1. What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Tracey Maniluwhua-Rivers. Just about everyone calls me Tee.
I’m originally from Sedona Arizona. I’ve been living in the North East for about 35 years now. My Family and I currently live in Bergen County NJ.
2. What is your craft? How long have you been crafting? And how did you learn?
I Knit and Crochet. I specialize in Custom Made Hand Knitwear and Crochet Designs. I also like to design Cowls. I’ve been Knitting and Crocheting for 43 years. I began to design and take it seriously about 26 years ago. I have a preference for Lace and Fingering Weight Yarn, and US sizes 00 through 6 Knitting Needles and those lil Steel Crochet Hooks. My Mom taught both Art Forms to me when I was 7 years old. She made sure that myself and my siblings: 3 Brothers and 3 Sisters, all knew how to Knit and Crochet. My Mom was a Gemologist by trade, but she would also Knit and Crochet for Movie Sets, Broadway Theater, and Dance Companies in her spare time. My Dad was an Architect, and my Mom taught him how to Knit and Crochet too. He did really well! My Parents also instilled the love of Traveling the World in all of us. Combining both the love of the Art Forms of Knitting and Crochet and World Travel, equals making sure that I find a Yarn Shop and Maker Community in whatever Continent or Country we visit.
3. What is your favorite project?
That’s a hard question… I guess I’m proud of all of them, because it’s amazing how we can turn Yarn into beautiful Garments and Accessories. If I had to pick one, I’d have to say that it’s the sweater that I designed using the beautiful charcoal grey alpaca fingering weight yarn that my Mom had in her amazing yarn stash. My mom asked me to go into her yarn stash, pick out a sweaters worth of yarn that I loved, and design a sweater. I followed her instructions, and I cast on while I was visiting her. I would return each time, and show her my progress, and I finished the sweater at one of our visits. She loved it!
4. Who is your crafting inspiration?
Most definitely my Mom, as well as many of the Talented Makers that I’m blessed to be connected with. Last but most certainly not least, I have to say Shirley Paden: Master Hand Knitwear and Crochet Designer and Author of Knitwear Design Workshop, and a new Book that will be released shortly. She’s not only my Design Mentor, she’s also a Warm Spirited, Zen Spirited, Friend and Confidant.
5. What advice would you give a fellow woman of color who has just begun her crafting journey?
I’d say to always be true to themselves and follow their own dreams, and be confident in the decisions that they make in Life, and as Makers. My Parents always taught my siblings and I to take lots of pride in whatever we did, and absolutely keep in mind that all gifts and talents come from a Source that is so very much Higher than us, and that we are all very much instrumental in making a positive difference in the world. I’ve applied that advice to Life, Work, as well as Knitting and Crocheting.
6. How can we connect with you?
Facebook: T Maniluwhua Rivers Designs
Thank you for sharing with us Tee!