social media doesn’t reflect your sales. You can use all the filters, the best pictures and all the marketing you want, pay for ads and make a thousand giveaways but, if the product you’re selling isn’t good, all that front ends up falling apart at one point or another. Because of that, I go back to the beginning: keep learning and be honest, always.


Elephant Vicente Vicente was born alongside another character from her first book, Polar Bear Horatio, back in 2014. “They are both inspired by My Neighbor Totoro, in fact, I called them ‘totorists’. Horatio ended up being part of The world of Pica Pau, but Vicente was left out because I already had another elephant among the characters.” So now, getting a bit of justice, he’s earned the possibility of getting published.

MATERIALS

170M-100g of Cotton “worsted” in the following colors: ash gray white corn yellow pastel pink crude 2.75mm crochet hook 8mm plastic safety eyes Siliconized fleece

MEASUREMENTS

USED STITCHES

SKILL LEVEL:

Intermediate 18cm (knitted with the indicated yarn Magic ring thickness) Sc: single crochet Ps: popcorn stitch Inc: increase Dec: decrease *...*: repeat sequence in between asterisks as many times as indicated (...): total amount of stitches per row

R16: *4sc, 1inc*, repeat ** twice, 6sc (18) R17: 1sc in each of the 18sc (18) Cut, leaving a long tail to sew. Stuff a little.

TIP

It’s a fairly simple pattern to make, you only need to take into account making the color change in the back (as always) and, if you’re making the face details before closing the body (which I do) make sure that the leg division is as centered as possible. For that, other than searching the center, I normally join the leg, knit a couple of stitches and present it as if it was stuffed. Normally, you need to make or unmake a couple of stitches so that it’ll look right.

Head and body

With ash gray R1: work a ring with 6sc (6) R2: 1inc in each of the 6sc (12) R3: *1sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (18) R4: *2sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (24) R5: *3sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (30) R6: *4sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (36) R7: *5sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (42) R8-15: 1sc in each of the 42sc (42)

Pattern

Trunk

Start with ash gray R1: work a ring with 8sc (8) R2-3: 1sc in each of the 8sc (8) R4: 2inc, 6sc (10) R5-6: 1sc in each of the 10sc (10) R7: *1sc, 1inc*, repeat sequence ** twice, 6sc (12) R8-9: 1sc in each of the 12sc (12) R10: *2sc, 1inc*, repeat ** twice, 6sc (14) R11-12: 1sc in each of the 14sc (14) R13: *3sc, 1inc*, repeat ** twice, 6sc (16) R14-15: 1sc in each of the 16sc (16)

Keep following the pattern in stripes, swapping between a row in corn yellow and two rows in white. R16-17: 1sc in each of the 42sc (42) Sew the trunk between rows 14 and 15 on the opposite side to the beginning of the rows. Place the safety eyes between rows 14 and 15, 4sc away from the trunk. With pastel pink, embroider the cheeks.

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R18: *6sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (48) R19-27: 1sc in each of the 48sc (48) Change to pastel pink color R28: 1sc in each of the 48sc (48) Change to ash gray color R29: knit taking only the back loop, *7sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (54) R30-32: 1sc in each of the 54sc (54) R33: *7sc, 1dec*, repeat 6 times (48) R34-35: 1sc in each of the 48sc (48) R36: *6sc, 1dec* repeat ** 6 times (42) R37: 1sc in each of the 42sc (42)

Legs

Divide the fabric marking 3 stitches for the front center space between the legs, 3 stitches for the back space and 18 stitches for each limb (we recommend using a marker). If the legs aren’t properly aligned with the head, make or unmake some single crochets until reaching the desired position. Join the last stitch for the leg in the back side to the first stitch in the front with 1sc (this joining stitch will count as the first sc of the first row.) That way, the stitches for the first leg will be joined to keep knitting in rows. Keep knitting: R38-42: 1sc in each of the 18sc (18) R43: *1sc, 1dec* repeat ** 6 times (12) R44: 6dec (6) Cut, leaving a long tail to close the last 6 stitches. With the tapestry needle, pass through the middle of each stitch and adjust until the hole is closed. Finish off. Stuff the body and the first leg firmly.

Second leg

With ash gray, retake at the fourth stitch without knitting the back in row 37. From this point, start knitting the second leg. R38: 1sc in each of the 18sc. Once you reach the 18th stitch, join to the first stitch of the row with 1sc, the one made when you retook the knitting (18). R39-44: repeat the first leg pattern. Stuff the second leg. With a tapestry needle, close the separation between the legs by sewing the 3 central stitches. Ears x2 With ash gray R1: work a ring with 6sc (6) R2: 1inc in each of the 6sc (12) R3: *1sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (18) R4: *2sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (24) R5: *3sc, 1inc* repeat ** 6 times (30) R6-8: 1sc in each of the 30sc (30) R9: 12sc, 3dec, 12sc (27) R10: 10sc, 3dec, 11sc (24) Cut, leaving a long tail to sew. Don’t stuff. Before sewing, flatten it and sew between rows 4 and 15, with decreases upward, 3sc from the eyes approximately.

Arms x2

Start with ash gray R1: work a ring with 6sc (6) R2: 1inc in each of the 6sc (12) R3-4: 1sc in each of the 12sc (12) R5: 1sc, 1ps, 10sc (15)

R6-11: 1sc in each of the 12sc (12) Change to striped pattern, swapping 1 row in white and 1 in corn yellow. R12-13: 1sc in each of the 12sc (12) R14: *1sc, 1dec*, repeat 4 times (8) Cut, leaving a long tail to sew. Stuff them. Sew them between rows 18 and 19.

Little horns x2

With crude R1: work a ring with 5sc (5) R2-3: 1sc in each of the 5sc (5) Cut, leaving a long tail to sew. Don’t stuff. Sew it between rows 14 and 15 and to each side of the trunk.

Little tail

With ash gray R1: work a ring with 5sc (5) R2-3: 1sc in each of the 5sc (5) Cut, leaving a long tail to sew. Don’t stuff. Sew the tail, centered on the back, between rows 29 and 30.


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ig am urumei Journalist and amigurumi designer www.amigurumei.com

It was the year 2011 and Chinese journalist Mei Li, who didn’t have twins yet, had some free time on her hands and the great need to fill it with “something.” She hung the “hobby needed” sign, started trying out different things and, to her surprise, she found it in a crochet dolls book. “When I saw Crochet Animals by Annie Obaachan, I simply held onto it for dear life and paid for it and took it home, thinking to myself that, yes, this was what I’d been looking for, this was the hobby I needed. Never mind that I had never once held a crochet hook.” Her twins turned out to be a creative impulse for this designer: going back to her childhood, rereading old stories, watching cartoons, etc., are her main source of inspiration. But, if going back to the past inspires her, in order to create she takes a dive into her craft stash. She works mainly with cotton yarn and pastel

She works mainly with cotton yarn and pastel hues, that’s how she ends up with blue-haired bee fairies or pale pink pigs in mint cape and boots, all of it with a clear kawaii style. Mei is heavily influenced by Japanese culture, “I love creating anthropomorphic characters with pops of pink for the cheeks. Most of my dolls either have a quirky and curious sideways glance or sleepy eyelids, whom I like to call daydreamers”.


START OUT

CROCHET

Practice makes perfect. Follow the artists you admire and if possible, try making dolls from their patterns. Start off by making small tweaks to the patterns — a different facial expression, different color clothes, longer limbs, shorter hair, etc. Make the end result “yours”. After a while, you may just find what your own unique style is. Then challenge yourself to create an entirely original design — make sure that when you’ve decided on the theme, you do a quick search online to see what the other artists have made and challenge yourself to do it differently. Then share your “masterpiece” on social media and learn from the comments and feedback you get!

My favorite pattern is a little astronaut, whom I’ve named Sosuke the Star Boy. He is a little dreamer, who believes he himself is a fallen star, separated from the galaxy that he once called home. I like to write a little story for all my amigurumi characters, in hopes that they would inspire others — to see the cup half full, to dream big, to live happy. Some even come with a special advice, taken usually from my favorite quotes. For Sosuke, his special advice is: “Reach for the moon, for even if you fall short, you’ll land among the stars.”

En 2014 surgió la oportunidad de trabajar en “Hello Kitty Crochet”, ¡un sueño hecho realidad y todo un reto! “Sanrio, junto a la editorial, pusieron toda su confianza en mí y me dieron carta libre para elegir los personajes que quisiera hacer. Era una gran responsabilidad, sabía que tenía que hacerlos a la perfección, de modo que la presión era inmensa, pero por supuesto mereció la pena”. ¿Proyectos? Conseguir sorprender a sus hijos cada día con una nueva idea craft y escribir un libro de cuentos infantiles; “¡hay tantas posibilidades emocionantes! Mis personajes amigurumi serían las estrellas de la historia, puede que sobre dos gemelos malos cuyos juguetes de crochet se deshacen y vuelven a ser solo lana porque están hartos de que los lancen todo el tiempo”.

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FIND BALANCE

FOLLOW

I love the challenge of making things from scratch. When my boys came along, I had more reasons to dive right into handmade playthings. Last year, I made them a play kitchen out of an old cupboard drawer and wood panels, though sadly it didn’t last for very long after they started pulling everything apart ;) Somewhere among my craft stash are bits of a magnetic fishing game that I’ve been meaning to finish making; I’m also just starting to work on a watermelon sling bag for them —these two love getting dressed up in their hats and bags whenever we head out.

I spend most of my time on Instagram and I absolutely adore following other fellow crochet enthusiasts. Stephanie of @allaboutami, Vivyane of @happycrochetetc, Yune of @kurumitoys (I made her little Margarita flower and it’s on my desk!), Kristina of @tinycurl, Ilaria of @airaligray (I enjoy seeing her curious ideas for Mystery CALs) and my dearest friend Annie of @anniegurumi, whom I constantly talk amigurumi with. I also follow a host of cute food artists as I love learning tips on how to flatlay or paint my own backgrounds — for instance, @luxeandthelady is such a joy to follow!

Get inspired I love looking at other kawaii characters and stories — they inspire me the most to come up wit h my own cute characters and stories. Whenever I’m stumped for ideas, I lik e to spend an afternoon in the Japanese children’ s book section in our Kinokuniya Bookstore. It’s also right next to the Japanese craft boo ks and those are simply mesmerizing to flip thr ough. And after that’s done, an evening of Japanese ani me binge-watching is a mus t.


Suzue, the pocket mermaid

Of all the fantastical creatures in this realm, mermaids are Mei’s favourite, more so than unicorns and fairies. “Suzue has just the right touch of magic with her purple hair, windswept, like how mermaids look when they are underwater.” This pattern is for intermediate crocheters. You would need to know how to crochet in the third loop (for the fins), how to make a french knot (for the nose), and how to make eye indentations (an amiguruMEI signature).

MATERIALS

USED STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS

2.5mm hook and 3mm hook Dk-weight yarn in mint, glitter mint, lavender, beige, lilac, pale pink, white and khaki. Brown sewing thread 8mm scrapbook brads in blue x 2 Small piece of white felt Craft glue Darning needle Sewing needle Polyester fiberfill Pins

ch: chain Sc: single crochet Dc: double crochet Hdc: half-double crochet Inc: increase Inv dec: invisible decrease Ss: slip stitch (): total sts per round St: stitch

MEASUREMENTS 18cm / 7in tall

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Amigurumi

Intermediate

Tip

R17: [Inv dec, sc 2] around (18) Stuff head firmly. R18: [Inv dec, sc 1] around (12) R19: [Inv dec] around (6) Fasten off and weave in ends but leave a long end to make eye indentations and the nose.

I think the “face” of every amigurumi is where you can find the special touch, it really makes or breaks the character. To ensure that your Suzue has the ‘kawaii’ touch, remember to make the eye indentations, add whites to the sides of the eyes, and sew on the cheeks!

Pattern

Designing the face

Head

Eye indentations

With beige yarn and 2.5mm hook: R1: Sc 6 in magic ring (6) R2: [Inc] around (12) R3: [Inc, sc 1] around (18) R2: [Inc] around (18) R4: [Inc, sc 2] around (24) R5: [Inc, sc 3] around (30) R6: [Inc, sc 4] around (36) R7: [Inc, sc 5] around (42) R8-13: Sc around (42) R14: [Inv dec, sc 5] around (36) R15: [Inv dec, sc 4] around (30) R16: [Inv dec, sc 3] around (24)

1. With a darning needle, bring the remaining yarn from the bottom of the head through to the left side of the head, positioning it at a stitch below R11 of the head. 2. Make one horizontal stitch and bring the thread back down to the bottom of the head. Gently tug on the yarn to create a slight indentation. 3. Now repeat the above on the right side of the head — there should be about 9 stitches in between the indentations. Do not cut off excess yarn yet.

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Nose

1. With the same needle and yarn, bring the yarn back up to the center of the head below R11 between the eye indentations. Position this about 4 sts away from the eye indentations. 2. Pull it taut and loop the yarn 4 times around the needle. While holding the loops firmly, pull the needle through. What you’ll get is a small French knot. 3. Bring the knotted yarn into the stitch next to it and gently pull it through to the bottom of the head. Trim excess yarn. Eyes, eyebrow and lips 1. Cut out two small half-moons of white felt to match the brad that you’re using for the eye. Glue it near each eye indentation. Add glue onto the blue brads and pop it into the stitch with the indentation, on the left and on the right. 2. For the lash line, I used brown sewing thread and a sewing needle — make one diagonal backstitch (2 sts long) starting from the top corner of the eye brad until the outer corners of the white felt. 3. With the remaining brown sewing thread, make one vertical backstitch on R14 in the center below the nose to represent the lips. 4. The eyebrows are made with khaki yarn — make one diagonal backstitch (3 stitches long) between R8 and R9, positioning it directly above each eye. 5. You may knot the ends at the bottom of the head (the area will be covered when you attach the body) so that it will not easily come off later.

Tail-Body

With mint yarn and glitter mint yarn (holding both strands together) and 3mm hook: R1: Sc 3 in magic ring {3}. R2: [Inc] around {6}. R3: Sc around {6}. R4: [Inc, sc 1] around {9}. R5: Sc around {9}. R6: [Inc, sc 2] around {12}. R7: Sc around {12}. R8: [Inc, sc 3] around {15}. R9: Sc around {15}. R10: [Inc, sc 4] around {18}. R11: Sc around {18}. R12: [Inc, sc 5] around {21}. R13: Sc around {21}. R14: [Inc, sc 6] around {24}. Change to beige yarn. Round 15: In back loops only, sc around {24}. R16-21: Sc around {24}. Fasten off and leave a long end for sewing. Stuff piece firmly.

whipstitches. Weave in ends (or weave it all the way back to the other side and hide it in the tail when attaching.)

Arms

Make 2 with beige yarn and 2.5mm hook: R1: Sc 7 in magic ring {7}. R2-8: Sc around {7}. Fasten off and leave a long end for sewing. (No stuffing required for the arms.)

Cheeks

Make 2 with pale pink yarn and 2.5mm hook. R1: Sc 6 in magic ring {6}. Fasten off and leave a long end for sewing.

Hair

Make 9 with lavender yarn and 2.5mm hook. R1: Sc 6 in magic ring {6}. R2: [Inc] around {12}. R3-16: Sc around {12}. Fasten off and leave a long end for sewing. Flatten piece. (No stuffing required for the hair.)

Pearl necklace

With white yarn and 2.5mm hook. Ch 15. Fasten off and leave a long end for sewing.

Fins

Make 2 with lilac yarn and 2.5mm hook (leave a longer yarn end at the start): R1: Ch 9, then in the second ch from the hook, work as follows: ss in the next 2, sc in the next 2, hdc in the next 2, 1sc, and ss in the last st. Ch 1 and turn work. Row 2: Working in the 3rd loop only (the extra loop at the back of the sts you normally see), repeat the above pattern: ss in the next 2, sc in the next 2, hdc in the next 2, 1sc, and ss in the last st. Ch 1 and turn work. (The final ss may be a bit hard to get into) Rows 3-4: Repeat the above, always working in the 3rd loop only to form ridges on the fins. Fasten off and leave a long end for sewing. Pinch one end of the fin (whichever that has the shorter yarn end attached to it) to give it a pointy look and secure with a few

Assembly

In order: Glue on eyes. Sew eyebrows and mouth. Sew on cheeks. Pin hair pieces in places and sew in place with whipstitches. You may need to secure each hair piece with some backstitches on the bottom part (of each hair piece) that is hidden from view. Sew body/tail onto head. Sew on arms. Pinch the tips lightly to shape them once you’re done. Sew on fins at the end of the tail. You may pinch the end of the tail slightly and curve it to the right, then sew on your fins to create a curvier, cuter look. Sew on the pearl necklace on the front part of the body, near the neck.


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de en

du

de los hilos Amigurumi designer www.hilalia.es

Silvia is curious about everything. She’s been like that since she was very little and, although, she’s been professionally linked to the construction field, working as a designer, draftswoman and interior architect made crafts completely sweep her off her feet. “I had a blog as a hobby, I knitted for my friends and, little by little, Duende grew and grew until one day I said: What if we go further?” She started knitting back in 2007, after seeing an amigurumi in a Japanese web and falling madly in love with these 3D knitted figures. Nor the lack of tools such as YouTube, which didn’t exist back then, nor the fact that the books were in a different language could stop Duende de los Hilos from becoming one of the best reputed brands in the current world of craft. “Knitting is for me a way of life: it’s disengaging, it’s a way of exploiting my creativity, of opening up and meeting people; I’m not lying when I say it has changed me completely.”

This young woman from Madrid has a very distinct style, which some people call “the magic touch”, she makes toys for “big kids” mixing Japanese kawaii with “cute” and “adorable”. Her job as a crafter means a constant challenge, which she dedicates all the hours in the world to, “if someone says that launching a business or a company based on crafts is easy, or that you’ll get instant results, they’re lying.”


START OUT

CROCHET

Don’t force or hurry it: don’t take the easy way. Work hard. Find your own style, enjoy what you do, don’t think about getting benefits immediately, think about it more as taking up a long-distance race. Keep your strength and don’t overdo it.

The duendecillos (small elves). They started as a fun idea: two little creatures who showed up among all the yarn in my workshop one Christmas and the whole thing kept growing and got out of hand. Now there are “tiny humans” everywhere and it’s a style that makes me feel good, that allows me to create fun characters, customize them to each client’s likes, explore shapes, drees up, dress down, etc. They have their own way of being. Sometimes I even talk to them!

“Doing it right takes up some time, there are obstacles along the way, it’s hard. I work many more hours than when I was in an office!” Something that also affects the creative process: “task lists and management, layouts and photography, paperwork, fees, taxes, managing the web or the store, making the product files, etc. Sometimes it looks like you can’t have more original ideas, and sometimes you’re doing whatever and suddenly boom! an idea comes up for an amigurumi and you need to drop everything and draw. You need to stop, take your time and let your mind have fun, so the small elves come back to inspire you. Balancing out the outright creative process and everything else is complicated.”

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LEAVE YOUR MARK

FOLLOW

Have fun with what you do and find your voice, your touch and your style. It could be a color, a shape, a kind of creature, a different way of knitting, a stitch you love, a texture, a technique. You’ll recognize it because you will love it and won’t be able to stop making it. And people will recognize you through it.

I follow two accounts I love because I’m surprised by their ability to model in two different fields. In the kitchen, @zoesfancycakes, and @polymomotea with resin and polymer clay. And an illustrator @esthergili, I’m sure you already know her, but I think she’s wonderful.

She considers herself a technological person. She likes the order and the ability to delete, undo and tweak that a computer grants, especially when it comes to the pattern’s presentation. However, when it comes to organization, ideas, sketches and tasks, she does it all by hand. “With the creative process for amigurumis and their making, I feel much more comfortable if I’m away from screens, they’re distracting. When I create best is when I turn my phone off, get away from the computer and I just try out things. Sometimes I do it at night, it’s the best time to turn the phone off! In fact, if I could and if I didn’t work with social media, I would love to turn it off for days and be able to create peacefully and with no disturbances.” In the Duende de los Hilos webpage, we can find crochet patterns and amigurumi, with step by step tutorials, a task she balances with her new materials online store, the publication of her new “knitting” humor comic book and many other plans for world domination with a needle in hand.

Get inspired In illustrations, in gam es (I’m nuts about videog ames and board games), in nature, the sea. I liv e 5 minutes away from the beach and when I’m hav ing a block, a bad day or I need my brain to breath e, I take a good long wal k on the beach, at a good pac e, until I’m tired. Then I sit down in one of my favori te spots and I let the wav es do the rest. No medita tion, no yoga, no nothing: jus t waves, I go back home a new person with new ideas!


Manito Muscario

This pattern is as adorable as all the others Silvia makes, but this one hides a secret. It’s original, fun and easy to make, and it’s also a jar! The perfect project to store your secrets.

MATERIALS

USED STITCHES

Approx. 50g of cotton thread in red and white Black thread for the mouth 2.5mm crochet hook 6mm amigurumi eyes Pink makeup for the cheeks Small jam jar

Magic ring Sc: single crochet Inc: increase Dec: decrease Single crochet through the back loop

MEASUREMENTS

It’s approx. 8-9cm tall. The size may vary depending on gauge and used thread

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Amigurumi

Intermediate

Tip

use a little on the body too, that way you’ll avoid it being separated from the jar.

You can leave the amigurumi pieces open in order to put the jar in, or you can knit the head and sew it to the toadstool’s body by the edge in order to create an original stuffed doll.

Head

In red/white Start with a magic ring R1: make 6sc (6) R2: make 6inc (12) R3: *Make 1inc, 1sc*, repeat 6 (18) R4: *Make 1inc, 2sc*, repeat 6 (24) R5: *Make 1inc, 3sc*, repeat 6 (30) R6: *Make 1inc, 4sc*, repeat 6 (36) R7: *Make 1inc, 5sc*, repeat 6 (42) R8: *Make 1inc, 6sc*, repeat 6 (48) R9: *Make 1inc, 7sc*, repeat 6 (54) R10: *Make 1inc, 8sc*, repeat 6 (60) R11: *Make 1inc, 9sc*, repeat 6 (66) R12: *Make 1inc, 10sc*, repeat 6 (72) R13-19: make 72sc (72) R20: 72sc through the back loop (72) R21: *1dec, 4sc*, repeat 12 (60)

Pattern

The head piece is worked in a circle and, once you get to the end, combine rows knitted through the back loops in order to make a gap where you can stick the jar’s lid (here we used a small marmalade one.) The body will go inside the mini-jar and you will have a great “toadstool-jar”! This is optional: you can knit your amigurumi without the jar and sew it normally. For the eyes, I used sticky safety eyes, with no splint, so that they don’t mess with the jar. They’re separated from each other by 9 stitches and placed between lines 5 and 6, counting from the bottom. The eye position varies with your toadstool’s expression; play with it! In order to sew the body parts, leave a long thread tail: when you’re done knitting the piece, sew it to the body using that thread instead of one of a similar color, passing the thread through the stitches, it won’t be noticeable! Use silicone to glue the head to the lid, and just to be safe,

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R22: *1dec, 3sc*, repeat 12 (48) R23: *1dec, 2sc*, repeat 12 (36) R24: 36 single crochets through the back loop (36) R25 to 26: 36sc (36)

Body

Start with a magic ring R1: 6sc (6) R2: 6inc (12) R3: *1inc, 1sc*, repeat 6 (18) R4: *1inc, 2sc*, repeat 6 (24) R5: *1inc, 3sc*, repeat 6 (30) R6: *1inc, 4sc*, repeat 6 (36) R7: 36 single crochets through the back loop (36) R8-17: 36sc, repeat 10 (36)

Spots x5

The choice and composition for the spots is totally free. For this pattern, we propose 5 of one size and 3 of a different one. Sew them randomly at different heights on the head, this will add to the realism and there will never be two identical toadstools. In white Start with a magic ring R1: 5sc (5) R2: 5inc (10)

Spots x3 In white R1: 8sc (8) R2: 8inc (16)

Arms x2

In white Start with a magic ring R1: 7sc (7) R2-5: 7sc (7) R6: 1dec, 5sc (6)

Feet x2

In white Start with a magic ring R1: 6sc (6) R2: 6inc (12) R3: 12 single crochets through the back loop (12) R4: 2dec, 8sc (10) R5: 2dec, 6sc (8) R6: 8sc (8)

Assembly

Place the toadstool’s base as a cover for the jar, sew the arms and legs, place the eyes at the desired height and add a touch of color to the cheeks. Refill the upper part of the toadstool and use the lid to press in order to close it.


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g ra n s ny

crochet hook Amigurumi Designers @grannyscrochethook

Some melodies are made for two, such as Grannys Crochet Hook, a small brand of amigurumi patterns created by sisters Dacha and Kate from Saint Petersburg. They both have higher technical education, but they never really got to practice their respective professions. “We’ve always liked crafting, drawing and cooking, but we started crocheting a couple of years ago because it was in the Vogue Fashion among other interesting occupations. We’d tried a lot of different things, but amigurumi was one of those that took hold. We still bake killer rye breads, but it’s not that entertaining to share with others. We started our IG account to follow interesting artsy and crafty people, to learn from them and have fun.”

Despite the name they use on social media, they never had any relatives who could teach them any crafts; they’re primarily people of science. Their first contact with crochet was in primary school and, many years later, they started experimenting with Deestraperlo’s patterns and Pica Pau’s books. They haven’t stopped ever since. Grannys Crochet isn’t yet a full-time job, but they hope it’ll become a small business someday. “We’re happy to say our toys and patterns sell. Sometimes we do markets and it’s fun when people come by to say hello because they follow us on Instagram.”


START OUT

CROCHET

You have to keep stretching yourself and challenge yourself with the new goals. You will also need to stay connected to those who value your work and who are honest enough to provide constructive feedback. And the most important thing: respect copyright. If you don’t appreciate other designers’ work, you can’t expect people to appreciate yours.

Judging by the quantity of toys made with the same pattern, it must be Victor the frog by Yan Schenkel. There are too many beautiful designs to just pass by and it’s hard to choose only one. We hope one day we’ll make our own pattern to be proud of and to call it one of our favorites.

In Russia, there’s a growing interest for crafts, with the amount of venues dedicated to selling handmade pieces growing and growing; “the last market we took part in was attended by over 12,000 people, so we would say the crafting movement is becoming more and more popular.” Not having enough time for everything makes the moments they can spend on this hobby particularly valuable. “When we come up with an idea for a new character, we usually start from sketching. Children’s drawings or professional illustrations are a great source of inspiration too, but sometimes we let materials do the job. At the moment, we really like coarse wool which is traditionally used for socks. We think it gives our toys interesting texture, character and it helps to cover up mistakes as well.”

Although they believe they haven’t come up with any defined style yet, their patterns, usually in animal forms, have one thing in common: their care for details. “Sometimes things just don’t go with the plan and we end up with something unexpected instead of your regular teddy bear or a bunny. But if they did, you would always see weird but cute characters from us.”

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LEAVE YOUR MARK

FOLLOW

To get noticed, you will have to really care for the details of your work, always aiming for perfection and considering numerous little things which matter the most. This is how one’s own style gets born and this is what attracts people: a self-explanatory, easy-to-grasp quality and uniqueness of a product.

We’ve met a lot of artists for the past two years: we really appreciate the great sense of humor and colour choices by @deestraperlo; we always find something to learn from @irenestrange or get into team spirit with @airali_ gray. We’re lucky to have Instagram friends such as @kurumitoys, @cutimacrochet, @amigurumibyguli, @lemonyarncreations, to name a few.

Get inspired Everywhere! Sometimes we see some yarn on sale, we like its color and immediately know what could be made of it. One day a 5 y.o. daughter of our friends made some drawin gs for us and we used the m to crochet the anteater and the armadillo dolls. Anything and anybody can turn into a muse.

These designers’ goal is to have fun and to be unafraid of what people might think or say; and that’s reflected on their detailed work, the staging of their amigurumi or the way they share their peers work and provide them with visibility. “Both of us got to work as graphic designers in our time. It was a strange experience having to balance what we thought was good and what a client was asking for, to deal with a lack of ideas and still having to deliver. Working to order and dancing to somebody else’s tune can suck all the joy out of anything you love. There’s a place for everything, whatever it is you do. For Grannys, when you feel uninspired, sometimes it helps just to sit and start doing it. Maybe you’ll end up with a scarf instead of a sock, but it’s always better to do some workout than procrastinate.” Having constantly made other people’s patterns, they’ve made a huge stash of all kinds of yarns; that’s why they made a promise to use only the leftovers they have and give an even more special touch to their amigurumi. “It’s an interesting challenge we’re having at the moment. It reminds us of children’s art school days, when we weren’t allowed to use black paint, so we had to mix different colors to get the dark shades right.”


Ross, the armadillo

This amigurumi’s origin is a drawing made by a girl with no prejudice on color selection. The name, however, comes from a “Friends” episode. “The first armadillos we made were almost exact copies of that drawing, later he underwent some changes, so now we have a new breed, an armadillo erectus.” Happy crocheting!

USED STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS

MATERIALS

MR: Magic ring ch: Chain Slst: slip stitch sc: single crochet bobble st: bobble stitch (a cluster of 5 double crochet stitches worked into one stitch and joined together at the top) Dec: single crochet decrease Inc: single crochet increase [...] x n: repeat n times blo: work in back loops only Flo: work in front loops only rsc: reverse single crochet (aka crab stitch); it’s essentially the same single crochet stitch but worked in the opposite direction (...): number of stitches in the round.

50g/165-200m mixed acrylic + cotton in three colors of your choice: the main color (will be used for the body, the “clothes” and the arms), the light color (for the head, the tail and the fingers) and the dark color (for the ears and the trims.) 1.5mm crochet hook Amigurumi stuffing Needle, pins, stitch markers Flat plastic buttons for structural stability (optional) A pair of safety eyes

MEASUREMENTS 18cm tall

TECHNIQUE

DIFICULTAD

Amigurumi

Intermediate

Tip

Ross’ armor consists of four layers attached to the body at a distance of 6 rounds and slightly overlapping each other. The shoulder area is covered with the cape which is supposed to be crocheted as a separate element. It is a good idea to use leftovers or yarn in unpopular color to make the body since it will be completely covered by the armor. The head, tail, arms and ears can be crocheted in any order.

Go with your gut feeling when choosing materials for your project, but we would recommend doing it within the same brand, so the yarns have similar characteristics and proportions are preserved.

Assembly note

The details of the armadillo’s face are supposed to be added last because it’s extremely difficult to remove the eyes fixed from the inside of the tightly stuffed head without damaging the toy. Changing the size or position of the eyes can affect the whole image dramatically, so it’s better (and more fun) to play around with them, testing out different positions on the face. Having decided on the cutest option, you can secure them with a glue gun. We used 4mm safety eyes here.

Legs and body Left leg R1: 6sc in a MR (6) R2: inc x6 (12) R3: *3sc, inc* x3 (15) R4: 15sc blo R5: sc, *bobble st, sc*x3, 8sc (15) R6-10 (5 rounds): 15sc (15) R11: 8sc, slst Fasten off, cut the yarn.

The estructure

Ross is very easy. His legs and body are worked as one piece. The body is expanding slightly from bottom to top; for rounds between rounds 12 and 33 are worked in back loops only, to make the base for the armor and avoid extra sewing.

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Right leg Repeat rounds 1-10 of the left leg. R11: 15sc, slst (15) Don’t cut the yarn as the legs will be joined to make the body, Body R1: 6ch, slst into the left leg*, sc into the next 14st of the left leg, sc6 in the chain, slst, sc into the next 14st of the right leg, sc6 in the chain, sc into the next 8st of the left leg (42) Place the stitch marker in the last stitch you made as it’s going to be the beginning of the next round. R2-9 (8 rounds): 42sc (42) R10: 24sc, *2sc, inc* x6 (48) R11: 48sc (48) R12: 48sc blo (48) R13-16 (4 rounds): 48sc (48) R17: 24sc, *3sc, inc* x6 (54) R18: 54sc (54) R19: 54sc blo (54) R20-23 (4 rounds): 54sc (54) R24: 24sc, *4sc, inc* x6 (60) R25: 60sc (60) R26: 60sc blo (60) R27-30 (4 rounds): 60sc (60) R31: 24sc, *5sc, inc* x6 (66) R32: 66sc (66) R33: 66sc blo (66) R34: *9sc, dec*x6 (60) R35: *8sc, dec*x6 (54) R36: *7sc, dec*x6 (48) R37: *6sc, dec*x6 (42) Stuff the body as you go R38: *5sc, dec*x6 (36) R39: *4sc, dec*x6 (30) R40: *3sc, dec*x6 (24) R41: *2sc, dec*x6 (18) R42: *sc, dec*x6 (12) Before working the last round, make sure the body is stuffed very firmly. Pay attention to its upper part: it shouldn’t be flat, it should have the form of a hemisphere. It’s ok to slightly overstuff it since it’s going to be completely covered with the armor. R43: dec x6 (6) Fasten off, leaving a tail about 15cm long and cut the yarn. Using a tapestry needle, weave the yarn tail through the front loop of each stitch and pull tight to close. Weave in the end.

Armor

Work the details moving from top to bottom. Increases are made at the back, so the layers of the armor hug the body at the front.

Layer 1

R1 (in main color): holding the body upside down, join the yarn to the round 12. Sc in every unworked front loop of the round (48). R2: *3sc, inc*x6, 24sc (54) R3-4: 54sc (54) R5: *4sc, inc*x6, 24sc (60) R6-7: 60sc (60)

Layer 2

R1 (in main color): holding the body upside down, join the yarn to the round 19. Sc in every unworked front loop of the round (54). R2: *4sc, inc*x6, 24sc (60) R3-4: 60sc (60) R5: *5sc, inc*x6, 24sc (66) R6-7: 66sc (66) R8: 66sc + work additional 2-3sc, to move the beginning of the round back to the side of the body. R9: change to dark color, ch1, rsc66 Fasten off, cut the yarn, weave in the ends.

Layer 3

R1 (in main color): holding the body upside down, join the yarn to the round 26. Sc in every unworked front loop of the round (60). R2: *5sc, inc* x6, 24sc (66) R3-4: 66sc (66) R5: *6sc, inc*x6, 24sc (72) R6-7: 72sc (72) R8: 72sc + work additional 2-3sc, to move the beginning of the round back to the side of the body. R9: change to dark color, ch1, rsc72 Fasten off, cut the yarn, weave in the ends.

Layer 4

R1 (in main color): still holding the body upside down, join the yarn to the round 33. Sc in every unworked front loop of the round (66). R2: *6sc, inc* x6, 24sc (72) R3-4: 72sc (72) R5: *7sc, inc*x6, 24sc (78) R6-7: 78sc (78) R8: 78sc + work additional 2-3sc, to move the beginning of the round back to the side of the body. R9: change to dark color, ch1, rsc78 Fasten off, cut the yarn, weave in the ends. This pattern continues in the digital annex.


76


ia

ma r

lier ate Amigurumi Designer www.mariaatelier.es

Maria Atelier arises from María’s hands, a designer from Málaga. A small crochet and amigurumi patterns brand, with an origin that was heavily influenced by the memories of her grandma, a professional seamstress, and a need to unleash her creativity. She studied IT but didn’t work in the field, “to me, it’s a very creative job, I loved to program and how with my coordinates I could create a program that could cash money, take a shop’s stock and manage its accounting, even make a rocket fly. Fate took me towards home décor, which is creativity in its purest state. My last job for others had me as part of the staff in Zara Home Spain for 10 years, where I had the chance to learn so much as a crafter, since you can learn from colleagues and clients while you’re helping them make their dream home come true.”

In 2009, her little crochet brand is born. First as a hobby, when her first son was born, “I’ve always carried my labors with me, but during pregnancy and my maternity leave, I decided to stop being the weird one and look for people who shared my hobby. I’ve embroidered and two-needled, but crochet was my unfinished business and I wanted to make dolls for my son. So I signed myself up for classes and learned the basics and that opened up a wonderful fantasy world.” A short time later, she decided to create Maria Atelier, María, as her name, next to the world “atelier” (workshop in French) as homage to her grandma, who studied patterning in Paris.


START OUT

CROCHET

Study the project and work it little by little. This world demands sacrifice, you must analyze all possibilities, do things right, be constant and organize really well because you’ll need to dedicate many hours to it. Above all, don’t lose heart, because there are many designers and creators, but not one is like another.

I have two favorite projects: “Charlotte the dancer”, I couldn’t believe my work was being published in a magazine as important as Mollie Makes, and the second design is my Christmas decorative balls for the The Sewing Box e-book; besides it being an honor having your work published, it was even greater to donate the benefits to UNICEF.

She works daily and exercises her mind by drawing, creating and studying. “I get up very early, around 6 or 6:30 in the morning, at that time I like having some coffee or infusions and read on emotional intelligence or motivation or do a course. I spend the first hour studying, then I get the kids up, prepare them for school and keep working until they finish at five, they have a snack and do their homework. At that point we’re all working, we share our workspace, the workshop is the same room where they have their desks so, in-between math homework, science homework and flute practice, mom helps out and also works in designs, commissions, answering e-mails and anything else she can. My mind is a bit crazy, I love this quote from my dear Albert Einstein, “Creativity is intelligence having fun”, I have it hanging on my workshop.”

She has never been lacking in imagination, she always was a girl with her head in the clouds who couldn’t draw; however, “nature gave me a different gift and that’s being able to imagine everything in 3D. I sketch very simply but they become alive in my head and, later on, on my needle. There is nothing more gratifying than doing something yourself and seeing it finished.” Her style is influenced by patchwork, another one of her hobbies, country chic and shabby style and she shows that in her Bowie-inspired crochet bags, her soft amigurumi or her first e-book on Christmas decorative balls.

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LEAVE YOUR MARK

FOLLOW

I like using crafts to proclaim that this is a consumerist world, where it’s established that you need to buy a t-shirt a week, but you could make one instead. That way, it will be unique because even if you repeat the labor, they will never be the same. Don’t care about being different! That’s the fun of it!

I like @mariawolle a lot, a Spanish illustrator living in Berlin, her drawings, her calligraphy, so personal and unique, she’s pure creativity! And another person I follow since she started her blog is Belén Canalejo, @balamoda. Besides sharing hobbies, since I’m interested in planning, I admire her philosophy of life and the values she has.

Get inspired When I work for a projec t or a publication, I lik e to investigate how they wor k, what their likes are, their style, etc., and talk a lot and share ideas. Tha t way, little by little, inspiration arrives.

María knows that in the job of an artisan, one needs to be constantly learning, know a bit of everything and be very well organized. “My grand dream is to be able to keep doing this thing I love, designing, knitting commissions and thinking about how much the person I’m knitting for is going to enjoy the final product.” And keep teaching others her passion so that they, too, can discover this world that has given her so much happiness.


Lolo Puppy Keychain

With this easy pattern you’ll learn to knit your own amigurumi keychain, a very easy figure with which you’ll be able to start out in the art of crocheting dolls.

USED STITCHES

MATERIALS

Magic ring Sc: single crochet Sc inc: single crochet increase Sc dec: single crochet decrease *...*: repeat sequence between asterisks

16g 100% cotton DK width in crude color 5g 100% cotton DK width in camel color 10g amigurumi stuffing 3mm crochet hook Tapestry needle Stitch marker

MEASUREMENTS 15cm de perímeter

SKILL LEVEL

TECHNIQUE Amigurumi

Easy

Tips

R16: *2sc, 1dec*, repeat 6 times (18) R17: *1sc, 1dec*, repeat 6 times (12)

To finish a labor off well is more important to me than knitting it, you need to be very meticulous and perfectionist, no matter how well you knitted it, if the finish isn’t flawless, the work will be for nothing.

Finish stuffing. R18: 1dec in each stitch (6)

Pattern

Finish and close off.

Head

Snout

Made in crude colour R1: make a magic ring with 6sc (6) R2: make 1inc per sc in the row below (12) R3: *1sc, 1inc*, repeat 6 times (18) R4: *2sc, 1inc*, repeat 6 times (24) R5: *3sc, 1inc*, repeat 6 times (30) R6: *4sc, 1inc*, repeat 6 times (36) R7-13: make 1sc per single crochet in the row below (36) R14: *4sc, 1dec*, repeat 6 times (30) R15: *1sc, 1dec, 3sc, 1dec, repeat until there’s 2sc left at the end (24)

Made in crude colour R1: make a magic ring with 6sc (6) R2: make 1inc per sc in the row below (12) R3: *3sc, 1sc inc*, repeat 2 times (18) R4-5: make 1sc per single crochet in the row below (18) Finish off and leave a long tail to sew.

Start stuffing.

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Eye patch

Made in camel colour R1: make a magic ring with 6sc (6) R2: make 1inc in each single crochet in the row below (12) Finish off and leave a long tail to sew to the head.

Ears

Make 2, one in camel and the other in crude R1: make a magic ring with 6sc (6) R2: make 1inc in each single crochet in the row below (12) R3-10: make 1sc per single crochet in the row below (12) R11: *4sc, 1dec*, repeat 2 times (10) R12: make 1sc per single crochet in the row below (10) Finish off and leave a long tail.

Assembly

Sew the ears next to the magic ring and the snout center on the magic ring in row 9, stuffing a little and embroidering the nose with camel thread. Sew the patch to the right side, between rows 4 and 8, next the blush* Sew the blush with a couple of stitches to row 9, next to the snout. Finally, embroider the eyes, one inside the eye patch and the other one on the opposite side, with 5 stitches between them.


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urumi de s mig i g ta

sw ee

Amigurumi designer

n

www.sweetamigurumidesign.etsy.com

Belgian designer Femke Windevogel has a Renaissance spirit, she could have rubbed shoulders with Da Vinci, share his need to do many things and to create secret pattern projects. Because Sweet Amigurumi Design may not be her full-time job, but it’s a creative necessity, “I’m also a piano teacher and a novel writer, I prefer to combine different things in my life, I need that variety.” Coming from a long line of crocheters, she was the first one to make amigurumi. Why? She couldn’t find any easy-to-follow projects.“When I started crocheting animals, there weren’t any pretty, well-explained tutorials on the matter. So I started designing mine!” She loves to create and after getting started with this technique, a publishing proposition came for “Kattenknutsels”, a DIY book mixing crafting, knitting and crocheting with cats as the main attraction.

The positive feedback from the readers her to open an Etsy store with patterns, which quickly became a huge

inspired crochet success.

It’s through her work that she’s got followers all over the world. “My amigurumi are sober but cute, I prefer to create patterns that are achievable for beginners with step by step descriptive pictures and brief explanations.” On the other hand, her embroidery and detailing make it attractive to even the most expert crocheters.


START OUT

CROCHET

This is the advice I would have liked to be given when I started working in the amigurumi world: try to create new items regularly, have patience, build your crowd slowly and invest in a mailinglist.

My absolute favourite is Peter Panda, he’s one of my first creations that became a success, so I treasure it. The secret is the filling, beginners tend to fill the amigurumi too gentle. You have to stuff it firmly.

To Femke, the process of crocheting itself is trial and error and it requires a lot of patience. “If I compare today’s patterns with 30 years ago, there is much more variation. The crochet audience has become much hipper also. I love the warmth of the crochet community on Instagram, it is such a blessing to see all those lovely creations from all over the world.” However, there’s also a downside: copying. “Sometimes it’s discouraging when people just put my pattern online or copy my work to sell. It takes me a lot of time to design and write a pattern; although I mention that patterns can’t be shared or published in any way without my permission, there are always people who steal my work.” She would love to get her patterns translated in more languages, become an example in the amigurumi world and keep publishing crochet books.

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LEAVE YOUR MARK

FOLLOW

I just want to keep creating cute, simple amigurumi that make people smile.

I admire @picapau, @arnecarlos and @Lalylalaland a lot. Their creations are unique and authentic. I also follow: @theamigurumipages, @mohustore, @amigurumei, @misshoneybird (stamps), @sowiesowies and @quentinblake (illustrations) or @seeklund (photography).

Get inspired I’m an illustrator so, I first make a detailed sketch. Sometimes I’m inspired by other illustrators, art or pre tty pictures of animals. I like browsing in nature books or scrolling thr ough Pinterest, that’s also how I get to follow the lat est trends.


Anne, the Dino

Femke is such a big fan of dinosaurs, she bingewatches Jurassic Park and Jurassic World at least once a year, but most of the dino dolls out there are masculine and she wanted to create a dino girl. “My 92-year-old grandmother is called Anna; she taught me to crochet, I liked the idea of using her name for this sweet-don’t-mess-with-me dino amigurumi.”

MATERIALS

USED STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS

50 g Alize cotton gold tweed, 20 g pink cotton (Hobbii rainbow 8/4, nr 93), 20 g pink cotton (Hobbii rainbow 8/4 nr 51) Crochet hook 2 mm (US C/2) Synthetic filling Embroidery needle Safety eyes 7 mm

MR: Magic ring ch: chain Sl st: slip stitch Sc: single crochet Incr: increase Decr: decrease

MEASUREMENTS About 18 cm. (7 inch)

TECHNIQUE

SKILL LEVEL

Amigurumi

Easy

Tip

Paws and lower body

R12: 11 sc, inc, 9 sc, incr, 9 sc, incr, 10 sc (45) R13: 11 sc, incr, 10 sc, incr, 10 sc, incr, 11 sc (48) R14-24: 48sc (48) R25: 14 sc, decr, 5 sc, decr, 6 sc, decr, 6 sc, decr, 9 sc (44) R26: 44 sc (44) Sew the hole between the 2 paws and start filling. R27: 13 sc, decr, 20 sc, decr, 7 sc (42) R28: 42sc (42) R29: *5 sc, decr* repeat 5 x (36) R30: *4 sc, decr* repeat 5 x (30) R31: 30sc (30) End with a sl. st. Leave a tail to sew the body onto the head. Fill the body firmly.

End with a sl. st. and finish off. Crochet the second paw, but do not cast off. R8: join the 2 paws as following: Crochet 4 ch at the end of the second paw, crochet 14 sc (one in every stich of the paw), crochet 4 ch, 14 sc in the other paw. (4 + 14 + 4 + 14 = 36) R9: 36sc (36) R10: 8 sc, incr, 8 sc, incr, 8 sc, incr, 9 sc (39) R11: 10 sc, incr, 9 sc, incr, 8 sc, inc, 9 sc (42)

R1: crochet 6 sc in a mr with the tweed yarn (6) R2: incr in every st (12) R3: *1 sc, incr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (18) R4: *2 sc, incr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (24) R5: *3 sc, incr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (30) R6: *4 sc, incr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (36) R7: *5 sc, incr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (42) R8: *6 sc, incr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (48)

Use a smaller hook than it’s recommended for the yarn so that the amigurumi keeps its shape and the filling won’t be seen.

Pattern

R1: crochet 4 sc in a mr with the tweed yarn (4) R2: incr in every stitch (8) R3: crochet 8 sc, but insert hook in the back loop only (8) R4: *3 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (10) R5: *4 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (12) R6: *5 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (14) R7: 14sc (14)

Head

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R9-18: 48sc (48) R19: *6 sc, decr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (42) R20: 42sc (42) R21: *5 sc, decr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (36) R22-23: 36sc (36) R24: *4 sc, decr*, repeat 5 x from * to * (30) Finish with a sl. st, leave a tail to sew the head onto the body, but apply the eyes first (r 18-19, 11 st. apart) Stuff the head firmly. Embroider the cheeks.

Front paws x2

R1:crochet 5 sc in a mr with the tweed yarn (5) R2: incr in every st (10) R3-13: 10sc (10) Finish with a sl. st., leave a tail to sew. Gently stuff the front of the paws. Sew the paw onto the body.

Tail

R1: crochet 6 sc in a mr with the tweed yarn (6) R2: *2 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (8) R3: *3 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (10) R4: *4 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (12) R5: *5 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (14) R6: decr, 5 sc, inc, 6 sc (14) R7: *6 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (16) R8: decr, 7sc, incr, 6 sc (16) R9: *7 sc, incr*, repeat from * to * (18) R10: *5 sc, incr*, repeat 2x from * to * (21) R11: 6 sc, incr, 6 sc, incr, 5 sc, decr (22) R12: decr, 7 sc, incr, 4 sc, incr, 7 sc (23) R13: 11 sc, incr, 11 sc (24) R14: *7 sc, incr*, repeat 2x from * to * (27) R15: 1 sc, decr, 12 sc, incr, 11 sc (27) R16: 10 sc, incr, 6 sc, incr, 9 sc (29) R17: 1 sc, dec, 8 sc, incr, 9 sc, incr, 7 sc (30) R18: *9 sc, incr*, repeat 2x from * to * (33) R19: 6 sc, incr, (*4 sc, incr*) repeat x4 from * to *, 6 sc Finish with a sl. st. and leave a tail to sew. Firmly stuff the tail. Sew the tail to the body (r 9-20)

Spikes x11

R1: crochet 5 sc in an mr with the pink yarn (5) R2: 5sc (5) R3: incr in every stitch (10) R4: 10sc (10) Finish with a sl. st., leave a tail to sew. Do not fill the spikes. Sew them onto the dino. Congrats! Anne is ready! I hope you had fun crocheting this sweet amigurumi.


Learning to knit with Pamela A breath of fresh air coming from the past, which will allow needle-lovers to rediscover a different style. Bricall opens its doors to the world, to absorb all that can be hand-made, adapting to the pace of social media and to the opportunities globalization brings. For that reason, Pamela, always a student, always evolving in the field of knitting and crocheting, will launch small collections of patterns in both techniques. The Sewing Box has been granted the honor to publish an advancement of two jumpers belonging to her next collection. Two very original knitted pieces with which to learn and enjoy as you make them.

Model: Rosana Imaz Narvaiza @rosanaimaz

In order to write about Bricall BCN, the mythical Barcelona store, we need to travel through time. How many rows, stitches and meters of yarn have happened since this haberdashery was born in 1940 and the present day? The answer is only know by its founders and by Pamela, who accompanies us in discovering a little about her origins as a designer and manager of this establishment. “Bricall is a family shop, which opened its doors in 1940 and which has seen 3 different generations. 93 years-old María Rosa and 19 years-old Clementina are living legends in the world of the handmade; they’ve been my teachers for many years and you can still see them in the store, needle in their hands, enjoying, knowing the stitches and calculations of any model just from memory. Before, we made and taught the patterns, but we didn’t keep record of our pieces so many designs are lost.” Pamela went from engineering to crafting; it was a hobby when she was working and now it’s her passion, her job and her way of life. In 2019, she took up the management of this very important legacy; “in these moments, we’re organizing, classifying our designs and developing projects by merging techniques and textures. We don’t have a defined style and, as fashion is always changing, our needles adapt to the current trends.” This designer decided to take up the Herculean task of collecting all the scribbled pages, pieces of paper and everything they have knitted during decades, to organize them and make them once more.

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Wool mustard sweater For Pamela inspiration is everywhere, she’s especially influenced by travel and by the different cultures she discovers as she goes. “I’m a person who likes to live, enjoy nature and family. I find motivation in everything mundane, even in playing a game with diamonds with my daughters, like the ones in this sweater.” Materials 500g Veggie Wool Casasol in Mustard Knitting needle 6,50mm Used stitches Knit stitch Ribbed stitch 2x2 (knit 2 - purl 2) Technique Knitting Measurements 14cm

14cm

42cm

60cm

50cm 45cm

55cm

20cm

Dificultad Intermediate Gauge 13 stitches = 10cm (13x18cm knitted)

Tip Pay attention to the knitwear’s finish, that’s where one can tell if it’s been knitted neatly and polished, because even with a complex weaved stitch, if the finish isn’t okay it downplays the whole garment. Pattern Back Cast on 74 stitches. Knit 6 rows with ribbed stitch 2x2 beginning and ending with 2 knitted stitches. Keep working with knit stitch. On the first row, decrease 2 stitches spread over the sides (total 72cm). Keep knitting until you reach 60cm (approx. 104 rows) and close off.

Front Cast on 74 stitches. Knit 6 rows with ribbed stitch 2x2 beginning and ending with 2 knitted stitches. Follow the diamond graphic, decreasing 2 stitches spread over the sides. Repeat the graphic until you reach the neckline and work each side separately, decreasing 1 stitch from each side of neckline on each knit stitch (2 times - 2 stitches and 13 times 1 stitch) leaving a total of 19 stitches for each shoulder (pass the first and last stitches of the neckline without working in the purled row). Sleeves Cast on 30 stitches and work 6 rows in ribbed stitch 2x2. Keep working the stocking stitch, increasing 1 stitch in each side every 6 rows. Repeat the increase in each side 12 times (total amount of stitches 54). Bind off and sew with tapestry needle.


Multiples of 14+2

Knit 1 in front of the second stitch, one stitch behind the first, pass both stitches together to the left needle. A stitch that is slipped without working. Work 1 stitch behind the 2nd stitch, knit 1 in front of the 1st, pass both stitches together to the left needle. Knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side.

Medidas Talla 36/38

Side pink sweater Among the many models knitted throughout the history of Bricall BCN, they’ve always stood out because of their way of introducing motifs and textures in pieces which are simple in appearance. Besides, this sweater special feature is that it’s knitted sideways. A piece with which to have fun knitting and experimenting. Materials 350G Veggie Wool Casasol in Pale Pink Needle 6,50mm

Skill level Intermediate

Used stitches Garter stitch Armor stitch

Gauge 10X10 = 12 stitches x 16 rows

Technique Kniting

Tip Read carefully both the pattern and the graphic before you start knitting and use markers to facilitate the knitting itself.

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Pattern In order to build this sweater, you need to remember that: 1. It’s worked sideways, you start with one sleeve and you finish with the other one. 2. Graphics represent half the labor. 3. It’s worked in the wrong side of the fabric. Start Sleeve Cast on 30 stitches and work 6 rows in garter stitch. Then keep working with the stocking stitch and each 14 rows increase 1 stitch on the third stitch on each side. Place a marker. Repeat this increase each 14 rows 5 times, you’ll have a total of 40 stitches. Keep working the sweater’s body. Increase 36 stitches on the front and, when coming back to the row, increase 36 stitches on the back. You’ll have a total 112 stitches. Pay attention to the last 4 stitches, because these are worked in garter stitch (details in the graphic) Knit a total of 10 rows in the stocking stitch. Close off the 4 central stitches on the front for the neckline. Knit the first 4 stitches and the last 4 in garter stitch (as indicated in the graphic). Knit 10 rows and on the 11th close off the 4 central stitches of the neck. Keep knitting as the graphic shows on the front of the sweater (where you’ll work in armor stitch). Keep working 10 rows in stocking stitch with the first 4 and the last 4 stitches in garter stitch. Start knitting the other sleeve. Close off 36 stitches and keep knitting the sleeve. 40 stitches-turn the labor and knit as shown in the graphic -6 rows 40 stitches each - 1 decrease on the third stitch of each side. Repeat the decrease on each side each 7 rows 5 times. Finish the sleeve with 30 stitches, working 6 rows in garter stitch. Bind off the yarns and sew with tapestry needle.


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craft experiences by We Are Knitters

It’s all knitting

about

That’s what WE ARE KNITTERS is for. Since the very first day, WAK has been working towards recreating the ancient art of knitting and transforming it into something modern and stylish; thus becoming an international source for knitting kits and yarnballs, and a very active on-line community for knitters and DIY lovers. Founded by Pepita Marín and Alberto Bravo in 2009, the idea of creating We Are Knitters came up when they saw a young girl knitting in New York’s subway. That’s when they realized the DIY (Do It Yourself) trend was really having an impact and becoming popular among the young audience in cities such as NYC and Paris, and so they decided to get involved. Renowned figures in the world of cinema and fashion have also sponsored the knitting revolution. Thus, celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson, Uma Thurman, Catherine ZetaJones and Kristen Stewart have made knitting

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their favorite hobby. But knitting is not an activity just for women, actors of such standing as Russell Crowe, Kiefer Sutherland and Ryan Gosling have also confessed their passion for the needles. In this on-line store you can find a wide variety of knitting kits for women, men, children, decoration and accessories, which have everything you need to knit your own clothes. They include yarnballs, wooden needles, a pattern, a tapestry needle and a We Are Knitters label to sew to your finished knitwear. All these elements come in an especial package made with recycled materials. The best part? There’s also many video tutorials and blog entries to help you with your project; you can also contact them directly and one of their knitters will clarify any doubts you have


Yoki Blanket

Blanket: /’blaŋkIt/ a large piece of woollen or similar material used as a covering on a bed or elsewhere for warmth. Origin: Middle English (denoting undyed woollen cloth): via Old Northern French from Old French blanc ‘white’, ultimately of Germanic origin.

Materials

6 skeins of The Petite Wool from We Are Knitters (100g) One pair of 8 mm / 11 US / 0 UK needles One sewing needle to finish and connect your pieces

Gauge: Stockinette stitch

Skill level: Intermediate


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Stitches and techniques

These are the stitches and techniques you’ll need to complete this project: 1. Cast on 2. Garter stitch 3. Stockinette stitch 4. Jacquard 5. Cast off stitches 6. Weave in ends

Introduction This project is knitted in three colors (A, B, and C) lengthwise in one piece. Colour A = 4 skeins Colour B = 1skein Colour C = 1 skein Start knitting

1. Cast on 99 stitches with color A onto one of the wooden needles. 2. With color A work rows 1 to 8 in garter stitch, which means knit all stitches and all rows. 3. Work rows 9 to 142 in stockinette stitch with a garter stitch border, keeping in mind the color changes specified in the chart. Odd rows: knit all stitches. Even rows: knit 5. Purl the remaining stitches until there are 5 stitches left, knit 5. 4. Change to color A and work rows 143 to 149 in garter stitch. 5. Cast off all stitches.

How to finish and join your project

Once you have finished knitting the blanket it will look like the image in the diagram. To finish, make a knot and weave in the tail end of yarn about 3 inches, cut off even with the fabric. Weave in any loose ends in the same way.


Beaufort Sweater Sweater: /´sweta/ A knitted garment worn on the upper body, typically with long sleeves, put on over the head. “Woolen sweaters, cardigans, mittens, and socks were knitted with elaborate patterns”. First known use of sweater: 15th century.

Materials

8 [8, 8, 8] skeins of The Wave Wool from We Are Knitters (100g) One pair of 8 mm / 11 US / 0 UK needles One tapestry needle to finish and connect your pieces

Measuremets

* Diagram

Find the diagrams for making the pattern in the different sizes.

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Stitches and techniques

These are the stitches and techniques you’ll need to complete this project: 1. Cast on 2. Stockinette stitch 3. Intarsia* 4. Jacquard* 5. Cast off stitches (in the middle of a row)* 6. Cast off stitches 7. 1 x 1 Rib stitch 8. Increase* 9. Join 10. Pick up stitches 11. Weave in ends

Gauge: Stockinette stitch

Odd rows: knit all stitches*. Even rows: purl all stitches*. *The chart is divided into 3 parts: right side, center, and left side. To make the color changes on the right side use color A and the first skein of color B. When you reach the center part leave aside the first skein of color B and continue with color A. When you reach the left side continue with the skein of color A and to make the color changes use the second skein of color B. This way you will avoid the color jump (the strand left behind in jacquard) in the center. 3. Cast off all stitches

front 1. Repeat rows 1 to 74 [74, 76, 76] the same as for the back. 2. Now we are going divide your work in two to shape the neck. To do so, work rows 75 [75, 77, 77] to 86 [86, 88, 88] in stockinette stitch keeping in mind the following decreases: Row 75 [75, 77, 77]: knit 23 [26, 28, 31]following the color changes in the chart.

Skill level: Intermediate

Introduction

This project is knitted in two colors (A and B) and in several pieces which are then seamed together: back, front, and sleeves. Color A = 6 [6, 6, 6] skeins. Color B = 2 [2, 2, 2] skeins. This pattern is written for four sizes S [M, L, XL]. Follow the instructions for the size you are making, keeping in mind that the first number refers to size S, the second to size M, the third to size L, and the fourth to size XL. When only one number is given it is the same for all sizes. We recommend circling, or highlighting, the numbers in the pattern that correspond to the size you are making before beginning to make it easier to follow the pattern instructions.

Start knitting

Back

1. Cast on 54 [60, 66, 72] stitches with color A onto one of the wooden needles. 2. Work rows 1 to 86 [86, 88, 88] in stockinette stitch keeping in mind the color changes indicated in the chart.

Cast off 8 [8, 10, 20] stitches, knit the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. Continue working these last 23 [26, 28, 31]stitches and leave the other 23 [26, 28, 31] stitches on hold that you will work later. Row 76 [76, 78, 78] and the remaining even rows: purl all stitches following the color changes in the chart. Row 77 [77, 79, 79]: cast off 3 stitches, knit the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. You will have a total of 20 [23, 25, 28] stitches. Row 79 [79, 81, 81]: cast off 2 stitches, knit the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. You will have a total of 18 [21, 23, 26] stitches. Row 81 [81, 83, 83]: cast off 1 stitch, knit the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. You will have a total of 17 [20, 22, 25] stitches. Row 83 [83, 85, 85] and the remaining odd rows: knit the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. 3. Cast off all stitches, pick up the 23 [26, 28, 31] stitches you had on hold, work rows 76 [76, 78, 78] to 86 [86, 88, 88] in stockinette stitch keeping in mind the following decreases:


Row 76 [76, 78, 78]: cast off 3 stitches, purl the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. You will have a total of 20 [23, 25, 28] stitches.

Once you have finished knitting you will have four pieces: the back, the front, and two sleeves. Now we are going to shape the neck. To do so: 1. Thread the tapestry needle with the same yarn that you used for your project and sew one of the shoulders. To do this, place the front and back right side up lining up the shoulder seams. Sew 17 [20, 22, 25] stitches from one of the shoulders, make a knot and put down the tapestry needle for now

Row 77 [77, 79, 79] and the remaining odd rows: knit the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. Row 78 [78, 80, 80]: cast off 2 stitches, purl the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. You will have a total of 18 [21, 23, 26] stitches. Row 80 [80, 82, 82]: cast off 1 stitch, purl the remaining stitches following the color changes in the chart. You will have a total of 17 [20, 22, 25] stitches. Row 82 [82, 84, 84] and the remaining even rows: purl all stitches following the color changes in the chart. 4. Cast off all stitches.

2. Using the wooden needles pick up 58 [58, 62, 62] stitches around the neck (38 [38, 40, 40] from the front and 20 [20, 22, 22] from the back). With these stitches work 4 rows in 1 x 1 rib stitch. Cast off all picked up stitches.

Sleeves Follow these instructions twice to make two sleeves. 1. Cast on 22 [24, 26, 28] stitches with color A onto one of the wooden needles. 2. Work rows 1 to 6 in 1 x 1 rib stitch, this means: knit 1, purl 1*. Repeat until the end of the row and until you reach row 6. *ATTENTION! When, in the same row, you work a knit stitch followed by a purl stitch (or vice versa), you have to change the position of your working yarn. Place the working yarn in front of your work to make a purl stitch and place the working yarn in back of your work to make a knit stitch. 3. Work rows 7 to 70 [70, 72, 72] in stockinette stitch keeping in mind the increases in the specified rows, work unspecified rows in regular stockinette stitch: Rows 7, 13, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, and 67: knit 1, increase 1. Knit the remaining stitches until there is 1 stitch left. Increase 1, knit 1. At the end of row 70 [70, 72, 72] you will have a total of 44 [46, 48, 50] stitches. 4. Cast off all stitches.

How to finish and join your project

Una vez hayas terminado de tejer el sweater tendrรกs cuatro piezas: la espalda, el delantero y las dos mangas.

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3. With the tapestry needle sew ends of neck seam and second shoulder seam like the first. 4. Sew the sleeve to the body of sweater, lining up center of sleeve with shoulder seam. Repeat for the second sleeve.

5. Next, sew side seams and sleeve seams with the tapestry needle.

6. To finish, make a knot and weave in the tail end of yarn about 3 inches, cut off even with the fabric. Weave in any loose ends in the same way.


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Maïté Franchi/

Maïté is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer based in Lyon, France. Inspired by Art Deco, she combines geometric shapes with vibrant colour, adding subtle texture as a final step to bring warmth and richness to her work. This sensibility appeals to a vast array of clients, across advertising, packaging, design and editorial.

www.maitefranchi.com @maite_franchi

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02

Claire Espinosa/

Claire Espinosa is a 16-year-old self-taught illustrator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She blends her passion for social justice, digital illustration, and intersectional feminism, to bring awareness to the people and causes close to her heart. “When artwork and social media come together, they create a force to challenge, unite, and inspire.� Her illustrations consist of inspirational women or influential figures in-front of monochrome backgrounds and motivational quotes. Her artwork has been shared and reposted by figures such as actress Yara Shahidi, author and former Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue Elaine Welteroth, and US Representative Alexandria OcasioCortez. Outside of social media, Claire also designs posters, flyers, and logos for empowerment conferences.

@espi.design

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03

Kaitlin Mechan/

Kaitlin Mechan is a freelance illustrator based in Glasgow, graduating last year from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design specialising in Illustration. “Since graduating I have focused on building up my portfolio; working on editorial illustrations, wall murals and prints. My portfolio combines pencil drawings, print making and paper collage to create bright and vibrant imagery.�

kaitlinmechan.myportfolio.com @kaitlinmechanillustration

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04

Anyeva/

Aniko Aliyeva a.k.a. Anyeva, is a Hungarian born illustrator and graphic designer, recently married in Baku, Azerbaijan and currently located in Brussels, Belgium. After a long and adventurous career path in the field of tourism and marketing she get back finally to what her heart was beating for from the beginning - art and drawing. As soon as she finished Visual Communication at Strasbourg University in France in 2017, she stepped to the interesting and hardboiling path of freelancer’s life... Her art and illustrations are deeply based on bold colors, striking shapes and characteristic female portraits and figures. Anyeva’s inspiration is fashion and women; she likes to capture the different expressions of women’s faces, showing strength, dreaminess and curiosity at the same time, and put them in a geometric or bubbly environment mixed with floral motifs. She creates art for art’s sake, leaving the meaning of her bold portraits up to the viewer’s imagination. At her free time, she cannot disconnect from art, always searching for inspiration, reading about artists’ life, exploring new art events and exhibitions. She is a huge animal lover, and besides these she and her husband are big gourmands, they love travelling and experiencing local gastronomies.

www.anyeva.com @anyevastudio

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05

Rialda Dizdarevic/

Rialda Dizdarevic is a Serbian born and raised artist and illustrator. She studied StageCostume Design at University of Applied Arts in Belgrade, Serbia and her background intheatre considerably influences her illustrations. Rialda’s work is mainly digital and focuses on portraying women at the brink ofwomanhood in their own individual worlds. In her work she uses vivid colours, delicatedetails and body silhouettes depicted in serene surroundings to explore the emotionaltransition into a woman. Rialda currently lives and draws in Canada.

www.rialda.com @_rialda

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06

Agniya Tolstokulakova/

New York City-based illustrator and daydreamer Agniya Tolstokulakova creates multimedia paintings inspired by childhood melancholia and everyday life. She mixes ideas and memories to create new concepts. Illustration was always one of the ways Agniya expressed herself, as she can’t even remember the time when she did not draw. Her illustrative style could be described as dreamy watercolor washes and a love affair with bright colors.

www.agniyat.com @agniya.t

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Don’t miss to share your projects with the hashtag #thesewingboxmag


In previous numbers we celebrated our tenth anniversary. Ten years creating, exploring and discovering everything related to the artisan world and its artisans. A decade in which we got to see how the handmade went from being just objects we made with our own hands to building ourselves from the inside as we created them. In which way? They became moments for our development, both in an emotional and an intellectual level.

In this number, besides portraying the history and projects of seven international makers, just as many explain to us why they made amigurumi their craft specialty. We’ll learn to knit and you’ll also be able to revel in an illustration gallery, our little homage to those who make us live Art through our senses. Enjoy and learn with us about all that the handmade can offer you.

12,50 €

ISSN 2444-295X

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