As part of the original Around the World in 80 Skeins tour, stop 15 was to visit Svetlana Gordon, a knitwear designer living in Moscow, Russia.
Hi, Svetlana! Where are do you live and where are you from originally? What do you miss most about where you grew up?
I currently live in Moscow (Russia), and I’m originally from Ukraine, Lugansk, through I spent all my childhood in the Central Asia. The social situation in the latter got very uptight when the Soviet Union began to come asunder and Tadjick people started to perceive people with Russian nationality as intruders and oppressors. This situation constituted a menace for my family and me, so I had to emigrate. I really miss the nature there: the mountains and its clear blue streams, wildly flourishing trees and flowers and a lot of sun. I miss the bright colors and the delicious cuisine.
What’s the best thing about where you live?
Actually, the best thing about it is my husband and children 🙂 I’m a very indoor person and don’t feel exactly comfortable with Moscow cold weather and megapolis mentality. Unfortunately, I still can’t call this city my home. I love to occasionally visit theaters though: my favourite are Satiricon, Theater of Nations, and Sovremennik. I also admire Flacon Design Factory for the interesting events and workshops that are carried out there. My favourite restaurant is Chaihona Number One – a very comfortable place with the cuisine I’m fond of from my childhood.
Do you have a favorite local yarn store?
Tishinka Trade and Exhibition centre.
How did you get started knitting and how did it turn into designing?
I started knitting when I was four years old. I saw how my mother was teaching my older sister how to knit and got very excited about the whole thing. I guess I made my first designs from about 10-20 years old – that was a deficit time in Soviet Union and I just wanted to wear pretty clothes.
How does where you live influence your designs?
Maybe the Asian culture actually should be counted as “mine” since it’s the culture I’ve grown up in. Its colorfulness and oriental ornaments have always impressed me.
Is there a big knitting culture where you live?
Orenburg shawls, I suppose.
What is your design process like? Do you plan it all out before you pick up your needles, or do you let the yarn show you where to go?
I’m knitting purely by my intuition – actually, making schematics and tutorials is the hardest part of all my work, since my brain doesn’t work in a verbal reasoning way.
Where is your favorite place to knit and design?
My own house.
Do you have a favorite design in your portfolio that was inspired by your culture/environment?
I thinks it’s Knitted Scarf “PAMIR”. I love it for its colours and uncommonness. It resembles the mountains I love.