Today in the Designer Spotlight we get to meet the talented designer and author Faina Goberstein.
How long have you been designing knitwear?
Although I have been designing knitwear before I immigrated to the U.S., I did not publish my designs until 2008. My first publication was a book Casual Elegant Knits with Martingale and Co. That same year my brioche hat Sweet Honey Beret was published by Interweave Knits. I got hooked on the excitement of seeing my patterns in print and designing became my second profession.
What’s your favorite type of thing to design and why?
I love flattering clothes that also fit well. When I am designing, this is my focus. Along with that I am in awe of fabric formation using beautiful yarns and pairing them with techniques that produce interesting textures. I do not differentiate between accessories and garments. For me, it is the hunt for a perfect textured fabric, fit, flattering pattern placing, and color combination that makes it most exciting in the designing process.
I have worked with brioche, lace, cables, knit and purl combinations and lately I am really obsessed with old, but not very well-known and used slip-stitch techniques. I can go on and on about this. Watch my latest designs and you will see what I am talking about. Also, in terms of garment construction, I am always leaning towards seamless knitting.
If you had to work with just one yarn for the rest of your career, which would you choose?
I do not want to name one yarn company, since this will not be true or fair. I love wool blends and silk blends. Mostly solid- or almost-solid color yarns.
You’ve published a successful knitting book and have another on the way, what about traditional publishing do you love? And what don’t you love?
Both books are published by Interweave. I love working with such an established publisher. Honestly, I do not want to be doing all the background work that goes into publishing a book. I want to research, write, and design. I will let other people who know what they are doing do the rest. I am comfortable with all that I encountered in the process. Interweave editors were respectful and helpful. There was no interfering with designs and choice of colors and yarns for them. So, you do feel that you own the material in the book. If I have to say what I do not like in traditional publishing, it would be the fact that the author/designer is not present at the photo shoot. It would be so much fun for me and who knows better your designs, right? Overall the photography is beautiful, and this time especially, my co-author and I had some input in the feel of the book. To our surprise, people actually listened and the book looks fantastic. We are very happy with it.
You are also a teacher, how do teaching and designing go together?
I started to teach knitting way before I started to publish my designs. I love teaching any subject. I was teaching mathematics professionally at the university and college. It is working with people, listening to their questions, and finding the right way to explain that I love the most. I teach at local yarn shops and big venues. I am on my way to teach at Vogue Knitting Live in Pasadena and I had tremendous fun teaching at Madrona Fiber Festival last February.
When I prepare for my classes, I like to have as many designs as possible to support what I am teaching. Topics that I teach include designing, knitting techniques, seaming, and any finishing tips.
My Craftsy class Sizing Knitwear Patterns is directly related to designing process. We can say that teaching and designing go hand-in-hand for me.
What’s next for you?
I have a lot of projects in works. Can’t tell about some of them yet. I just updated my website where I talk about my new designs, publications, classes, books, and much more. So this is probably the best place to go to see what I am up to.