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STITCHES SoCal 2018 Teachers


Grace Akhrem
Grace Akhrem is a design​er inspired by color, texture, and fashion who loves working with vibrant and saturated colors​. Grace’s main goal as a designer is to ​create patterns that ​are wearable and fashionable while maintaining a focus on construction and technique​. Although she does stress short-row technique​s,​ her designs can range from beginner to advanced and everything in-between.​ Her designs can be found in various magazine publications, books, and her own line of self-published patterns on Ravelry.​

Grace, a Los Angeles native, has been working in the industry since 2004, so when she was asked by Barry Klein to join the Trendsetter Yarn Group team as the company's Creative Director, it was a no-brainer!​


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Denise Bell
When she was growing up, Denise always performed some kind of handwork. When she learned to knit she was instantly addicted. Wherever she looks, Denise sees patterns, so it's no surprise that her knitting emphasis is lace.

Travel and spending time in the natural world provide inspiration. She recently visited Shetland and Scotland to delve further into the history of fine lace knitting. Her business, Lost City Knits, named for the community nearest her Oklahoma farm, offers fine hand-dyed yarns and original designs. When not knitting, teaching, dyeing, or designing, Denise puts her pattern-seeking abilities to work solving cryptic crossword puzzles, and because no one can do just one thing, she also kayaks on lakes and streams near her eastern Oklahoma home. Along with her husband, she is the author of the book Ultima Thule: Patterns Inspired by the Shetland Islands and Deep Roots: Patterns Inspired by the Tallgrass Prairie.


For more about Denise, go to lostcityknits.com


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Lorilee Beltman
Lorilee happily sees no end to where knitting curiosity can take you, so she loves to help knitters make new discoveries. For the past ten years she has enjoyed her students at national events, and she looks forward to meeting you in class! Lorilee is patient with every student and packs her classes with content and lots of extra tips you can really use.

Her articles and designs have been published in books, magazines, and online mags. She is a 2018 Knit Star teacher, the former techniques columnist at Knitty, and an online instructor at Interweave and at Craftsy where her classes are consistent best-sellers.

Tent-camping with her husband and boys has brought Lorilee to over twenty National Parks. Lorilee grew up in Pittsburgh, spent thirty years in west Michigan, and now calls Seattle home.

For more about Lorilee, go to lorileebeltman.com.


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Marly Bird
Marlaina 'Marly' Bird fled the world of financial services to launch a career in the yarn industry and she hasn't looked back since. To Marly, a bi-crafty girl who both knits and crochets, the yarn is the star, not how you work with it.

She is the national spokesperson for Red Heart Yarns, hosts the YarnThing podcast, is the author of Cold Weather Crochet and I Can't Believe I'm Entrelac Knitting, and co-author of Knitting for Dummies, 3rd ed. You've seen her designs in Knitter's Magazine, Interweave Crochet, Knitscene, Love of Crochet, Love of Knitting, and in the books Knitter's Book of Socks, Unexpected Afghans, Simply Crochet, Lace Yarn Studio, Blueprint Crochet Sweaters, and Knitting Plus.

Along with her designing and podcast, Marly has a successful YouTube channel where she teaches both knitting and crochet. On top of all that, Marly also has several online classes available with Creativebug and Craftsy.com.

In her spare time, Marly is a wife to a very understanding husband, raises three kids, and because life was not crazy enough—has three dogs.

For more about Marly, go to marlybird.com.


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Gwen Bortner
Gwen Bortner is a Craft Yarn Council Certified Teacher teaching at venues throughout the country, the author of Entree to Entrelac and the past Interim Executive Director of The National Needlearts Association.


Gwen's passion is teaching. Whether teaching through the local community education program, at a national knitting convention, or at the local yarn shop, meeting new people and sharing the love of knitting is one of her greatest joys.

Gwen's teaching philosophy can be summed up in the following quote, "My job is to make the students' toolbox bigger. If all you own is a hammer, everything looks like a nail! I believe there are lots of 'right' answers. The more options you have, the more skills you develop, and a better knitter is the result. My mantra is 'knitting is fun'. If you add something to your knitting toolbox and have fun doing it, then I consider that a successful class."

For more about Gwen, go to gwenbortner.com


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J C Briar
A self-confessed 'technique freak' and 'skill junkie,' JC dabbles in all kinds of knitting, but has a special fondness for textured knitting and novel construction techniques. If it involves lace, cables, or seamless construction, it's sure to catch her eye.
JC shares her enthusiasm by teaching at shops and fiber festivals and through her book, Charts Made Simple. Her latest venture is Stitch-Maps.com, a website for viewing and creating grid-free charts of unparalleled fluidity, authenticity, and beauty.

For more about JC, go to jcbriar.com


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Lily Chin
Lily M Chin is an internationally famous knitter and crocheter who has worked in the yarn industry for over 25 years, as a designer, instructor and author of 8 books on knitting and crochet.  She has created looks for the New York Fashion Week runway collections of designers Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, and Isaac Mizrahi; and her work has been on the backs of celebrities and supermodels.

Lily was named a Master Knitter by Vogue Knitting and is regularly cited in media across the U.S., including the Late Show with David Letterman, Martha, CBS Morning News, CNN, HGTV and more.

Lily Chin has lived in New York City all her life and has been involved in some aspect of the fashion industry since age 13.


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Jeane deCoster
Long-retired model, fashion designer, and never-retired yarn and knitting junky, Jeane deCoster started her yarn company (Elemental Affects) over a decade ago. She tells people that she just wanted to make a better yarn, but she secretly wants to convert every sock knitter to a garment knitter and loves sharing her experience of how a sweater that fits properly can flatter any figure. She has developed several techniques that make it easy to be confident that you CAN knit (and assemble) a sweater that fits and flatters.


For more about Jeane, go to elementalaffects.com


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Edie Eckman
Edie Eckman is a popular author, teacher, designer and editor who loves both knitting and crochet. Just don't ask her to choose one over the other!

Her comfortable and encouraging teaching style empowers students to gain the skills they need to confidently and enthusiastically take on any crochet or knitting challenge.

Edie teaches online at Craftsy.com and Creativebug.com and she serves as a Master Teacher for the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Instructors Program, helping train others to become knitting and crochet teachers. She has written a number of best-selling crochet books including The Crochet Answer BookAround the Corner Crochet Borders, and Every Which Way Crochet Borders.

For more about Edie, go to www.edieeckman.com


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Rhonda Fargnoli
Rhonda Fargnoli studied fashion and textile design at Chamberlain School of Design and has taught art and studio art for more than 25 years. Rhonda was the Faculty Advisor to the Hand Knitting Certificate Program at Rhode Island School of Design/CE. She has been featured in articles about teaching knitting design courses for RISD/CE in Yarn Market News and Vogue Knitting, for her Vogue Knitting Challenge class for teens, which included the winning student's design. Rhonda's recent RISD graduates have been published in several magazines and books, something she is most proud of. Fargnoli has also designed for several yarn companies, and her knitting designs are published in Noro magazine and Knit Simple.

Rhonda has spent her recent years botanically dyeing yarn for 30 yarn shops nationwide and now works for Eileen Fisher, where she continues to combine her love of sustainable fashion and rediscovering ways to re-purpose fabric and fiber.


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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 newest book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book was brought out by Soho Publishing in May, 2016 and is in its 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, Squam Arts Workshops, Sock Summit, and the Taos 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 (presently on hiatus), 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.

For more about Franklin go to franklinhabit.com, @franklinhabit on Twitter, @franklin.habit on Instagram, or through his Facebook page at facebook.com/fhabit


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Lynn Harris
Lynn lives in Michigan where she creates art, raises chickens, and grows vegetables. Both of Lynn’s parents grew up on farms and, like the little red hen in the children’s story, she was taught to do things from scratch and to never let anything go to waste. Her thrifty upbringing led her to her current style of working with scraps and the desire to use "every last piece." Her quilts have been juried into international shows and gallery exhibits and her work is in private collections around the world. She is the author of Every Last Piece and has also been published in numerous books and magazines.

For more about Lynn go to LynnCarsonHarris.com


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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.

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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Patty Lyons
Patty is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert who is known for teaching the 'why' not just the 'how' in her pursuit of training the 'mindful knitter.' She specializes in sweater design and sharing her love of the much-maligned subjects of gauge and blocking.

Patty teaches nationally at guilds and knitting shows around the country, and her popular classes can also be found online and on DVD at Interweave, Annie's, and Craftsy where one of her classes was named most popular class of 2013!

Patty's designs and knitting skills articles have been published by various yarn companies and in Knitter's, Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Cast On, Knit 'n StyleCreative Knitting and Twist Collective where she also writes a knitter’s advice column called "Patty's Purls of Wisdom".

For more about Patty, go to pattylyons.com


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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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Shannon & Jason Mullett-Bowlsby
Shannon and Jason Mullett-Bowlsby are the dynamic DIY duo known as the Shibaguyz, and the creative geniuses behind Shibaguyz Designz Studio. Their award winning crochet & knit designs have been featured in and on the covers of 13 magazines and appeared in articles in industry magazines in the US and abroad. Their craft, portrait, and fashion photography has appeared in six books and numerous magazines around the globe and the duo have released over 300 patterns since their first cover design in 2010. The Shibaguyz have published 10 books of crochet and knitwear patterns with their newest book, Complete Crochet Course – the Ultimate Reference Guide just released in March of 2018 from Sterling/Lark Publishing. Their other books Designer Crochet and Crochet Geometry are also available online and at retailers worldwide.



The Shibaguyz have been teaching adults for 20+ years. With their mastery of subjects from crochet and knitting to photography, spinning, sewing, and quilting, their enthusiasm, quirky sense of humor, and relatable teaching style have made them sought after teachers in both local and national venues such as STITCHES Events and DFW Fiber Fest. They also have a wide range of online classes available from Craftsy and Interweave. The “edu-tainment” experience of a class with the Shibaguyz will leave you informed, empowered, and in stitches (see what we did there?).



Shannon and Jason live in Seattle, Washington with their three Shiba Inu who, more or less, support their ventures as long as enough time is taken for walks and treats.



For more about Shannon and Jason go to ShibaguyzDesignz.com


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Cal Patch
Cal Patch has been making, designing, and teaching all things textile-related since 1991. She sews, crochets, embroiders, spins, prints, knits, dyes, and more. She designed clothing for Urban Outfitters, Free People, Gap, and Old Navy before developing her own line of one-off pieces called "hodge podge", which she currently sells in her Etsy shop and sometimes at craft fairs. In 2009 Cal relocated to upstate New York where she is becoming a crafty farmer and growing her handmade wardrobe. She offers classes in the Hudson Valley, and teachs at retreats and events like Squam Art Workshops, the Makerie, and Lucky Star Art Camp. Her first book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified, was published by Potter Craft. She contributes to books and magazines such as Stitch N' Bitch: The Happy Hooker, Mend It Better, Applique Your Way, Made by Hand, Crochet Today and Sew Stylish

For more about Cal, go to calpatch.com.


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Sarah Peasley
Sarah is a designer, teacher, and technical editor. She teaches at local yarn shops and guilds, for regional and national conferences, and on Craftsy.

Sarah's passion is making knitting accessible to everyone. She is known for the patience and humor with which she teaches, for the relevance and detail of her class notes, and for her ability to instill confidence and provide her students with a wide range of lasting skills.

For more about Sarah, go to sarahpeasley.com.


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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 her 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. She has since made a career out of knitting, publishing new patterns monthly and teaching workshops across the country.

For more about Xandy, go to xandypeters.com.


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Anne Podlesak
Anne Podlesak is an indie knitting designer whose patterns have been featured in Interweave Knits, knit.wear, Spin-Off, Twist Collective, Jane Austen Knits and the Harry Potter Knits collections. She is the author of Free Spirit Knits, a collection of 20 knitting designs inspired by the Southwest. She loves bringing a new and modern twist to classic techniques, and loves helping crafters find ways to incorporate more color into their work.

For more about Anne, go to woolywonkafiber.com.


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Alasdair Post-Quinn
Alasdair is a computer technician in the Boston area who spends much of his spare time as a knitting designer. He focuses 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 reversible with the opposite side showing a mirror image design in opposite colors. Over the past few years, people here and there have been expanding the definition of double-knitting to include more complex color and structure variations.

While Alasdair cannot claim to be the only one pushing these boundaries, he is among those on the forefront of innovation in double-knitting. His books, Extreme Double-Knitting and Double or Nothing, document his repertoire of esoteric double-knitting techniques, but he is continuing to develop techniques and apply them to new designs.

Alasdair has been teaching double-knitting around North America since 2005 and adds new techniques to his workshops regularly so that even experienced double-knitters or veterans of his previous workshops will have something new to learn. He also teaches on Craftsy, but for many there's no substitute for face-to-face learning.

For more about Alasdair, go to double-knitting.com.


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Natalie Redding
Natalie Redding is a well known artist, public figure, and Socal shepherdess. Natalie teaches her proprietary dyeing methodology and techniques, Redding Method, to people around the globe in both workshops and in live online classes. Natalie has been the subject of editorials in publications such as Vogue Knitting, Knit N Style, LA Times, Huffington Post, and more. She is also a contributing author in the industry's most prestigious publication, PLY Magazine. Beyond this, Natalie has had her own television series on Nat Geo Wild (Shear Madness) in addition to holding a B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science/Agriculture.

For more about Natalie, go to namastefarms.com.


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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 for the Master Seamstress Program at URI and online at craftsy.com and patternreview.com.

For more about Jennifer go to jsterndesigns.com


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Una Walker

Una Walker is a fiber artist and sought-after teacher who grew up in her parents’ craft supply store where she gained experience in a wide range of crafts, an example being her appearance on HGTV’s ‘That’s Clever’ in 2009, making a pair of shoes! From raw wool, to sewing the finishing stitch, she is always looking ahead to new and creative approaches. She got started punching over a decade ago at a craft show “make and take” where she first worked with the Oxford Punch Needle. In 2014 she gained her Oxford Teaching Certificate from the Oxford Rug Hooking School. 

Una teaches rug punching with both patience and an attention to detail, and she loves working with beginners. Una has taught at Estes Park Wool Market, Black Sheep Gathering, Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival, and Madrona Fiber Arts.

Una lives in Claremont, CA with her husband of 32 years, two rescue cats, Poose & Kitty and their adorable puppy Gidget. Together they have raised two beautiful women. 
 
For more about Una, go to woolywalkers.com 


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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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Beth Whiteside
A former software professional, Beth now mixes her enthusiasm for words and numbers, yarn and fiber, teaching and learning, and design of all kinds into Beth Whiteside Design. She’s taught classes locally in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2003, nationally at events like STITCHES since 2005, and online at Annie’s Craft Store and Craftsy. Her goal in creating and teaching classes is to further each student’s knowledge and skills, opening their mind to new creative possibilities in the world of things made with string. Her instructional style takes into account the many ways we learn, and breaks class content down into manageable chunks that build on each other. Beth’s love of teaching is driven by a search for the “aha!” moment, and she revels in finding new ways to make those light bulbs go on in her students’ heads.

When she isn’t teaching, Beth works in the fiber arts as a technical editor, writer, designer, and graphic designer. She loves trying new crafts and techniques and has recently become obsessed by knot-tying and weaving on little looms. You can find her designs in publications such as Creative Knitting and Knitter’s, Magazine, by yarn companies such as Red Heart, Cascade, and Blue Sky Fibers, and in her own indie pattern line.

For more about Beth go to bethwhitesidedesign.com


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Myra Wood
Myra is a fiber artist, designer, and author of Knit in New Directions (XRX Books), Crazy Lace, and Creative Crochet Lace. She's appeared on TV shows including Knitty Gritty, Knit and Crochet Now, Uncommon Threads, and on online classes. With a background in fine and graphic arts, Myra teaches a wide range of inspiring classes specializing in all things creative.

For more about Myra, go to myrawood.com.


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Anna Zilboorg
Now an Anglican Solitary living in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Anna shares her knowledge on embroidering your knits with Splendid Apparel (XRX Books). Her other books include Magnificent Mittens and Socks, Fancy Feet, 45 Fine & Fanciful Hats to Knit, Knitting for Anarchists, and Socks for Sandals and Clogs

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