Fairmount Fibers is proud to have established relationships with so many talented designers. In today’s post, we’d like to put a spotlight on designer Michele Wang. Michele is the featured designer for the 2016 pattern collection released in July. Her sweater designs in the collection are richly textured and cozy. We reached out to Michele asking if she would share a bit of her background and experience working with Manos del Uruguay yarns. She was generous and kind with her time and we’re pleased to share her responses with you!
How did you first come to work with Manos yarns?
When I first started knitting, I visited Purl Soho and remember very clearly seeing Manos yarns for the first time. The colors were so beautiful and the rustic texture to the Clasica really caught my eye. Since I was a beginner, I thought I would indulge in such beautiful yarn when I became more experienced. A few years later, I started working at Knitty City in NYC and played around with some Maxima and Serena yarns. I only swatched the yarns and never found time to work them into a project. When I was approached to be the featured designer for this collection, I was thrilled I could finally work closely and more in-depth with Manos which had caught my eyes so many years earlier.
How did you get started knitting / crocheting / designing? Who taught you?
I started knitting for many different reasons. I had just run the NYC Marathon and was looking for something that was more relaxing and sedentary. I was also working at a corporate job that I didn’t like very much. So I always had my eye out for distractions that could possibly turn into another career. A friend suggested I try knitting since I always had an interest in textiles and fashion. I loved the idea of working with my hands, comfortably sitting on my couch and the idea of possibly opening a yarn store.
Do you have a favorite base or colorway in the Manos Yarn line?
While working on this collection, I would have said Maxima in Sand, the yarn used for Morilla. It’s such a beautiful soft color and soft yet sturdy base. But I’d have to say that the new Milo is really lovely to work with. I love the slight sheen and interesting halo the linen gives the yarn. In addition to all the neutrals, I love the Baltico colorway. I saw it at TNNA in June, and that color seemed to glow from within and really stood out to me. I’d love to do something with Milo in the future!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I mostly draw inspiration from current trends and from the average New Yorker. I often spy something on the subway that can be translated into knitwear. Other times, I’m given direction by mood boards by yarn companies and publications and I use those as a springboard.
Do you have a great tip or trick we could share?
The most amazing tip is something I learned from Norah Gaughan. She suggested using the Alternate Cable Cast-On instead of a Tubular CO for 1×1 Ribbing. I’ve been using it ever since. It’s still fussier than a Long-Tail or Knitted-On Cast-On, but much less fussy than a Tubular Cast-On.
Michele has a YouTube channel! Check it out to see her video about her sweater designs in Manos Yarns!