Description



Modeled after the famous TV program called Inside the Actor's Studio, The Designer's Studio is the place where you will meet a well-known designer and read about her/his designing style, philosophy, most favorite techniques, publications, and many other interesting details of the creative world of knitwear designers. Our guests will be answering a set of 15 questions (the same for every guest) and you will have the opportunity to leave the comment or your question after the interview is posted. We will try to keep up with your questions. This is a very exciting project and I hope you will visit here often and will not miss any of the interviews posted here.


Faina Goberstein.

December 13, 2009

TODAY"S GUEST: LISA SHROYER

My head starts spinning when I am thinking about all the "hats" (figuratively speaking, but it could be literally also) that Lisa Shroyer is wearing. I do not know how she finds the time to do it all. She holds two jobs for Interweave Press: one is the Senior Editor of Interweave Knits magazine and the other one is the editor of Knitscene magazine.
I worked with Lisa when my designs were published in both of these magazines and I have to tell you that I was so thrilled to see how efficient, knowledgeable and logical she is. I even had to write and ask her (she probably laughed) how can she take a not very simple pattern written by a designer and shrink it to fit the place allowed in the magazine and... not miss a step in that pattern. Lisa wrote me a nice explanation of the process she takes to do this. Since she is working with many designers for each issue, she is very busy. Yet, when you communicate with her, you feel like you are the only one with whom she works. This takes some patience and professionalism.
Lisa also blogs for Knitting Daily , the online magazine. Today we are talking about Lisa Shroyer, the designer. Yes, she finds the time to do that too. Her designs range from very traditional to very modern and spontaneous. She works with many different types of yarn and designs for a good range of sizes including plus sizes. And here are her answers for this interview.

1. When did you start knitting (crocheting) and who taught you?
I started knitting around age 8. My mom, a lifelong knitter, taught me
to knit; she had, in turn, been taught by her mother. Having an expert
teacher at my elbow every night on the family room couch made it easy
for me to pick up the craft, and around age 14, I started knitting
sweaters obsessively. Fair Isle pullovers on little needles; big epic
Starmore Arans—I didn't know enough to know these were intimidating
projects!

2. When did you begin publishing your designs?
I started working for Interweave Press in early 2005. Participating in
the Interweave Knits staff project led me to my first published design
that year; since then, I've contributed lots of staff projects and
other patterns to Knitscene, Interweave Knits, and books.
Bandelier Socks from Interweave Knits Fall 2009

Dagger Lace Scarf from Knitscene Fall 2009

   

                                        Valkyrie Vest from Interweave Knits Weekend 2009
                                         Free download.

3. What is your most favorite knitting (crocheting) technique?
I love figuring out color combinations for stranded colorwork. For
large expanses of knitting, cables and texturework are really
fulfilling for me. BUT, my single most loved technique is mattress
stitch! I love seaming—the mechanics of it, the way well-planned
selvedges come together, the neatness you can achieve. And it means
the sweater is almost done.

4. When you thinking about some new design, what inspires you the most? Is it different every time? Could you give us some examples on
inspiration for some of your designs?

I'm writing a book right now, on plus-size sweaters for Interweave. I
spend all my free time brainstorming new designs, swatching, and
knitting these designs. My idea starts with a silhouette and a
construction, like "set-in sleeve with tunic length, mostly in
stockinette, but I want a graphic focal point." From that basic idea,
I turn to choosing yarns, then swatching the life out of the yarn
until a stitch pattern or combination of patterns strikes me. I find
inspiration in fashion and big-girl blogs, traditional knitting, and
my own lifelong obsession with sportswear—granpa cardigans, casual menswear, big collars, toggles, ribbing, sweaters as true outerwear.

5. What does your studio look like?
Right now, a mess. I work from home, so my studio is really my home office first, then a knitting studio. Big sliding glass doors look out on a stucco courtyard, where we grow vegetables in the summer. There's a lot of storage, and the yarn is pretty well tucked away, but I do have a large stash. I have a big desk with hutches overhead, and a vintage bookcase filled to the brim with magazines—copies of Interweave knits, Interweave Crochet, and Knitscene that I've worked on.

6. What is your most favorite place to knit (crochet)?
In my living room, a big round chair that spins 360 degrees and has a huge seat width. I can sit with my legs crossed and knit with plenty of room for my flying elbows—I'm a thrower and the movement is fairly dramatic! I can't knit on chairs with armrests.

7. Do you spin your own yarn?
No.

8. Do you belong to a knitting group?
No. I have in the past, but honestly, knitting is a solitary habit for me. It's the time I get to spend alone, concentrating on technical issues, watching TV, listening to music, zoning out. And I'm around knitting and knitters all day long with my job, so getting together to socialize about knitting is overload. I turn to other interests for social interactions.

9. Are you in touch with other designers and how do you communicate with the knitters who knit your designs?
As project manager for Interweave Knits, I correspond with designers all day long. We work out yarns, deadlines, pattern elements, and technical issues. I get to see a wealth of knitting. When we're planning photo shoots and all the garments are laid out, it's so inspiring to see, at a glance, 25 knits that 25 different designers labored over.

10. Where can we see your published designs?
You can see my work in past issues of Knitscene and Interweave Knits—check out interweavestore.com and do a search on my name. My book will be released in Fall 2010, and will offer something very different for the plus-sized knitter. I have 13 designs in the book, and the rest have been contributed by some of my favorite designers.

11. Do you teach classes? If yes, where do you teach?
No.

12. What would you like to tell knitters who are timid and do not believe they are skillful enough to knit some of your designs?
You can knit anything. Start with the most complex pattern if that's what inspires you—obsession with pattern, stitch, and final product are what will propel you through tough patches. Enjoy ripping out. Practice finishing. Fall in love with all the aspects of knitting, not just the knitting itself. If you can find a good teacher, set up regular and frequent personal lessons, because in the beginning you don't know what you don't know, and a teacher's experience is invaluable.

13. What are your plans in the near future?
Once I finish working on this book, I'm going on vacation—maybe Santa Fe; stay in a little adobe casita with a fireplace, a few bottles of wine, a hot tub…spend my time antique shopping, relaxing by the fire, eating New Mexican cuisine. Yes, that's my plan! If I knit anything, it will be totally for fun—maybe some intricately patterned tams, I've been wishing I had the time to make a few hats.

14. Can you share with us some of your latest designs?
I can't reveal any of the book designs, I'm sorry.

15. Would you like to add anything about yourself?
I am senior editor of Interweave Knits magazine and editor of the special issue Knitscene. I work from my home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I live with my partner Laurie, who's pursuing her PhD at the University of North Carolina. I'm an editor first, then a designer. Designing takes a lot of time for me—I often knit a sweater several times, ripping it out each time, before I'm happy. When a knitter sees a finished design, it looks so effortless—the patterns, the construction working together to such great effect. Believe me, good design rests on the ashes of unsuccessful design. Nothing is effortless about designing, knitting, and then writing, grading, and editing the pattern. But if it looks that way, the designer has done her job well.

FG: Lisa, thank you very much for this great interview. It is so interesting for me to know the behind the scenes work on a magazine and how different designers work on their creations. Good luck with your book. We all will be looking forward to see it.

To our reader: Thank you all for visiting the studio. As usually, you can use your chance to ask questions and do not forget to mention this project to your friends. Here are some other Lisa's designs:






 


November 28, 2009

TODAY'S GUEST: OLGA BURAYA-KEFELIAN

When I first saw very fresh, stylish, innovative and elegant designs of Olga Buraya-Kefelian I immediately became a big fan. Later I learned that she was born in Belarus. My both parents were from that place and I visited there a few times. That made me also proud and happy for Olga. I love to see people from my old country succeed professionally here in the US. Olga's designs are frequently published by Interweave Knits. Two of her designs are on the cover of two books and many others are in books, leaflets, and her own line of patterns called Knit Creations of a Curious Mind. I am sure there will be many more beautiful and fashionable designs by Olga Buraya-Kefelian in the future, so if you were not familiar with her work by now, I highly recommend to keep an eye on her publications. So, here is Olga herself answering our 15 questions.

1. When did you start knitting and who taught you?
I have been taught first by my mother at the tender age of 4. I remember it was cool weather outside and where I come from it’s a tradition for mothers to pass on the knowledge of the craft. Memory of the rust orange yarn and metal needles and wonky garter stitches. It was just a try out. When I was 7 my grandma taught me how to crochet and it stuck through my teenage years. I made my first sweater during my freshman year in Lyceum (High School equivalent).

2. When did you begin publishing your designs?
It was around 2006 when I have started blogging that I have been encouraged to share my designs with the rest of the knitting community. I have started contributing to various projects as well as self-publishing on my blog. Nowadays, thanks to Ravelry.com, managing self-publishing has become so much easier and accessible to wider public.

3. What is your most favorite knitting (crocheting) technique?
I would say provisional cast on method (with a crochet hook) and tubular cast on.

4. When are you thinking about some new design, what inspires you the most? Is it different every time? Could you give us some examples on inspiration for some of your designs?
Being fond of fashion I look through magazines and the current trends, but not all of them are wearable or can be easily transformed into everyday wear. I enjoy architectural publications and blogs. That is certainly a great inspirational source for me.

But every time it’s different, essence of color and natural surroundings are very easy and plentiful to work with. I think visiting new places and change of scenery plays an important role. The details that I have never noticed before may trigger brain sequence for an idea to be formed. I carry a sketchbook with me all the time, so if there are some unexpected ideas I come to ponder over I try to doodle it on the paper, so I can come back to it later and work it through into a design.

For Example, there is a top in Ori Ami Knits that has these draped vents and that was inspired by fish… just an anatomical part of it – gills. Process of creativity can’t be controlled, it just happens. I have way many ideas and not enough time for knitting them all, but I do my best though sometimes it is so obsessive that I can skip on sleep.
5. What does your studio look like?
I have turned my den into my studio. There is a desk, a comfortable chair, a good lamp, a bookcase, a huge tub of yarn, a dress form and a big window. I enjoy having a good flow of natural light when I work.

6. What is your most favorite place to knit (crochet)?
I would say my Ikea Poang chair. It was referred once that I “live” in that chair.

7. Do you spin your own yarn?
No I don't spin my own yarn, I tried designing once with some handspun and it is a challenge for me as I prefer more solid colors and base my designs on the cut and texture rather than the beautiful yarn on its own. I do own couple handspun skeins, but they are more for admiration. They were gifts from friends!

8. Do you belong to a knitting group?
I do actually belong to a group that is meeting in a local yarn shop every Wednesday night and I am going to miss them dearly due to my upcoming move. But I must say I have already got in touch with couple of knitters in a new place and they are eager to start a new knitting group there!

9. Are you in touch with other designers and how do you communicate with the knitters who knit your designs?
Email, Twitter, Skype, Google chat are my mostly used methods of communication with the other designers. We try to meet up when they are in the area. As for the knitters making my designs I get lots of messages via Ravelry and regular email as well and it always makes me smile when people leave comments on my blog!

10. Where can we see your published designs?
My self-published designs you can find on my website, there right on the sidebar, they are also available through Ravelry.

I have a design in Knitty.com. Sensual Knits and Pure Knits have my designs on the covers. There are also couple designs in Pints and Purls book and I have published designs in Interweave Knits and Crochet magazines. I collaborate with yarn companies, some of the designs you can see from Blue Sky Alpacas, Spud & Chloe and Shibui Knits.

11. Do you teach classes? If yes, where do you teach?
I did teach classes in the area. First, I was teaching for Knit a go-go company that covered majority of Metro DC area and then at Knit Happens, a local yarn shop here in Alexandria, VA. I have been also conducting numerous private classes as well. Once moved, I hope to teach again in Japan.

12. What would you like to tell knitters who are timid and do not believe they are skilful enough to knit some of your designs?
My biggest advice to knitters is to believe they can do it and keep improving their skills by knitting more projects. The more various techniques you explore the wider range you create for yourself. At the same time, never be arrogant in your knowledge, there is always so much more to learn. Stay open to suggestions when others give you tips on knitting. Knitting is like a language; every person gives it their own interpretation, its voice and accent. I would never tell anyone that they are holding their needles or knitting/purling wrong. It’s personal to everyone.

13. What are your plans in the near future?
You never know what future holds for you, but currently I am planning to continue designing and publishing my designs on my website as well as collaborating with other wonderful people in the industry. Teach more knitting workshops and share what I know and passionate about.

14. Can you share with us what your latest design is?

Absolutely, but it would be a bit of a challenge as is not just a design, it is a range of designs that I have created for my book in collaboration with a great photographer Vanessa Yap-Einbund, ORI AMI KNITS: Fiber Geometry. Ori from Japanese means Fold or Weave, Ami is from Amimono, which means to knit. The garments were conceived with geometrical detail or structure in mind while exploring amazing fibers of present market. It’s all about versatility of the garments, cool cuts and interesting details, but at the same time all of them are suitable for an intermediate knitter. You can read more about it here.

15. Would you like to add anything about yourself?
I come from eastern European country of Belarus, where winters are Minnesota like.. very long and cold..
I was born to a family of a seamstress and my dad was in the USSR Army. Thanks to that, as a child I got to travel and live in Cuba for two years, which was very hot, exotic and memorable. Traveling became a passion later on and with the iron curtain fall we have gotten to travel around Europe and visit USA for the first time. Currently, I am in process of moving to Japan along with my military spouse, as you can see passion for travel and exploration is still here and we are going to be stationed there for the next 3 years. I am a linguist by education, so I hope to teach both English and Knitting/Crochet when I am there. I am thrilled for a chance to get acquainted with a new culture face to face and learn what I can.

FG: Thank you, Olga, for giving us a chance to get to know. I am very thankful for your time before your big move to Japan. Good luck to you and I am sure we will see some fabulous designs influenced by your surroundings there. Since you were modest about showing your designs here, I will choose a few myself.



OBK:
Thank you so much, Faina, for hosting me here and giving such an amazing opportunity to speak to your readers! Wishing all the best with your knitting endeavors!


To the reader:
Please leave your comments for Olga below, if you have any questions for her.

November 13, 2009

TODAY'S GUEST: SHANNON OKEY

If you are connected with the knitting world in some way you most likely know who Shannon Okey is. It is not an easy task to find one word to describe what Shannon does. Let me try to list the things I know about her: she is an author of many craft books, a designer, the former editor of the UK-based knitting magazine called Yarn Forward, a knitter, a spinner, the owner of Knitgrrl Sudio, the founder of designer-owned Stitch Cooperative, a publisher, and a media consultant. Shannon's articles can be found on Knitty.com and her videos on U-tube. I am sure I have missed something here. One thing that can be said about Shannon is that she has such a contagious and exhilarating passion about fiber arts and crafts that you want to follow her work. Here is what she told us herself.

1. When did you start knitting (crocheting) and who taught you?

I got a relatively late start (in my 20s) and though my favorite aunt taught me the basics, Lucy Lee at Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA is the one who really taught me. I'd been working on the same scarf for about 4 years -- its ball of yarn is still in my stash! -- and was so incredibly bored with it, I can't even tell you. So I walked into Lucy's shop, said, "ok, I've been knitting this same scarf for ages, I hate scarves, I want to knit a cardigan." And she said, "what color?" This is why she's so amazing. She doesn't do the typical "no, you can't even finish a scarf, forget a cardigan" routine. A month later -- pow! cardigan. Lucy also taught me to spin in 5 minutes. She is a miracle worker, and her hand-dyed yarn is amazing, too.

2. When did you begin publishing your designs?

In my first book, Knitgrrl (2005). I gave away a lot of one-off designs before I started to actually write them down!

3. What is your most favorite knitting (crocheting) technique?

Provisional cast ons used for felting -- it's one of my signature "tricks," you can use it in many different ways.

4. When you are thinking about some new design, what inspires you the most? Is it different every time? Could you give us some examples on inspiration for some of your designs?

Color is a big factor -- Maize came about because although I'd bought the yellow yarn to re-knit another design of mine that wasn't working in its current incarnation, I sat down with the needles and just said...ok, wow, this wants to be something corn-like! Whether I'm reading a book, in my studio or driving around, Cleveland (where I live) is an awfully colorful place if you know where to look. For example: this image which I recently published on my site:
I was waiting for some Thai takeout, and decided to take a drive around that neighborhood, which is close to downtown. It's very industrial, and some of the city views are like no other -- when you're located on a lake, the only other way to look at downtown is from the water! Check out some of these colors, from graffiti to leaves to rotting painted tanks. How could those colors NOT inspire you?

The recycled wool scarves I make, and wet felted scarves, owe a lot to the colors I see around me.


5. What does your studio look like?

I recently did a virtual studio tour -- you can see a Flickr set of images here. But this is the executive summary:

You can also see a short video here. In addition, I often work at home, and then I'm curled up on the couch, for the most part!

6. What is your most favorite place to knit (crochet)?

Hands down, the couch. I just recovered all its pillows in Amy Butler "Primrose" fabric and plumped them up with extra stuffing. I sit down and am suddenly surrounded by beasts (my 2 cats and dachshund).

7. Do you spin your own yarn?

Yes, I have three wheels and who knows how many spindles at last count -- and as a Louet Yarns dealer, I teach a lot of other people to spin, too!

8. Do you belong to a knitting group?

Technically, yes (SnB Cleveland) but I'm often too busy to go, which is sad.

9. Are you in touch with other designers and how do you communicate with the knitters who knit your designs?

Constantly, and in a variety of mediums -- I'm very active in social media, so Twitter, Ravelry, Facebook and my own website are the major ways I reach people. In addition, Stitch Cooperative, the designer-managed pattern coop I founded, has an active internal mailing list, so I talk to them almost every day!

10. Where can we see your published designs?

On Ravelry, and on my own website.

11. Do you teach classes? If yes, where do you teach?

Yes, at Knitgrrl Studio and all around North America (there, that includes the Canadians, yes?)!

12. What would you like to tell knitters who are timid and do not believe they are skillful enough to knit some of your designs?

Listen, if I can knit it, you can knit it. I'm very much of the opinion that people limit themselves -- you are smart! If you can do knit and purl, trust me, you can knit anything I can. If you're having a difficult time with a technique, you just haven't found the right way to learn it yet. Some people learn very well from photos, some do best with oral instructions, some need to physically have someone help them make the stitch motions in order to understand what's happening. Find a different way to learn whatever is giving you problems. I taught knitting in a booth at Maker Faire in San Francisco a few years ago and had everyone you could think of stopping to try -- I think the men and children had the easiest time because they had no preconceived notions that "knitting is hard." There are enough roadblocks in life, you don't need to make more for yourseld!

13. What are your plans in the near future?

I've revived my publishing company, and have several new titles on the way from both myself and other authors. The first book we put out, in 2007, was by Jonelle Raffino of South West Trading Company. I'm planning a digital reissue of that, too!
14. Can you share with us some of your latest designs?

Metis, Ennis Ulrike, and Piri, are the newest to hit the block -- but I have an entire booklet of patterns I've been working on this year called Knitgrrl CSA: Farm Fresh Knits. I'm hoping to have it out before year's end.

15. Would you like to add anything about yourself?

Can I have a nap now?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FG: Thank you, Shannon, for taking the time from your very busy schedule (I even feel bad a little bit now that I asked you to do this:) but I do hope you had fun answering these questions.
Yes, you can have your nap now :):):)

I know I am speaking for our readers saying that it was great to get a glimpse of how Shannon works and what inspires her as a designer and an author. I also wanted to add that she publishes her designs in other publications like magazines. Here are the two examples: the left photo is Mosaic from
Yarn Forward Magazine No. 18, October 2009 and the photo on the right is





Thank you for visiting The Designer's Studio. You can leave your questions and comments for Shannon, if you wish. Tell your friends to come over and read the interviews posted here. There are many more coming.

October 28, 2009

TODAY'S GUEST: FAINA M. LETOUTCHAIA

I am very pleased and honored to begin this series of interviews with a very special and brave (you have got to be brave to be the first in the unknown project :)) Faina Letoutchaia. Many of her designs one way or another show some connection with Russia where she was born and raised. I knew her wonderful designs long before I knew her personally. My first introduction to her designs was through her Faina's scarf. It is a small, but unforgettable project that shows the essence of her design style: elegant, stylish, light in appearance, and interesting in technique. Once you see one of her designs, you will never forget it. And nowI will let you enjoy her answers to the following 15 questions.

  1. When did you start knitting and who taught you?

I don’t remember when I started knitting. I believe, my mother taught me, but I don’t remember being taught. From the time I remember myself, I always went with any knitting question to my mom. My mother was left-handed and it was a big surprise to me to discover one day that I can’t help her with knitting a sweater (most probably it was for my brother) and I couldn’t because all the stitches went in the wrong way (and we didn’t have circular needles back then). It was a big puzzle for me!

  1. When did you begin publishing your designs?

My very first publication was in 2001, in "FiberTrends", called Faina’s Scarf. It was a very successful design; it was used for several years in FiberTrends' ad.

  1. What is your most favorite knitting technique?

Any technique that requires attention and "knitting acrobatics". There are a lot of beautiful, fantastic designs done in Garter or Stockinette stitch, but just a thought of doing that much in plain stitch puts me to sleep, doesn’t matter how much I may like the finished garment. But if I have to manipulate yarn a lot, or handle two or three strands of yarn at the same time – I love it.

  1. When you are thinking about some new design, what inspires you the most? Is it different every time? Could you give us some examples on inspiration for some of your designs?

It’s different every time. The only thing that stays the same is that I have to have the whole thing ready and visualized in my mind before I can get down to technical work. For example, the inspiration for the Forest Path shawl came from entrelac technique itself. I thought that if I make the entrelac squares big enough, I could put some stitch design inside each square. Then, of course, the yarn should be fine; otherwise squares would be of enormous size. For the lace scarf I just finished and didn’t write the pattern yet, the inspiration came from my daughter’s pet turtle (I just love this little animal).

  1. What does your studio look like?

Like a complete and horrible mess. Enter at your own risk. Everybody who enters my home is advised to keep the shoes on to avoid sewing pin injury. What is a house cleaning, anyway?

  1. What is your most favorite place to knit?

I am no different from the most of knitters – the sofa in front of TV :) I justify it by saying that I have to keep my English sharp and it means that I need at least to listen to people talking, and TV is the easiest way to do it.

7. Do you spin your own yarn?

Spinning attracted me always, but back in Russia I did not know anybody who could spin, which is no wonder in a big city. I started spinning late in my life and mostly for these reasons: – I couldn’t find lace yarns that I really liked (in 1990s there were no such good lace yarns available as we have now)

- Out of curiosity and the desire to understand yarns and textiles better

-There were spinners all around me.

Spinning became an immediate addiction for me and this addiction took me on a fascinating trip through time and around the world. Gradually I developed my own preferences in fibers and spinning techniques. I now have four spinning wheels (one needs some serious work to become functional) and I am ashamed to admit the number of spindles I have. I have some very beautiful spindles by famous spindle makers like Jonathan Bosworth and Edward Tabachek, and some by unknown masters. I have a small collection of antique supported spindles from Bulgaria, Serbia, and France. I have a fabulous spindle from Peru, a gift from Abby Franquemont. This is my favorite Tibetan spindle by E. Tabachek:

I consider spinning a museum skill. We can keep artifacts from the past in museums under the glass and in controlled temperature environment, but it’s impossible to keep people’s skills under the glass, the skill has to be practiced by living people and passed down from generation to generation. If this process is interrupted, the skill is lost. And with it the part of our history as human beings is lost too. For example, many spinners are completely puzzled by medieval paintings depicting spinners, because there we see spindles and hand positions that are different from what we are used to seeing now. Fortunately, we have people in Andes and Turkey who continue to use this technique. When I spin, I feel the thread of time going through my hands, the thread that connects me with all the generations of people who lived before me and I hope I am doing my part in keeping spinning alive.

8. Do you belong to a knitting group?

I have a fantastic group that meets weekly in a local bookstore (popular joke – you know you are an American if you go to the bookstore for a cup of coffee; I would add – you know you are a knitter if you go to the bookstore to meet with your friends). We have been meeting for number of years and went through good and bad times together. Additional bonus – Sharon Winsauer of the Heere Be Dragone fame is a member of this group.

I am also a member of a Lace Club – a group of dedicated lace knitters. We meet once a month to discuss lace knitting. Additional bonus – Sharon Winsauer is a member of this group.

And I am a member of Flock University, the spinning guild.

9. Are you in touch with other designers and how do you communicate with the knitters who knit your designs?

I am very, very lucky – Sharon Winsauer lives just some 10 miles from me and I see her every week. I have seen all her patterns in development and as finished shawls.

I am very lucky to have Faina, my namesake and the host of this blog as my dear and close friend. It’s incredible, we met here, far from the country where we were born and grew up and the friendship just clicked on. I feel like I knew Faina from my kindergarten days.

The rest of my communications with knitters and designers comes mostly from Yahoo groups – Laceknitters, Spin-List, Spindlitis, KBTH (Knitting Beyond the Hebrides; it’s a group that discuss traditional knitting techniques and patterns done in traditional techniques).

10.Where can we see your published designs?


I have two patterns Baltic Sea Shawl (on the photo to the left the shawl is made by one member on Ravelry.com) and Faina's Scarf published in FiberTrends, Forest Path Stole in Interweave Knits, Summer 2003 and later it was chosen for the book The Best of Interweave Knits . Snegurochka's Party Hat was published in Handknit Holidays , and my latest pattern Old Garden Scarf was published in the All New Homespun Handknit by Interweave Press.


11. Do you teach classes? If yes, where do you teach?

I have been teaching for many years in my local yarn store, but unfortunately, for last two years I haven’t been teaching. I have to go back to teaching; I really love to do it.

12.What would you like to tell knitters who are timid and do not believe they are skillful enough to knit some of your designs?

Try it anyway. Try it on some leftover yarn, or get some very inexpensive crochet cotton yarn from Michael’s or Hobby-Lobby and practice. Do not try it using expensive yarn; it may freeze you with fear of throwing away (if you are not successful) such a nice yarn. But something you do not put much value on may help you to overcome your fear of lace. Then you will see that all this is very easy – just yarn over, knit two together.

13. What are your plans in the near future?

I have three new designs finished and just have to write down the patterns. Then I am planning to sell those patterns on Etsy. I am also working on the book/video about finishing techniques. I hope it will be done in a near future.

14.Can you share with us what your latest designs?

Sure. Here are the three new designs that will be sold in my Etsy shop.

Pichinchus and Torrence of Spring

and Turtle Creek.

15. Would you like to add anything about yourself?

It feels like I have been talking about myself for too long now. I have a husband (he is a math professor); a daughter (she is six months away from being a certified veterinarian); a garden (the most unkempt in the neighborhood) and a tank full of fish (they are funny and beautiful). Thank you for inviting me here and thank you to all of your readers.


FG: Thank you, Faina for this great interview. I wish you much success with all your new projects. I am happy to see your beautiful new designs. Thank you for being my first guest.


To the reader: If you wish to leave a comment or a question for Faina, please do so and I will make sure she will get it as soon as possible. Faina's website is written in both Russian and English.