Olga Buraya-Kefelian learned knitting from her mother at a very young age while growing up in Belarus. It wasn't until she was in her mid-twenties that her knitting developed beyond a hobby, and a distraction from the hardships of military life, into a career in knitwear design. Now a published author of several books on knitwear, she resides in Alexandria, Virginia, while she continues to work on her brand, olgajazzy, and collaborates with numerous prominent yarn companies like Brooklyn Tweed, woolfolk, Quince & Co, and magazines such as Pom Pom Quarterly, Making, Amirisu. She draws her inspiration from industrial and architectural fields, combined with her passion for European and Japanese design, resulting in knitwear designs infused with innovation. When she is not busy designing, she travels extensively to teaches classes and workshops nationwide as well as internationally.
Stop in this month to see samples of Olga's Ten-Ten Wrap, Kune-Kune Shawl, and Aranami Shawl. And next month, Olga will be in Amsterdam giving two full-day workshops at Stephen & Penelope!
German designer Melanie Berg is a favorite of both clients and staff at Stephen and Penelope. Melanie's use of colour and texture always leads to really fun projects to make and wear. Her sometimes unexpected combinations can be elegant or simple, and work well in just about any combination of yarn and fiber. Stop by the shop to see the magnificent details of True Colors, On the Spice Market,The Miller’s Daughter and Quicksilver in person.
Thea became a knitwear designer almost by accident. After working in various advertising agencies, she took a break to be home with her young daughters and fell into knitwear design.
Thea's designs are wearable, comfortable, and always have great details and well-considered textures. She mostly designs women’s garments and accessories; using cables, lace, and little details to make designs that are classic and wearable, but just a bit unique. Throughout the month of March stop in to see Negroni, Mamie Taylor, and Vodka Lemonade on display
Thea has also designed a hat pattern named after Dutch gin - Genever. This beautiful colourwork hat is made to be knit in the always classic Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. Stephen & Penelope customers will get $2 off the pattern price! Stop by the shop to get your copy of Genever! Read more about Genever, and how the crossing of Malia (owner at Stephen & Penelope), Thea, and Andrea Rangel's paths in Shetland inspired this design on Thea's blog.
Our very special Designer of the Month for February is Susan Crawford. This Designer of the Month is actually coming to Amsterdam to show us her samples in person!
We first fell in love with Susan's work with her books A Stitch in Time Volume 1 and 2. The pair of books bring to life vintage period knitting patterns spanning the years 1920 - 1959. The pair comprise a gorgeous vintage pattern collection.
Susan's most recent book, The Vintage Shetland Project is the culmination of the several years Susan has spent researching early 20th Century knitting in Shetland. Susan has painstakingly recreated hand-knitted garments from the 1920s to the 1960s from the Shetland Museum's archives and created patterns from these vintage items.
Samples from the book will be on view only during the event, and as a special treat, you can also shop Susan's line of yarns on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of February.
Our Designer of the Month for January is Isabell Kraemer. Her stunning contemporary designs have been published in Laine Magazine, Amirisu and Vogue Knitting among others. She has also produced beautiful designs for Malabrigo Yarns, Quince & Co and Swan’s Island… all in her signature streamlined and contemporary style.
Isabell is a qualified dressmaker who became a knitwear designer almost by accident! People kept asking her how she made things, so she published her notes on her blog. When she discovered Ravelry she gradually started to publish more and more designs. It wasn’t long before she had gained a large and dedicated following for her fresh, wearable, and modern patterns.
Until the end of the month we have Humulus, Bavaria, Aileas, Ashes, and Arwen on display from Isabell. You can purchase her stunning patterns through us in-store, or via her Ravelry store.
Our December Designer of the Month is a little closer to home. Natasja Hornby is the woman behind the striking designs of Moonstruck Knits. Born in South-Africa, raised on the Dutch island of Texel, Natasja now lives and works in Amsterdam. Although she is formally design trained and has been teaching textiles and arts for over a decade, she is still relatively new at designing knitwear. She’s inspired by the life in the city - it’s flamboyant people, it’s art and it’s architecture – but also by wind-swept Texel. Natasja’s designs are wearable, unpretentious and fuss free, but never boring or generic. To her, knitwear should be an eye-catcher, but also a shield against the weather.
We’ve been eyeing Caitlin Hunter’s designs for a while now and we’re super excited to have her as November’s designer of the month. Originally from Alaska, she now lives in the forests of Oregon, and the influence of place can be seen in her work. Her designs are innovative and stunning, intended to be treasured for a lifetime and beyond. Caitlin’s designs also reflect her philosophy “knitting is like any challenge in life- just take it one row at a time and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish!” Caitlin sent us many fabulous samples so stop by and see Tegna, Orha, Sunset Highway, Birkin (as seen in Laine Issue 2) as well as Zweig (as seen on our Instagram) in store!