Announcement Here on Martha's Vineyard Island, Olga knits magic! Rowan Kids Silk Lace Shawls, Scarves, Selbu designs updated on Half-finger Gloves & hats, and PDF Patterns of her designs! Not one of her pieces is the same and each garment's pattern combination, color and yarn blend seems to create another hit. Olga's talent is her feeling for harmonious blending of pattern, texture and colors. With a small flock of hens to keep her farmer husband fed, as he is now helping with the knitting production, the quiet days here produce one of a kind hand worked pieces of the finest yarns. Enjoy them!
Here on Martha's Vineyard Island, Olga knits magic! Rowan Kids Silk Lace Shawls, Scarves, Selbu designs updated on Half-finger Gloves & hats, and PDF Patterns of her designs! Not one of her pieces is the same and each garment's pattern combination, color and yarn blend seems to create another hit. Olga's talent is her feeling for harmonious blending of pattern, texture and colors. With a small flock of hens to keep her farmer husband fed, as he is now helping with the knitting production, the quiet days here produce one of a kind hand worked pieces of the finest yarns. Enjoy them!
Anonymous on May 22, 2013
great pattern with really useful hints and information, thanks!
Anonymous on Jan 23, 2013
A lovely soft shawl. I love it. thank you!
Anonymous on Nov 25, 2012
Gloves are beautiful, soft and cozy! You do very fine detail work. Love the dog design. I like the style of half finger instead of fingerless because it is so much warmer. Thank you!
"When Dasha brought home the Alice Starmore book, that was it!"
I will narrate for you the story of Olga and her knitting and of this shop, IslandKnitting! Your narrator is Chris, Olga's farmer husband, who has worked up the shop here on Etsy and now is also helping with the knitting production. (watch out)
As a six year old growing up in the Ukraine, once someone handed Olga a small ball of yarn and a pair of unwanted needles and showed her how to knit and purl. There was no more yarn, but she never forgot. Twenty years later in St. Petersberg she was cold and needed a sweater but yarn was not easy to come by in the USSR in the 70's so she did what many did and unraveled an old one and knitted herself a new one. The old sweater was machine made seemed and came apart in something like 22 inch pieces which were joined as the new sweater was knitted.
Three children later, living in Brighten Beach Brooklyn in the USA, Olga making an effort to expose her children to hand crafts showed them basic knitting. A few days later her daughter Dasha, then about 12 years old, came home with a book that her school librarian said no one had ever borrowed. It was "Aran Knitting" by Alice Starmore. That was it, something Olga had kept in waiting would wait no more!
Olga and Dasha started that night and have not stopped. Yarn was more available than it had been back in Russia but for Olga and the kids money for yarn was in very short supply in those years. And somehow along with Alice Starmore as an inspiration came the insistence on high quality natural yarns. So there were tears when no money for yarn was there and tears when Olga would spend it anyway on the best yarn - tears of worry for other needs blended with tears of appreciation. Besides the money Dasha remembers the time Olga spent, "on the subway to and from work, during her lunch break at work, while watching movies with her kids on the weekend, while the curry was boiling ...."
Dasha says she got the feeling that hand knitted garments were more common and far more saturated by centuries of practice in the culture where her mother grew up even if in the Soviet years materials even for such a common household necessity were often hard to come by. She figures that Olga didn't hesitate to launch into start-up projects with her and her slightly older sister and brother tackling some of the very most challenging knitting techniques, because the basics were already ingrained somehow. Olga's natural confidence must have helped Dasha learn quickly because real Celtic cable knit and fair isle sweaters were turned out right from the start.
A lot of their friends and family recieved some beautiful Celtic and Fair Isle Sweaters, as gifts!
With the kids off to college Brooklyn became too grueling and lonely so Olga joined an elder care community with a farm and met Chris while she was doing chores in the chicken coop. Most of her work though was caring for the older folks so there were moments of waiting .... filled up with knitting. Olga had fallen in love with lace work and Rowan Kidsilk Haze so there was a constant chorus of oohs and aahhhas in the hallways there. The community had a very big fund raising sale every year for Christmas - when Olga put 5 large shawls up for sale hundreds were stunned by their stand out quality and beauty, but with the pressure of long Christmas shopping lists, no one could afford them.
So the search was on for a place where many eyes and hearts could find these treasures - and that search lead to Etsy.com! To all who find a moment to appreciate Olga Kalnitsky's hand work here at Etsy -
Olga & Chris
Owner, Maker, Designer
25 years in US from USSR, I am fascinated by the whole process of this ancient craft. To be worthy of this special art I long for each piece I complete to add a spark to the exploration and creativity of all the knitters who came before me.
Even After All This Time The sun never says to the earth, "You owe Me" Look What happens With a love like that, It lights the Whole Sky. - Hafiz
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