I am a stay-at-home mom of 5, living in Milwaukee, WI. My fiber journey began in childhood, when I learned to knit and crochet from my mom. I have been creating most of my life, and studied Art in college. I am ethnically Russian, having lived in US all my adult life, enjoying discovering the rich heritage of fiber arts of Eastern Europe.
How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear? A couple of years ago, I was challenged / inspired by the Fruity Knitting podcast to knit and modify an adult garment. This challenge helped me to overcome a fear of not following a pattern exactly, as well as knitting an adult garments, something that I was still reluctant to do, even after decades of knitting! I also became a test knitter for other designers, and have knit 28 garments before taking the plunge of designing my own.
What does your design process look like? I love to study stitch dictionaries, looking at interesting textures, lace, and colorwork patterns. This is especially helpful if I am designing for a particular theme/mood board, in a pattern submission to a publication. But occasionally, I just pick up the yarn and “play” with it, creating something that is inspired by the colors, or an idea I had, developing design as I go.
What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most? I enjoy variety of projects, sometimes alternating between a smaller and larger project, but my favorite category would have to be garments.
What are you (or hope to be if you’re just starting out!) best known for as a designer? I hope to be known for designing wearable garments, that are enjoyable to make, with interesting details or embellishments. I love color, and like to play with bold designs for accessories. I am also interested adding embroidery to knitted, or crochet projects.
What yarns do you prefer? I believe that there is a place for all types of yarns in a maker’s world, and finding the right project is a key for a successful outcome. I have yet to come across a yarn that I would not use in some way, be it a man-made fiber for a home decor project or a toy, or a luxury blend for a special accessory. I am probably
a lot like my mother in this regard, practical and frugal. I just love yarn!
What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community? I love to learn alongside with my kids. Homeschooing them over the last 9 years has been a very enriching experience. It also helped me to become a better communicator, which is important for pattern writing. I also love to sew, garden, and do some painting.
Is there anything else you’d like our crafters to know about you? I have done some natural yarn dying in the past, and hope to do more of it in the future.