Say hello to Michelle @sproutandfae - our new ROTW!
Hey! Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Michelle! I’m a 24 y/o crochet designer born and raised in North Carolina. I’m an avid crafter, nature and animal lover, and former figure skater / coach. My passions are creating and teaching!
When did you start crafting and how?
This is a difficult question because I’ve always been a crafty person. My mom homeschooled me and my siblings and kept a large cache of craft supplies on hand when we were little. The first thing I ever sewed was a tote bag and the first thing I learned to crochet were doilies. I went through a loom knitting phase when I was around 10 and supplied my entire family with hats several winters in a row (still do). I think I found my real love of crafting through cosplay when I was a teenager. I loved to recreate dramatic, detailed gowns you’d see on high fantasy TV shows and movies. I dreamed of being a designer one day.
And how did you start designing?
I started designing and sewing my own clothing and figure skating dresses when I was about 14 and around this same time I started my first business making crystal jewelry. I enjoyed making jewelry but I wanted to work with a craft on a larger scale. I found a passion for it through crochet in the summer of 2020. I found with a few simple techniques I could really create any shape I wanted…I found my medium.
Do you have a favorite craft type and if so - why?
Yes - it’s got to be crochet, specifically bags lately! I love watching my working yarn transform into something beautiful. There’s a real freedom to it, you can really make anything you set your mind to. You may have to frog and try, try again, but the satisfaction that comes with finishing a project that took several revisions to get right is unmatched.
I also love to tie dye! You can really get crazy with different ties and color combinations. It’s definitely a messier craft than crochet, which I appreciate the convenience of. Yarn, hook, scissors, that’s all I need. Weaving in the ends can wait until later…
What was the longest project you worked on?
Probably my wedding dress! I used the Angel skirt + top patterns by Namaste and Crochet, this was the first written crochet pattern I ever followed. It took me about 2 weeks to finish.
And the shortest one? (excluding frogging! )
My Evil Eye bag! It’s such a simple design great for beginners, it’s basically two circles with some color changes. It’s one of the first bags I started selling in my shop.
What are you currently working on? Be honest - how many WIP do you have right now?
Currently I’m working on writing my patchwork halloween tote bag pattern and there’s about 20 granny squares and appliques strewn all over my desk. I’m also working on a snail bag custom order, a blanket for myself, and the Tiffany Cardigan by @hookloops_ on Instagram!
Which of your makes/designs are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my Fruit Jam Bag pattern, I think it really struck a chord with the cottagecore movement and stuck with people. It was one of the very first things I designed and took several revisions over the past 2 years before I finally released the pattern. It’s my baby!
What is your usual process of designing?
It all starts on my iPad on Procreate. I love the convenience of being able to change around colors quickly if something doesn’t look right. Sometimes designs pop into my head at 3am and I rush to write them down before I forget, other times I’ll sit down in the evening and just start sketching based on what season I want to design for and see where I end up. My goal is always to create something unique to me and my brand, but I do love to jump on a trend.
What inspires you to design?
I take my inspiration from nature and food mainly. I’ve always loved Japanese fashion and kawaii styles like sweet lolita, mori and fairy kei. I love loud, vibrant clothing and accessories. When I design a new bag I try to think about what kind of outfits and styles it could be worn with, the goal is for anyone to be able to wear them. I also adore seeing people use and complete my patterns, I want to inspire others to start crocheting and find the meditative joy in it that I do.
But honestly, the thing that drives me to keep creating is my desire to make my inner child proud. I’ve always wanted to have a career as an artist but wasn’t sure what medium I would end up with. While my parents always encouraged my art, there will always be negative voices who feel the need to chime in and tell you there’s no money in being an artist and that it’s a foolish career choice. This is very untrue, especially in this digital age, but most people look at me sideways when I tell them what I do. I’m not sure why, but there are never any follow up questions after I say “I have my own business, I’m a crochet designer. I mostly make bags and also sell patterns to other crafters.”. I was able to turn Sprout and Fae into my full time job earlier this year and it’s been the best choice I could have made for myself. To me, making art is rebellion. That drives me to keep creating.
You are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing.
Any favorite song, book or movie you would like to recommend?
Currently I’m pouring over the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. I’ve been obsessed with all things fantasy for years but recently I’ve really delved into all the hidden symbolism and nuance in Martin’s writing. I’m a huge fantasy nerd at heart.
Care to entertain us? Share a funny story that happened to you recently!
I knocked over my entire 32oz water bottle, spilling it all over the kitchen floor recently. It was like a violent waterfall in slow motion and I just stood there in shock. Does that count?
What is your favorite feature on Ribblr?
My favorite thing is how you can keep track of where you are in a pattern and mark off rows you’ve finished! Sometimes a lot of text and numbers all lumped together can be overwhelming for me, so this feature really helps keep me on the right track.
Pay it forward - your shoutout to a fellow Ribblr
I want to shoutout @MilliesCrochetHouse! Millie is a sweetheart who makes absolutely adorable amigurumi and appliques. I had the pleasure of working with her when she tested the Fruit Jam Bag pattern for me back in May! Go check out her shop!
Thanks so much for sharing!
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