Meet the Designer: Faina Goberstein

If you haven't heard yet, we are so excited about the pattern booklets that were recently released by Stitch Sprouts and feature 3 of our most popular yarns - For Better or WorstedCricket, and Squishy! We have been introducing you to some of the designers who contributed to the booklets. Today's spotlight is on Faina Goberstein.

What drew you to designing?

I was designing my own clothes as far as I remember. I lived in Soviet Russia and to find something nice and different in the store that also fits you was an impossible dream. I had to take professional courses to learn how to design, sew, and knit if I wanted to have a stylish outfit. I got so interested in designing that I continued doing it when I came to America over 30 years ago. Since I was teaching math at the college and was a design engineer before that, it is natural for me to enjoy the whole process of designing. Planning, drawing, creating, calculating, charting, using computer programs, and finally working with your hands knitting or crocheting is still very enjoyable and fulfilling to me.

How do you encourage a novice to take up knitting?

I always say that from my experience knitting is very interesting and a great stress reliever. You have to not worry about what people think about your ability to knit, just concentrate on getting that yarn through the loop and watch how the fabric is forming in front of your eyes. You will fall in love with knitting in no time, I promise. 

What's your favorite LYS?

This is not an easy question for me. I love different stores for different reasons. At the moment I teach and hang out at K2tog in Albany, CA and Bistitchual in Pinole, CA. They are different, but very good stores. There are many more stores that I love to visit. It would be unfair to list only few.

Favorite Anzula colorway? Line?

How can I answer this question? It is no such thing for me as a favorite colorway from Anzula. It is the whole range of colors together that I love. They have great taste in colors and I would work happily with any of them. 
Depending on the project I needed, I worked with For Better or Worsted, Cricket, Cloud, Oasis, and Vera. I love them all.

Do you have other patterns available in our yarns?

Yes, I do.

Santorini Cowl in For Better or Worsted.

Eilat sweater in Cricket.

East Bay sweater in Cricket.

Simon sweater in Oasis.

Al Fresco hat in Oasis.

Vera's Skirt in Vera. 
I also have new designs coming soon. 

Tell us about your project in the booklet!

I am obsessed with slip stitch techniques lately. In fact, I have a new book coming out in August where I and my co-author Simona Merchant-Dest are offering very unusual stitches similar to what you see in the Kara-Kum hat. The name of this hat was inspired by the look of the resulting fabric. It looks like some dunes of sand in a desert.

Kara-Kum is a famous desert in Central Asia. The translation of this name is "black sand”.   The fabric has a lot of texture, which is always good for a hat. The yarn worked perfectly for this project giving this slouchy hat just enough drape and the color plays as you look at the “dunes”. I am grateful for working with this beautiful yarn.

Favorite TV show to watch / music to listen to while knitting?

Netflix is my friend when I am working on a deadline project. I love movies that I can listen to and do not have to watch at all times. 

I also choose TV shows that have a lot of episodes, so I do not have to spend time looking for what’s next. Recently, I watched Gilmore Girls, Friends, Mad Men.

What's the most overlooked aspect of designing or knitting a finished piece?

I would say finishing for knitting.

Do you teach classes? Where?

I teach at guilds, LYS, Stitches, KnitLab, and other venues. Right now I am preparing for Madrona Fiber Festival where I will be teaching 8 classes and I teach at K2tog and BiStitchual regularly. I love to travel and teach around the country and abroad. If your readers would like me to teach at their venue, I would love to talk to them about that. They can find me on Ravelry, Facebook, my website, and Twitter.

You can catch up with Faina on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Craftsy, or in her Ravelry group!

Thank you to Faina for the interview! You can get your Stitch Sprouts pattern booklets right now on Ravelry, or soon at your LYS. Watch for more designer spotlights coming soon!