Meet Aurora’s family: The Chronicles of Yarnia

Regular readers of The Northern Light are familiar with Aurora Boreowlis, the small green owl mascot of the paper. Thanks to The Chronicles of Yarnia, Aurora has made the leap from a two-dimensional drawing to a three-dimensional, huggable plush. 

Siena Moyer created Aurora for The Northern Light during summer of 2019. Photo by Robert Gant.

Siena Moyer is credited with the creation of the TNL office’s newest employee. Moyer used the existing digital renderings of the mascot as a reference and created an original pattern that came to fruition in two short days. She fashioned Aurora out of various colors of acrylic yarn and craft stuffing. 

Moyer is a junior mathematics and engineering major who finds respite in crocheting improvised Amigurumi plushies. Amigurumi is a Japanese technique of crocheting yarn into circular patterns that form stylized plush figures.

An Amigurumi plush starts with a basic, round, crocheted form filled with craft stuffing. Photo by Siena Moyer.

“Amigurumi could be the next Beanie Baby, only handmade,” the founder of Etsy, Robert Kalin, said to Craftzine.

Moyer taught herself this technique in high school for her senior project. She wanted to donate stuffed animals to the children’s hospital, so she watched Amigurumi tutorials on YouTube and soon began churning out plushies. Moyer is currently crocheting Amigurumi Care Bears for seniors with dementia at Horizon House.

“My freshman year of college, I went to Campus Kickoff and the [Chronicles of Yarnia] booth was there,” Moyer said. “I’m a math major and all of the math is really hard, so just going [to club meetings] and crocheting is a helpful way for me to destress.”

The Chronicles of Yarnia’s club logo. Image courtesy of The Chronicles of Yarnia club.

The Chronicles of Yarnia has been an area for students to destress with fiber works since its inception. Cameron Nay, now the director of the Learning Commons, was a founding adviser of the organization. 

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Nay and his coworkers from the Learning Commons all shared the hobby of crocheting, so they founded The Chronicles of Yarnia as a space for “a Spenardian-type crowd of college-age students that are enthusiastic about everything yarn-related,” Nay said. 

Henderson’s bin of yarn will be available for use at The Chronicles of Yarnia’s upcoming meetings while supplies last. Photo by Caelea Henderson.

The founding members graduated the following year, and new members quickly filled their shoes.

“I’ve seen a lot of clubs start and they usually disappear once people graduate,” Nay said. “[The Chronicles of Yarnia] surprised me, it’s still going.”

Nay cited the active recruitment of new students and The Chronicles of Yarnia’s high visibility as a reason for their success. The club is open to all skill levels.

“From the beginning, [The Chronicles of Yarnia] has always been very inclusive and welcoming to everyone,” Nay said. “Anyone that’s involved loves teaching others how to knit and crochet.”

The upcoming president of The Chronicles of Yarnia is Caelea Henderson. Henderson is a sophomore psychology major determined to make the club an even more accessible experience.

“I personally will be bringing in my yarn tubs to donate [to The Chronicles of Yarnia] because I have a lot of yarn I really don’t need,” Henderson said. “I really love the casual atmosphere of the club in general. You can come and go as you please, it’s not too intense.

Students looking to become a part of the club that crocheted Aurora Boreowlis can learn more about The Chronicles of Yarnia by visiting their Facebook page or emailing [email protected] The Chronicles of Yarnia meets on Mondays in Cuddy Hall, times to be announced.