Episode 27 – Lete’s Knits and Martin’s Lab

Fruity Knitting Podcast - Episode 27 - Click to view

Justyna Lorkowska, the Polish designer behind the Lete’s Knits, is our interview guest on the Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 27. Justyna has a large portfolio of beautiful garment and accessory designs, feminine and individual. We are joined by Justyna’s husband Martin, who is the man behind the hand-dyed yarn label Martin’s Lab. Both Justyna and Martin are talented creators and lovely people and I am sure you will enjoy hearing their story.

Our guest on Knitters of the World is Katie Green. Katie shares her beautiful knitted creations with us, but also tells us the deeper story behind her knitting passion.

Our daughter Madeleine shows us her new project, we see some blue stripes, learn tricks with dental floss and (get thee to a nunnery) visit a thirteenth century German convent. Knitting inspiration from around the world.

Fruity Knitting Podcast - Episode 27 - Click to view
Fruity Knitting Podcast – Episode 27 – Click to view

Lete’s Knits – Interview

Justyna Lorkowska is the designer behind the label Lete’s Knits.  Justyna lives in Tarun, in Poland, but her individual and beautiful designs are making their way across the world.  In her own country, there is little understanding for Justyna’s choice of occupation as a knitting designer.  In Poland knitting seems to be the domain of elderly ladies and a reminder of times where store-bought clothes may have been beyond the budget.  When growing up, Justyna kept quiet about her interest in knitting, and it is still not enjoying the popularity which is seen in the UK and the US.

Threads, by Lete's Knits - Side view
Threads, by Lete’s Knits – Side view
Threads, by Lete's Knits
Threads, by Lete’s Knits

Justyna is guided by her own taste in clothes, and is most comfortable creating a garment which she would love to have in her own wardrobe.  She has clear preferences in her construction techniques – top-down and unseamed. Justyna also had to get her head around her own “Eastern uncrossed” knitting style, and although she still knits in this style, her patterns are written for the western market.

Florrick, by Lete's Knits
Florrick, by Lete’s Knits

Formerly an English teacher, Justyna says her English language abilities have been critical in establishing herself as a designer.  Although she now travels to present her designs at wool festivals around the world, social media and Ravelry play a key part in her business.  English not only opens up the US and the UK, but also countries such as Germany and France, where English is the common international language.

Flaum, by Lete's Knits
Flaum, by Lete’s Knits

Finding Lete’s Knits

Justyna was both a lot of fun and very professional to work with.  You can follow Justyna and find her designs at:

Some photos were created by and are copyright Whiteberry 2017.

Martin’s Lab

Martin Lorkowska created the label Martin’s Lab after experimenting with yarn dyeing, inspired by Justyna’s designs and his own interest in the chemistry and the colors.  He has quickly developed a range of bases from lace weight to DK, using Merino, Blue Face Leicester and New Zealand Polwarth wools, and silk, yak and mohair.  Martin depended on knitting colleagues to advise on the selection of bases, but has an appreciation of the dyeing properties of the individual yarns.

Yarns from Martin's Lab
Yarns from Martin’s Lab

Martin is trained in science and has a natural affinity for the process of dyeing.  The process of developing a new color way is a scientific experiment, where he can control time, temperature, acidity and concentrations to achieve and the reproduce the results that he is aiming for.  Both nature and everyday life provide inspiration for the color selection.

Martin Lorkowska, happy at work in his "lab"
Martin Lorkowska, happy at work in his “lab”

Finding Martin’s Lab

You can find Martin at:

Katie Green – Knitters of the World

Katie Green was working on the Blacker Yarns stand at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, wearing her Birthday Jumper (in Cornish Tin yarn), and advising Andrea and others on their wool selections.  Katie has since formally joined the Blacker Yarns team which has to be a great thing for both parties.

Katie Green wearing her Birthday Jumper, combining her own construction with the colourwork design by Rachel Coopey
Katie Green wearing her Birthday Jumper, combining her own construction with the colourwork design by Rachel Coopey

Katie has several outlets for her creativity.  She describes her book, Lighter Than My Shadow, as

a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak they prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness

Katie also produces a bi-monthly magazine, The Green Bean, celebrating the small things in everyday life in drawings and text.  She has collaborated on a second book, contributes to Pom Pom Magazine, and produces comics and other drawings.

Appa, by Katie Green, waiting patiently for his feet
Appa, by Katie Green, waiting patiently for his feet (Appa is the last known living sky bison, in case you didn’t know)
Tiny Clanger
Tiny Clanger

Finding Katie Green

Katie Green is putting a lot of great stuff out into the world, and you can find it all via:

Madeleine, with Lantic by Sarah Hatton

Madeleine showed us her new project, Lantic by Sarah Hatton, taken from the Rowan Magazin number 61.  The yarn is the Rowan Softyak DK, a blend of cotton and yak.  The garment is knitted in pieces, bottom up, with a raglan sleeve.  Madeleine is doing her final exams (Abitur in German) over the coming months, and will be travelling to Australia later in the year.

Madeleine, wearing the Lovage by Marie Wallin
Madeleine, wearing the Lovage by Marie Wallin

Andrea, wearing Zoe Kleid by Lillestoff

Andrea told us about her trials and tribulations with her first “Zoe Kleid” by Lillestoff.  (“Kleid” is dress, and “Stoff” is material.)  Andrea is turning to sewing whilst taking a break from knitting due to Tennis Elbow and Golfers’ Elbow.  Thank you to everyone who has sent advice and sympathy.  It is not easy, but Andrea has accepted that there is no getting around the rest so that her arms have a chance to recover.

Andrea wearing her Zoe Kleid, by Lillestoff
Andrea wearing her Zoe Kleid, by Lillestoff

I suspect we will get comments saying that the dress looks beautiful and she shouldn’t worry about the slight imperfections.  I would agree, although of course, she can give it another go with the right material.  She looks utterly gorgeous in the dress…

Extreme Knitting – Klosterruine Rosenthal

Our Extreme Knitting footage was taking around the “Pfalz” area, to the south-west of Frankfurt, part of the German state “Rheinland Palatinate”.  The music was “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen”, or “The Shepherd on the Rock”, possibly the last composition by Schubert before he died at age 36.  Written for the Berlin opera singer Anna Milder Hauptmann, it features the shepherd singing into the valley and hearing his own echo (from the clarinet).

Photo and Music Credits

  • Some photographs for Lete’s Knits are by Whiteberry.
  • J. S. Bach, The Well Tempered Clavier, Book 1, Prelude No. 3 in C sharp major, BWV. 848, performed by Kimiko Ishizaka, Creative Commons Atribution 3.0 License
  • J.S. Bach, Goldberg Variations, Aria, BWV 988, performed by Kimiko Ishizaka, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
  • Montana Skies, Canyon Breeze, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
  • Franz Schubert, The Shepherd on the Rock, performed by Musicians from Marlboro, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0



5 thoughts on “Episode 27 – Lete’s Knits and Martin’s Lab”

  1. Elizabeth Rutledge

    Hello Andrea and Andrew- greetings from Tasmania! Just letting you know how much I thoroughly enjoy your podcasts ? So informative, positive and lots of fun! My father (that’s correct my father) taught me how to knit when I was about 7- my Mum knitted also but not as passionately. I knitted my first jumper when I was 11 and have pretty much knitted ever since. Other crafts, like embroidery have surfaced but I have still always returned to my knitting. I’m just finishing a gorgeous moss stitch cardigan- I bought the wool in the Yorkshire dales when we were there a couple of years ago. Thanks again- I love your visits- I started watching at Podcast 24 and am now having a wonderful time catching up on all the others.PS I hope your arms are on the improve. Warm regards Elizabeth

  2. Tamara Morgan

    I just saw my name as a patron for the first time on this episode! So excited, but also sad, because I know that I won’t be able to binge watch shortly.

    Do you have any other knitting podcasts you could recommend? I love yours, but at only 1 every two weeks now, I will probably go back and watch others again, but would like to see if there are others I’d like.

    Andrea, your dress was beautiful–I’m so sorry it didn’t work out as well as you’d hoped. It’s an inspiration for me, who doesn’t sew, to see what a wonderful job you did, and how you figured out what the problems were.

    Thanks to all the Doigs for this fabulous glimpse into more of the knitting world, as well as getting to spend time with you, a lovely family. I was looking for airfare to Scotland, and now I may put Germany on the list, there are so many beautiful places you’ve been showing us.

  3. Hi, Andrea! It’s a whole year later and I’m watching you wearing your pretty springy dress. I think that salesman gave you terrible advice! If you loved the fabric, it would have been perfect as a classic shirt with white slacks and a bright turquoise tank or T-shirt with teeny sleeves, hat, sunglasses, toenails painted, handsome man smiling beside you . . . I am trying to avoid the stretch factor because we who work hard on our garments and expect to wear them for years — we know nothing of how that stuff will react in 5 or 10 years. Salesmen will say anything! I know that slacks give out too soon. People have been figure-conscious for 100 years, and — well, in the 30’s they resorted to a bias cut! . . . Go drool at Emma One-Sock for lovely fabric! Her customers are around the world. She’s pushing spandex and lycra, too, but there are pure fibers also. Please don’t try to use knit fabric for a woven pattern or a woven for a knit pattern. Just get a different pattern for your fabric! AND NEVER EXPECT TO LOOK LIKE THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE! Much love and I’ll be a patron soon!

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