Welcome to week two of NCM Maker Stories! Last week we chatted with Neelmani Bagaria of Share a Square, a non-profit organization based out of Bangalore, India, check out this young man’s story and be inspired.
Today I will introduce you to Noorain the knit and Tunisian crochet designer behind Noor’s Knits. Noorain is originally from Hyderaband, India, she grew up in Canada and currently lives in Cleveland OH. She is a proud wife and mom to a beautiful little boy, who is her design inspiration. Noor’s Knits has over 40 patterns in her shops for moms, children, and home.
Deveter: Noorain thanks so much for agreeing to share your story with us. I’m always inspired by people who can do more than one craft and you are a knitter and Tunisian crocheter! I’m impressed and inspired. How would you describe your style? And who if any are the crafters/artists/designers that you particularly look up to and are inspired by?
Noorain: I would say my style can range from modern to whimsical/fun.
Toni from TLYarncrafts has been such an inspiration from day 1 since I started out on Instagram. I’ve loved evolving as a designer alongside her. She always shares such valuable information and she is always so encouraging and positive, it’s truly inspiring and without knowing it she has encouraged me to pursue things I never could have imagined. I’ve also learned so much from Frenchie of @arohaknits (https://www.instagram.com/arohaknits/). She taught me that it’s empowering to embrace the culturally-inspired ideas I have and that transforming those ideas into yarn can be such a powerful experience! Lastly, I want to mention Pam from @thecrochetpreneur (https://www.instagram.com/thecrochetpreneur/) for being such an amazing mentor and hosting an awesome community that I’ve learned so much from.
Deveter: I agree with your description of your style! Whimsical is spot on! We LOVE Toni from TLYarncrafts as well, she was gracious enough to do a video interview with us during Black History Month. As a follow-up to this question what sort of things are inspiring you right now? Where do you look for inspiration?
Noorain: For children’s designs, I find inspiration mostly from my son whether it’s his toys, his clothes, or even sometimes the things he talks about or draws. It could be anything really. Sometimes the idea just comes to me and other times I’ll think and search for it! I’ve also been leaning towards making culturally inspired pieces. Currently, I’m selling kufi prayer hats for boys and I’m also working on a long stole (called a “dupatta”) which I hope to finish in time to wear for Eid!
Deveter: That’s awesome, little people and culturally inspired pieces really are a great source for inspiration! What unexpected benefits have crocheting or knitting brought to your life?
Noorain: I was introduced to knitting around the time my father passed away and I didn’t realize it then but it really helped me cope and get through that difficult time. Even now, when I sit down to knit or crochet, I feel a wave of calm come over me and my anxiety goes down.
Deveter: It is so interesting the way handcrafts bring calm. I love that you could find peace and the ability to cope through knitting. Here at Furls, we envision a world where handcrafts are the antidote to mental distress, so your response means we are living up to our mission. Speaking of which what is your favorite Furls tool?
Noorain: Currently I’m loving my 6.0 mm Cruella DeVille Tunisian crochet hook.
Deveter: Tunisian crochet is on my 2021 bucket list and your patterns will be my go-to when I finally get up the courage to try! What makes your work unique and special? What is the mission of your business/ art?
Noorain: I think each maker/designer brings a part of their personality into their makes and it’s the same for me. Each piece I design or make reflects my personality and sometimes really brings out the child in me (cue all the fun children’s designs in my shops!). My main goal with my work is to create designs that will inspire fellow knitters and crocheters but especially moms who knit and crochet to create beautiful pieces for their children and home. I would also like to inspire fellow BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people of color) makers to create and design even if society makes us feel like the maker world is not a place for us.
Deveter: What a beautiful goal, I think you are certainly achieving it! With that said, we live in a mass-produced, buy-it-now society. Why should people continue to make things by hand?
Noorain: I think having a skill set of making things with your hands is invaluable and is something that can and should be passed down across generations. It is such a great feeling to be able to make something for yourself and it is so rewarding. Also, by making things with our hands, we are alleviating some of the consequences of fast fashion/consumerism like child labor.
Deveter: I totally agree! You are truly an inspiration. Have you worked with or have a passion for any philanthropic crafting?
Noorain: I’ve loved collaborating and working with Darn Good Yarn, their mission to empower underprivileged women speaks to me especially since their focus is on India and Nepal. I’m originally from India and I’ve seen firsthand the poverty and social issues that women face every day!
Deveter: Noorain, thank you so much for sharing your story! I have been inspired and hope that our readers have been as well.
I’m Deveter Brown thanks for reading, now get back to that WIP!
Oh, don't forget to take advantage of our National Crafters Month deals and giveaways!