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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Linda Permann is a wonderful crochet designer who is also an author, teacher, and a full-time employee at Her books are very popular and her beautiful and whimsical designs range in difficulty to accommodate any crocheter.

Read the full review at At First Glance

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I can't tell you how thrilled I am about this book. In summary, it is an awesome book from an awesome designer Faina Letoutchaia.


This is something that so many of us were waiting for: a step-by-step video accompanied by the text on how to make a perfect sweater. There are two DVD's and the book that has 14 chapters that coordinate with videos.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

YAY!! Back to normal life!

Sorry for being away from my blog. I had such a pile of things to go through that I was not able to think straight after each work day.
I did not plan this way, but it happened that I had to work on 7 projects with almost the same due date. Looking back I think it was quite crazy. Looking forward, I am proud of myself and am looking forward to see them published. Especially the one that I am particularly happy about. Hint: It is a dress in the next issue of the one of the most prestigious knitting magazines. VERY, VERY happy about this.

On top of these projects my co-author and I are editing our book with Interweave Press, and I am also working on edits of my class.

Now, that all the projects are out of the house and edits are almost done, I feel that I can look around and see that I am back to my normal life. It does include work, of course, but it is very manageable. 

At the beginning of summer I went to New York and had some great time with the family. Here are some photos from that trip. My aunt Shirley showed us an interesting place called High Line.

 It is a great example how you can transform and old and not used area into one of the attractions of NY city and place to jog, rest, and enjoy a small version of a botanical garden.
I have a few photos from that place. As you stroll on a practically straight line where the industrial and merchant train used to bring goods and meat to the shops in that area, you see this beautiful plants that are thoughtfully arranged in the real rail road tracks. There are places to sit and enjoy this part of town and some artist performances and exhibits.


We also had to go to the new World Trade center site and I was in owe when I saw what they have done there. The complex is still under construction, but so many people are coming to see it and be at the place where someone they knew spent his/hers last minutes of their lives. It is awesome to be there. I am very proud of the work that is done in this place. So much thought went to the design of it.

After a very busy summer I am back to normal life and finishing one of the projects that I have in plans for my own line FGDesigns. This time it is a small shawl made in a Russian traditional garter stitch lace. I wanted to make it simple, so the person who is new to shawls can easily make it. It is not done yet, but I can give you a little peek at it. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

3Bs: Barcelona, Berroco, Blog

Berroco yarn company has some of my favorite yarns. One of them is Ultra Alpaca that comes in beautiful colors and weights. I did a few designs from this yarn in my first book and recently I published Barcelona Tunic on my Ravelry page. Today I looked on their blog and saw that Barcelona was mentioned there. So happy about this. Just had to share.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last chance to get your prize

Now that I got your attention...I wanted to remind you that our winner of a copy of the e-book of Complements Collection by Kristin Omdahl is meppybn.  
Dear meppybn, unfortunatelly I have no contact information for you. Please let me know how to connect with you within 3 days starting now and ending on June 29th at 12:00 pm PST.
If I do not hear from you, I will have to choose another winner. It is a great book, so hurry to get your copy.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: Custom Crocheted Sweaters

I am looking through a fabulous book by Dora Ohrenstein called Custom Crochet Sweaters . This is her latest book published by Lark Crafts.

What can I say. The designs in this book take my breath away. Read this review in full >>>

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Complements Collection

You are at the next stop of the blog tour for the Complements Collection.
This collection is a product of wonderful collaboration of a prolific designer Kristin Omdahl and Bijou Basin Ranch. 
Read this post in full...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Luxury in the box

Look what I got for my next project. Catherine Lowe's incredibly luxurious yarn came in a box wrapped in black, as you see in the photo, with a booklet on handling it (that made me nervous at first).

The color is  beautiful and very suitable for what I am going to make. I have to keep quite about the project, though. Sorry.  Yarns like this keep my excitement and motivation level way up. You know what I am going to say next, right? Well, you've guessed. I am swatching it as we speak.

The knitted fabric has absolutely perfect hand and drape. Catherine is a couture designer and she is teaching classes on finishing and designing. Her line of yarns is reflecting her wishes as a designer and I appreciate it very much.   And it is personalized. I feel very special. Thank you, Catherine.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New pattern: Milana

Milana is one of my favorite from my line of patterns. It is light and comfortable with a simple lace stitch pattern combined with a small flat cable. I love to knit seamlessly, so this design is as seamless as they come. No seams at all. The yarn is Venezia Worsted by Cascade and it is such a nice yarn to work with. It is soft but holds the shape wonderfully.

Available in 9 sizes.
Worked in the round from the bottom up and separated for back and front at armholes. Shoulders are joined by 3-needle BO method.


Pattern Information:

Finished Size
30 3/4 (35 3/4, 38 3/4, 43 3/4, 46, 53 3/4, 56 1/2, 58, 64 1/2)” chest circumference. The top shown measures 35 3/4".
Yarn   Shown here: Cascade Venezia Worsted (70% Merino wool, 30% Mullberry Silk; 219 yd [200m]/100 g): color # 178
3 needle sizes are used:
Size 6 (4.0 mm): 24-32" circular (cir)
Size 5 (3.75 mm): 24-32" cir and size 4 (3.5 mm): 24-32" cir
20 sts and 30 rnds = 4" (10 cm) in Lace pattern using largest needle
22 sts and 28 rnds = 4" (10 cm) in Lace pattern using smallest needle
The pattern can be purchased here. Huge thank you to Irina Semenets for knitting this for me.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Free eBook on Copyright for Crafters and Artists

Interweave press released a new eBook. This is something that many of us talked about and were wondering what exactly is a copyright when it comes to patterns, books, blogs, etc.

When I helped out at the yarn shop I encountered many times this scenario: a customer brings a copy of a pattern (sometimes mine) and asks for help with the project. The fact that this pattern was copied without a permission of a designer who worked very hard to calculate all the sizes and write the pattern for any knitter to understand how to make this project is a copyright violation!  This is just one of the examples how some people neglect to think that it is someone's work and they only can use it for their enjoyment, not to copy and give to a friend. Teaching a class from a pattern is o.k. as long as every student in a class has a legitimate pattern. These and many more issues are explained in this free book.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Design: Barcelona

If you are wondering about the name, it is the color that gave me this idea. It is such a rich and beautiful red, that I thought of Spain and their love of that color. I wanted to design a long vest or tunic which you can wear almost all year round with different tops underneath.
 It turned out as I hoped - flattering and very urban. I wrote it for 17 sizes from 33" to 65" with about 2" positive ease.


Pattern Information

Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner to Intermediate
Yarn:            Worsted. Shown here: Berroco, Ultra Alpaca (50% alpaca, 50 % wool; 215 yds
                      [196m]/100g) Color: # 6234, Cardinal; 4 (4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8,                                         8, 8) skeins
Needles:       4 (3.5 mm), 5 (3.75 mm), 6 (4.3 mm), and 7 (4.5 mm): 24-32” circular
Gauge:        19 sts and 26 rnds = 4” (10 cm) in Lace Patt;
                     20 sts and 30 rows =4”(10 cm) in Textured patt

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Should we party? Give away.

Simona and I thought we deserve to celebrate the end of our big project. Since we are on different sides of the country, the only way we can do it right now is over Skype. Since it is a virtual party, we can invite many friends to join us. Any suggestions how to do that?
It is going to be soon, really soon. Do you see me smiling? The taste of the end of this huge project is sweet, if you know what I mean. 
I am going to have some giveaways. Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two new patterns in the works

My wonderful sample knitter Irina just send me these two projects in the mail. I am loving them both. These are the designs for my own line, so I can show them very soon. Here is the peek that i can offer at this time. I wrote the patterns for many sizes since both are fairly simple designs and can be flattering on many  sizes. The patterns are in the hands of tech editors.  In about two-three  weeks, after I am done with the photo shoot and formatting the pattern in my styled pattern form, it will be available for sale. I can't wait to see the reaction of you, knitters, to these designs. I hope that you will like them as much as I do.
I am still not done with the big project, so back to editing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Great news for summer

I am so happy today. My friend from my Russian days is planning on coming for a visit. This will be her first time in America and I can't wait to show this beautiful country to her. She has an appointment with an American Embassy for an interview.  After that we will be planning her trip at the end of July. It is a good timing for me since I will be done with this project and can chill a little.

In June, Dora Ohrenstein is coming to visit with me. I am very excited about this one also. We always have wonderful time together, so it will be more of that.  She is amazingly talented and interesting. I can't wait. You know where it is all coming from, right? You guessed it,  I am looking forward to meeting this deadline and move forward.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Counting days

We are on the last leg of working on this big project. Editing is a very tedious work, as you know. It keeps me at my computer constantly and my brain is exploding (or it seems like it is). The only thing is keeping me sane right now is that after I am done, I will have time for my family. They have been so patient throughout this time and I am forever grateful to them for understanding.
I also want to work on so many ideas I have for new designs without any deadlines. So, it is coming soon and I love to see that light at the end of the tunnel. But, back to work for now, so I can actually get to the end of that tunnel :) Talk to you all on my next tiny break.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Progress on my own Ormond

 I am slowly progressing on Ormond. The body is done. Sorry, my lighting is not good right now.

Now I am working on sleeves. I do not have time to knit on my own projects for long, so I thought I should not even think about doing sleeves one at a time. I am making two on two circular needles.

It will probably take me a long time to finish them, but I know I am on the same round when I pick it up again. I am not even in a hurry to finish it. Sometimes it is nice just to have something to knit without thinking. So, this is it for me right now.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Do you know about the website called It is a fairly new venue for the world of crafts. There are many very affordable classes on different topics, not only knitting. It is also a community where members can post their projects and leave comments. There are many patterns and yarns for sale and many more goings on. I check it out often just to keep in touch with what's happening.
Mainly, it is an educational site, but there are so many other fun things. I am hoping to find the time to take some classes there.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Anzula Goodness

Look what I just got in the mail. I am so in love with this yarns.

The colors are reach and sophisticated, which makes it suitable for so many designs. I do have ideas of full garments for each of these yarns for my line of patterns. I have to wait to play with these skeins. Can't do anything before I am done with this huge project. Hopefully I can get back to individual designs soon. For me the most exciting time in the designing process is the first stage of it. That's when I touch thee yarn and take in the beauty of the texture and color of it. The ideas of what I can do with what I see are coming to me one after another. Then sketching begins and more technical thoughts come with that, which help me to come up with the best merger of the idea and the yarn for that unique look. Ahh, I am drooling, but need to put it aside for now.  Counting days to the finish line.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Woo Hoo!! All projects are sent away

I am so excited! The last portion of the projects is sent. Today I got the confirmation that they came to the right place. Phew, that is always my fear that I will get something lost after so much work.

Looking at all the pictures I am very happy with my designs. Now, to polish all the patterns and write, write, write. I am on a Spring break right now and it would have been really nice to have this time to work, but I got so sick right before the break that I could not use this time in full. I still worked, of course, but not as much as I would like. What can you do. It's life.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Penelope Craft in Amsterdam

Last June my husband and I went to Amsterdam, Netherlands among other places on our trip. We love Amsterdam and this time we spent a few more days there. Since I knew we were coming , I told Nancy Marchant , the author of a fabulous book Knitting Brioche,  about my plans and she introduced me to a wonderful shop owner Malia Mather.  This picture is from her website.

This very cute shop, called Penelope Craft , has a good-size clientele and substantial presence online. Malia and her husband are both Americans and for a few years now live in Amsterdam. Many people in Holland speak perfect English and her customers are often hang out in her store and they are familiar with

We planned that I will have a workshop in her store. Honestly, I wanted to connect with knitters somewhere on the trip and this was a great opportunity to do so. It turned out that Malia had a few regular customers who where at the point that they wanted to spread their wings and try designing. I was happy to share my knowledge in how to use math for calculating different sizes when designing a sweater. It was such a pleasure to teach these women. They had so many very direct questions which made my communication with the class easy and delightful. So nice to teach people who want to be taught. I love to teach and planning to do more of this.

Here are some photos that Malia took during the class. Looking at them I have such good memories and I want to go back there.