She was five years old when she first tried her hands at crochet, unaware that this will one day become her passion. Alina Shermeen inherited this talent from her mother and though it has been some time now, the 21-year-old's interest has not waned.
"As a child, I used to always sit next to my mother when she crocheted, trying to understand the technique. Soon I started doing it myself and slowly evolved a liking towards this art. I started making gift items and gave it to my friends on special occasions," says Alina.
Apart from crochet, Alina has a keen interest in embroidery, baking, vegetable carving and flower arrangement too. Working with wool is another favourite pastime for Alina. Another quirky hobby of hers is making delicious-looking cakes using sponge, glue, paper and tissue. "I was in class four when I first made a cake like that and served it to my grandfather. He was very impressed with my efforts and took a spoon to taste it. We stopped him just in time," she laughs. Today, she also takes classes at home for children who are willing to learn this form of art.
"I eagerly wait for winter to start as this is the season for crochet. I make shoes that can be worn indoors during winter. Apart from this, shawls, cardigan, clothes for a newborn and jewellery pieces like earrings, neckpieces and anklets are some of my other crochet items. I also embroider on pillow covers and dresses," adds Alina.
Her creativity doesn't stop here. She also designs dresses for Barbie dolls, an idea that she got from one of her students. "It has been three years that I have been making clothes for Barbie dolls. Instead of spending money buying an extravagantly dressed doll, my idea is to customise these dresses according to the kid's choice." Though she was a student when she first started crocheting, she never compromised on her studies. She says, "I was a bright student but I was never overconfident. My passion for arts and craft never came in the way of my studies. I made sure I took an hour's break in between my studies for crochet. That way, I concentrated on both of them equally."
Alina recently made a sofa-shaped tissue holder which gained a lot of appreciation from her family and friends. The best part about her work is that she recycles the leftover crochet materials to make handbags, doormats and table mats.
"It is a good exercise for the hands and also increases concentration levels. Crochet is definitely a stress buster for me and I can do it at any given time," says Alina.