Fabulous Knitwear Designer Faina Goberstein

Fabulous Knitwear Designer Faina Goberstein was the guest on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird, not for the first time but we are so tickled when she makes time for us to let us know what’s going on new with her.

FainaG profile pic

Faina was born in Russia (lives in California now) and learned to knit about 8 from a neighbor, her mom did not knit and she did not have her grandmothers. The neighbor made socks and for a long time, Faina didn’t know there was anything else to knit, but she never stopped knitting from that tender age 8. At age 14, she discovered there was more in a magazine! While she was at university to become a math professor while still in Russia, she took a class through a magazine to increase her skills, a knitting course that included fit and couture fashion. She immigrated to the US, a small town where there was no firm she could join with her engineering skills, so she taught at University and discovered a store in Chico where she could work and teach one day a week, and also found a large variety books and yarns to work with. She says in Russia there were two kinds of yarns, worsted and fine weights so this was a totally new experience for her, but obviously she met that challenge. artofslipstitch

In 2008 she wrote her first book, and attended her first TNNA in 2009 where she met Marly and Simona Merchant-Dest. Faina had been working with Simona by e-mail, but had not met until that TNNA, when Faina turned around in a class and read Simona’s name tag. Simona is from the Czech Republic which is not Russia where Faina is from, but enough in common as neighbors that they work well together as we discovered when they worked on the Art of Seamless Knitting. Faina Goberstein visited with her co-author Simona Merchant-Dest about this book, which is a great source of beautiful work.

There were things that didn’t make it into that first book, Faina says they kind of overwhelmed the publisher. These pieces naturally became a NEW Book, The Art of Slip Stitch Knitting. By e-mail and visits with Skype they found inspiration in their swatches to create patterns for readers. The book also includes helpful stitch dictionary work that has not been included for the most part anywhere else, divided into helpful sections of traditional mosaic work, woven-look which uses floats in the front of your work, fancy stitches (which combines mosaic with lacy) and reversible slip stitches.

FG Gobelen bagThe Gobelin bag in the book was a popular topic during this visit, which is the perfect segue to Faina’s NEW Craftsy Class Slipped Stitch Colorwork: Mosaic & Beyond (that was Marly’s affiliate link). The bag was cut from the first book, which was part of a chapter on colorwork that was not included. Faina and Simona fell in love with the handles from Jul Designs, designed the bag Gobelen to complement them.  Faina designed a similar bag for her Craftsy class.

You can follow Faina Goberstein at her website: Faina’s Knitting Mode which includes her blog. She also invited us to subscribe to her newsletter there! You can also find her designer page in Ravelry, where she also has her patterns that are appearing in magazines (during the chat, a caller noticed the Bath Abbey hat from Interweave Knits Fall 2015, and Faina mentioned Spiral that appears in Knit.Purl Fall 2015). The book is available in paperback from Interweave or as an e-book. She continues to teach, in fact she will be at Vogue Knitting Live this weekend in Chicago, and has plenty of time for that since she has retired from teaching math.



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  1. Erin says:

    Slipstitch is a new technique for me, and wow, did Faina sell it! Since listening to the show I’ve been looking at some different patterns and stitches, and I’m certainly intrigued. Thanks to both Faina and Marly for introducing me!

  2. Laurie Wathey says:

    I’m in Faina’s slipstitch class @craftsy, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to hear/understand her on the podcast. (I’m very hard of hearing). Thankfully, I heard everything just fine until your technical difficulties interrupted! Thanks for the podcasts, Marly!

  3. Thekla says:

    How wonderful to hear about yarn and knitting from a different country. This slip stitch book looks amazing. Thank you for the interview.

  4. roseruffolo says:

    Hi Ladies, oh how I’ve missed you! I’m so excited to be able to once again listen to your amazing podcast. As usual you didn’t disappoint…congrats to another super fantastic show. I have yet to try the slipstitch. It sounds like Faina is going to be a huge help. Thanks again for introducing us to another great designer!


  5. Leanne Holland says:

    I really enjoyed this show and discovering Faina – what a talent! I have not done slipstitch work yet but am looking forward to trying it. Faina’s book and her explanations in the podcast make it seem not as intimidating.

  6. christi says:

    I am so excited to try slipstich work. All the patterns are so beautiful. I think I may have to get the book and the craftsy class, as that bag and hat are to die for. 🙂

  7. Kim Schroeder says:

    It was a great show today I looked at the book. I am very interested in learning more about slip stitch

  8. Kathy says:

    I enjoyed the podcast. It was interesting learning about slipstitch. I would love to learn and try out this knitting technique. There are several patterns in the book I would love to knit.

  9. Sheryl sanders says:

    Slip stitch is now added to my list of new Techniques to learn.
    another great guest as normal.
    Cant wait to get her book.

  10. TopHat says:

    I’ve made slipstitch washcloths, but nothing else. I need to expand my repertoire! Also, listening to Faina was also very enjoyable. Her partnership in writing books sounds like a great support!

  11. Michelle says:

    Another great interview my dears. Slipstitch knitting sounded difficult until I heard this interview. Now I’m excited to look into it and especially Faina’s new book.

  12. bonniejane says:

    After hearing this podcast and looking at information about the book on line I think it is a must! Slipstitch knitting is beautiful. I am definitely interested in taking her Craftsy Class now. It is in the top of my wishlist!

  13. Audrey says:

    Faina is breaking ground in bringing another dimension to our knitting lives with her slip stitch book and craftsy class. As I’m getting more and more confident with designing my own sweaters, these stitches would add, and quite easily, a couture element to even the simplest garment.

  14. Carol T says:

    I thought slipstitch work was like drop stitch knitting, which I am not a fan of. I am totally wrong after looking at Faina’s book and also watching the intro to her Craftsy class. And Faina and Marly really sold the technique during the podcast. I am looking forward to trying it soon. Thanks for a great podcast Marly and Faina.

  15. Laura says:

    I’m just a crocheter for now but I still enjoy listening to the knitting folks! Slipstitch is super simple in crochet so how hard can in be in knit??

  16. Mary Anne says:

    Colorwork is fun and adding slipstitch to color makes it even more fun. People think we are so clever when we create beautiful knitted items. (I live in Boise and get to see Tammy every week at knit night!)

  17. Stephanie Axman says:

    I have been eyeing this book but after hearing this podcast I have to have it! I’ve done some slip stitch knitting, but only mosaic. I’m eager to learn more.
    Thanks Marly for another great interview.


  18. Katelyn M says:

    Thanks for another great show! I had been eyeing this book up and it was really great to hear all about it! I haven’t tried slipstitch before, honestly I didn’t know that you could do so many amazing things with slipstitch until I saw the patterns in this book. You always open my eyes to something new Marly. Thanks!

  19. Lori Biamonte says:

    I love slipstitch patterns because they look so complicated but are so easy and relaxing. It’s fun to watch the pattern emerge. I enjoyed the podcast–even when an alien seemed to take over Marly’s voice and kept repeating “you guys, you guys, you guys”! I stuck around. ☺️

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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