I met Meri in October 2012 at the at SquamItalia retreat and her smile conquer me from the first sight and I can say that she is a very lovely and nice person. She was one of the SquamItalia sponsor and when we Squammers checked into our room we found a ball of Jamieson's yarn and a coupon code for a free pattern gift from amirisu - the new online Japanese-English knitting magazine which Meri is co-founder with Tokuko .When I got home from Squam four days later I browse the magazine and said to me:
<<Oh! this is very nice!! lovely patterns, great photos - I'm sure that the knitting world will love it very soon! >>
And yes, I'm pretty sure that the patterns of the Spring&Summer issue nr. 2 - just published - will hit the Ravelry Top20 in no time.
I'm so happy to share with you 3 questions I asked Meri so you can know a bit more about her and the magazine:
Giusy: Hi Meri, when did you started knitting? is this kind of craft popular in Japan as in USA and Europe?
Meri: I learned how to crochet at 8, when I was in a hospital for 4 months. I made clothes for all the stuffed animals I had on my bed. I cannot remember when my mom taught me knitting, but probably shortly after that. Back then it was not popular at all, but the trend similar to that in the US is coming to Japan in the last 1~2 years.
Giusy: when and why did you decided to publish a web magazine about knitting?
Meri: My first job was at an established architectural magazine, and although I dropped out of the editorial world, I'd been thinking about starting my own webzine for a while. It was because I met Tokuko that I decided on knitting as a topic. We had the common passion (knitting) and were frustrated by the quality of Japanese knitting books and magazines.
Giusy: what "amirisu" means?
Meri: amirisu, written in all lower case, is a combination of knitting (amu, a verb) and squirrel (risu, a noun). Together it sort of means a knitting squirrel (although I don't think there is such word in Japanese ;))
I was really happy when Meri asked me if she could use the photo of Ysolda I took at the SquamItalia this past autumn for the "Designers in focus" interview with Gudrun Johnston and Ysolda Teague in the magazine, so, go check it and scroll down the page to see the photo I took!!
You can also find all the amirisu's patterns at Ravelry.