“My grandmother taught me to knit when I was about six. My knitting was full of holes and dropped stitches, but she didn’t seem concerned and just told me to keep knitting, and I did. In fifth grade, I began knitting clothes for my Barbie and taught myself through trial and error how to join colors and make stripes. The summer before entering seventh grade, I knit my first sweater and wore it to school the first day. Knitting has always been a part of my life, the ups and the downs of it. During the months before my impending divorce, I continually knitted socks. Whoever said that knitting socks is cheaper than therapy was right. Although there are other aspects of my business involving fine arts, teaching knitting is a great joy as well as an important part of my income. I regularly teach knitting classes at Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling, WV; Lakeside Chautauqua on Lake Erie, and have an on-going group of knitters in the Wheeling area. People like my classes because I am not afraid to troubleshoot their patterns or let them see mistakes in my own knitting. I love seeing knitters succeed and excel at something I find so enjoyable.”
“Be inspired. Be brilliant. Be limitless.” Steven Berg is a fiber artisan who is armed with a wealth of experience, a daring sense of style, and a firm belief in the transformative power of creativity that knitting or crocheting offers to all who are brave enough to push the boundaries.
Berg began his career early, creating custom knits for Barbie dolls and family members alike. This naturally led him to become a star student in fashion design at Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Parsons, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Following graduation, Berg found inspiration in the fashion capitals of the world, leading him to a career as Design Director and VP of design at Munsingwear, Perry Ellis, and other international design houses. In later years, his creative work experiences brought him back to his favorite medium, the one that always inspired him the most: the imaginative world of fiber arts.
Today you will find Steven in a 6,000 square foot, 19th century firehouse adorned with chandeliers, animal prints, and his eclectic collection of objets d’art from his international travels. Steven has changed the definition of “yarn shop” forever. His knitwear designs and “chunky funky” creations have caught the attention of Hollywood celebrities and stylists. His creations have been featured in national publications and are available on popular knitting websites.
Steven reminds all fiber aficionados: “The possibilities are endless. There are no mistakes, only variations. And always remember to glam it up!”
Jane Bigleow is co owner of A B-ewe-tiful Design along with her daughter, Jill. Their patterns are sold through local yarn shops and also online. She has taught all levels of knitting classes at Kindred Spirits Yarn Studio in Franklin, PA as well as Knitter’s Fantasy and Knitter’s Day Out. She enjoys teaching and watching students realize the comfort that knitting brings. She has recently co-authored and published the book, with her daughter Jill, A Knitter’s Gallery of Mitered Squares, 45 Unique Designs in Color, Texture and Lace.
Jill Bigelow-Suttell was co-owner of Kindred Spirits Yarn Studio and Kindred Spirits Design Studio in Franklin, PA. She is past president of the Wooly Wonders knitting guild. Jill teaches at festivals and yarn shops all around the Great Lakes area, including Pgh Knit and Crochet Festival, Knitter’s Day Out, Knitter’s Fantasy, Ann Arbor Fiber Expo, Kindred Spirits Yarn Studio, Yarn Cravin’, Yarn Garden (of Michigan), Rae’s Yarn Boutique, and Knit A Round. She is co-owner of A B-ewe-tiful Design. Her designs have been published by Knitty.com, Dark Horse Yarn, Schulana, and Cast On magazine. She has recently co-authored and published, with her Mom, the book, A Knitter’s Gallery of Mitered Squares, 45 Unique Designs in Color, Texture and Lace.
I taught knitting and crochet at two local yarn stores outside of Reading, PA, for several years. I also taught knitting for some adult education classes held in several schools in that area. Since moving to the Grove City, PA area I have been teaching for Wolf Creek Yarns for the past 4 years. I was fortunate enough to teach at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festivals over the years.
Structural Engineer by trade, Robyn Chachula, uses her building design processes to create crochet projects in Pittsburgh, PA. In her first crochet book, Blueprint Crochet: Modern Designs For the Visual Crocheter by Interweave Press, she uses her engineering background to bring crochet to new learners with the basics of symbol crochet. In her follow up book, Baby Blueprint Crochet: Irresistible Projects for Little Ones, she dove deeper into the mysteries of crochet diagram through small parent friendly baby projects. Her latest books, Simply Crochet by Interweave and Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia by Wiley, explore the wide realm of crochet techniques. You can catch Robyn as a crochet expert on Knit and Crochet Today on PBS. Robyn also has two DVDs on how to branch out from the constraints of patterns and design your own crochet projects. Feel free to stop by www.crochetbyfaye.com to check up on what has inspired her lately.
Marge Connelly is a self taught knitter who has been at it for over 30 years. She has made at least 75 prayer shawls using the same pattern and some other variations. Marge teaches knitting and crochet most Saturdays at the Coraopolis Public Library to all comers (free classes). She has been teaching children and adults to knit and crochet for at least 20 years and loves the ecumenical service that comes with a Prayer shawl ministry. Having gone to all of the Bedford Springs Knittreats and to the festivals, she knows many of the attendees and is willing to help with problems during free time. She is gracious and kind and is delighted to be teaching and sharing her knowledge with everyone.
Cosette Cornelius-Bates is a designer, dyer, yarn recycler, spinner, knitter and teacher in Pittsburgh, PA. She has a small retail and teaching space called Cosymakes Studio. She self publishes most of her patterns, but has had several collected in the book, Knit One, Embellish Too. She has six yarn lines that she dyes, one small toddler who she chases around and dresses in wool, and a particular liking for vintage glasses. Cosy is a regular vendor at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, and other shows throughout the region.
Inge Herre Deneen learned to knit as a child growing up in Germany, knitting through high school and college. Not about to leave her needles behind when she moved to the United States, she safely tucked them away in her luggage. Developing her own patterns began as a necessity, but soon she realized she had a valuable skill that allowed her to customize her knitting and to design sweaters and cardigans and other knitwear. She believes that learning how to “fit” a garment is an essential skill. Her projects always begin with a “test drive”, i.e. a good size swatch, before she commits to a knitting journey.
Inge has taught knitting and fiber arts since 2009, first in Alexandria, VA and more recently in Indiana and Michigan. In 2013 she launched “fiber accent”, a line of hand dyed yarns and fibers available in select stores and on etsy.
Adina DeRoy-Stouffer is a native Pittsburgh artist and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. Her design studies have taken her as far away as Rome, as she continues the family tradition in the jewelry industry, designing, creating, and selling jewelry. She is also a fiber artist, knitting and selling her designs and work throughout the area. She teaches jewelry making, knitting, and fiber arts at various locations, including Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Sweetwater Center for the Arts in Sewickley, PA.
Drew Emborsky, aka The Crochet Dude®, was taught to crochet at age five by his mom while snowbound in Lake Tahoe. After studying fine art in college and doing the “starving artist” thing for a few years, he found solace in crocheting for charity while grieving the passing of his mother. It was during this time with the charity group that he became know as “The Crochet Dude”, which then led to the launch of his wildly popular blog in 2005. Drew blogs and creates from his studio in Houston, TX with his cats Chandler and Cleocatra.Drew is the crochet expert on the hit show Knit & Crochet Now! airing currently on PBS nationwide. He has been featured in national publications including BUST Magazine, Interweave Crochet, Knit.1, Knit ‘n Style, Knit Simple, and Crochet Today!, as well as international newspapers such as The Sunday Telegraph (in London).
Judé Ernest is a Fiber Artist, Teacher, and 60” Professional FeltLoom Owner. She has been exhibiting and selling her original creations successfully since 1998. For years Judé worked with Stained Glass before the birth of her very curious son. Judé ‘s instincts warned her of the necessity of keeping him out of harm’s way in an ever shrinking home, and the glassmaking supplies were carefully put away. That same year Great Grandma taught her to knit booties – very safe except for the needles. Soon knitting lead to a fascination with all varieties of yarns and shrinking knitted wool items on purpose. This led to a creative explosion fueled by learning how to needle felt, wet felt, and sculpt with fiber. She continues to explore hybrid textiles, surface embellishment, pattern making, new tools and materials, and machine manipulation while constantly expanding her creative repertoire and sharable knowledge. Each new skill and technique stokes in her a personal passion for learning, creating, collaborating, and teaching. Judé creates in her studio and teaches when she has the opportunity. Judé makes her home in Pittsburgh, PA, where she shares her very full and joyful life with her husband, two children and their Standard Poodle named Bing.
Amy has been fascinated with fibers forever. She learned to knit at age 3 and sew at age 7. She longed to spin as a child, and finally realized her dream when she had her parents’ antique spinning wheel re-built after she finished college. Amy taught both high school art and home economics for 22 years, while raising three boys and helping her husband, Greg, on their sheep farm. Ten years ago, Amy and Greg bought a woolmill and brought it to the farm. The mill business has grown into Amy’s full-time job – washing, dying, picking, carding, felting, and knitting with the fibers from the mill. She is best known by her customers for her unusual and creative colorway rovings. Amy and Greg reside on their farm in Paw Paw, MI, with their two dogs, two cats, 32 chickens, and a dove.
CHARLES, a TKGA Master Knitter, learned to knit at the age of four and designed his first sweater three years later. A two-time winner in Knitter’s Magazine “Think Outside the Sox” contest, three of his designs are featured in the book of the same name: “Dread Sox”, “Snake in the Grass” and “Pedicure Polka Socks”. His own book, The Embellished Sock: Knitted Art for the Foot” features eighteen creative socks and numerous techniques. His work is often featured in numerous magazines including Interweave Knits, Knit.Wear and Cast On. His two collections of “Crazy Socks” for Regia have been very successful worldwide. He is a popular lecturer and instructor at conferences and workshops nationwide.
Having spent many years as a commercial furniture design professional, I’ve transferred my love of design to hand knitwear. Featuring fair trade yarns and community service are a large part of what happens at Ewes d’Bleu. Teaching our clients to become more confident in their skills allows us to encourage creativity on so many levels! Please check our web site for the recent articles published about our activities: http://www.ewesdbleu.com/
Several years ago, while on a bike ride with a friend, the friend commented that she wanted to learn how to knit. Krista Ann – who grew up being crafty – thought it would be fun to learn a new skill. The two ladies signed up for knitting classes and from there, Krista Ann couldn’t put the knitting needles down! She has rarely gone a day without knitting ever since. Krista Ann immersed herself in the world of knitting by taking classes and learning as much as she possibly could. It wasn’t long before people started asking her for help. Knitters of all ages began to present their projects to her and seek her expert advice, guidance, and assistance. With a multiple subject teaching credential, teaching knitting came naturally to her. She has found a true passion in sharing her skills with anyone who is willing to learn. She has since launched her own knitwear line (KnitsyKnits) and knits production pieces for TV, film, and fashion designers. Holding the record for LA’s Fastest Knitter – two years running – she has built a name for herself as the knitter to go to when a project needs to be done yesterday!
Thea McCurry grew up in the Pittsburgh area, knitting for the first try with two sharpened pencils and a small ball of gray yarn. Soon, she went on to learn about ‘real’ knitting needles from a mentor who had taught knitting to the blind at the Pittsburgh School for the Blind. Fast forward to present: she enjoys the vast array of designer yarns combined with easy, quick knitting designs for fantastic accessories to get her through the blustery seasons. She uses all sizes of real needles and endless colors and kinds of yarns. She teaching classes in the Greensburg area, and at Raggz. www.raggzfiberart.com
Colleen has taught Knitting at Michaels Arts & Crafts in Pittsburgh for over three years. She loves teaching people of all ages, especially children, and has taught at Scout Troops and other local venues.
She earned her Knitting Instructor’s Certificates with the Craft Yarn Council of America (CYCA) at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.
Before Colleen entered the YARN WORLD, she was a Human Resources Manager in the Pittsburgh Area.
Karen Page, a fiber arts teacher at CAPA, has spent her fourth summer studying felt making in Kyrgyzstan, where she presented at a round table discussion with felt makers from around the world. Karen’s creativity and expertise reflect her experience in the art field and in the art world. Her felt making is imaginative, creative and colorful. Karen engages the public with her exploratory interactive public art installations at the 3 Rivers Arts Festival.
If you are not familiar with my work, please browse around and especially visit my blog, where I post projects in progress and thoughts on my creative process. I am a 30-something computer technician in the Boston area; I spend much of my spare time as a knitwear designer, focusing specifically on double-knitting, which is a knitting technique that creates a fabric with no wrong side. Until recently, a typical double-knit fabric was either tubular or two-colored with the opposite side showing a mirror image in opposite colors from the facing side. Over the past few years, people here and there have been pushing the boundaries of double-knitting to include more complex color and structure variations.
While I cannot claim to be the only one pushing these boundaries, I am among those on the forefront of innovation in double-knitting. My book, entitled Extreme Double-Knitting, documents a snapshot of my repertoire of esoteric double-knitting techniques (as well as being a guide for beginning double-knitters), but I am continuing to develop techniques and apply them to new designs.
In addition to designing patterns, I also teach workshops for all levels of double-knitting experience, and am available to do presentations on my technique development and adventures in publishing my work.
Thanks for your interest and keep knitting!
Natalie Roberson, RYT, is a Hatha and Yin Yoga instructor based in Pittsburgh, PA. Her classes focus on teaching a strong and varied practice with emphasis on accessibility, challenge and fun. Her schedule includes teaching group yoga classes and workshops, as well as private and semi-private yoga sessions. She also hosts The Lotus People blog featuring her adventures in yoga, knitting and technology. www.thelotuspeople.com
Kitty Savel, who lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taught herself how to crochet when she was in the sixth grade. She has been crocheting ever since. She is an active member of the Pittsburgh Fiber Arts Guild and is co-chair of the Guild’s Knitting and Crochet Mentoring group. Her work has been shown in galleries and artisan shows here in the Pittsburgh area as well as at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Art Gallery. She works with all types of yarn, crochet thread and, of course wire in her work. She especially enjoys working with thread and wire. She is also a knitter and has taught both the Teach Me 2 Knit and Teach Me 2 Crochet classes at previous Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festivals.
Shelley Shaffer, is the owner of B’ewe’tiful Knits Yarn Boutique in Clarion, PA. I started knitting as a young girl with my grandmother and have been in love with fiber ever since. Since opening the yarn shop I have engaged young and old alike into the wonderful world of fiber. Taking them from knitting or crocheting scarfs to I’m ready, let’s go! Currently I am also teaching fleece to fiber classes. With the opportunities afforded me of the surrounding fiber farms, I am able to engage students to learn how yarn is truly created.
Whether it’s clothing, quilts, knitting or food, Lauren is dedicated to the craft of anything you can make from nothing. After 7 years spent working as a professional seamstress & crafts artisan for theaters in the DC and MD area, she moved to Pittsburgh with her husband and found a place in the fiberarts community. Today, she works for the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh managing Fiberart International 2016 and oversees Inner Hearth Yoga, www.innerhearthyoga.com , an intimate yoga studio in the Point Breeze neighborhood focusing on alignment-based, non-heated, body-positive yoga for everyday women & men.
Elaine Smith started her own custom embroidery business about 14 years ago. “I learned to crochet in high school and have enjoyed it through the years. About 7 years ago I learned to knit and decided to incorporate a yarn shop into my pre-existing custom embroidery business 5 years ago. I have been teaching knitting and crocheting in the shop to many students as well as at our local vocational school for 3 years. I carry a full line of yarns and accessories at my store in New Waterford, Ohio.”
Kitty Spangler holds a BA from IUP, MFA Syracuse University with a concentration in Visual Books. She is an adjunct professor at LaRoche College since 1997. She was one of the core members of the Knit the Bridge Team, is published in Volume 1, Non Adhesive Binding books without paste or glue, by Keith A Smith.
In Kitty’s own words, “I’m a painter, maker, and teacher. I make up my own cross stitch mandalas, create stream-of-conscious free form drawings in India ink and gouache, and learned to crochet for Knit the Bridge, “clever, creative, and always working on something”. ” There’s nary a craft I haven’t tried.” Kitty has an unique ability to engage and enthuse all of her students seeking out alternative methods for materials, supplies and experimentation. A woman who is truly a kid at heart, Kitty sees the bright and colorful in everything around her.
Julie Stunden received her MFA in Painting from Yale University, and her BFA in Painting from Indiana University in Bloomington. She is currently teaching part time in the Studio Art Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches woodworking to Middle School Students at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, as well as owning and operating her own tile installation business. In addition, Stunden maintains an Artist’s studio in the East End of Pittsburgh. She shares the space with Annie Stunden, a quilter, and her mother.
Stunden recently participated in the Stormworks public project, Rain Barrels on Parade, to raise awareness to the issues of storm water runoff. Her Painted Rain Barrel was on exhibit at the USX tower in downtown Pittsburgh. She also exhibited a donated sculpture for a Breast (cancer) Reconstruction Awareness event at the Mattress Factory. She had artwork on exhibit in the most recent downtown Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl. She had artwork in an exhibit at the Frick Fine Arts Gallery, “Deconstructing Portraiture”, and had an exhibit of her South African Bird Paintings at the Pittsburgh Aviary. Stunden is a multi media artist that explores the reinventing and reapplication of a range of materials that are influenced by the context and relationships of the materials to a given project.
Susan Swarthout has been selling her ware in stores in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, at craft fairs in both cities and online on Etsy since January 2011. Arriving in Pittsburgh in late 2012, she did extensive research on outlets for selling fiber work in our area. She is currently serving as the President of the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh. Her Etsy store is: Fiberfanaticfandango.
I was born in 1960 near London, England, the daughter of an artist and an engineering designer. I learned knitting as a child and have always enjoyed experimenting with all kinds of techniques. There has rarely been a time when I didn’t have something on the needles and I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t designing or tweaking a pattern. In 2011, I challenged myself to find a two sided version of a two color rib and the result is Twigg stitch.
I have taught at various stores in the Chicago area, NH and NJ, and have upcoming bookings in PA and VA, and plans in the works for CA and Toronto, Midwest masters (2013) in Neenah WI. Book: Twigg Stitch
Jennifer Vancalcar has been dyeing yarn as Holiday Yarns for the past 12 years and knitting even longer. Her yarns have been featured in magazines such as Spin-off and Interweave as well as on the popular show Knitting Daily. Holiday Yarns was the “Yarn of the Month” for Yarnbox in December 2013. You can also find Holiday Yarns on The Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee) Blog and on Debbie Macomber’s needles when her book Starry Night was released, among other places. Jennifer has produced over 100 fun and eye catching colors over the years and continues to come up with more everyday! http://holidayyarns.com/
“I can’t remember when I didn’t knit. I have taught locally and regionally and have been fortunate to study with nationally and internationally recognized knitters. I love to lead students to the joy of knitting and then watch them become independent knitters, helping them create their own designs and make decisions about how they want to adapt patterns. My special passions are cables, lace, domino knitting and two-color knitting such as Fair Isle and Scandinavian patterns.
I feel privileged to design for several yarn companies and am published in Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Knit Simple and several books; including More Baby Quick Knits. I also spin, weave and quilt but if, perish the thought, I had to decide on one activity, it would be knitting.
One of the joys of teaching and knitting has been to participate in the warmth of knitting with others and experience its healing and supportive powers.
In 2009, I designed a banner for the G-20 Conference in Pittsburgh and then coordinated about 30 knitters to make it. I assembled the pieces and it was accepted to be hung at the Pittsburgh County Airport, where the delegates arrived. It will hang there for a year and then move to the Pittsburgh International Airport. The Pittsburgh Airport Authority has submitted it to an international airport art competition.
I also teach at LYS, Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival, Chautauqua Institution and I lead and participate in knitting retreats.”
Charles Voth, a lifelong stitcher who has been crocheting and knitting for decades, started designing at 15, and despite a few hiatuses for work and family commitments, he has continuously built his repertoire of stitching skills in both crafts. In addition to spreading his love of these crafts by teaching friends and clients the joys of stitching, Charles is a language teacher at the pre-university level and has worked in adult education for more than 20 years.
He is extremely patient, and creatively explains each concept several different ways, calmly engaging the students of whatever he teaches with encouragement and a sense of humor. His first Craftsy.com class on reading crochet symbol diagrams launches in October, 2014. Charles’ design work has appeared in several magazines, books, and yarn companies publications, and he is a highly sought after technical editor whose clients include Interweave, Annie’s, and Taunton. He served as interim editor of UK-based Inside Crochet and is now their technical editor, and has been a contributing editor for Vogue Knitting Crochet.
Andrea Wong was born and raised in South America. She teaches knitting at venues throughout the country, has been published in a variety of knitting magazines and is the lead designer for her business, Andrea Wong Knits.
Andrea first learned to knit when she was 7 years old from her mother and has been knitting since. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and did research on the medical field until she had her first child in 1992. Later she worked part-time at the local yarn shop for 5 years, teaching, designing and assisting customers. After receiving many invitations to teach regionally and nationally, she quit her position at the yarn shop and open her own business Andrea Wong Knits.
In the past 10 years Andrea has taught thousands of knitters in the USA and abroad to use the Portuguese Style of Knitting, either personally or through her 3 published DVDs. Andrea is also very proud of her self-published book “Portuguese Style of Knitting – History, Traditions and Techniques” in 2010. It teaches this method of knitting step by step and includes 10 projects to practice the technique. Andrea’s vast experience allows her to transmit her in-depth knowledge of this style, into clear, concise, effective instructions making the technique attainable for any knitter who is interested in learning this effective method.
Melissa Yoder Ricks teaches spinning classes at all levels; at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, SAFF (Southeast Animal Fiber Forum in Asheville NC) as well as at her studio, at yarn shops and retreats. “I’ve taught beginner classes, starting with the drop spindle, but my favorite classes are those that inspire spinners to move beyond the basics and explore the creative potential of spinning. I had a number of people at the festival last year comment that they would love a class on spinning the kind of handspun yarns that I have in my booth — call them ‘art yarns,’ creative, textured, or whatever you want: my focus is on developing the skills and techniques that allow a spinner to control their fiber and product the yarns that they want to create.” Melissa owns and operates Wild Hare Fiber Studio and can be found at www.wildharefiber.com, and will be at booth # 25.