Young Harlem based Fiber Artist Alexander Reynoso knits, crochets, spins and dyes his own yarn. He sells his hand dyed yarns under the name Alex Creates and his work has been coveted by many an Indie Dye Yarn enthusiast. Alex is a mostly self taught artist, utilizing video tutorials on YouTube to his advantage. Come see this talented local artist on Thursday, October 5th from 6-8pm as he tells his remarkable fiber story.
From crocheting cupcakes to dyeing yarn to spinning
Alex learned how to crochet at the age of 13. He recalls: "I wanted to be a pastry chef and I started to look on YouTube on how to decorate cupcakes. I stumbled on an amigurumi cupcake, and I wanted to try to crochet. I taught myself to crochet by watching YouTube video tutorials. When I finished my first amigurumi cupcake, I stuffed it with soda tops."
Soon after, Alex taught his mom how to crochet and re-taught his grandmother how to crochet. It didn't take long for Alex's entrepreneurial spirit to kick in: at only 14 years old, he started his company "Alex Creates" and through various markets in Harlem he sold his crochet hats and scarves.
His desire to stand out with his hats and scarves, brought him the idea to dye his own yarn. Alex explains: "I would first make my hats, and dip dye them afterwards to create an ombré effect. But then I wanted to learn how to create this ombré effect within the yarn itself."
He looked up video tutorials on how to dye yarn on YouTube, dived into books and taught himself how to create the most beautiful hand dyed yarns.
Alex does it all...he does not only crochets, knits and dyes yarn, he also loves fiber and spinning.
"After high school, I started to study Agriculture and Business. One of the teachers had a spinning wheel in the class room", Alex recalls. "I already taught myself how to use a drop spindle, but I never used a spinning wheel before." And so started his journey of spinning and his deep love of fiber.
During his Agriculture and Business studies in upstate New York, Alex came to the realization that he needed to pursue his happiness and follow his passion. He moved back to NYC and got a job at Lion Brand Studios. During his years at Lion Brand, he learned how to machine knit, felt and weave.
Alex continued to work on his brand "Alex Creates" and became a vendor at Vogue Knitting Live in New York. Look for him for the next Vogue Knitting Live New York in 2018!
Yarn bombing East Harlem and Celia Cruz
Alex created several yarn bombs which you can find in East Harlem. He made a melting ice cream cone, messages of love and... faces of his beloved icon Cuban singer Celia Cruz.
"Celia Cruz inspires me tremendously. I grew up with her music and I saw a documentary of her life. I wanted to celebrate her because she is unapologetically Afro Latina. She taught me that you can be yourself and by doing so, you can be successful.
Alex continues: "When I create a yarn bomb, I want to have a message with my work. And my message to the world is to be creative, treat each other nicely and help others grow. "