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“Not a brand, just a girl.”
Portrait of a Crochet Artist – loupystudio
This issue, we’re taking a look at the art of crochet — and who better to talk about it with than a crochet artist herself? With over 48k followers on Instagram, loupystudio is an important player in the crochet community and known for her freeform, abstract designs. Evvia Gonzales, the talented artist behind @loupystudio gave us a glimpse into her crochet background, design inspiration, and personal style. Read more about Evvia and her work at loupystudio here!
“Not a brand, just a girl.”
This phrase, written in the Instagram bio of Norwich-based crochet studio @loupystudio, sums up Evvia Gonzales’ small business approach to crochet. Evvia single-handedly runs the loupystudio crochet business and corresponding Instagram account, which chronicles her unique, free-form crochet and knit creations. As loupystudio has grown, Evvia now sells some of these pieces in her online shop through periodic drops. Because of the one-woman nature of the brand, Evvia crafts every piece herself with “contentment and happiness brewed into each piece.”
And this passion resonates with customers – Evvia has built a base on Instagram of 45.8k followers who keep up with her latest designs. Although her pieces may look like work out of a contemporary art museum, they are all wearable and intended to be reworn and loved by their eventual owner.
Here at sisterMAG, we admire Evvia’s creative, unconventional approach to crochet, so we knew that she would be a perfect creator to discuss the art form with. Here’s Evvia Gonzales talking about loupystudio and her approach to crochet:
How did you get started with crochet? How long has it taken to reach the level you are now?
Evvia’s journey with crochet began from a young age, but she revisited the hobby more seriously beginning in 2021. At the age of six or seven, Evvia first learned to crochet a basic square from her grandmother. She then dabbled in crochet again during high school when she was “really stressed out with exams and needing a bit of an outlet. I was just making some little acrylic bralettes at the time. Then, the most serious bout of crochet has been since the British winter lockdown last year… I’ve been crocheting or knitting very recently non-stop for probably averaging like 10 to 12 hours a day, which is kind of ridiculous. I’ve put in an awful lot of hours since last year, but I definitely had a bit of an understanding of how the whole thing worked from before.”
What was the first crochet piece that you worked on? Do you still have it?
Because Evvia’s journey with crochet has ebbed and flowed over time, her answer depends “on which season of crochet we’re talking about. I definitely have no idea where that first [crochet square] that I made when I was six or seven went even though I remember it so clearly. It was this really beautiful chunky merino yarn in these pastel pinks and greens, and it was lovely. I remember it so vividly. Next, all of my acrylic bralettes are gone… kind of as they should be. I think it’s a great entry point, but I don’t think I would be too pleased to have to look back at those. In the last year’s resurgence, I think one of my first pieces was this little vest that I made with some acrylic yarn that I just had found somewhere in my house and using just the one crochet hook that my sister had given me because I couldn’t leave the house at all because of the lockdown… I don’t think I have that anymore, but I was quite proud of it. I used a little granny stitch, which was the first and last time I tried to use a granny stitch. It was very nice with a lot of brown and tan colors. It was a funny little piece.”
How have you seen your style and designs change over time as you’ve become more skilled at crochet?
“I feel like I have been able to kind of focus more on the freehand side of things. I remember when I was first starting, the biggest issue for me was actually just construction of garments rather than crochet skill because I don’t really have a fashion background… The only way I would be constructing garments would be kind of just thinking about clothes that I owned and then mimicking those shapes, so that they would fit the body. With time, I’ve been able to do a lot of trial and error obviously and see what things fit my body and other bodies and then really move on from there. That’s given me a lot of freedom with different styles and being able to just use these crazy freehand crochet motifs, which has been really rewarding.”
How would you describe your personal style in your own words?
“I would say that my personal style is definitely focused around things that make me very excited. Over the last year or so, I’ve gotten such an appreciation for different types of yarns and fibers. I’m currently working on this piece where I’m using this super chunky, handspun merino – and hand-painted merino – that’s all made with coppery, rusty colors, and I could not be more excited about that. I feel like in my crochet style I’m just trying to use the strangest little combinations where I could just stare at a garment for ages, and that definitely comes into my personal style as well. I almost exclusively shop on eBay… I always try to find bizarre little designs from the 90s or 2000s, where I’m just so enthralled and captivated by the pieces. It’s definitely whatever makes me excited.”
A big part of loupystudio is valuing sustainability and using recycled or vintage yarns. Where and how do you source your materials?
“Mostly on eBay. Especially before I was really building a collection of fibers, I would just spend hours and hours and hours every day looking because you do have to search quite hard to be able to find the true vintage fibers. There’s an influx of new yarns on eBay, so you have to be really discerning about whether you’re just buying from a yarn shop or somebody’s grandmother’s attic. I mess with the grandmother’s attic stuff because especially when the fibers are from the 80s, 90s, the quality is really high if you’re able to know what you’re looking for. With a lot of vintage mohairs, you just really can’t get those colors, that quality – especially with the chunky stuff anymore. Outside of eBay, I do a lot of thrift shopping at my local Norfolk charity shops, and I’m always able to find really cool handspun yarns… I’m also trying to get more into buying from local farms around here – it’s something I’m dabbling in a little bit. It’s a little hard to get things that fit my price point and the colors that I want, but I’m trying to push to be a little more earthy tones in some of my pieces, and that’s where those yarns will be.”