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Designers 5 minutes with Michele Wang on LoveKnitting

Published on April 8th, 2016 | by Angie

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5 minutes with Michele Wang

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Designer of all things chic and accessible, Michele Wang is known for her signature classy chic style and versatile knitwear patterns. 

5 minutes with Michele Wang: download her Novak shawl knitting pattern at LoveKnittingAbove: Novak Shawl by Michele Wang – click this image to download the pattern

Hello, Michele! We love your simple chic knitwear designs – can you tell us how you got started designing?

 I started knitting almost 10 years ago in July of 2006. I remember it so clearly. I was talking with a friend about how I wanted to pick up a new hobby and he suggested knitting, knowing I always had an interest in fashion design, textiles and working with my hands. I was getting ready to leave for a long July 4th weekend, and I bought some chunky yarn, huge plastic needles and a DVD on how to learn to knit.

I suspect like most, I couldn’t put down my needles! I finished knitting the tightest, bulkiest, garter stitch scarf that long weekend. I was immediately obsessed and fixated on knitting. I loved creating stitches, watching the yarn pull through the loops one at a time and I started scouring the internet and learning as much as I could from all the blogs and videos that were popping up.

I remember coming across a KAL that a blogger was hosting. I loved the pattern, so I bought some yarn and dove in. It was not the best pattern for a beginner. There was a lot of finishing, and eventually I frogged the project for many reasons – one of which was that my gauge was off. But I met two fantastic people through that KAL and they’re good friends to this day. Anyway, I also started taking some classes and met a wonderful designer who introduced me to sample knitting. It’s been an interesting windy road, but eventually I began to design myself.

 

Racked and ready for blocking. #swatches #knitweardesigner #blockingwires

A photo posted by @mishi2x on

Above: A shot from Michele’s Instagram

What does a typical day look like for you?

Since I started working for myself from my home, I’ve been trying to create a schedule and routine. It’s been difficult because once you work for yourself you wear so many hats. But in a fairly typical day, the first thing I do is sit down and go through e-mail. Some days I answer immediately, and some days I need some breathing room and reply to emails later. When I have a lot of designs in the works, I’ll be communicating with yarn companies or editors quite a bit regarding yarn choices, design elements and timelines. Most design work is done on the computer, so I spent the majority of my days charting out stitch patterns, creating schematics and proofing patterns. When I do have a spare moment, I love to sit down and swatch with some new yarn – swatching has become an indulgence. It’s a necessary step when coming up with a design, but I don’t get to do it as often as I like.

Interestingly enough, now that I work from home and work much longer hours than I did when I had a corporate job, I have to remind myself to get up, walk around and stay active. So I try to exercise midday before lunch, or in the evenings which forces me to end my workday.

5 minutes with Michele Wang - download her Seaview cardigan knitting pattern on LoveKnittingAbove: Seaview cardigan by Michele Wang – click this image to download the pattern

In an average day, what inspires you most?

 My inspiration has always been a combination of the knitter and the yarn. I like to look at the yarn and imagine what type of knitter would be attracted to that yarn, and go from there. And when I say yarn, I not only mean the physical yarn, but also the yarn company and what they have projected themselves to be. Every company has a personality which flows through the yarn and it attracts a certain person. I’m inspired by what I can imagine that person to be and what they’d like to knit and wear.

5 minutes with Michele Wang - download her WickerWork Pullover knitting pattern at LoveKnittingAbove: Wickerwork Pullover by Michele Wang – click this image to download the pattern

Do you ever have time to knit for yourself amongst all of your designing?

I do wish I had more time to knit for myself. But when I am able to cast-on for some selfish knitting, I tend to go for simple seamed pullovers. I find I would wear those the most, and because I’m a terrible in-public knitter, I need something simple. I can’t even watch television or listen to an audiobook when I knit. But if I’m knitting some stockinette, I can bring it along on trips, or when I knit with friends – which is one of the reasons I like seamed sweaters; the pieces are much more portable.

If you were a yarn, what would you be?

 Ha – this is a great question! I would be a Yak yarn. I’m incredibly fond of yak fiber. When I started spinning, I fell in love with it. I feel like it’s very misunderstood. I think people assume it’s going to be a very coarse fiber, but it’s the opposite. It’s very fine, soft and incredibly warm. Not to say I feel misunderstood, but I do like the saying, “Never judge a book by its cover.” 

5 minutes with Michele Wang - download her Corvina Sweater knitting pattern at LoveKnittingAbove: Corvina Sweater by Michele Wang – click this image to download the pattern

Thanks, Michele! If you want to keep up with Michele, click here to visit her blog.

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About the Author

Jack of all trades, Master of Netflix and video games. A musician by passion, a gamer by choice, and a crafter by chance: I write about knitting and crochet, design fun patterns, and blog at GamerCrafting!


Last updated: April 7th, 2016.

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