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STITCHES Midwest 2020 Teachers


Phyllis Bell Miller
As a child, Phyllis Bell Miller first learned to sew, embroider, and crochet from her mother, who was assistant to one of Washington, D.C.'s leading designers. Her lifelong love of design has led to several degrees and certificates in fashion and design. Being an avid knitwear designer, dyer, and embroiderer, Miller has won numerous design awards and has participated in many juried and invitational design and museum exhibitions. Her love of travel and other cultures is reflected in her designs. Having visited 77 countries and territories, she has books, traditional costumes, artifacts, yarn, and fabrics in her collection. She has also led design-based study tours to Europe and throughout America.

As a teacher, Phyllis focuses on taking the mystery and guesswork out of the design and construction processes. She provides information in easy-to-digest formats and creates tools to simplify and improve design processes for everyone, regardless of medium.

Recently retired as professor and head of Mississippi State University Fashion Design and Merchandising program, Phyllis is a former Singer Sewing Teacher and also taught as a Fulbright Scholar at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria and the University of Mauritius in Port Louis. She is author of AutoCAD for the Apparel Industry (Fairchild, 1994), the world's first book on applying generic CAD software to the fashion industry. She also developed the ApparelCAD, Instant Designer International, and Display Shop software, for which she holds more than 30 copyrights. 


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Heavenly Bresser
Heavenly Bresser is an award-winning handspinner, published author, and proud owner of Heavenly Knitchet. After spending many years designing custom knit and crochet accessories for clients, she became well-known for her attention to detail and expert finishing. The TGKA recognizes Heavenly as a Level One Master Knitter, currently enrolled in Level Two. Her love for knitting and crocheting eventually became a gateway for her to try her hand at spinning when a yarn shop owner urged her to give it a try.

 After discovering a love for spinning yarn, Heavenly became determined to learn something new every day from spinning wheel to spindle. Taking a project from raw fleece to finished product is one her favorite things. She teaches classes for a local spinning guild and also at fiber festivals. Heavenly has written articles for major publications including Spin Off magazine as well as tinyStudio Creative Life magazine.


 Part of her mission is to unite spinners, knitters, and crocheters near and far to experience the fiber craft together. As a teacher, she continually encourages fiber artists to think outside the box. When Heavenly isn't teaching, vending, or playing in fibers and yarn, she repairs antique spinning wheels and has her own herd of 18. Her husband is her greatest enabler, and her two sons enjoy her handspun yarn


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Cecelia Campochiaro
Cecelia Campochiaro appeared on the knitting scene in 2015 with her debut book, Sequence Knitting. She lives in Silicon Valley, where for many years she developed specialized microscopes used in computer chip manufacturing. Textiles, photography, and the arts have been a lifelong passion running in parallel with her technical life. In high school and college even though her main studies were in the sciences, she studied drawing, printmaking, ceramics, and photography. Knitting was a causal pastime until she had an ah-ha moment in 2010, and realized that textured fabrics could be created by the simple repetition of a sequence of stitches. This idea evolved into sequence knitting, which is a mindful approach to knitting that leads to textured reversible fabrics. Today she is fully dedicated to the fiber world and "unventing" new ways to make amazing knit fabrics.

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Robyn Chachula
Robyn Chachula is the author of Modern Vintage Crochet, Blueprint Crochet Sweaters, Unexpected Afghans, and Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia. Her work has been featured in Interweave Crochet, Crochet!, Love of Crochet, Vogue Crochet and more. She was one of the crochet experts on the PBS show Knit and Crochet Now! She teaches crochet online at both AnniesCataog.com and Interweave.com. All her crochet inspiration comes from her little "office assistants" while out and about in Pittsburgh, PA. Stop by crochetbyfaye.com to see what she has cooked up recently.

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Karida Collins
Karida Collins learned how to knit immediately after finishing college and fell in love. Hard. Enamored with knitting, Karida set out to create her own hand-dyed yarn business. She taught herself how to dye yarn and thus, in 2006, Neighborhood Fiber Co. was born. Karida's love of bright and vibrant colors has become part of the company's signature style.

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Michele Costa
Michele Costa is the dreamer, maker & lead designer for 144 Stitches and founder of the Stitch & Hustle blog, for the maker community.

Born and raised in NYC, Michele has loved all things yarn since she was a child.

After a successful career in television production, Michele turned her attention to fiber and launched 144 Stitches. Designing and creating modern crochet & knitwear, she's worked extensively in the fiber industry for nearly ten years.

Before working with Stunning String to develop an exclusive Learn To Knit & Learn To Crochet Class Program, Michele worked with  Red Heart, Manos del Uruguay, Knitter's Pride, We Are Knitters, Universal Yarn, Lion Brand Yarn, Wool And The Gang, and many others. Besides designing for them, her designs have appeared in well-known industry magazines.


 Her immigrant grandparents instilled and inspired her love for working hard and bringing dreams to reality.

 Her designs are inspired by her love of travel and architecture and and named thusly.  

In 2017, Michele launched Stitch Up Events promoting diversity and inclusion in the fiber arts community. Michele believes, "Fiber arts is our common thread", and feels her true calling is to share her love for fiber arts. She works hard to build safe gathering and creative spaces for fiber enthusiasts, building a diverse community one stitch at a time.

Visit Michele's website at www.michelecosta.com.


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Franklin Habit
Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His new book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book was brought out by Soho Publishing in May, 2016 and is in it's second printing.



He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat, the Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, and the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.



Franklin's varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and regular columns and cartoons for Knitty.com, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and his popular "Fridays with Franklin" feature for Skacel Collection. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

He first became known as the writer of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet. Readers worldwide continue to drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the adventures of Dolores the Sheep.



Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, three looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.



You can follow him online as @franklinhabit on Twitter, @franklin.habit on Instagram, or through his Facebook page.


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Deborah Jarchow
After many years of teaching knitting and crochet, Deborah discovered weaving in 1996, and her love of fiber, texture, and color came together. Since then she has worked full time as a weaver and artist, including teaching fiber arts, creating and selling wearable art, giving lectures, and showing in local, regional, and national exhibits. Deborah's work has been exhibited at galleries and museums across the country, and she has won numerous awards and written articles for national publications. Her work has been commissioned by churches and is in many private collections. Since 2004 she has been an artist-in-residence, teacher, and weaver at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo, CA. 

Deborah loves helping knitters discover the joy of weaving. During the last several years, Deborah has focused her teaching mainly on rigid heddle looms, making weaving accessible to as many people as possible. She travels extensively to share her weaving enthusiasm and expertise.

Deborah loves helping knitters discover the joy of weaving.

For more about Deborah, go to deborahjarchow.com


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Barry Klein
Trendsetter Group owner/designer Barry Klein has been knitting for 40 years. He started by working in his family's knitting store, where all patterns were designed for the knitter's body. For the past 25 years he has worked as an industry teacher, doing knitting classes all over the world.

Barry has designed knitwear for magazines, television shows, ice skaters, and movie stars; authored 5 knitting books; and worked as a spokesman on Knitting Daily and other television knitting shows. He loves to share his love of yarn and everything that can be done with it. Barry has been voted one of the Top 10 Men who Knit/Design throughout history.

Learn why 'Let the yarn do the work' is Barry's favorite motto.

For more about Barry, go to trendsetteryarns.com


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Susan Lazear
Susan Lazear is a Professor of Fashion at Mesa College in San Diego where she teaches fashion. Courses include Textiles, Pattern making, Textile Design, Clothing Construction, and Fashion History.

Susan designs wearable art which combines sewing and knitting for mixed-media apparel.

In addition to her teaching she is a computer graphic artist. Her combined knowledge and skills are evident in the Cochenille Design Studio name:a software line for knitters, sewers, and textile artists. She has taught fashion and design workshops around the world.


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Rick Mondragon
Rick Mondragon, Knitter's Magazine editor 2000-2017, has been knitting and sewing for over 45 years. His passion for color is obvious in his work, but underlying all his designs are technique, fit, and construction. He has been teaching for 30 years, offering ideas and insight for perfecting skills with needles, hooks, yarn, fiber, fabric, and thread. Rick loves the challenge of garment design and deconstructing and translating a pattern into words. With STITCHES uniting, he now has time and reason to explore deep into the fiber arts.

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Dora Ohrenstein
Dora Ohrenstein is a leading crochet designer whose work has been published in books and magazines both nationally and internationally. She is known especially for her work in fashion crochet and for her in-depth books, the most recent being Crochet Every Way Stitch Dictionary publishing in 2019. This is the first stitch dictionary to include shaping for every single stitch.



As a teacher, Dora enjoys breaking down technical skills and construction principals into step-by-step methods that are easy to grasp and master. She aims to empower the crocheter to more fun and creativity and to meet new challenges -like making garments- fearlessly!



Dora has a special interest in crochet history. She has carried out research in European museums and in Central Asia, and has written numerous articles on the topic. Dora was a professional singer and she teaches singing at AMDA in New York City.


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Xandy Peters
Xandy Peters is a knitting designer and teacher, best known as the innovator of the stacked stitch technique and for the Fox Paws pattern. Starting out as a footwear and product designer, Xandy turned to knitting as a way to explore textiles and surfaces without using factory production and has since made a career out of publishing new patterns and teaching workshops. Xandy has been published in magazines such as Vogue Knitting, Twist Collective, Knitscene, Knitty, and Pom Pom Quarterly.

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Catherine Redford
English-born Catherine Redford learned to knit and sew at an early age, keeping her family's Barbie dolls and action men well dressed. After relocating from London to Naperville, Illinois, she started quilting in 1998 and discovered a new passion in her life. Five years after taking her first quilting class, she began to teach. An award-winning quilter, active member of her local guilds, and popular teacher at local and national levels, Catherine also co-founded the Naperville Modern Quilters Guild.

An author, frequent magazine contributor, and guest on Quilting Arts TV, Catherine has two DVDs on modern machine quilting techniques and a book,Modern Machine Quilting: Make a Perfectly Finished Quilt on Your Home Machine, published in March 2017.

For more about Catherine, go to catherineredford.com.


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Gayle Roehm
Gayle Roehm is a former management consultant who now devotes herself to knitting and other fiber arts. She teaches nationally for knitting events, guilds and yarn shops. Her designs have been featured in Knitter's, Interweave Knits, A Gathering of Lace, and other publications. She also sells her work at a fiber arts gallery. Gayle has traveled throughout the world, lived in Japan, speaks Japanese and has knitted with Japanese designs for many years. She is the translator of the "Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible" and "250 Japanese Knitting Stitches" by Hitomi Shida, "Japanese Knitting" by michiyo, and two more upcoming books. She published the first information in English about Japanese patterns in 1997, she prepared the Japanese section for the book Knitting Languages, and she has translated patterns for Diakeito Yarns/Sunrise Fibers.

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Elaine Rowley
Elaine Rowley is the original editor of Knitter’s Magazine, current XRX Books editor, and the R in XRX. It’s not all about the red pen for Elaine. She is fascinated by the techniques and skills that keep knitting fresh and exciting.









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Lynn Schmitt
Lynn has worked in a design capacity for all of her professional life. She entered the design world as a Fine Arts student, ultimately graduating with a BFA in Interior Design. She continued as an interior designer specializing in commercial interiors for over 30 years. Since 2010 Lynn colors outside the lines as the owner of A Different Box of Crayons. Through her shop, Lynn designs patterns and kits for the adventurous quilter using new techniques and an eclectic mix of cotton and alternative textiles. Her work has been published in magazines (American Patchwork and Quilting and Quilts and More) and Needl'love quilt books. Lynn is the author of The Art of Mixing Textiles in Quilts as well. Her current focus is on secondary patterning, color, textures, and Eclectic textiles enhanced with wool applique. 

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Jennifer Stern-Hasemann
Jennifer Stern-Hasemann, owner and designer at J Stern Designs, has a solid background in pattern design and drafting, fit, and construction.

Her original line of fashion patterns, jeans, a cup-sized fitted shirt, and a unique tee, focus on flattering designs with easy-to-follow instructions and fit techniques. She loves to work with knit fabric and has designed an Easy-to-Fit-and-Sew Collection of patterns specially designed for knits.

She shares a wide variety of sewing, serging, fitting, and construction techniques via her J Stern Designs on the YouTube Channel, with over 100 video tutorials. Additionally, she teaches online at craftsy.com and patternreview.com.

For more about Jennifer go to jsterndesigns.com


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Eloise Wagers
Eloise is a former home economics teacher. She's spent many years employed with various companies in the craft/sewing/fashion industries in sales management. She loves sharing knowledge and inspiring others to enjoy the benefits of developing creative and technical skills. Garment Sewing and knitting are her favorite pastime activities along with a pursuit of fashion forward trends.

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Jeffrey Wall
Jeffrey Wall is co-owner of Wall of Yarn, a LYS in Freeport, IL. Jeffrey and his husband also import and distribute Rauma yarns from Norway. He translates Rauma's knitting and crochet patterns from Norwegian into English. Jeffrey specializes in Scandinavian knitting and teaches classes throughout the Midwest.

For more about Jeffrey, go to theyarnguys.com.


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Julie Weisenberger
Julie learned to knit in Europe and ran a small sweater company that sold to boutiques across the United States. Now, as Cocoknits, her main focus is on designing for hand-knitters of all shapes and sizes using many of the techniques she learned in Europe and the ready-to-wear industry.

Julie has perfected the top-down, seamless method using English tailoring, which creates a flattering and perfectly fitted set-in sleeve sweater. Her simple silhouettes combined with fine yarns result in elegant, wearable designs for knitters of all abilities. In addition to designing, she develops knitting tools based on real-life experience.


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