I’ve had the lovliest pleasure of interviewing the FANTASTIC miniature knitting artist and yarnbomber Hanasauruxrex. She has such a unique style and her technique is impeccable. I love seeing what new projects she comes up with. If you aren’t following her yet, jump on board immediately!! You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
* When did you learn to knit and crochet?
I learned to crochet when I was a kid. My grandmother and mother taught me. I didn’t learn how to knit, though, until about 4 years ago. I was invited to join a knit group when I lived in Hawaii, and they were kind enough to teach me.
* What kind of projects were you knitting and crocheting before you began yarnbombing?
I was knitting hats, scarves and socks… and crocheting little amigurumi charms and jewelry.
* What made you decide to start yarnbombing? What are your inspirations when completing yarnbombing projects?
A friend brought the book Yarn Bombing by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain to one of our knit nights. She and another friend were interested in it. And, as I looked through it, my mind just started going off!
I’m inspired by shapes and concepts. I’m one of those people who see faces everywhere; they just jump out at me. Yarn bombing allows me to show others what I see.
* You recently completed a massive installation at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. How did this project come about?
In 2012, I yarn bombed in conjunction with a street art event that happens every year in Hawaii called Pow! Wow! Hawaii. I covered one of the bicycle shaped bike locks with granny squares and debuted my first Meter Monster. And people really loved them. So, in 2013 they invited me back to actually participate in the event, which also went really great. But I had a hard time finding locations where my yarn bombs were going to last for the entire week long event. My Meter Monster that year lasted less than 12 hours before it was taken! When they asked me to come back for the 2014 event, the coordinator had already spoken with the museum about me. They loved the idea of me yarn bombing so much they offered the entire grounds up for me to do whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted to do it! I knew right away I wanted to work with the columns. I’d been scheming on a column idea for a couple years, and it was the perfect opportunity.
* The installation is so beautiful and the pieces so intricate. How long did it take you to complete the project?
Thank you! I started planning it during the summer, sketching, swatching, calculating and ordering yarn. But I had already been commissioned to knit/crochet/design an album art project, and it took several more months than expected to finish. So, I actually wasn’t able to start the mermaids until the second week of December. The event was the second week of February. Things like my bulky weight knitting machine deciding it didn’t want to knit the super chunky acrylic yarn I was using meant I had to hand knit the largest pieces… and what should have taken two days took two weeks! I worked 12–16 hours a day, 7 days a week, for those two months, and I was still finishing up smaller detail pieces while I was installing. It was craZy, with a capital Z!
* I noticed that you crochet amazing mini objects. 1. Would they be considered amigurimi? and 2. Tell us a little more about your inspiration for these pieces.
Some of them are, definitely, but I consider them all amigurumi. A basic definition of amigurumi is a knitted or crochet stuffed toy, which can be a creature or person. I guess my cheeseburgers and shave ice more food, but—meh, they are stuffed, even at less than an inch tall, and they’re kawaii! Maybe I’m taking artist liberties? Hahaaha, I don’t know.
My inspiration is my love for all things miniature. The tinier the better! And I love cute things too! And if I can combine the two, woah! I pretty much want to make all my favorite things super tiny. I was handed down my great-grandmother’s tiny steel crochet hooks when my grandmother passed away a few years ago. I had really never thought about crocheting that small before. I remember them both crocheting bedspreads out of crochet thread! But when I got them, I thought, why not?!! It’s a little fiddly at times, but it’s just like regular sized crochet… only cuter!
* Do you knit and crochet as your career? If so, how have you managed to support yourself through your craft?
Right now, I do knit and crochet full time. I am blessed to have a supportive husband; he pretty much brings home all the bacon while I work at building my business. I was a graphic designer for over a decade before starting Hanasaurusrex. So, every once and awhile a cool design opportunity will come my way, like the album art commish, and I’ll take it.
* Do you have any upcoming yarnbombing projects? Any teeny amazing crochet projects in the works?
After the mermaids, I decided to take a break from yarn bombing and work solely on Hanasaurusrex. I am going to have a space at The San Francisco Bazaar at Maker Faire in May, and I have a lot of new products I’ll be introducing for that. I’m really excited about offering some of my micro crochet patterns as kits and ebooks! I’d love for others to give teeny crochet a try!
“Hanasaurusrex is an artist, designer, illustrator, hand crafter, yarnbomber, and self-proclaimed curator of cute.”
Please check out Hanasaurusrex’s website here
Also check out her interview with the Honolulu Museum of Art here