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Nancy Winarick

Shelter Island, NY

"floor decor and yarn genius"
I have had a love affair with yarn ever since my aunt taught me how to knit when I was six. Knitting and crochet have always been a big part of my life.

I am a compulsively creative person; I feel a need to be making something special all the time, knitting and yarn have always provided me with that outlet.

At various times over the years - when I felt lost, personally or professionally - I would chant to myself, “the yarn will take care of me, the yarn will take care of me” and it did; through a hippie life in Haight Ashbury, being a single working mom in Manhattan, doing the money making thing; and it continues to do so now, as I look to what’s next…

I have always loved fashion and my two loves came together in a long and successful career as a knitwear designer in the fashion industry. I have had the privilege of working for some of the best houses such as Vera Wang, The Row, Carolina Herrera, Isaac Mizrahi, and Diane van Furstenberg. During this time, I have been fortunate enough to work with the world’s finest yarns and knitwear factories.

I have had no formal training, I am self-taught and always learning on the job, working my way up. All the while working away in high fashion and big business, I always had a leaning towards hand knitting; at one point I even opened a yarn shop for hand-knitters in East Hampton, New York called Knitlove.

In 2009, true to my creative ways, I began a wonderful and crazy adventure with my husband, Richard. We bought some land on a remote part of the Pacific coast of Mexico, and proceeded to design and build our dream home.

Sandy feet, barefoot beach living - we needed rugs.. So I started making them for our palalpas, for fun, from yarn I had accumulated over the years.

The making of these rugs was, and is, so liberating compared to the stress and structure of the meetings, fittings and deadlines of the fashion world.

I soon learned that a few women in our Mexican village were excellent crocheters, and I needed help. We began working together and I found them to be delightful, capable, and eager to try new things. I also love learning to communicate in a new language and working with ladies who seem outwardly so different from myself. It is such a pleasure to witness their new sense of self worth and to see them enjoy their much-needed financial reward. We really enjoy working together.

Over the years, I have amassed a vast archive of inspirational materials; books, magazines, yarn, and vintage knitwear. I like structure - I am a recipe follower - and so I usually start with some kind of reference, then I tweak it by using a totally different yarn or by modifying an original design in one way or another. I am particularly inspired by Victorian needle arts, and you can see that influence in many of my rugs. Often, simply though, the yarn itself inspires me…

My rug making continues to evolve with a seemingly endless array of ideas - a true synthesis of my years of knitwear design and my own creativity… a true work in progress.

Enjoy :)
Wescover creator since 2018

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