Alyssarhaye Graciano is a trilingual, POC fiber artist. Once in the tech industry as a linguistic specialist, she left her day job to pursue a creative career. While she mainly knits, crochet, macramé, and weaving are also part of her everyday life. She started BlackSheepMade as a way to fund an internship abroad while in college, but since 2014 it has evolved into large public installations, long-term pop-ups, and traveling workshops. You can find her latest mural in her hometown of San Jose, California, at The Berryessa Flea. She wove a 15 x 8–foot (4.5x 2.5–m) mural with her dad, Francisco, as an homage to her late abuelita and hometown culture.
In 2018, she ran a two-month-long pop-up in downtown Portland via a city-funded program. She was able to test out her idea of a “deli for knits”: choose a style of beanie or scarf, pick your colors, and she’ll knit it up in a week. In 2019, Travel Portland and My People’s Market brought Alyssarhaye to Japan to discuss life as an entrepreneur and teach a macrame workshop. In January of 2020, Alyssarhaye published her first DIY knitting book, Chunky Knits: Cozy Hats, Scarves and More Made Simple with Extra-Large Yarn.
Today, she continues her art career as a designer for various fiber brands and local businesses and she teaches fiber workshops in both English and Spanish. Alyssarhaye now lives in San Jose, California, where when she’s not knitting, can be found sewing, cycling, or on a hike.