Meet The KOEL Kids: Katerina Vasilyeva
Everyone needs a nice cuddle every now and then. And we think we might have just found the prettiest (and most huggable) in the land of soft friends. They make great gifts for the little people in your life but look the part in your home deco as well. Best of all, they’re knitted on a picturesque Sicilian Island by a really nice and talented lady. Let’s meet Russian fiber artist Katerina Vasilyeva who started LaMagliaToys.
Tell us more about yourself and what led you to choosing knitting as a craft?
I graduated as a graphic designer and within the span of a few years, I designed a lot of books for kids. However I missed working with physical materials. Then two things have happened: I moved to Italy together with my husband and lost my granny. I’ve spent lots of time with her when I was a child. She was a great knitter who taught me how to knit and to love animals.
One day I went to buy some yarns without a specific idea of what I was going to make. I’ve tried hats, sweaters, gloves, bags, what else can I possibly do? Then I was thinking about the many children books I’ve designed and thought, what about knitting something for kids? Something they can play with…and that was how my first knitted soft toy was born.
What makes you a KOEL Kid?
To me, being a KOEL kid means having the luxury of doing what you love most. Turning your ideas to life, putting your soul and heart into the pieces you work on and sharing it with the world. I always believed in this craft, which is an art that can be useful and brighten up the lives of people who come across it. I hope LaMagliaToys is doing exactly that.
Share with us the creative process behind your projects.
My best creative ideas almost always come when I’m about to fall alseep. Lying in bed, I’ll make plans and imagine some of my future creations – thinking about techniques, materials and colors. In the morning, some of it seems impossible while others I can’t recall. Some of them become real, just like what happened one morning when I saw the words “knitted soft animals” written in my notebook.
Your favourite design?
Paul the Lion
The inspiration behind this design is… My ginger cat Fuxing. She is the real lion when she wants her food in the morning. The design process cannot just be “cold” thinking. Only the things we truly love can inspire us to create a great object. As you can see, I’m pretty in love with animals.
The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is… I dream about my own little studio where I can share my working process through sketches, materials and samples. This will also be the place where I will sell my soft friends and toys made by other makers that I really love. Handmade toys are not only an object, there is a story behind them as well. I want to share mine.
Which celebrity house can you picture your design at… Julia Roberts! She’s a knitter and someone with a beautiful and bright personality.
If this design made it big, I would… I would go for a holiday far far away. Working from home means you never stop working.
If this design could talk, it would say… Let’s play! I mean, life is fun. Let’s enjoy it 🙂
Great things take time, so how much has changed since you first started knitting and where do you see it in the next five years?
When I first started, I only knew how to hold a needle in my hand. Since then, I’ve learnt to understand the art of knitting. What you can do with it and what you can’t. The learning process never ends. I’ve developed lots of new tricks and schemes. I’m good at turning drawing into the final object and would love to share this skill. Perhaps I will start a school where I can teach knitting techniques and how to combine them with your ideas and designs, as one can’t possibly work without the other.
Photo Credits: Katerina Vasilyeva
Can’t wait to start your own next knitting project? Go over to our knitting patterns and be inspired with new knitting ideas today.