Fiber Teacher Links
If you don’t see your favorite instructor on this list, please send us the info at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
“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.”
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.
Jill Bigelow-Suttell is 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.
Donna lives in Pittsburgh, PA and her concentration has been examining the intuitive aspects of color for over 25 years. She expresses her style by focusing on how each of us is affected by color’s emotional characteristics.
She is a multidiscipline artist who creates work based in visually translating words, emotions, and responses into the fundamental language of color through figurative and non objective mixed media art and personal portrait masks. She is also a color consultant and lectures on the intuitive characteristics of color.
Throughout Kearns’ career she has worked in a variety of media while consistently being engaged in the process of color selection based on its emotional energy, specifically the underlying human response to these properties and characteristics
Kearns began her work as a painter but was quickly drawn to a more tactile medium beginning her longtime career with glass, a material dictated by color. She has designed, fabricated and taught stained and mosaic glass, various applications of decorative and architectural glass, and has over one hundred fifty residential, commercial, and public installations throughout the US, UK, and Australia.
After becoming unable to continue fabricating with stained glass, she continued her study of the human response to color.Texture and dimension also continue to be key elements in her work. This has guided her to explore additional disciplines, most recently fiber.
She pursues this focus through mixed media figurative and non objective work and personal portrait masks while working in varied applications and disciplines.
Kearns has numerous pieces in private collections, has exhibited solo as well as in group exhibits.
She has taught lectures and workshops for the Quilt Company East, Fiberarts of Pittsburgh, Plum Creek Stitchers and other arts organizations.
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 Pgh. Knit and Crochet Festival last year.
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, she knows most 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.
Kimberly Davis is a fiber artist and creativity coach who also co-owns, Stitch Your Art Out, a knitting and quilting shop in Pine Grove Mills, PA. When she is not knitting, crocheting, quilting, locker hooking, painting or otherwise creating, she’s busy helping women find their creative passion at her exuberantly colorful shop and through her coaching business. Learn more about her creative life at fiberhaven.blogspot.com.
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.
Laun (Spoharski) Dunn
I am the co-owner of Dunn Spun Yarn of Coal Township, PA, along with my husband Mike, as well as being the Spinning Editor for BellaOnline.com. I am an avid hand spinner, knitter and seamstress. I also create home decor items and accessories from alpaca and wool felt. I was born in Pittsburgh, and grew up in Clarion county. I took up knitting during my college years and spinning about nine years ago. I am so happy to be back for this years’ festival, to teach at the show again and look forward to seeing friends old and new.
Candace Eisner Strick
Learning both music and knitting at the age of three, Candace Eisner Strick has followed these two loves all her life. She was co-director and cello instructor of the Suzuki String Program of Mansfield, CT for 16 years. She is the author of Sweaters From a New England Village (Down East Books, 1996), a book about Harrisville, NH which features twenty original designs using Harrisville Designs yarn. Her second book, Sweaters From New England Sheep Farms (Down East Books, 2000) is a series of portraits of eight New England sheep farmers who hand-dye the wool they produce, and includes over 25 original designs using their fiber. Her third knitting book, Beyond Wool (Martingale, Feb. 2004), uses a variety of fibers other than wool. There are chapters about the fibers as well as 25 original designs. Her fourth book, The Quilter’s Quick Reference Guide, was released in June, 2004 by Martingale. Her fifth publication, Little Box of Crocheted Bags, was released in March 2006 by Martingale. Her sixth book, Knit One, Stripe Too, was released by Martingale. in October, 2008. Her latest book, Strick-ly Socks, features a revolutionary and amazingly simple way of knitting socks.
Her designs and writing have appeared in Knitter’s Magazine, Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Knit It Magazine, Wild Fiber Magazine, Cast On Magazine, Vogue Knitting books and Interweave Knitting books. Candace designs for yarn companies while she and her husband run their internet based business, www.Strickwear.com, which features her exclusive designs, and her new line of yarn, Merging Colors.
Candace teaches workshops internationally at major knitting conventions and guilds. Her other fiber related interests include spinning, weaving, dyeing and quilting. When not doing the above, she is riding her bicycle. She lives in rural Connecticut with her pianist/knitting husband Ken, wonder-bunny Abraham, and 2 birds. She has three grown sons, all of whom know how to knit but refuse to do so.
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.
Victoria Fergus has more than 30 years’ teaching experience including K-12 and higher education. At the college level, she has taught art education courses, 2D foundations, 3D foundations, ceramics, crafts, graphic design, drawing, art for main-streaming, graduate seminar, and art education graduate studies. She also has experience in teaching museum based outreach programs as well as working as an exhibition and display consultant for museums. She started using crochet as an artistic medium while working on her doctorate. “I see my crochet work as a combination of the 3D and 2D training I had.” Her work has been exhibited in national and international textile exhibits and numerous one-person shows.
Debbie Maier Jacknin turned 50 and she reinvented herself. Her mother taught her to knit and crochet when she was a young girl and her daughter, Jenn, taught her to make jewelry. Now, she teaches those skills to others at JoAnn Fabric and Craft and at the Pittsburgh Public Market. Debbie enjoys spending the week knitting, crocheting, and creating unique jewelry, which she sells with items her daughter creates at Jenn’s Jems located inside the Pittsburgh Public Market located in the Strip District on Smallman Street between 16th and 17th streets.
Judi Kirby is a retired high school English teacher who moved to the Lowcountry of Beaufort, South Carolina, 5 years ago for some sand, surf, and warmer weather!! A former quilt shop owner, scrapbook store manager, and designer and teacher, crafting, teaching and channeling her “Inner Martha” is in her blood. Always willing to try something new, she has been knitting for the past 10 years and recently took up the art of weaving as well. Her teaching skills lend her love of crafts to anyone who will sit still long enough to try. Her friends all say her full name is Judi “It’s easy, I’ll show you!” Kirby!!
In the past year and a half, Judi has begun sharing her love of knitting as well. More often than not, you will find her on her front porch knitting, where neighbors stop by, pull up a chair, pull out some yarn and learn a skill. In August of 2012, she was an instructor at the MidOhio Fiber Fair in Newark, Ohio.
In the past 5 years of being a transplanted Yankee, Judi has taught fitness classes to Marines and Spouses, also teaching dance steps for the Marine Ball, made samples for a local sewing store, taught knitting to friends and family, begun weaving and making bags for knitters and lovers of all things bags. The has led to formation of her company WASHED ASHORE. Her dream of being known as a fiber artist is finally coming true, disproving the old statement,”You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!”
I first learned to crochet in 2008 because I wanted to make amigurumi. I discovered that I loved crochet and I haven’t been able to put down my hook since then. When I am not working my day job as a Spanish instructor at Penn State, you can find me teaching crochet classes at my local yarn shop, Stitch Your Art Out. I also write a crochet blog, www.crochetyourway.com, where I post tutorials, hook & book reviews and share projects I have been working on. The Tunisian Crochet Entrelac Scarf/Neck warmer pattern is my first crochet design and I am excited to be offering it as a class.
Kate Lemmers was taught to knit in 1994, and became obsessed with knitting in 2000, since then she has become a lazy knitter who likes to find easy ways to create beautiful things.
You may have seen her working or teaching at one of the following yarn shops; Kraemer’s Yarn Shop, Tangled Yarns, Mountain Knits & Pearls. Kate started knitwear designing in 2004 working with Kraemer Yarns on product development, color selections and as Design Coordinator.
Kate started freelance designing in 2006. Her designs have been published in Knit N Style, Cast On, Creative Knitting, Knitcircus and Knitter’s magazines. She has sold designs to several yarn companies, such as Classic Elite, Nashua HandKnits; Conjoined Creations, Shibui Knits, Decadent Fibers, and she still enjoys working with Kraemer Yarns. She has started her own pattern line selling her patterns with an accent on showing knitters that creating a great garment is really not that hard.
Amy Maceyko is an architect who has been knitting and crocheting obsessively since 2004. The recent slowdown of architectural work has allowed her to explore her interests in both designing and teaching. It has also showed her the many ways in which architecture is similar to the fiber arts – the texture, the thought process, the creativity, the math and the structure – all are critical in both pursuits.
Amy has been teaching at LYS’s in Pittsburgh and you can find some of her published patterns through Ravelry. She will also have several crochet designs published in the Fresh Designs Crochet series of books by Cooperative Press, planned for release later in 2012.
Follow her work and learn about new pattern releases at:
I come from a family of doing fancy work on both sides – sitting idly was frowned on. My mother taught me to sew as a preschooler to keep me out of her serious sewing (she’d thread a needle and give me scraps while she made clothes for herself, me and my sister). Being left handed no one taught Mother to knit or crochet, but both my grandmothers crocheted all the time. At seven I insisted on putting lace on the edge of Woolworth’s finest pillow cases that I’d embroidered.
By the time I was eleven, I was over pillow cases and made my father’s sisters show me how to knit. This, I decided, was really fun and fortunately Aunt Emily lived in Ann Arbor, so I saw her about every 6 weeks for guidance – learning such useful things as you couldn’t just keep repeating rows one and two of a cable pattern if you wanted to have it twist. I wanted to take a knitting class in high school, but my father wouldn’t hear of it – one learned that sort of thing at home! I did knit during lunch hour in high school and also did a lot of knitting and helping new knitters while at U of Michigan. I’ve given up sewing and use crochet just for finishing now, but I knit every day.
After a Masters in Teaching, working in special education administration and raising 2 children, I came full-time to my love of yarn and knitting. I worked in several yarn stores and at Rainbow Mills designing and teaching. Then I put it all together, opening my own yarn store, Bonnie Knits, from which I retired after almost 20 years. I take classes whenever the opportunity presents and avidly read knitting books and the wonderful magazines that are now available. I will have to live for a very long time to use all the yarn and ideas that I have for my knitting.
Ellen Oehlbeck is from Mercer, PA. Knitting is her first passion, teaching is her second. Her grandmother taught her to knit at the age of 5. She is a Certified Extension Master Knitter Instructor through the Craft and Yarn Council of America, and The National Homemakers’ Council, Inc. She has been teaching for over 20 years in public schools, knit shops, Knitters Fantasy and at home.
Bonnie Reese has been a textile artist for more than 20 years focusing on the historical interplay of textiles and technology. Over the last few years, Bonnie has developed a unique historical documentation project called Preserving Life’s Journey. I am dedicated to preserving our rich history, traditions and cultures, bringing to life each unique family story. As a PhD candidate, author, researcher, guest lecturer and museum curator my research is driven by a desire to extract meaning from a material culture existing from the 17th to 20th century. It has been personally and professionally rewarding to preserve thousands of artifacts and archival materials at Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. My desire is to share the untold stories found in these hidden treasures and I have published award winning articles in several historic and professional publications.
Over my “many” years I have enjoyed knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, sewing, basketry, hardanger, blackwork, tatting, beading, card making, etc.
I have very fortunate to attend classes taught by knitting greats like Galina Khemlova, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Meg Swanson, Sally Melville, Vivian Hoxbro, Barbara Walker, Lizbeth Upitis, Sussanna Hansson and others.
As much as I enjoy taking classes I also enjoy teaching my love of handcrafts to others.
Marie Segares, Proprietress of the Underground Crafter, has been crocheting for over 27 years. She conquered her lifelong fear of knitting in 2010 and has never looked back!
Marie is a Craft Yarn Council Certified Crochet and Knitting Instructor (Level I) and Certified Crochet and Knitting Teacher (Level II). She specializes in teaching individual and small group crochet lessons for beginner through advanced intermediate students and knitting classes for beginner students. Marie has taught through DC 37’s Saturday Activity Program, Barnard College Mini Course Program, the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery, Michaels Manhattan, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, and the Adult School of Montclair, as well as at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival and the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival.
In addition to teaching, Marie designs patterns which have been published in Crochet World, Inside Crochet, and KnitCircus magazines. Her self-published patterns can be found on her Ravelry designer page.
Marie is an Professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a Designer/Teacher member of The Knitting Guild Association. Marie is also a member of the New York City Crochet Guild.
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.
Cynthia Spencer has always cared about reading and writing — and she even expected to become a professor to study these subjects. Her Ph.D. in educational psychology was about how students learn to write. But the year after she graduated, a series of events led to her co-owning a knitting and quilting store near Penn State called Stitch Your Art Out. The store has been open for over 5 years, and Cynthia continues to care about reading and writing: She works hard to help her customers understand how to read knitting patterns, and also writes patterns for her side business, “Really Clear Instructions.”
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. Julie Stunden is married to Kevin Gannon, an Architect, who has been living and working in Africa since 2010, due to return to Pittsburgh December 2012.
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 is has artwork in an exhibit at the Frick Fine Arts Gallery in November, “Deconstructing Portraiture”, and has an upcoming 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.
Eleanor Swogger is merchandise manager for Kraemer Yarns in Nazareth, PA. She works on development of new yarns and on color additions for existing yarns. She teaches at the Yarn Shop at Kraemer Textiles and at Tangled Yarns in Bethlehem, PA. Eleanor is also a sample knitter for Kathy Zimmerman and several other designers. Eleanor lived in western PA for 31 years and was active in Golden Dome and Laurel Highlands Knitting Guilds.
Stacey Trock is a spunky crocheter and knitter who has an affinity for stuffed animals. Stacey began crocheting at the very tender age of 6, and hasn’t stopped since… and she’s acquired more fiber arts (knitting, spinning, tatting and locker hooking) along the way!
She’s the designer for FreshStitches Amigurumi and the author of Cuddly Crochet (2010) and Crocheted Softies (2011), two books that showcase her cuddly creations. Stacey’s (knitted) work has appeared in More Knitting in the Sun (Porter, 2011) and Knitty.com.
Aside from designing, Stacey is a blogger, a teacher, yogi and yarn-store employee. Basically… she doesn’t believe in idle moments!
Heidi Todd Kozar learned to knit as a young girl. She has designed professionally under the Embraceable Ewe label for more than 20 years. Heidi has been published in Interweave Knits, Knitter’s Magazine and Vogue Knitting. She has designed for Renaissance Yarns. She also sold exclusively designed children’s sweaters through various shops in New England and Pittsburgh. Last year, she designed and knit the sweaters worn by actress Elizabeth Banks in the new Russell Crowe film, The Next Three Days. She has taught throughout the US and is currently on the staff at Knit One in Pittsburgh.
Linda Voss Plummer
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 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 the upcoming 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.