Behind The Stitches: Angela Mayhoe
First of all, I have SOOOOO missed doing these. I needed to take a second to recharge my batteries before I could dive into my blog and podcast again. But I’m back and I have some very special stories up my knitted sleeves for you! I couldn’t be happier that my first interview back is with one of my favorite yarnies on social media. This week we are getting to know Angela Mayhoe of @angelamayhoe and angelamayhoe.com!
Sam: Where are you from and where are you currently based?
Ange: I was born in LA, raised in Houston. I’ve been back in LA for the past 23 years and reside in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake area.
Sam: Have you always been a creative person? Where do you think your love of crafting comes from?
Ange: YES! I’ve always had a creative side. I would imagine living in different worlds as a kid and was constantly daydreaming about all of the places I wanted to visit (real and pretend). I also had a hand-me-down set of Fashion Plates – I would create so many outfits and rub all of my map pencils down to a nub.
My crafting bug came from my great-aunt Margaret – she made quilts, had a green thumb, and could cook/bake anything! I would help her plant flowers and sort out her quilting squares. She would also tell me the stories behind all of her old photos – she had great style! I remember a photo of her and my grandmother decked out in hats, tailored suits, and fur stoles. They were going to the train station on a trip – even though they came from a very humble background to me they looked like a million dollars! The creativity and dignity of that photo was imprinted on my subconscious – it expanded me to believe that I came from greatness and I would be destined to discover it.
Sam: What is your favorite thing to make?
Ange: I love projects that require a lot of time and detail. These types of projects provide me with a constant state of inspiration. Creating something over a period of time and being a witness to its creation is pure magic!
Sam: Are you more of a finished object or a process crafter?
Ange: I’m a finished object crafter. I like dedicating my time to one project, completing it, and starting fresh with another project. I’m also an anal neat/control freak crafter so my space has to be tidy to work. Too many uncertainties lying around my workspace is a no-go for me.
Sam: What are your must-have songs for the perfect knitting playlist?
Ange: Oddly enough, I never listen to music when I knit. I do, however, stream any type of BBC murder mystery/police drama show I can find and binge. I think I’ve seen ALL the shows – this can be a potential problem for my future!
“There were so many things that I wanted to pursue but I stuffed myself into the fashion design box. After launching my brand, I knew that I wanted to incorporate all of my interests and I found my way back to writing”
Sam: You once wrote that you find it easier to “create from a clean slate than to follow a pattern”. Can you talk more about that and can you walk us through your pattern-making process?
Ange: I had a knit “Guru” teach me how to knit and along with that she taught me how to make patterns so I learned to knit and make patterns at the same time. To be fair, I do have a BFA in Fashion Design so I already knew how to make patterns for clothing construction (which btw, I loathe) so I caught on fairly quickly. I’m also a visual learner so ALL those knitting abbreviations and symbols are too much for me in a pattern – I have to admit that I’ve been knitting for over 13 years and I still don’t know what half the abbreviations mean. I prefer to sketch out a design, create a swatch and do my own patterns. Sometimes I completely wing it and figure out the pattern after the garment is completed if I need to make it again – I would highly suggest against this tactic!
Sam: What does the perfect sweater look like to you?
Ange: It’s all about the sleeves, I’m addicted to a statement sleeve. My perfect sweater would have a huge textured statement sleeve with a bracelet length (right above the wrist). It would also have a slimmer long body that I could tuck into high-waisted pants and of course, it would be knitted in a bold color!
Sam: As someone who came from the fashion industry, what is something you’ve grown to appreciate about your handmade craft?
Ange: The flexibility. I love that in knitting, I’m always working with a loose piece of yarn and my hands are constantly forming it into a creation. For me, it’s also easier to manipulate than fabric – when you deal with fabric you have to let the fabric lead the way.
Sam: What is the most meaningful crafted object that you own? It doesn’t have to of been made by yourself.
Ange: My great-aunt’s pin cushion that she crafted herself.
Sam: Your post To Be Single, Gifted And Black spoke to my soul from the disclaimer to the last sentence. When did you realize that you are a writer?
Ange: I wrote poetry in high school and for a while, I wanted to be a poet. Over time, I stopped writing and focused solely on fashion design. There were so many things that I wanted to pursue but I stuffed myself into the fashion design box. After launching my brand, I knew that I wanted to incorporate all of my interests and I found my way back to writing. At first imposter syndrome kicked in but once I trusted myself and the process – the words started to flow again! It’s definitely something that I will continue to nurture – I’m excited to see where it takes me.
“When I’m creating time stands still and I go into a meditative state. I’m relaxed and whatever is going on outside of my workspace doesn’t matter”
Sam: Can you tell us a little bit about your collections, particularly the inspiration behind your shrunken cardigan?
Ange: Since the pandemic, I have shifted my focus and the brand structure. I felt it was necessary to offer collections because that’s what you do when you have a fashion brand. I now have realized that fitting into these pre-determined ideals just doesn’t work for me. I need to do what brings me comfort and excitement. Now the highlight of my brand is to offer more custom design pieces while keeping a curated core collection to offer twice a year.
The Shrunken Cardigan resides in that core collection. I created The Shrunken Cardigan with the idea of having a “no brainer” layer for any ensemble. I selfishly chose bracelet-length sleeves because I always wear bracelets on both wrists, the sleeves are semi-full volume because for me a statement sleeve is everything! The cropped style was developed to fall right above the waist to create a streamlined silhouette. To be transparent, I designed it for me!
Ange: Comfort, when I’m creating time stands still and I go into a meditative state. I’m relaxed and whatever is going on outside of my workspace doesn’t matter. Whether I’m writing, designing, or knitting – it all brings me ultimate joy.
Sam: What do you like to binge-watch or listen to while you craft?
Ange: I’m a HUGE murder mystery fan and the BBC is my go-to. The Agatha Christie murder mysteries are my favorite. I’m also into any period-piece dramas/movies – the costumes are a great inspiration.
I want to thank Angela for taking the time to chat with us! If you want to see more of Angela’s work you can follow her on Instagram @angelamayhoe and you can also visit her website to shop her knits and read more stories from her blog.
Who should I talk to next? Leave your suggestions in the comments section along with any thoughts you have about Angela’s interview. I’m always on the hunt for inspiring crafters. Also, don’t forget to follow along on my Instagram account @bobbleclubhouse for your daily dose of all things fiber. Until next time, happy crafting!