Like many USSR girls I learned knit and crochet skills in my family. My Russian grandmother, baba Tonia, gave me my knitting needles when I was 6 year old. She taught me how to knit a sock in a round. Later on my aunt taught me to crochet. I still remember how aunt Nadia was teaching me to crochet: “exactly like in knitting, first bind off and then pick it up”. In my teens, I was knitting and crocheting cloths for myself. What I liked the most about my craft skills was my ability to express myself and have a look of “one-of-a-kind” teenager.
My craft life was interrupted after I left Russia and came back in my late 30th after I opened my own yarn store “Headwater Wool” in Ontario, Canada in 2003.
Soon I realized that I knit “odd” comparing to English crafters. So, here is my craft teaching career began.
“Continental Knitting Technique” my first workshop launched in Canada, 2004. Apparently I was the first one to say that there is “another way” of knitting. This workshop was held at Creative Festival in Toronto and repeated in 2005 , 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Sometime in 2006 I purchased a heard of alpacas and started manufacturing my own yarn. My farm grew to 20 animals and it still does not have a name, but my customers call me “local alpaca producer” and I’m ok with this definition.
Article in local magazine “In the Hills” about my store and the alpaca farm appeared in 2007.
“Continental Knitting Technique” the same workshop launched in Canada, 2008. This workshop was held at Knitters Frolic in Toronto, most likely again first time in history of all workshops run in English crafting community.
From time to time I would find similarity in my knitting motions among European knitters but still, knitting motions were different, comparing to mine. I decided to write a book about the knitting technique I learned in childhood.
“The Book of Russian Knitting” was published in 2008 in USA and re-printed in 2009.
In 2008 I appeared in Hamilton TV talking about my book. I did not make a copy of my appearance, but I hear from time that somebody saw me on TV. I was representing a knitting community on behalf on Creative Festival and I was very proud of it.
Sometime in 2007 I published my first knitting pattern with Canadian magazine “Pulling Needle Thread”. Apparently, my design was “too advanced” for the majority of knitters and some of my couture features were eliminated.
“Continental Knitting Russian Style” is the workshop I run in 2009 with Creative Festival. My other workshops I run were “Russian Shawl Orenburg Style”, various crochet workshops and other educational workshops.
“Russian Knitting Technique” is my educational group I started on ravelry.com in 2009. I teach crafters all over the world the basics of knitting and crocheting developed in Russia.
“From Carpet to Jourabs” is my first historical article appeared in “Crochet Insider” magazine in 2010.
My coming workshops at Creative Festival Fall 2010: “Basics of Russian Knitting”, “Traditional Crochet Stockings of Pamir”, “Jiffy Lace”
In the fall of 2010 I closed my knitting shop. Having a yarn store was a real green card to an immigrant like me. These were culturally educational and interesting 8 years of doing yarn business in Canada. I could not quit the business completely. I pared with the craft store The Needle Gnome in Acton. I supply the store with my labeled “Headwater Wool” wool made in Latvia and my own alpaca yarn from my farm. Please, call The Needle Gnome in Acton (519) 853 – 5245 for more information.
Fall 2011 – Kitchener Knitting Fair in Ontario, Canada. I will be coming together with The Needle Gnome.
Fall 2011 – just finished helping to Interweave Crochet magazine with crochet pattern. I worked together with Crochet Insider magazine to prepare crochet material on Pamirian traditional socks. Looking forward to seeing this article.
Fall 2011 – submitted one of crochet patterns to Knitting & Crochet Pattern-A-Day Calendar. Looking forward to seeing my pattern in there.