Astrid Lapidus: Knitting in Bars

Blocking wire sets and innovative knitting accessories of the highest quality, imported from Israel – that’s Lazadas, and I am proud and happy that we carry them in Strickmich! Shop. At h+h cologne, the world’s largest fair for creative handicraft and hobby supplies, I have taken the opportunity to interview Astrid Lapidus, founder of Lazadas.

What’s the idea behind the Lazadas blocking wires? What makes them different from others?
After using “conventional”, rigid blocking wires and about 20.000 T-pins to block only one half-moon shaped shawl, I felt frustrated and thought “there must be another way”! Months later and after a lot of study and trials I developed the super flexible blocking wires: adapting to every shape, rust-free and making the process of blocking fast and easy.

You live in Israel, but your blocking wires are in the process of conquering the entire knitting world. Where are they already available? How does that make you feel?
I am proud and honored that we produce high-quality knitting accessories in Israel and reach thousands of knitters around the world. You can find Lazadas knitting accessories at exclusive yarn shops all over the world.

How did the famous Project Caddy come to be? Why did you choose such vibrant colors?
This is a funny story. With my friends, we use to meet and knit at bars in Tel Aviv. But putting the project bags on the table seemed no good idea because of the drinks, and placing them on the floor didn’t seem to be an alternative either – because of the drinks. Then, the Project Caddy idea was born. Waterproof, handy, versatile and pretty to match every fancy yarn. Jewel tones are my favorite!

You are originally from Argentina. Is having an international background an advantage when it comes to understanding the needs of knitters around the world?
I think that experiencing different cultures and languages opens your mind. In fact, every time I travel, I try to attend a local knit meeting. I find the fiber community very welcoming, like a sorority.

The blocking wire sets are produced in an inclusive workshop in Israel. How did that collaboration evolve? What do you like about it?
We work in cooperation with ENOSH, the Israeli mental health association. 
The workshop is located in the Arab city Umm al-Fahm. It’s very important for me an inclusive work environment where men, women, Jews and Muslims work together in peace. I hope in the future, more politicians will think like us.