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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Interweave Knitting Lab

This is one way to break my silence. I just got the announcement that Interweave Knitting Lab is happening again in the coming year. It was a very successful and educational event and I think they should do it every year. I talked to teachers, students, market participants and everyone said that it was a very well organized and nice event.  

Interweave Knitting Lab Announces Two Locations in 2012 Save the dates: event returns to San Mateo, California November 1-4, 2012 after a successful first appearance in 2011; New England Knitting Lab debuts in New Hampshire October 4-7, 2012 Loveland, Colo., December 21, 2011: Interweave Knitting Lab, a national knitting event from the publishers of Interweave Knits magazine, has announced its return to San Mateo, Calif. next November 1-4, 2012 after a successful debut in 2011. This premiere event was such a success—with sold-out workshops and lectures and incredible attendance at the Knitters’ Market—that Interweave has decided to add a second location on the East Coast in Manchester, N.H., October 4-7, 2012. Interweave Knitting Lab offers knitters opportunities to learn from knitting legends and experts in small, intimate class settings—alongside new friends who share their passion for knitting. This premiere event was created especially for passionate knitters who want to take their knitting skills to new heights. It offers innovative, immersive workshops and project-based classes, lectures, enticing panel discussions and other special evening sessions, plus three days of shopping opportunities at the Knitters’ Market. The 2012 Interweave Knitting Lab event locations and dates are: Interweave Knitting Lab New England, October 4-7, 2012: The Radisson Hotel Manchester, in scenic New Hampshire, located just one hour north of Boston, Massachusetts in a fun downtown area. Offering an inviting atmosphere and signature hospitality, the Radisson presents a wealth of world-class hotel services and amenities including: room service, business services, a Fitness Center, an indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna and free Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) airport shuttle service. Registration for Interweave Knitting Lab in New Hampshire opens in mid-April. Interweave Knitting Lab San Mateo, November 1-4, 2012: Interweave Knitting Lab returns to Marriott San Mateo, a beautiful hotel located on 11 acres and just minutes from downtown San Francisco. With Italian marble floors and chandeliers in the lobby, this hotel has the look and feel of a first-class luxury hotel. With any spare time you may have while attending Interweave Knitting Lab, you can visit one of the many San Francisco attractions: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Pier 39, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf and Half Moon Bay are all within 30 minutes. Registration for Interweave Knitting Lab in California opens in early May. Classes at Interweave Knitting Lab range from rarely-offered classes on unique regional, ethnic, and historical techniques, to studio classes that apply new design and technique skills to original creations. There are classes in sock knitting, lace knitting, cables, sweater construction, knitwear design, color theory, mosaic knitting, intarsia, Fair Isle, and much more. Interweave Knitting Lab New England will focus on modern inspiration for thinking knitters: A program of in-depth classes on authentic and personal knitting design, working with color and line, and manipulating fabrics and fibers. The curriculum will explore the intersection of handknitting technique and inspiration, with forays into the larger textile industry and the art world. In its second year, Interweave Knitting Lab San Mateo will continue to focus on handknitting techniques and traditions, with classes on subjects ranging from ethnic knitting history to complex cutting-edge techniques. Interweave Knitting Lab is put on by arts and craft media company Interweave, publisher of Interweave Knits and Knitscene magazines, as well as the online knitting community, For more information and the latest updates, interested participants should sign up for the event e-newsletter online at

Website: interweaveknittinglab Facebook:


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Totally Simple Crochet

A new crochet book by Norwegian designer Tove Fevang was recently published by Trafalgar Square Books. Tove is the author of a few books in different crafts including quilting, applique, embroidery, and crochet. Her choices of colors, yarns, and interesting stitch patterns make her designs very appealing, stylish, and comfy.  As it says on the cover there are more than 30 projects for all levels and for all ages. Read more here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My favorite way to organize circular needles

I love tools and gadgets that make my life easier. This is one of them.
I have  Della Q hanging organizer for about a year now and I am still in love with it.  All needles are in their compartments according to their size and I there is no need to bend cord of the needle.
Since I do not have that much of wall space in  my studio, I tied the organizer to a small hanger and hung it on a dresser rack. 

Since I have almost googol needles, it works for me wonderfully. In each slot I can place multiple number of needles of different lengths.

It is crazy to think that I am actually using all of these needles and not just buying them to impress the world. Hah...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Keeping sane while working on a huge project

I find  it difficult to keep quite about the project that took over my life for a few months. I am drawing, swatching, choosing yarn, thinking about it day and night. When I get closer to the finish line, I will be able to say so much more. In the meantime, I can tell you that I am making the Ormond for me. I do not have many garments that I own made by me. I just have no time for that. In Russian we say that the shoemaker is always without the shoes. I find it to be very true in my case. Strangely now, when I am so busy with this big project, I have some non-deadline knitting time. Go figure! I am using Anna Blatt yarn I had for ages and it is just perfect for Ormond. I am so glad I have time to do it. I wanted to make it since I was working on the sample for Twist Collective.
I am almost done with the body and started both sleeves. Knitting both Fronts at the same time and I the same for sleeves. saves me a headache of remembering where I do increases or decreases. Hoping to finish it before the crazy time begins. 

One of the coming projects  will be made from Venezia Sport by Cascade. The color will be different, but I have this one to play with for swatches, thanks to nice people in Cascade Yarns. It is delicious.

 Skacel yarns have a new line called HiKoo and they send me these two skeins of Simplicity to swatch. I am loving this. They also have tons of colors, so it is perfect.

These skeins looks kind of matchy, but it is a coincidence.

 Despite of all this craziness with the "huge project" I find time to meet with friends and it is wonderful. My husband's department (I used to work as a part-time lecturer for many years there as well) had a party for one of the colleagues who is retiring and the crowd at her party was mainly consisting of people whom I knew at the time I worked there. It felt like old times. Great stress release! It was so much fun! A group of us knitted an afghan for the guest of honor using a mathematical pattern. She is a great knitter herself and planning to open her own yarn shop very soon in the new town where she is retiring with her husband. Yay, another shop!!

Last thing. I keep forgetting to show this fabulous flan that I had in our favorite French restaurant in San Francisco called Jeanne D'Arc. Always terrific and affordable food. You can taste it by looking, right? The coffee is always great there as well.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vogue Knitting Live

I just came back from Los Angeles where Vogue Knitting had a big show. There was a great variety of classes taught by celebrities like Nicky Epstein, ShirleyPaden, Carla Scott, Deborah Norville, Clara Parkes, Franklin Habit and many others. Free fashion shows were separated by yarn companies and professional models were dressed in the projects published by Soho publishing. Everywhere you turn you see people knitting or petting the yarn. The big Gala dinner was the most interesting for me. I was at the table with Catherine Lowe who I admire tremendously for her finishing techniques, Deborah Norville who is so friendly that you think she is your closest friend, Hal Ozbelli, the President of Premier Yarns where Deborah has her yarn collection, and some wonderful knitters who could not spend a minute without knitting. Our table was at the front, so we saw the runway show from a front row. Just perfect. The keynote speaker was the most inspirational Kaffe Fassett. He talked about his quilts, fabrics, paintings, and, of course, his knitting designs for Rowan. Kaffe has been living in England for 45 years, but to my great surprise he is a Northern California boy. Yay! CA!! I left this event with a deep sense of justification why I came all the way to LA for VKL.
On a personal note I was very pleased to see a few of my designs at the event. It is always a great  pleasure.

Are you surprised that I have no photos for this post? Yaah... I forgot my iphone and did not take my camera with me because iphone takes great pictures. How great is that! I was so lost without my phone. Thanks to Simon, my husband, who gave me his phone the last minute before I boarded the plane I actually had a chance to connect with my friends Marly Bird and Simona Merchant-Dest.  Oh well, it made it even more interesting.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Al Fresco Slouch

I wanted to use Anzula Oasis (DK / 8 ply; 70% Silk, 30% Camel; 375 yards) for some time now. I knew just looking at it that it will be a wonderful yarn for some textured stitch. I was right.

Reminiscent of a painting done on plaster this stitch pattern combines seed stitch squares and little columns of cables. At the crown seed stitch continues in the midst of tapering cables.

This pattern is sold on  and on PATTERNFISH

The green hat is made from Cascade 220 Superwash.

My thanks to Pam Brydon for knitting this hat using Oasis (orange)
and my beautiful model Anna Wannenmacher.

Star Pullover

This design is done for Bijou Basin Ranch Fall Collection 2011  using their beautiful yarn Lhasa Wilderness (75/25 Yak & Bamboo). All photos are copyright of Bijou Basin Ranch.

Worked entirely in the round from the bottom up the Star Pullover features sleeves that worked in the round and joined with the body at the yoke. The main stitch pattern, Open Star stitch, is harmonized with ridged rib and garter stitch. Four button tabs are decorative.   


One of my new designs is made for the Fall 2011 Fairmount Fibers brochure.

Here is Vienna which is knit in wonderful  Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend. 

© Fairmount Fibers

© Fairmount Fibers

My thanks to Pam Morrell for a beautiful job on knitting this sample.


Marnie MacLean is one of the behind-the-scene people of Twist Collective online magazine. She has been designing since 2003. By day, Marnie works for a newspaper as a business analyst...
Marnie's designs appear in books and print magazines but primarily she self published until the launch of Twist Collective in the fall of 2008.  I love her fresh, youthful, feminine, and classic-chic designs. It was no big surprise that she became an official member of the Twist Collective team since the Spring 2010 edition... Read more here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Vogue Knitting Knitopedia

It took 5 years for Trisha Malcolm, the Editorial Director of Vogue Knitting and her crew to put together this comprehensive volume of all possible knitting terms, techniques, fibers, history points, and people of the industry. More...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Knitting at Home

This book is written by one of the Australia's top knitwear designers Leanne Prouse. Her Ella Rae brand of yarns is in the focus of this book. Leanne offers 60 designs that are sorted out into 6 chapters named as a certain "room". It is also a play with words. Just listen to it: "A Room for Relaxing", "A Room for Little Ones", "A Room for Living", and so on. More...

Friday, August 12, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: 60 Quick Baby Knits

Looking for a quick knitted baby gift? Do you know about the new book by Sixth&Spring Books called 60 Quick Baby Knits?

It is fabulous! This book is the second one in the series that features a specific Cascade Yarn. The first one is 60 Quick Knits. This time the yarn used throughout the book is Cascade 220 Superwash which is perfect for baby knits. It also offers tons of colors, so you can make the same project many times using different one every time. Here is a little tease for you. More...

Thursday, August 11, 2011



Amy Polcyn is a very prolific designer whose work can be found in such magazines as Knit Simple, Vogue Knitting, Knitscene, Interweave Knits, Knitter’s, Creative Knitting, Knit n’ Style, Yarn Forward. Amy contributes her designs to many books and she is also the author of Knit a Dozen Plus Slippers.Read in full..

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Food inspirations

I am always on a lookout for some good ideas for my cooking. Here is something new in my repertoire. A little bit of soft goat cheese sandwiched between two rounds of microwaved beets (you need to poke a raw beet root in a few places, so it does not blow up and wrap it in a paper towel)

In a center there are pieces of lox. It is a cold appetizer.

Plus this delicious traditional Dutch mustard soup.

In a center you see a garnish of bacon and green onions.
If any of you are interested in this recipe, I can post it later.

Monday, August 8, 2011


It was so much fun reading all the comments about Laura Zukaite new book. It is time to announce the winner. There were 17 comments (one was left on the home page and 16 on the review page) total.
I used the True Random Number Generator and it gave me this result :

The winner is number 12 comment and the name is katjab !! Congratulations!

Please contact me with your information and I will arrange that the book will be sent to you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


O.K. people! Here it goes!

As you know I was given the opportunity to give away two free passes to Vogue Knitting Live in Los Angeles. The deadline for comments was August 1st.

I want to thank all of you for participating. We all have something in common: knitting.
Make sure you come back and see what else I have to give away. There is still this giveaway going on. I have more coming.

Today's winners:

I assigned the numbers to people who left comments. There are two comments from the same person. So, although there are 17 comments in total, I used 16 as a total number and the one comment from "Clara" did not get an assigned number. This way it is all correct.

The numbers were put in The Random Number Generator twice to get a winner one at a time.

Are you ready?...............................

The first ticket goes to......... the number 9............ "Larkin" !!!

The second ticket goes to......... the number 2............ "Pam" !!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH !!! Please send me your email addresses. I will forward them to Vogue office and they will send you the pass.

This is so great! I love doing this. I hope you will go and make sure to find me there.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Two Designs for Classic Elite Yarns

These two designs were just posted on and on the Classic Elite Yarns website, so they are very new. I loved working with Classic Elite yarns. Each of these yarns are soft and show stitch patterns beautifully. The finished project shapes very well and it is just enough drape to the fabric.
This cropped jacket is shaped beginning at the lowest point of center back. I used short-row technique to produce this shape while making the jacket in one piece. Yarn: Princess.

The vest is also made in one piece without any seams. The Russian-based garter stitch lace and the border are applied here with a thicker yarn Wool Bam Boo. This is my first attempt to apply this technique beyond the Orenburg shawl. It worked for me and I hope you like it as well.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gloves for Claudia Hand Painted Yarns

I love Claudia's yarns. The colors are always beautiful no matter what colorways you choose. These two designs are sold as one pattern on

Although the yarn and the gauge are the same, these designs are different. That means you are getting a bargain of two designs for the price of one. The rib on the palm side assures a great fit. Photographed samples for both sets of gloves were knit by Pam Morrell.

Monday, July 25, 2011

CABLED CAP in Knit Noro.

I was busy with so many things and then I was busy traveling (who is complaining?:) I am just saying) that I missed the times when my designs came out. Since there are too many for one post, I am going to break them up into three Groups.

The earliest out of this bunch is the Cabled Cap published in the book Knit Noro (Soho Publishing / Sixth&Spring books).This gorgeous hard-cover book has 30 designs in it.

This hat is made out of Silk Garden by Noro. I used a little more than 1 ball of it. I love the colors of this yarn. It is a fun hat with a simple cable pattern that I call Zigzag and I have already seen a few projects made with this pattern including my daughter's.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I can't tell you how thrilled I am right now. I just received an offer for two! free passes for a Vogue Knitting Live event in Los Angeles which I can give away to you, my readers.

Here are some of the details that I know at this point.
Deborah Norville will be the host of the Champagne Red Carpet Marketplace Preview on Sept. 23rd, Kaffe Fassett is our keynote speaker, and Vicki Howell will staff the Caron Beginner’s Bar! And as usually the show will feature fashion shows, master-level workshops, new products, lectures, meet-and-greets, raffles, A-list instructors and classes, and more.

The winners of these tickets will have a marketplace badge and also be entered in a larger contest to win a basketful of VK Live branded goodies.

So, are you game? Leave a comment here and say why do you want to go to that event and what part of this event is the most exciting for you personally. Spread the word about this opportunity.

All the names will be entered in the random number generator twice to choose our two winners.
I will accept all comments posted from now until August 1, 2011, midnight PST.

LUXE KNITS the accessories >>> FREE FOR YOU !!

I have a very exciting news. Lark Crafts very generously offered me an extra copy of

for one of my readers. I hope you are the lucky one. If you comment on the post about Laura Zukaite's book , your name automatically will be included in the drawing. Please make sure that you do not leave your comment here. Let's set the deadline for August 6, 2011 at midnight PST.
Good luck!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back to what used to be USSR Part IV. ST. PETERSBURG

One more overnight train ride with a few hours in Moscow and we were at our last stop on our 12-day trip to Russia - St. Petersburg. This was another city where we followed the usual touristy route. The two days allocated for this visit was hardly enough to see the center of the city. We loved it. It has been my favorite Russian city to visit in the past and it is now. Despite of the negative but truthful stories about this city, it is still that place that is impressive and rich in history and culture.
We walked its wide Nevsky Prospect, took the boat tour along the canals, went to Hermitage (one of the largest art museums in the world) and the Winter Palace.

Anichkov Most (bridge)

Our daughter had her plan and we followed it. Thanks to her we went to Pushkin and Dostoevsky museum-apartments as well.

F.M. Dostoevsky's apartment

A.S. Pushkin's apartment

Every building we saw had so much history. You can bet that if you are standing next to a building in the center of the city, someone famous lived there.
I took many pictures of iron work that is everywhere in St. Petersburg. There are many bridges over the river Neva and canals and each of them has a distinct metal design. There are also many gates, doors, fences, building decorations.
This city was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 as the "window to the sea" as he called it. It was built as a modern city, so it did not start with small wooden huts as Moscow did. We still admire those buildings in Baroque style. Peter, as Russians call this city with affection, was the capital of Russia until 1918.

The Hermitage and the Winter Palace
The Hermitage entrance

One of the beautiful ceilings in the Winter Palace

Inside of Saint Isaac's Cathedral

It is hard to choose right photos to show this beautiful city. If you follow the link at the beginning of this post to Wikipedia, you will see so many beautiful photographs with which my tiny camera cannot possibly compete.
We left Peter by train. Came to Moscow next day. That's where we said goodbye to our son and daughter until we see them in America. My husband and I continued our journey to four more countries.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back to what used to be USSR Part III. SAMARA

We said goodbye to our Saratov friends and took yet another overnight train to Samara. That's where our son joined us on this trip. Each of us in the family had a personal agenda for this city. Mine was to see my friends and places that meant something for me.
In the morning, our train arrived at the train station. I was expecting that my friend Vera and her husband Igor will be meeting us there. To my surprise there was another friend Luda with them. All three of us were in tears. We did not see each other for so many years.

Luda is on the left and Vera is on the right

We had to see a contact person who gave us the key from someone's apartment, so from the station we headed there. That place was near the building where I lived with my family. Later my husband and our son lived there as well for a short while.

This and many buildings around it were new when my family moved there. The way the buildings look now is hard to describe. It is very upsetting to see them and realize that people do live there. It is a typical "Khruschevka" cement block building. In the late 60s by the order of Nikita Khruschev these buildings were built in huge quantities and fast to accommodate the move of many people who lived in poor housing conditions. Since these were built, nobody took care of them. Now most of the cement is crumbled out of the blocks and you can see iron rods through.
This was very depressing for us. We also could not stay more than one night in the arranged apartment since there was no hot water, the toilet was leaking with no way to flash it, and there were many other inconvenient issues. In a way I am glad that my kids saw it. Many people live in such apartments. Tourists do not see such things.

The next two nights the kids went to a nice hotel and my husband and I were graciously hosted by Vera and her husband in their beautiful and large apartment. I caught myself thinking that I felt in their place as if I were in a nice American home. We had some wonderful meals and talked through half the night.

It is very safe to say that Samara as most of big Russian cities is a city of stark contrasts. It has very beautiful new buildings, long stretch of embankment along gorgeous Volga, fashionable people, restaurants, theaters, philharmonic, universities, shopping areas. At the same time there are many very rundown small wooden houses. Despite of some bad traffic conditions like holes in the middle of the road, I am definitely saying it is a beautiful city.

You have to be a very skilful driver on the streets of Samara. Just look at this.

I am so grateful to Vera for organizing our stay there so efficiently that we could see so much and visit with all the friends. One of the requests I had for her is that I wanted to take a transportation boat along the river, so we could see the beauty of the city from Volga and also enjoy the nature on the outskirts of the city. Well, she organized a private boat that took us on a 2 hour trip. We enjoyed the privacy in the company of our friends only and had a very good meal prepared by Vera and my other two friends. It was the best. We all could be together and be in small groups talking away.

Simon and his childhood friends

Luda is my friend from the 7th grade and Lena is my friend from my job (she still works there)
Lena was not only my good friend, but my knitting and sewing buddy. We have some stories to tell.
Here is some nature sights we passed on the way.

Volga is very wide at Samara and is much cleaner now than I remember it.

Here are all the girls

The hardest thing for me on this trip was to say goodbye to them. I am hoping that they will be able to come and visit me in America. These ladies all have great careers and are very talented. I love them all.

Last city on the trip was St. Petersburg.