I’m so excited to have Noah from YOUnique Crafts on the blog today. I stumbled upon his amazing amigurumi creations and original designs on Instagram… and then saw that he’s only 17! What an inspiration!
I really enjoyed chatting with Noah, and I hope you enjoy meeting him to! Pop to the interview below.
Find YOUnique Crafts on:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/YOUniqueCrafts/
- Instagram: younique_crafts1
- Ravelry: www.ravelry.com/designers/younique-crafts
Whoa! You’re only 17! Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get started crocheting?
As you can probably tell, I’m not the typical teenage guy! Crocheting is my favorite way to create art, but I really love it all! When I was about 11 years old, I began looking for knitting tutorials online. After trying over and over again, I still couldn’t get the basics down.
Luckily, I found an old crochet kit that had been gifted to me a while back. At that point, I had never even heard of crocheting, but after doing a little research, it seemed like so much fun! I looked up some tutorials on the basic crochet stitches and quickly caught on.
It sounds like someone thought to give you a fabulous gift! When did you get started creating your own designs?
Pretty soon after I got my start with crocheting, I began exploring with my stitches, learning as much as I could as quickly as possible. So I guess you could say I started creating my own designs as soon as I learned!
Do you do other crafts as well? What draws you to crochet?
As I mentioned, crocheting is my favorite form of art. There is just something so special about creating an inanimate object and yet being able to give it a character and a personality that almost reflects myself. With that said, I do still enjoy sketching every now and then, but it’s mainly to get ideas for new amigurumi designs.
Do you have a favorite crochet tip to share?
My best crochet tip: Explore! That’s how I started and that’s how I continue to do my work. I recently made two different designs by coming up with “new” stitches/techniques that I could have only learned by exploring. Take that crochet hook on an adventure!
What’s your favorite yarn to work with?
My absolute favorite yarn is “I Love this Yarn.” (Kind of ironic, isn’t it?) It comes in so many simple, bright colors – perfect for amigurumi!
I found you on Instagram… did you begin designing first and then start promoting your business on social media? Or did you post your work first and think, “Hey, I could sell patterns!”?
When I first began designing, I was only 12 years old. At that point, I didn’t have any form of social media. I asked my mom to post on her Facebook page a few pictures of me with my creations, which generated an interest with some family friends. With some encouragement, I opened up my own online shop which later turned into YOUnique Crafts.
It sounds like your family is really supportive. Tell us more!
I’ve been home-schooled my entire life, and I absolutely love it! Homeschooling has given me so many great opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I have been blessed with parents who love the Lord and desire for my brother and me to know Him and love Him as well. They have always been so supportive of me going where God leads – without them, YOUnique Crafts wouldn’t exist! “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”-Colossians 3:15-17
And you’re in a book! Tell us a bit about that process.
I still can’t believe one of my designs is in a book. Ever since 2013, amigurumipatterns.net has hosted an annual amigurumi design contest, each year with a different theme. The theme of the first contest was “Amigurumi Animals at Work.” After that, I had the opportunity to test one pattern from their then upcoming book that consisted of designs from the previous competition.
This past year (2015), I entered two designs into their “Amigurumi Circus” themed contest. Surprisingly, my Boomer the Cannonball Bird was hand chosen out of over 200 fantastic designs! “Amigurumi Circus” was such a pleasure to be a part of, and it was such an honor to have one of my designs among 12 other designs with some of my favorite artists!
Want to grab the book? Amigurumi Circus is available on Amazon!
Do you have any advice for designers just starting out?
Don’t be afraid to try new things! I remember looking for some kind of “extended double crochet” stitch and just tried a bunch of new ways to make a taller stitch. Later, I found out that I had unknowingly created a treble stitch! If I had not explored and tried new things, I would have missed out on some of the most fun stitches to make that can really add to designs. Always have an adventurous spirit!
Tell us a few of your favorite amigurumi blogs/accounts to follow!
I have had so many crochet artists who have inspired me and some who have personally helped me through this designing journey. Among my favorites is Serah of Tales of Twisted Fibers. When I started creating my own designs, Serah helped me more than I could have asked for, from helping me with pattern layout and picture taking to even helping proofread my first pattern! Other artists that have been huge inspirations and great sources of encouragement have been Dennis of Dendennis, Theresa of Theresa’s Crochet Shop, and Ilaria of Airali Design.