Ruby Magturo shares her knitting expertise with us at CraftMNL this month.

With a surname of “Magturo”, Ruby seems destined to teach.  And she will be this November at our very first knitting workshop “Knitwit” this November 24.  Interested to join?  You can register here.  Read on though, and become as fascinated as we are in Ruby’s awesome mind, as she talks knitting, coding  (yeah, you heard us right) and her love for the environment.

How long have you been crafting? What got you started?
I’ve been crafting for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was young, but making doilies bored me as a child and I was always reading through craft books for projects that was different or out of the norm. Art was a favorite subject (along with Math, Science and Reading ;p) just because that gave me freedom to fool around with different materials and techniques.

What’s your favorite medium? Why?
Colored pencils! I love colors and I love to draw. I would have liked to be a master painter but sadly, painting was never my medium. It didn’t agree with me and my grande vision. It’s still a dream, though.

Next up are yarn and needles, of course, which include knitting and crochet. I taught myself how to knit in 2007 from video tutorials on the internet, which always amazes people for some reason. I can’t stop myself knitting hats since then.

Knitting in code.

Tell us about your favorite projects.
One of my earlier knitting projects was a unfinished knit pouch using a binary pattern that when translated is supposed to say “property of rubybox” in Unicode Western Latin. I did the manual translation myself from UTF character to binary, and feel sufficiently nerdy enough to brag about it. I doubt though that the translation would hold water if checked by a computer science major. As for the project itself, all that’s left is to sew it up and attach a zipper – something I’m not looking forward to and have been procrastinating doing since 2008.

What’s the one crafting skill you’ve always wanted to master/learn?
Spinning! With the amount of yarn that I use in knitting and crochet and the lack of variety yarns in the most accessible craft store, it stands to show that the next step would be making my own yarn. I’ve watched dozens of tutorial videos but am still at a loss on how to start sourcing tools and materials.

It’s a (knitted) blue beret!

What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m knitting a winter hat with an attached fake beard for my sister in the US – she wanted one for when she starts snowboarding this Christmas season. Also, an ambitious crochet blanket that I forsee will be finished by the year 2020.

What’s your dream project? What have you done to make it happen so far?
An ambitious rainbow crochet blanket that will be finished by the year 2020. I’ve already got the initial set of yarns and have already started on it, but the going is slow.

I also want to make a set of bike accessories for my folding and mountain bike but that’s still on the drawing board.

Aside from crafting what else do you do?
Aside from knitting, crocheting and drawing, I also make websites, climb mountains and do volunteer work for different environmental groups. I help out whenever I can with Dolphins Love Freedom murals, an awareness campaign initiative by artist AG Sano for the plight of dolphins in captivity, and am also currently helping to maintain the website and facebook page for , another awareness initiative, this time, for the conservation of whale sharks in the Philippines.

How does creativity influence the other areas in your life?
When I encounter little problems, I always think what can I do/make that will solve this? When my wallet zipper broke, I crocheted a little coin purse as a replacement. In my favorite color. With a carabiner so that I can attach it to anything to keep from losing it.

A mobius strip…in the form of a headband.

Any advice for other aspiring crafters?
Make something useful and pretty, then USE IT, or give it to someone who will. That’s how I get my motivation to continue crafting.

What do you do to beat a ‘creative block’?
Hmm… I usually sleep on it. For several days. Or I do another entirely different thing, totally unrelated. But then that could just be me procrastinating again. Though it does work sometimes.

Give us 3 crafting essentials you must have in your toolbox at all times.
A pair of scissors, any writing implement and a notebook. All for catching ideas.

Why should people get their hands busy (and start crafting)?
You know that satisfaction people get from finishing a long and arduous project? Add an actual tangible finished product that you can show off to unsuspecting people with a smug look on your face, saying, “yes, I made that.”

Where can we find your work?
Usually worn by friends and family. I’m terrible at keeping blogs and it takes me two gruelling hours to write a single paragraph, but I’m changing that soon *crossing fingers. For those with a account, I keep my projects posted under the username rubybox.