She studied economics and maths at university, but her first love has always been design and textiles. Mel started by creating quilts and pillows which she sold at a local market. When her children were little she began designing knits, making little multi-coloured cardigans and Guernsey. This lead to knitting some cardigans for herself. Her friends loved her designs so much that she found herself knitting for other people. Spurred on by their enthusiasm, she took samples to a trade show in New York and came home with a book full of orders. For the next few years her designs were sold to stores and she designed for a couple of catalogue companies, but she didn't start designing patterns for knitters until she opened her yarn shop in California.
“I love design in all forms: architecture, furniture, fashion, art, but most of all I subscribe to Grace Coddington’s advice to always be looking and observing, she says. “I am inspired by thoughtful and intelligent design. Uniqueness is often subtle and a garment might read as something you've seen before until you start noticing the details. I strive to incorporate a little of that into my work.”