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Friday, May 25, 2012

Featured Friday - Mirabilis Fashions

I would like you to meet Karen and her Etsy shop:  MirabilisFashions.

If you love Luxurious crocheted sweaters, plus size sweaters, wool quilt blankets and accessories, Then you will love the items at MirabilisFashions.

Let's get to know MirabilisFashions and Karen:

What would you like us to know about you?
I learned to crochet when I was about 5 so I’ve been doing it for over 45 years now. I get bored easily so I went through virtually every technique over the years and tried to master it before diving into the next one. I enjoyed all of it but my favorite thing of all is to work with luscious natural fibers and high end yarns in rich colors, patterns and textures. Now I’m supposedly retired but I work more hours on filling up and running my shop than I ever had to when I was still working professionally. I’ve done all sorts of things from being a computer programmer, and nonprofit executive director and an IT manager and loved all of it but working at home with gorgeous yarn and surrounded by my 6 pets and gardens (and my husband of course) is by far my favorite of all. I’m lucky enough to live in the beautiful coastal mountains overlooking the Monterey Bay in central California on a big rambling rural property and after growing up in the south Bronx in NYC every day here feels like a gift.
What prompted you to open an Etsy Shop?
I have a fairly successful local business and a shop that sells my work but we’ll be moving away once my husband retires and I’ll lose all of my local contacts and outlets. It seemed like a good idea to start to develop an online business as well so that I can keep making things that I love for as long as my old hands and eyes last. Etsy seemed like a great and inexpensive place to start out and learn the ropes before opening up my own shop and I’ve learned a tremendous amount there and met some really great people. Besides, if I didn’t sell my work I’d be gardening in cashmere because it’s such an addiction!

How did you come up with your shop name?
It’s a secret : ). Here’s a few definitions for “Mirabilis” and you can guess which one inspired me. It’s the Latin word for “astounding” or “amazing”, it’s also the name for a beautiful genus of plants that most of us call “four o’clocks”, and there is a Catholic saint named Christina Mirabilis. The church couldn’t decide if she was saintly or crazy so they made her the patron saint of mental health workers.

How would you describe your shop?
My focus these days is on making one of a kind high end plus size sweaters. I wore plus sizes for much of my life and it was always so hard to find nice clothes, especially luxury items so even though I don’t wear them now it’s all I want to do. It’s so much fun designing for a group that is almost always ignored by the fashion industry and I love talking to women about what kind of designs they find flattering or wish that they could find. My Etsy shop still has a few straight size sweaters and blankets that aren’t in my main plus size shop but I won’t be making any more of those other than for custom orders.

What inspires you?
When it comes to colors my gardens are my best source of inspiration but I see potential color and pattern combinations in almost everything that I look at. Soft, dreamy landscapes and impressionist art also bring to mind all sorts of luscious ideas. And of course, just the sight of gorgeous designer yarns sets my head spinning with all sorts of designs.

Which item in your shop is your favorite to make/find?
I think that I had the most fun making that floor length evening cape because it was so glamorous. The whole time that I was making it I daydreamed about the kind of life that includes evening clothes that aren’t pajamas. I could just see some gorgeous actress coming down the red carpet in it. It was also probably the most impractical thing that I ever made as well but I love how soft it is and how it glitters.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what are the 3 crafty must haves?
Yarn, yarn and a spinning wheel to practice on because there must be some sort of plant fiber or hairy beast on that island to use and I’ll have lots of time to kill. I could always whittle some hooks out of tree branches, cut yarn with my teeth and wind what I spin around some trees or something. The yarn could also double as a fishing line so that I don’t starve to death and I can always make nets too. If I was all alone and it was a warm island I’d probably yarn bomb the whole thing just for entertainment.

Where else can we find you?
and I share a blog with Steph at

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I love to see crocheters really go for it and move beyond patterns so that they can use their imaginations to create new designs. So often I hear someone say “I could never do that” but all it takes is a whole lot of practice and the curiosity to try new things and push yourself beyond what you think of as your limitations. One of these days I might start selling little signs of a granny square with a red circle around it and a slash ;).

Thanks so much Karen.  It has been great getting to know you and discovering your shop and your lovely items.

Now please show Karensome support and let us know which of her pieces are your favorite from her shop! Oh...and go ahead and heart a few of her items along with her shop :)

Have a great weekend!

knitting yarns


  1. I love the gray cardigan! That is such a versatile piece.

    Link up your Friday Feature with me!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this great piece about my shop and all of these other great ones that I wouldn't have known about if I hadn't stopped by. And thank you too, Rose :)

  3. Great post, great to see someone catering for the plus size ladies who want to look and feel good!


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