Today I have the honor of interviewing Nguyen Le, an artist and Etsy seller who creates delicate jewelry in many forms - knit, needle felting, and embroidery, all under the name Knit Knit.
In particular, I am fascinated by her hand-embroidered totem animals, which are incredible in their tiny detail. Everyone, let's meet Nguyen!
I am in love with your miniature embroideries - what inspired you to create them? May I ask how long it takes to stitch one?
Why thank you! I like combining materials, and especially fiber with things that they're not normally paired with, such as metal. I was making very simple stitched embroidered pendants, and one day a friend suggested I embroider animals. I love woodland creatures and also doing detailed embroidery - it was a great fit! I came up with a series of embroidered power/totem/spirit animals.Since the embroideries are so tiny, it's hard draw out the image on felt. What I usually do is make dots where the eyes should be and eyeball it from there. Each animal is different, so the embroidery time varies for each piece.
I adore the tiny-ness of your work! What do you think inspires you to create on this scale?
I wanted to make embroidered jewelry, so I knew the pieces couldn't be too big. There is something special about tiny work that I love too - it's the delicateness.
How long have you been stitching?
On and off since I was in junior high. My mom used to sew and embroider a lot when I was a kid, and I picked it up.
What is your first crafting memory?
I remember sponge painting in kindergarten and getting scolded for mixing up the sponges in the wrong color. I guess it made an impression because I haven't done it since!
Where in the world are you?
Do you have an art background - if so (or if not), how do you think this has affected your work?
I have a photography degree. The composition of a photograph is very important to making your statement, and I think that's helped me in the composition of my jewelry pieces. I'll move things around until I feel it flow together, much like looking at a subject from different angles before photographing it.
As a former New Yorker, I know it's tough to find a craft store in the city - do you have any favorites?
I love Brooklyn General, Purl Soho, and my neighborhood craft store, Fiber Notion.
Do you like to craft with friends or are you more of a solo crafter?
Both - I work from home, so I craft alone a lot. I get more done when I'm crafting alone, but it's nice to craft with company. It brings new energy and ideas - always refreshing!
Name one project of yours that you LOVE.
I love all of my pieces, but I really love my embroidered deer brooch. The deer is my power animal, so this has a special place in my heart.
5 movies you LOVE
Amelie, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Everything Is Illuminated, Breakfast At Tiffany's, and The Fountain.
Thank you, Nguyen, for taking time to share a few thoughts and words with us! All images in this post are used courtesy of her shop and site. You can find Nguyen's wonderful totem animals here.
For more on Nguyen, visit:
Her site: http://knitknitknits.com/
Her shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KnitKnit
Her blog: http://www.knitknitknits.blogspot.com/