Name: Yesenia Barreto
Click here to visit her Etsy shop!
Yesenia Barreto's knitting journey started from a place of true love for family. As she continued on with knitting, she continued knitting from this place of love as she created garments for her babies to wear.
Yessy's design staples include delicious cable knits, oversized scarves, luxurious mittens, cozy beanies, and baby blankets. Yessy created an exclusive cable knit beanie for us (in case you missed it, she also taught us how to make some basic cable knit stitches last week!)
Continue on to read more about her knitting journey, and click here to get her Magnolia Beanie Kit!
When did you start knitting? How did you learn?
I started Knitting about 10 years ago. At the time, my grandmother was sick and bedridden. My family thought it would be good for her to try some knitting. By the time they gave her the needles and the yarn, she could not use her hands anymore. Right away I signed up for knitting lessons and would knit next to her. I could still not differentiate a Knit from a Purl but I just worked on that first project, a scarf, without stopping. I saw painfully how I had in some rows more stitches and in some rows less stitches, but grandma kept touching this project saying how soft the yarn was. I took classes everyday for about a week and made a scarf and a hat. I still have these projects and cherish them while thinking on those humble and full of love beginnings.
What is your favorite memory involving knitting?
Knitting by grandma will always be a feeling I will never forget and then knitting for my cuties while pregnant. Knitting and thinking of your babies wearing these handmade hats and outfits were moments filled of the purest love and expectation of what live will be after they arrived.
What inspired you to create your own small business?
I quit my job as a teacher (I am an Early Childhood Educator), to participate more in volunteer work and soon after I was pregnant with my first baby. I knew I would be at home with him and then with my daughter. I have always loved arts and crafts and knitting allowed me to still work at something I loved, from home, while raising my cuties.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your fiber arts career?
The biggest challenge I have faced is finding balance between my family life, volunteer work and being a Designer and Maker. I try to prioritize, to take care first of the most important things and to ask for help when needed. I have tried not to rush working on Knit pieces one after the other for the sake of keeping a spot on social media. I try to share as much as possible while enjoying the Maker process.
What tips do you have for other crafters who are looking to take their art to the next level?
I can not stress enough that the craft of your choice should be something you truly enjoy. If you would like to start a shop or an account on social media, do it to inspire others and to inspire yourself, to share the love of handmade. But do not let the pressure take the joy away from your craft. This Maker community is amazing and for the most part, Makers would love to share their experiences with you and help you when having doubts. There are plenty of tutorials available on the internet as well as books that will help you master new techniques. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it is needed. Remain humble and joyful. Do not compare yourself to others but remember that your craft is unique because you are the one working on it.
What’s next for you?
I will continue to enjoy this journey in my own pace. Having a family with young children means that you have to give them most of your time and energy and that you have to enjoy these moments when they are little... they are these little just once. There are new designs in the works, I will continue to work on custom orders and look forward to work with yarns that I have not had the pleasure of working with before.
Be sure to follow @darngoodyarn and @yessysdesigns on Instagram and Facebook!