What is Auriwear?

Auriwear is a brand of fantasy inspired knits and accessories by Johanna Kurkela. All items are unique. Designed and handmade by Johanna herself.

Ever since I can remember, I've loved stories and imaginary worlds. Things that have the power to elevate reality, such as music.

To me the word 'Auri' represents freedom of expression, unconventional beauty, transforming the mundane into something magical through following one's inner calling and celebrating this unique dance of life we each are given. With Auriwear, my dream is to now bring these qualities into a wearable form, spark imagination and empower the wearer to see the world in a new and inspiring light. 

For me as an artist, clothes have always been an integral part of
self expression. They have the power to make us shine, ignite our confidence and evoke dormant qualities we didn't even remember we possessed. Clothes tinged with fantasy have brought me joy, cultivated creativity and reminded my heart to cherish playfulness and new possibilities in life. It is these very qualities I wish to also impart through Auriwear.

Handmade knitted grey hooded vest

"Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it."
- Lloyd Alexander

All items are handmade, unique designs. As with my music, I like to let creativity flow freely, knit intuitively and share the results as they come. For this very reason I don't take in custom made orders. My yarns seem to have a mind of their own, and I just love the adventures they take me on! I never know where I will end up. And that's what I love about knitting the most.

The word "Phoenix" in the name of an item is a sign that it's partly or completely made of recycled materials. "

As you'll find, this Auriwear webshop is like opening a box of
chocolates, using the Wabbajack, or falling down the rabbit hole - you never know what you're going to find! I'll be adding new items as often as possible. So now, without further ado, speak 'friend' and enter, dear Fellow Adventurer! The Auriwear boutique is at your service. Browse to your heart's content. I hope you'll find a smile and some other treasures to brighten up your journey… Let's add a touch of magic to your day!

How it all began...

My grandmother Kerttu used to read stories to me and taught me how to knit when I was just a little girl. Ever since then, I've found solace in both: knitting and worlds of fantasy. Now looking back, I guess it was only a matter of time before those two dear worlds would amalgamate into Auriwear. On and off, I've been knitting pretty much my whole life. Mostly for my own amusement, but often also gifting friends and family with my creations. Still it wasn't until my band Auri started taking form that the idea of fantasy inspired knits finally sparked.

Around 2016 I was looking for an outfit to wear for the photoshoot of our (then) brand new band in the works called Auri. I was browsing online but couldn't really find what I was looking for, when suddenly, an idea sparked: “What if I tried making an outfit myself?” That question made me stumble upon the fascinating rabbit hole of Auriwear.

At this stage, I had mainly just knitted accessories and some other small projects. An undertaking this size was a fascinating challenge. I had no idea what I was doing. There weren’t any ready patterns to use, so I just started intuitively knitting, following every whim and vision, making slow progress through trials and endless errors, until finally I had made my very first fantasy inspired garment.

I felt exhilarated! Like standing at the precipice of some new and intoxicating world one had just discovered existed! I couldn’t wait to knit more. I loved the look of my first creation, but for what I had in mind, the colour wasn't right. So, next up, I grabbed some slightly shimmering grey yarn, which, combined with a hexagon knitting pattern I’d found online, instantly made me think of chainmail. Perfect! And there, weeks and weeks later, finally emerged the outfit I wore to our first ever Auri photoshoot in 2017.

From there it all started unraveling... Next up was an experiment on a knitted gown with a high low hem, which still to this day, remains my biggest undertaking so far. The hem took me forever to finish. I had to knit and take it apart three times before I got it right, but finally it yielded and the gown was ready to be worn in our second Auri album photo shoot in 2021.

I soon realised most of my ideas sparked from yarns themselves, their qualities and colors. It was as if they'd suddenly started whispering to me, the same way as music did while writing songs. I continued knitting and experimenting, making outfits and accessories. And somewhere along the road, I also found myself dreaming of a way to somehow share this inspiring new realm of fantasy with the world one day.

For years, the dream of Auriwear haunted my treasure maps, lying in wait for that "someday" I, to be honest, wasn't even sure would ever come. I guess, in that sense, I was a bit like Bilbo Baggins. For the longest time, I didn't feel particularly ready to set out on my adventure either. Not until in 2021, my dear band mates from Eye of Melian came "knocking on my door” and asked if I could knit something for the crowdfunding campaign for our debut album 'Legends of Light', we were putting together at the time. And there it suddenly was! The epochal push that finally propelled me to take the first step, start putting together my own webshop and leap towards whatever new adventures were waiting up ahead for me with Auriwear…

...And now, finally, here we are! The day has arrived when you, dear visitor, are reading this, the dream is alive and Auriwear webshop is up and running! I hope you’ll find joy, encouragement, comfort and the same wide Cheshire Cat smile I had while making these items. May they whisper of your own uniqueness, spark your imagination and make your heart soar, so that even amidst the darkest shadows, the song of your path will sing to you clearly and help you remember the unique inextinguishable light that you are. 

With Love,


"Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen." 
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe