By Marisa Cid
We recently had a chat with Olga Fedoryak, the creative mind behind @Gotham.knits. Living in the bustling city of New York, Olga effortlessly weaves together her skills as a knitwear designer with a dash of dark humour, creating a space where knitting wisdom meets real-life moments. Her journey into the world of fibre arts started during her childhood in Ukraine.
To begin, could you share a bit about your personal journey as an influencer/knitwear designer and what initially sparked your interest in becoming one?
When I was about 7, my grandmas taught me pretty much everything there was to learn to do with your hands - from knitting, crocheting and embroidery to milking cows, churning butter, shearing sheep and spinning the wool.
In teenage years. I kind of abandoned fibre arts, and then college and work happened.. but after I got married and had two kids and basically was being a wife and a mom/cook/cleaning lady/driver 24/7, I needed some activity that would be just my own, just for me. And I remembered that I know how to knit.
How did you start creating content for Tiktok/reels?
Accidentally, I’d say. My husband complained that we missed the exit on a highway because I was knitting instead of paying attention to the road (we didn’t use the GPS because I said I knew where we were going and I would tell him and don’t you trust me?), and I decided to make a funny reel out of it. And it took off. So I made another reel about my husband trying to guess the price of my yarn - and it was a hit!
Where do you get the inspiration for your content?
Most of my ideas come from my daily life, basically I just make videos about everything yarn related in my life. I know this is not the answer you were probably looking for, but that’s how it is. My life is a mess, and I’m so glad it’s relatable! My dark, sarcastic sense of humor was always my defense mechanism and way to cope with all the stuff, and I’m glad it helped me find so many friends online.
How do you deal with the pressure of social media having to post regularly? I am getting better at letting go and not letting the social media pressure get to me. Social media is not going anywhere, and choosing your own sanity and mental health over posting on social media for one day won’t damage your online presence. Also, realizing that your content doesn’t need to be perfect helps. Just do your best. And sometimes doing your best means giving it mere 60% and letting it go.
What led you to start designing your own knitting patterns?
In the beginning I enjoyed very much being a test knitter (I still do!), but then my friend was traveling to Alaska and asked if I have anything cool knitted to take photos with. I stayed up late for a week to knit a shawl for her. I made up the pattern, she took photos, I posted on my Instagram, and so many people asked for a pattern, that I typed it up, and that’s how Flying Fox Shawl - my first pattern - came to life.
I am still more of a content creator who just really, really likes to knit (and crochet, lately)! For me it’s way easier to imagine a pattern and knit it, than to explain it on paper how to recreate it.
Can you describe your creative process?
It starts with new yarn, I let it sit in my view for some time while my brain works on ideas what to turn that yarn into. It usually takes a few tries to knit and unravel a pattern to land on design that in my head works for that specific yarn.
What's your favorite type of project?
Shawls. Always shawls.
What do you like about working with Pascuali yarns?
I like your views on environment and slow fashion, and I am glad to be a part of earth friendly movement.
Olga recently introduced her latest creation, the Lemon Tart shawl knitted with our yarns Pinta and Mohair Bliss. Breaking away from traditional designs, this shawl employs basic intarsia technique, dividing it horizontally into two sections. One side features stockinette knit with fingering weight yarn, while the other showcases an intricate lace pattern with silk mohair yarn. With a unique rectangular shape and two rounded corners, the Lemon Tart is super lightweight yet warm.
Follow Olga @Gotham.knits on Instagram.