Join Ana Campos and Louis Boria of the DAC for a panel discussion with fellow Latines in the fiber community. In celebration of Latine heritage, we will be discussing Latine visibility in the fiber world and the influence of heritage on our work.
Iris Alessi is a Brazilian knitter who started to knit when she was a teenager and today hardly a day goes by without some knitting. She has always lived in an environment with yarns and fibers: her mother is a seamstress who was always doing some manual activity, like knitting. Very curious, Iris graduated with a degree in journalism; she bring this curiosity to knitting, learning new techniques, studying fibers, trying new methods, etc. She released her first pattern in 2012 and today divides her day with knitting design and teaching knitting techniques. Iris loves to teach and is always seeking the best way impart the knowledge to her students.
Cecilia Losada is the designer and instructor behind Mamma! Do It Yourself. She has been dedicated to handmade and crafts for more than twenty-five years, and she is committed to continued learning, exploring, and sharing all her discoveries, tips, and tricks—not only to knit and crochet better, but also to be a creative designer entrepreneur!
Mona Reyes’s lineage—second-generation Mexican American on her mother’s side and fifth-generation Mexican/Jicarilla Apache on her father’s—informs everything in her life. Raised in Los Angeles’s South Bay cities (not the ones people think of when they think of Los Angeles County beach cities), she chose her business name to reflect her unique SoCal cultural urban beach experience. La Serena Tejera is a play on the Spanish word for mermaid, sirena, with a twist: serena means serene in Spanish. The literal translation of La Serena Tejera is The Serene Knitter—so she drew her logo as an Aztec mermaid warrior with a shield of yarn and Aztec warrior headdress who is at peace with and proud of who she is. She wishes to share her love of her Latinx culture with other knitters and crocheters. Mona has been a fiber person since her grandmother taught her to crochet when she was five. About three years ago, she saw a need for better representation of people of color who knit and crochet, specifically Latinx and Chicanx (Mexican American) knitters and crocheters. Seeking a respectful but fun opportunity to insert her own interpretation of Brown into the knitting and crochet conversation, she landed on stitch markers, sculpting them from clay. She also drew Loteria de Lana cards with the intent that her community of Latinx/Chicanx knitters be seen as the multifaceted, beautiful human beings they are. All in all, the La Serena Tejera store and art has been a labor of love.