Woolful Podcast

Episode 83: Olga Buraya-Kefelian – Improvisation, linguistic studies, exploring technique and Olga Jazzy

September 8, 2017

Sponsor: Texture, fit, technique, style. Just a handful of elements that inspire today’s knitter to pick up needles and cast on. When it comes to men who knit or those who wish to knit for them, though, sources of inspiration are often difficult to come by. The solution is Rib Magazine. Devon and Jennie, the founders of Rib Magazine hope to establish an ever-evolving, inspirational library of men’s knitwear patterns and highlight the renaissance of men returning to the craft and art of knitting. As you flip through the pages, you will not only find engaging designs, but stories of men who participate in and contribute to our fiber community, whether they be knitters, designers, weavers, spinners, or dyers. Through their stories, Rib aims to motivate and attract more men to knitting. 

Now introducing the second issue of Rib Magazine: No. 2 | NAVIGATE. In the pages of this issue, you will find designs and articles that explore the craft of knitting along with selected garments and accessories with interesting constructions and techniques—challenges for you to navigate and adventures to embrace. Whether you are embarking on a project to learn a new skill or fine tune your craft, we hope that you enjoy the journey of creating a timeless piece for your wardrobe or a loved one’s. Look for issue No. 3 launching this October. Subscriptions and individual issues are available on at ribmag.com and follow along on Instagram @ribmagazine

Fiber folk: Olga Buraya-Kefelian is a force in the knitwear design community and her penchant for unique construction and patterns has broadened many a knitters repertoire. Her work has made appearances with many of our favorite yarn brands, including Shibui, Woolfolk, Brooklyn Tweed, Habu and many more. I’ve long been a fan of her versatility in design and it was a pleasure getting to hear her story. I hope you enjoy it as well. And for those you who don’t want to miss any of Olga’s upcoming events and classes, make sure to subscribe to her newsletter at olgajazzy.com and follow along on Instagram and Facebook @olgajazzyknits.

Photos by Shibui, Woolfolk, Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Vanessa Yap-Einbund, Jared Flood

Sponsor: Shibui Knits was born in 2007, in the basement of Darcy Cameron’s yarn store, Knit Purl in Portland, Oregon. Faced with the limitations of yarn from big-brand companies, she started her own label, bringing yarn of the highest quality to small, independent stores like her own. Shibui Knits has since grown to represent timeless sophistication in local yarn stores worldwide. All of the Shibui yarns are designed to become unique, luxury fabrics in a coordinated palette made for mixing, at any gauge. Each pattern is tailored with thoughtful techniques, resulting in an intuitive knitting process and garments with optimal fit. Today, they continue to be grounded in the concept of simplicity well executed, with loving attention to detail. This week Shibui launched the FW17 collection along with their newest yarn Birch, a sport weight single ply made in 100% merino. This new collection celebrates the contrasts of the season with dynamic shapes, and versatile, multi-seasonal fabrics that help you push the boundaries of your personal style with confidence. You can view the FW17 lookbook along with the full line of Shibui yarns at shibuiknits.com and make sure to follow along on Ravelry and Instagram @shibuiknits and you’ll want to join Shibui’s card list and follow their journey at shibuiknits.com/follow-our-journey

Giveaway: The winner of our last episode’s giveaway is Rose Young. You’ve won a copy of Rebecca Burgess’s book Harvesting Color and 3 skeins of Twirl yarn. Congratulations!

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Shibui and Rib Magazine. Shibui is giving a project kit which includes the ICON pattern, a modern wrap from their FW17 collection along with 5 skeins of their new yarn Birch. Rib Magazine is giving away a copy of their most recent issue Navigate. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post. 

Music by Jónsi.

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102 Comments

  • Reply Karen September 9, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Olgajazzy sounds like an amazing woman. Thanks for inviting her to share her story and her insights.

  • Reply Linda September 9, 2017 at 6:17 am

    ¡Olé Olgajazzy! Such beautiful designs. Plus, what could be better than Shibui Birch + ICON? Stunning!

  • Reply Margaret September 9, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Wonderful! I love a good interview. Good to hear Olgajazzy’s story.

  • Reply Laura S September 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I love all of the textures in this episode! It has always fascinated me what a simple combination of purl and knit stitches can create!

  • Reply ElaineChicago September 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Such a great interview. Olga’s work is stunning!

  • Reply Vicki L September 9, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Such an engaging and interesting interview. I loved hearing her story. The sweater on the cover of Capsule 1 is very intriguing. I love the look of the shawls shown in the pictures right above the podcast download bar.

  • Reply Stephanie D'Souza September 9, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I love all the textures in Olga’s designs. Her work is so sculptural.

  • Reply Kate September 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Ooh, Birch looks like an amazing yarn! I can’t wait to listen to this episode.

  • Reply Sharon September 9, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I really enjoyed hearing about Olga’s story of growing up so far away from what I am familiar with. I love her patterns and the idea that less can be more. Thanks for a great interview!

  • Reply Claire September 9, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    I love hearing stories of people who have travelled such a different path to mine, thanks for sharing Olga’s. Thanks also for introducing me to her incredible patterns too!

  • Reply Woolpine September 10, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Insightful interview – totally captivating. While listening, I was wondering about Olga’s time in Italy and the inspirational weight it could have (might have?)had on her creative process (talk about abundance of detail!)

  • Reply Diana September 10, 2017 at 3:10 am

    Love her designs. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply Naomi September 10, 2017 at 4:34 am

    So interesting to hear about this innovative designer.

  • Reply Laura September 10, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Love that wrap pattern 🙂

  • Reply Ingrid September 10, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Just spent a lovely hour on a wet and windy Sunday afternoon sewing up and listening to Olga. I really enjoy hearing about knitter’s lives and inspiration.

  • Reply Rachel Tuck September 10, 2017 at 10:46 am

    What a great story! I can see her upbringing in the style of her work. Thankyou! Birch yarn sounds lovely.

  • Reply Sara September 10, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    So thrilled to learn more about Olga after enjoying her designs for years. Thank you!

  • Reply Tera Birr September 10, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I always admire peoples lives that have knitting in them for as long as they can remember. I hope my kids always remember hand knits, too!

  • Reply Joan Miller September 10, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Enjoyed hearing Olga Jazzy tell her story. It is fascinating and amazing. As a retired military wife, having moved over 20 times over the course of my husband’s career, I say wow!! You took the challenges of multiple moves and used them to further your knowledge and interests. Your story is inspirational for any military wife who is struggling to find herself. Congratulations on where you are today, Olga. And continued success!

  • Reply Suzi September 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    So many great designs! Thanks for the introduction to Olga’s patterns.

  • Reply Martina September 10, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you for finding these amazing people and giving them the space to tell us their story. Good to hear that there are so many different reason why people want to knit and mainly several reasons to keep going for each knitter or fibre creative. I wish Olga all the best for her future.

  • Reply Marina September 10, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I so much relate to Olga’s childhood story as I am coming from the same soviet background and now living in Australia. Love your work Olga and please keep inspiring us!
    Marina

  • Reply Susannah September 10, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Great to hear her story and how she is made designing a career!

  • Reply V. Broderick September 11, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Loved listening to Olga’s journey. Now I have a voice to match her cute modeling photos of her inventive knitwear. Brava!

  • Reply Morgan Moss September 11, 2017 at 6:47 am

    I can’t wait to learn more about Olga, her patterns and her journey. Your podcasts have been a portal to so much learning about the knit world I love so much and this episode looks like a really good one! Thanks for your dedication to all the education you spread through your work.

  • Reply Judy N September 11, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I love hearing the craft journeys of the people you bring on your podcast and Olga’s journey is no exception. Thank you, Ashley.

  • Reply Sarah S September 11, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Great interview, so insightful!

  • Reply Ann M. September 11, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Appreciated hearing the story of her fibre journey and love where her time in Japan is taking her work.

  • Reply Cindy Sorensen September 11, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I so enjoyed the podcast. This is the first one for me!

  • Reply Kaat Neesen September 11, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I love the patterns of Olga Jazzy! She keeps surprising!

  • Reply Rose Young September 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Beautiful podcast! I always enjoy each and every one of them! And Thanks for the amazing giveaways!

  • Reply Maureen Johnson September 11, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    excellent episode! Her story is so thorough and thought provoking. Love her relationship with her mom and how it has evolved through her career.

  • Reply Denise September 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    I so enjoyed your interview with Olga! Your podcast interviews always leave me feeling like I really got to know the guest. I love learning about a designer that is new to me.

  • Reply Ann Leaness September 11, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Loved hearing about the design process. Have been checking out the OlgaJazzy designs 🙂

  • Reply Maria September 11, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    ah, I so loved this conversation (and bonus baby photos)! I love gaining insight into what makes designers “tick” 🙂

  • Reply Bowen Gibson September 11, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    I really enjoyed the interview!

  • Reply illitilli September 11, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    One of the best things about hearing other people’s fibre journeys are the recollections and observations that resonate with your own – Olga’s personal experience with knitting as meditation and therapy struck that chord with me.

  • Reply Caitlin September 12, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Loved this one!

  • Reply Belinda September 12, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Great interview. I loved hearing about Olga’s childhood and experiences in Japan.

  • Reply Tamara Snell September 12, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Thanks for another great podcast and giveaway. It was lovely to listen to Olga tell us where she came from, how she started out and what’s in the future. I was lucky enough to listen to her give a talk at Pomfest in London, recently, and this interview simply helped give an even better understanding of who she is.

  • Reply Meagan Radford September 12, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Wonderful interview, I didn’t realize I already had so many of Olga’s patterns favourited on Ravelry, so great to hear her story.

  • Reply Kezia September 12, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Another fascinating episode, thank you so much. Always an inspiration.

  • Reply Danielle Boots September 12, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    What a super interesting podcast. Thank you for sharing your love of all things fiber with us. The yarns in the prize package are gorgeous. Thank you for the opportunity to experience a great pattern and yarn.

  • Reply Jenny Maillette September 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    <3 Thank you for this episode. pretty inspiring

  • Reply Susan SUTTON September 12, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Another amazing episode. I was mesmerised listening to Olga tell her story. Thank you for such wonderfully produced episodes.

  • Reply Felicia September 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you for introducing me to a knitwear designer with a focus on texture. I love texture! Olga mentioned designs that can be worn in different ways or augmented and I plan to figure out which ones those are. Thanks again!

  • Reply Joanna September 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you for another wonderful episode. Its interesting how different cultures view crafting as a profession. I’ll certainly be looking at Olga’s designs.

  • Reply Marybeth OConnell September 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Olga’s story is fascinating and her instagram is a dream.

  • Reply amber September 12, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    what an interesting history olga has! Her designs are fascinating!

  • Reply Ash September 13, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Beautiful interview with a lovely designer – especially interesting to hear more about textile and fiber traditions in Eastern Europe. Thanks as always for a wonderful episode.

  • Reply Suzanne September 13, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Thank you for giving Olga space to share her story. Her evolution as a designer is fascinating. I’m eager to look at her patterns as I am a person who enjoys learning and would appreciate her project based teaching style.

  • Reply Stephanie Attridge September 13, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Thank you, Olga, for sharing your story! You’ve made woolfolk yarns less of a mystery to me and I’m really keen to knit with it as it is super soft!! Thanks to Woolful for another wonderful podcast! Listening while knitting is my happy place:)

  • Reply kathy September 13, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Absolutely fantastic interview. Thank you, Ashley, and thank you, Olga. Inspirational.

  • Reply Mirja September 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Great to hear Olga’s story and to get to know her fabulous designs. Thanks for another lovely episode.

  • Reply Kelly from CT September 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you for the informative, entertaining content.

  • Reply Josie Branco September 13, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    I just listened to your interview with Olga Buraya-Kefelian and I had to write to say how much I enjoyed listening to Olga. I’ve purchased many of her patterns because I simply love her sense of design. But, the interview struck such a meaningful chord in me that I just had to leave this comment. Well done.

    The audio of the conversation was also quite excellent – the best one I’ve heard from Woolful. So congratulations on that, too.

  • Reply Carolyn September 14, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Thanks to you and Olga for keeping me company on the commute today! It was interesting to hear about how her creative flair for knitwear design was fuelled in part by the limited selection of off-the-rack clothing in Belarus during the Soviet era.

  • Reply Anne September 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    This episode was really interesting – it was great hearing Olga speak about how her passion for knitting developed. I am off to check out some of her designs.

  • Reply Sandra September 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Great podcast : ) I’m so thankful for designers like Olga who design lovely knits with a capsule wardrobe in mind. She’s a designer I’ve long admired and appreciated this interview so much. Happy knitting!!!

  • Reply Savannagal September 14, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I really enjoyed this podcast. I love Olga’s patterns. They are so timeless. It’s nice to hear her success story. Thanks to both of you for sharing your lives with us.

  • Reply Meredith S September 14, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    What a great individual to feature. Always love Shibui yarn!

  • Reply Cathy Wist September 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Olga has a fascinating story! Thanks for your quality podcast.

  • Reply Karen D September 15, 2017 at 12:32 am

    I look forward to each and every podcast…thank you for always bringing us fascinating stories from the fiber world!

  • Reply Judith B September 15, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Yes !!!you have successsful completed another delightful podcast. What I enjoyed most is Olga Jazzy discussing the relationship with her mother and how they are connected through crafting.. Thanks.

  • Reply Loretta E September 15, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Love seeing that these patterns that I’ve been admiring for a while are designed by the same woman! Such a great background story!

  • Reply Katrina Blisskat September 15, 2017 at 10:53 am

    What an interesting story Olgajazzy has to tell! Her designs are beautiful.
    And, what a stunning pattern ICON is!
    Thanks

  • Reply Kirsten Sydow September 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    This was a fascinating episode. My 9 year old daughter and I learned a lot !!

  • Reply Vivienne September 16, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    She has some of the most innovative designs. Thank you for sharing her story!

  • Reply mimi e September 17, 2017 at 7:25 am

    It was amazing to hear her story & be introduced to her patterns.

  • Reply Rachel Inman September 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Such a great interview! Thanks!

  • Reply Angela September 17, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Another interesting and inspiring fiber story! And another great giveaway. Thanks!

  • Reply Maaike September 18, 2017 at 4:03 am

    What an inspiring episode, again! Would love to participate in the give away. Thank you!

  • Reply Elizabeth September 18, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Thank you for your work!

  • Reply Arianne September 18, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Great podcast. I relate to her introverted nature.

  • Reply Margaret Guillen September 18, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Wonderful interview! Olga’s story is so very inspirational.

  • Reply Johanna Giesbrecht September 18, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Absolutely adore her work! So good to hear her story.

  • Reply Becky September 19, 2017 at 5:12 am

    I loved hearing Olga’s story and seeing the photos you included–I’ll have to go look at more of her designs! Thank you.

  • Reply Danielle Haas September 19, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Can’t wait to hear the episode! Thanks, as always, for the giveaway!

  • Reply virginia Sattler-Reimer September 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Great interview and gorgeous designs!

  • Reply Jayne September 19, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Beautiful patterns and beautiful yarn 🙂 Enjoyed the podcast very much – Thank you

  • Reply Kaarina September 20, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Thanks for another great episode! So interesting and inspiring!

  • Reply Shirley September 20, 2017 at 8:19 am

    What a wonderful exploration of design. Listening and learning about this process as it plays out in her life with such descriptive and articulate language was shear joy.
    A simply great episode.

  • Reply Gigi W September 20, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Another amazing podcast. Thank you. I really enjoy listening and it was so interesting.

    T

  • Reply Susan Seward September 21, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    What unique designs! Thanks for another great listen.

  • Reply Cynthia B Ouellette September 22, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I’ve just discovered your podcast and love listening to the in-depth, behind-the-scenes stories of the knitwear industry!

  • Reply Natalie September 22, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Love her designs and really loved hearing her story. Thanks for sharing it!

    Natalie

  • Reply Elizabeth Moss September 23, 2017 at 7:37 am

    I love your podcasts – this was a great one! So glad to learn about Olga and her amazing work.

  • Reply Susan September 23, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    What an interesting story Olga presented in the interview. Her designs are equally beautiful. Thanks for using your platform to present her story.

  • Reply Rhona Dehnad September 24, 2017 at 5:36 am

    So happy to have found your wonderful, interesting, informative, fun podcast!! And your voice and Olga’s are so beautiful, engaging and lovely to listen to!! Thanks!!!

  • Reply Katerina September 25, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Fantastic interview!

  • Reply Ines September 25, 2017 at 2:55 am

    I still haven’t knit a pattern by Olga but it’s definitely on my list, as I love the way she creates very graphic pieces that are timeless.
    It was a pleasure listening to Olga’s story!

  • Reply Laurel September 25, 2017 at 6:32 am

    I really enjoyed hearing Olga’s story and her designs are so pretty.

  • Reply Patrizia September 26, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Thank you for another interesting episode. I’ve always admired Olga’s talent as a designer. I have some of her patterns and one day I will dare to knit something for me.

  • Reply Shannon Yeaton September 26, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Love her work, such unique designs! Thanks for yet another great episode!

  • Reply Chris September 26, 2017 at 10:45 am

    So interesting how designers come into their craft. A woman who was influenced and inspired by many things especially her mother.

  • Reply Sarah September 27, 2017 at 6:42 am

    This interview was such a pleasure to listen to. I never cease to be amazed at the variety of stories that we can all tell about our fiber journey.

  • Reply Denise September 27, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Absolutely loved this episode! Olga is so phenomenal. Thank you for sharing the fiber world with us in the beautiful way in which you do it!

  • Reply Julia September 27, 2017 at 11:45 am

    An interesting journey, and a good reminder how privileged we are to live in a time and place where we have the luxury of making things for our own enjoyment. Thanks!

  • Reply Calypso September 29, 2017 at 3:46 am

    Thank you for this very interesting interview with Olga Buraya Kefelian, I really enjoyed listening to the story of her childhood in Belarus.

  • Reply Natalie September 29, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Thanks for this lovely collection of images and article

  • Reply Laura Pengra September 29, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Ashley, your podcasts bring me so much comfort. I savor a day off so I can binge listen. Because of the Woolful Podcast, I have expanded my knowledge of fibers, designers, and knitting. I had no idea!

  • Reply Sophie September 30, 2017 at 6:36 am

    I have discovered Olga’s story and her attraction for 3-d design, which has really made me yearn to cast on one of her patterns. And I love a garment that can be worn in different ways!

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