Designer, wife, mother, exploration of ideas and culture is my thing.
Having graduated from Parson’s School of Design and spending twelve years on New York’s infamous Seventh Avenue jetting back and forth between Europe and Hong Kong developing sample lines, Michele Woodford decided simpler is better. Taking up ”two needles” after raising two children and helping her husband build a menswear consulting business has been a passion realized. “I have always loved making something out of nothing...(well, not NOTHING......gorgeous yarn, fabric, beads, antique lace...)
“Taking up a strand of yarn and imagining the delicious possibilities is my personal version of zen.”
One of her New York work stints included eight years designing for the Calvin Klein collection from 1978 through 1986.
“I had just been hired out of school as a general design assistant in the women’s studio when the knitwear designer was fired. Calvin came running into the studio waving the head designers sweater sketches yelling about HOW are we going to get sweaters for the SHOW, no one here knows how to KNIT! I was the one out of six of us who meekly said that I knew how to knit. Less than twenty-four hours later I found myself on a Pan Am 747 to Hong Kong with a production manager. I was a wreck. I had learned at age five and I knew how to knit with two needles! Not direct a factory full of knitting technicians to make sweaters! What did I do to calm down? Knit swatches of course.”
It all turned out fine and into a dream job, and, at Calvin Klein Ltd. that’s where Michele met Nancy Thomas, one of the Butterick executives revitalizing Vogue Knitting Magazine. It was a heady time for knitters in the 80’s. Designers were turning out real hand knits in great yarns and Vogue Knitting began including patterns from the “in” designers of the time. Michele worked behind the scenes doing the CK editorials and dabbled in her own editorials between marriage, children and that whole doing life thing.
“After almost three decades of designing behind the scenes in various forms I have the time to do my own thing (well, the determination to fit it in!) I still feel like that 9 year old who hid in the woods behind my house twisting little bits of yarns into pleasing color combinations pondering my next project. I couldn’t be happier that knitting and crocheting are “back”. For me they never left, others of my generation just missed out on this blissful activity. Let’s keep spreading the bliss.”
music, knitting, film, design, writing, sewing, crochet, illustration, art and costume history, and design of all sorts!