MSU alumna returns to celebrate and craft

Women’s History Month has reached its final week at Minnesota State University but that doesn’t stop the Women’s Center from celebrating and providing aid to students on campus and celebrating women’s accomplishments throughout the past, present and the nearer future. 

From guided meditations to hosting a women elected panel, the center has continued to celebrate the month with this time, the craft of crocheting. 

The Women’s Center held a crocheting get-together for students to learn how to crochet with MSU alumna Jasmine Davilar, also known as the Crochet Gay through social media. 

Davilar shared how she got into crocheting and how the craft can be helpful to not just mental health but as “an expression of yourself and art and being able to make things that you can wear.”

“I started in my second to last year here actually at MSU. I was struggling with keeping up with school and needing a new hobby to kind of help with my added stress of almost being done with college. I ended up taking a semester off and I took some time to kind of reflect. I wanted to find new hobbies,” Davilar said. 

“I discovered crocheting just to see if I could try it out. I then ended up teaching myself how to crochet a lot of time in the Women’s Center. I was practicing there or in the LGBT Center so I feel like my start in crochet is definitely tied to MSU. It feels nostalgic to come back here and be teaching after having taught myself and now doing even more with it in Minneapolis. Now I’m making clothes and fashion shows and I’m excited to teach people what I’m doing and how I got into it and how expansive the medium of crochet is.”

Having graduated MSU in 2020, Davilar has set out on running her business, selling her unique crochet pieces and having participated in Fashion Week Minnesota last year. 

“The Crochet Gay kind of started out as my personal brand of just sharing what I make. Occasionally I would do art vending and go to different festivals, like I’ve done the pride festivals here in Mankato and it was my very first time selling my art which was really cool,” she said. “Since then it’s just expanded a little bit more. I’m trying to expand my online presence. But eventually my studio space will be like a physical space where people can come and shop with my designs.”

In addition to showcasing her work in art events and shows, Davilar is focused on expanding her personal artistic ventures within her own studio in the arts district in Northeast Minneapolis. 

“Right now, I’m renovating and designing it so that I can eventually open it up to the public and have a community space where people can come and do art or learn from me or shop some of my designs. I definitely want to collaborate with other artists,” Davilar said. “That’s my focus this year; meeting more people in the fashion industry or the styling industry, and it’s just been really eye opening to see the world of possibilities that I didn’t expect to find while just trying to crochet and what started out as a hobby is now becoming more of a business venture for me and being able to sell my pieces and express myself in that way.”

Now having come back to MSU, Davilar shares how exciting it feels to return to her alma mater and to be able to teach students how to crochet, saying how “it just feels really full circle.”

“It feels really good and inspiring to not only have made an impact while I was here in my time and just being an active participant in the Women’s Center and LGBT Center and just knowing how at home I felt in these spaces,” Davilar said. “It feels really nice to come back and teach people the hobby or the skills that I was able to use to be able to help myself mentally throughout my college career and helped me finish so that definitely kept me grounded and I think it just all feels really connecting to me full circle of learning to crochet while I was here in school, then graduating and spending a lot of time in the community and then leaving to now coming back.”
Follow Jasmine Davilar on Instagram @thecrochetgay and for information on the Women’s Center, visit www.mnsu.edu/womenscenter or visit CSU 218.

Write to Anahi Zuniga at anahi.zuniga@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Minnesota State alumna Jasmine Davilar, also called the Crochet Gay returned to campus for a day of crocheting with students in the Women’s Center Wednesday (Courtesy @thecrochetgay Instagram)

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