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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Let's move!

I am very happy to announce that my new website is live. I hope you will follow me there and enjoy the new look of my site. All the pages are moved there, so it will be a familiar setting.
Please consider signing up for my newsletter for many exciting news and sometimes giveaways.

Thank you and I hope to see you there,


Sunday, March 8, 2015

New Website is coming

I have a huge news. I am moving my blog to my new website on WordPress in the next month or so. It looks great and I am looking forward to my posts on that site.

I will announce here when it happens. For now, I am going to do a few posts on this site before all this happens, but wanted to let everyone know that I did not abandon my followers and I am very active in designing and publishing.

If you are on, visit or sign up in my group there FGDesigns.

Looking forward to see you all on my new website.


Saturday, May 17, 2014


Hi all! I was so busy designing and teaching that I neglected my updates for the blog. Plus my daughter is getting married in August. Although I do not do much for it, I still have some things that relate to it and I love that. I am so happy for Rebecca and Geoff and can't wait until that beautifully planned ceremony will take place. 
So, I hope I am forgiven for my silence. :)
There are many designs and happenings in my knitting world that I did not cover here. 
I will take it slowly. 

This design is from Twist Collective, Winter 2012.  I know, 2012 and now it is 2014.  It is well overdue to post about it, but I wanted to say a few words anyway. I love this top and it looks so great on Katy, my favorite model.

My inspiration came from two sources:

1. Astra is a Russian name of a flower that in English is called Aster. Those were the flowers we had at our wedding.  During winter we did not have many choices, but it turned out to be a perfect one. It is pure, elegant, unassuming, and simple. If I had my wedding today, I would choose them again. 

2. A very elegant yarn by Catherine Lowe in a beautiful raisin color. It is soft and rich with such a smooth stitch definition. Just a plain Stockinette stitch is enough to make a rich and beautiful garment.

Well, no matter how I try to design simple, I always need to add some interest to it. So, I did. A beautiful border at hem and sleeves made it gently finished. 

Raglan cables are also showing off well and they go all the way to the neck edge through welts of garter stitch.

This is a model from TC who wears the neckline in a different way as an option.

I just love these ladies! So beautiful! Thank you for showing off my design.

I also have to say that every time I am working with Twist Collective, it is a smooth ride and I feel that everyone there are very professional and they truly care about the outcome.

Here is the link to Astra on TC page

I have another design published with Twist in 2013. It is called Charette

Monday, September 9, 2013

My daughter's sweater and Martin Storey

I thought I would write it almost right away after the last post, but... I hope I am forgiven.
So, here is the story. A few months before the last TNNA my daughter has decided to make a sweater  for her fiancĂ©. She is a good knitter and made many projects, but only one simple sweater, as I recall. After looking at men's sweaters on Ravelry, they chose this design by Rowan designer Martin Storey called Moorhouse. Martin is a very big name in knitting world and has way over thousand designs for men, women, and children.
This is a model wearing Martin Storey's sample.

I always admired my daughter for not being afraid to do very ambitious projects learning in the process how to do it. Just look at these cables and a collar! It is challenging even for a very experience knitter. And the back looks the same in terms of cables.

They chose and bought the yarn and got the book with the pattern. There were charts, which she copied, made bigger, and studied. The only thing I suggested is to knit this sweater in the round up to the armholes. You know me, the one who tries to knit everything seamlessly :) 
She successfully made all pieces and I gave her a quick lesson on 3-needle bind off and how to seam. I told her not to attempt sewing in the collar without my help, but she wanted to finish it and did it. It turned out great. I am so proud of her! 
Here is the photo of the sweater she made:

The sweater that my daughter made. The model is her fiancĂ©.  

Isn't it great? She did a terrific job in my opinion. So, I had this photo on my iPhone while I was at TNNA.

One of the nights a group of us was sitting at the bar and I learned that Martin Storey, who is a British designer and lives in London, is in fact at the next table. He does not come very often to TNNA, so it is not a usual thing to see him there. His new book just came out and he was there to promote it. 
I thought if I take a picture with him and send it to my daughter she would be thrilled. But how do I ask him to take a picture with him? I did not want to embarrass myself by just walking up to him while he was relaxing with friends after a long day. 

While I was contemplating how should I do it, one of my friends, Marly Bird, was called by a person sitting with Martin for a business chat. On a way there, I stopped Marly and told her about my plan and asked her to ask Martin through that woman, if it is ok for me to bother him.

It turned out that I was silly to worry. Martin is a very nice man and was very approachable.  
When I came for a quick photo, he wanted to see the photo of the sweater that my daughter made. He asked what was her name and said that I should tell her that she did a very good job. 

So, we chatted a little more with him and my co-author and a friend Simona, who joined me as I was going to see Martin. He asked what do we do and we shared with him that we design knitwear and just had our The Art of Seamless Knitting freshly published. He asked us to see the book. 
So, we showed him the copy that Simona happened to have with her at the bar. It seems that Martin genuinely liked our designs and took time to look at the whole book. It was so incredibly gratifying to get such high marks from a well-known designer. 

All in all, I can say that this happened to be not only a nice surprise for my daughter, but a wonderful and memorable thing for me. 

Martin Storey and me.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A quick TNNA recap

As many of you know, every 6 months I go to our trade show called TNNA. Every time I pack I am thinking to myself that I am not sure if I really need to go there. And it never fails: I have the best time at the show with my friends, always make new connections that  lead to something very exciting, learn about  new yarns, books, companies, new magazine issues, etc.
I get such an energy charge and inspiration from being there just for four days that it lasts another 6 months. So, yes, I do need to go to TNNA.

This time it was even more special. My co-author and dear friend, Simona Merchant-Dest, and I had a book signing event at the Interweave booth. We always have great time together, but this was something else.

Almost all our projects were with us at the show. 

There were only 3 mannequins  but they had very cute skirts.

We had almost all our projects with us and we had so many people coming and telling us how much they loved the book and how excited they were about the topics covered in it. The book signing was allotted for an hour,  but we were done in less than half an hour. All 50 books were given away and signed. I can't tell you how gratifying this is for us to see such wonderful reaction to our book.

What can be better than hearing that after two years of working on this book people do love it. Yay!! That was the reason we did it! We wanted to share what we know about seamless knitting and cover some topics in depth that were never discussed in print before.

We were so busy with many business meetings that honestly we had almost no time to walk the show and see many new yarns and new products. Mostly we were looking at yarns that will suit our future projects. So, I can't really tell you much about what new products are coming to the stores near you, but one thing is for certain that you will see them soon. So, go and check with your local yarn shop. They brought a lot of stuff back.

Once a year my other good friend, Marly Bird, puts on a huge Designer's Dinner for us. It became a traditional event that everybody is waiting for. I am telling you, to make this happen it is like to arrange a wedding. So much work is going into setting it up and preparing all those fun activities, it is unbelievable! Among other things, Marly approaches different companies for donations that reflect their new line of products and we all get a bag full of goodies. Thank you, Marly and all the donors. Here are some of the things we got in that bag:

Namaste's Jemma Pouch, Lion Brand Yarns' tape measure, Pony needles,  and Kniteerella's tags.

Wrapture by Eucalan
On Saturday night it was a gathering at one of the restaurants. It was great to see all the teachers and staff of Craftsy there.    

Simona,  Linda Permann, and my head :)

The show was open until 6 pm most of the days. After that people went to dinner with friends or colleagues where business continued on unexpected levels. You got to know people more in a fun and relaxed environment. And it continued at the big bar of Hyatt. 

It will be a long list to name everyone we talked to. Just to name a few:  Josh Bennett, Ellen Gormley, Drew Emborsky, Ysolda Teague, Rebecca Velasquez, Stephen West, Dora Ohrenstein. This is just a tiny fraction of that list.

Here is one more picture for you.
With Rebecca Velasquez, Ellen Gormley, Simona, and Laurinda Reddig

After I came back home, I had to spend some time to sort things out, to send emails, and just get some sleep. 

It was a very productive TNNA despite the tone of this post. Some very attractive deals were cemented and I am looking forward to work toward the set goals. 

Simona and I both got some teaching invitations and we are open to more of that kind of work. We are promoting our book by teaching workshops at different venues, doing book signings, and offering a trunk show of the book projects. 

I also have a very interesting story to tell you, so please come back to read the next post. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Art of Seamless Knitting is making rounds

We are so happy to report that our book is doing great. On Amazon it is on the list of 10 best selling books in knitting. Many sites are doing very positive reviews. People are telling us that they already have some projects on their needles. 

Here is one of the reviews we are proud to share:

 Merchant-Dest, Simona & Faina Goberstein. The Art of Seamless Knitting. Interweave: F+W. 2013. 183p. illus. index. ISBN 9781596687882. pap. $26.95.
Ask a group of knitters to name their least favorite part of knitting a garment, and many will say seaming. This aversion has led to an abundance of patterns—especially for sweaters—that don’t involve seaming. In this guide, experienced knitwear designers Merchant-Dest and Goberstein explore the whys behind seamless knitting, describe the various shapes of seamless garments and accessories, and educate knitters on best practices for seamless knitting. For the truly seam-averse, there’s even a section about adapting flat-knitting patterns for seamless knitting in the round. Eleven patterns—most for sweaters—are included. 
VERDICT  Rarely do knitting books contain both gorgeous patterns and authoritative information on technique; this title is a notable exception. The background information about seamless knitting is useful, and the patterns are beautiful.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Finer Edge

Another wonderful and useful book by a well-known crochet designer Kristin Omdahl.

It is a combination of a dictionary of special edgings and beautiful designs where these edgings are applied.  Any crocheter who wants to polish some skills or looking for ideas will be very pleased with Kristin's innovative techniques. It is a reference book that you can treasure.
Please read to the very end and you will see that there is a surprise waiting for you.