by Berta Karapetyan
Berta Karapetyan has been designing high-end knitwear and working as a technical knitwear developer for Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein for more than two decades. In 1993 she founded the yarn company Karabella Yarns and creates the innovative designs for which they have become well-known.
Runway Knits: 30 Fashion-Forward Designs is a collection of designs full of Karapetyan’s signature details and personality: unusual stitch patterns, interesting construction methods, and designs which flatter the wearer’s body. Karapetyan’s designs are inspired by both the runways of New York City and her Russian roots, with those roots appearing most clearly in patterns such as the Russian-style hat and the Soldier’s Sweater. All the designs are made with the Karabella line of yarns, a company owned by Karapetyan’s son; however, a yarn substitution guide is include at the end of the volume and yardage information can be found on the Karabella website.
Sizing on the finished garments runs from 31” to 46”, with the majority in the 32” to 38” range. These are highly-structured, close-fitting garments with minimal ease and full of couture detailing. Patterns range from beginner (Cozy Moss Shrug) to intermediate (Flamingo Capelet) to the expert (Leaf-Drop Sweater). Pattern instructions are detailed but are text only. Knitters who prefer to work lace and cable patterns from charts may have to create their own charts or work only from the text.
Full of beautiful, colour photographs, the patterns in Runway Knits are separated into four sections by their style; Spirited, Playful, Demure, and Driven. As Karapetyan states in her introduction: “all the designs exude personality; so much so that when you wear them your look will set the mood.”
Reviewed by Janelle Martin
Janelle is an addicted reader and a book reviewer for Armchair Interviews. A passionate knitter in what remains of her free time, she wonders, "Why can't we knit at work?". Her blog can be viewed at http://antheras.blogspot.com