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STITCHES Midwest 2018 Teachers


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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Steven Berg
Steven Berg is a whirlwind of color and texture and every encounter with him will leave you irrevocably changed, awed, inspired, and ready to tackle a new challenge. Steven's adventurous and fashion-filled life has taken him around the world and back home to Minneapolis where he holds court in his 6,000 square foot firehouse-turned-fiberhouse, StevenBe.

Steven is known for his cavalier attitude toward the rules of the fiber arts, often heard to be pronouncing that "there are no mistakes, only variations." His chunky funky style has made Hollywood and runway knitwear fashions accessible to all knitters and his belief in the transformative power of creativity will have you under his spell and ready to cast on anything you can imagine. With Steven anything is possible!


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Jill Bigelow Suttell
Jill learned to knit at 10 years of age. After a 'teen years' break, she re-learned and has been knitting with a passion ever since. The first sweater she knit, she modified, and the next was her own design.

Five years as a yarn shop owner gave her a passion for teaching as well as designing. Jill has been an instructor at STITCHES events, Knitter's Day Out, Knitter's Connection, Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet
Show, and many shops. Her designs can be found in Knitter's Magazine, Cast On, and Knitty. She is co-author of A Knitter's Gallery of Mitered Squares: 45 Unique Designs in Color, Texture and Lace.

For more about Jill, go to b-ewe-tiful.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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Laura Bryant
After developing a life-long passion for color while earning a degree in fine arts from the University of Michigan, Laura began Prism Yarns in 1984. She continues as Prism's creative force, specializing in color, hand-dyed yarns, and developing designs and patterns that use them in exciting and innovative ways.
 
Laura has written six books including The Yarn Stash Workbook, The New Knitter's Template (coauthored with Barry Klein), and recently produced the DVD Knitter's Guide to Color with Laura Bryant and the video, Yarn to Fit with Barry Klein. Artful Color, Mindful Knits from XRX Books is her latest book.

Laura is a nationally recognized weaver with work in many major corporate collections and is a recipient of an NEA individual artist grant in support of her work. Laura teaches and designs with a 'no rules' approach, and her classes are designed to bring out the creativity within all of us.

For more about Laura, go to prismyarn.com


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Cindy Craig
Cindy learned to knit while chaperoning Girl Scouts in Norway. As a self-professed knitting geek, she enjoys exploring the technical side of knitting and tinkering with new skills, stitch patterns, knitting patterns, and concepts. Cindy has been teaching professionally in yarn shops, guild events, and knitting shows for more than 10 years. She is the author of The Kids Knitting Notebook and has designs published in Knitter's Magazine, Knitting Today, and Red Heart, in addition to many self-published patterns.



Cindy is the manager of The Studio Knitting & Needlepoint where she loves helping students learn to knit or crochet  and is very skilled at getting students unstuck. She knits everywhere she goes and frequently answers knitting questions on the sidelines of the soccer field, at PTA meetings, or at Scouting events.


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Elise Duvekot
Elise Duvekot is a knitwear designer whose enthusiasm for novel techniques led to the stitch patterns presented in her book Knit One Below — One Stitch, Many Fabrics. Her inspiration comes from geometrical patterns and from the many beautiful colors and yarns that are available. The style of her work can best be described as traditional in workmanship, while modern in color and design.

Elise also divides her time between the Old World (The Netherlands) and the New World (Canada). In addition to knitting strands of various yarns together as a designer, she knits words of various languages together as a translator. Knitting and translating both provide ideal environments in which to be creative and productive.


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Candace Eisner Strick
Learning both music and knitting at the age of three, Candace Eisner Strick has followed these two loves all her life. A former cellist, she now devotes her time to all aspects of knitwear. She is the author of eight books, her most recent being Knit My Skirt (XRX, Inc., 2016).

She lives in rural Connecticut with her pianist/knitting husband Ken, rescue wonder-bunny Abraham, and a parrot who owns her. Her designs can be found at the Ravelry store and at Love Knitting website. Appropriately, 'strick' means 'to knit'.


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Gretchen Fancher
Gretchen Fancher teaches and manages the education programming for Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC and Lion Brand Outlet in NJ. After receiving many requests to offer the programming at Lion Brand Yarn Studio elsewhere in the country, she is bringing some of the classes she teaches in NYC to STITCHES students. Gretchen has been knitting for over 20 years, and teaching beginner to advanced level classes at Lion Brand Yarn Studio for the past 6 years. As a teacher she believes that mistakes are where the learning happens; she encourages students to ask, observe, and make mistakes in class so they can develop the ability to recognize and solve their own knitting problems at home.

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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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Kothy Hafersat
Kothy has a passion for sewing and quilting. She started sewing at age 5 and never stopped! Kothy's extensive background in pattern designing, writing, and producing quilt patterns has given her the experience to teach a multitude of unique programs. Kothy's creative expertise extends to sewing, quilting, machine embroidery, drawing, painting, digitizing embroidery designs, and machine training. She is a Husqvarna/Viking and Pfaff educator. 

Kothy has taken courses in fashion design, pattern drafting, and computer graphics. She is co-owner of "Simply Everything" software training videos and quilt patterns.


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Michelle Hunter
Best known as the creator of the knitting education website, Knit Purl Hunter, Michelle’s videos have been viewed by millions of knitters. Her books, Building Blocks and Building in Color, are skill building series designed to progress the knitter through the major knitting principles. Michelle divides her time between teaching classes nationwide and online instruction. Her designs have been featured in various publications and are all supported with video tutorials. She considers herself the luckiest person alive to be able to combine her passion for teaching with her love of knitting.

For more about Michelle, go to
http://knitpurlhunter.com


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Stefanie Japel
Stefanie Japel has been on the internet knitting scene since she started her first blog back in 1999.
She is the author of three popular knitting books, has taught at retreats and shops all over the US and Canada, teaches online at Craftsy.com, and has lots of tips & tricks on YouTube. Stefanie
loves to teach and approaches tough subjects like fit and design with an infectious sense of humor.


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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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Ebony Love
Award-winning author and quilter Ebony Love is recognized as one of the leading experts in fabric die-cutting techniques, and is the author of The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips.  

Originally born in Denver, Colorado, Ebony has lived all over the United States and now calls Illinois home. She picked up long-arm quilting to get unburied from all the quilt tops she was finishing and is now the resident long-arm columnist for Quilty Magazine. She works from her public studio. 

You’ll see Ebony’s fondness for bright prints and an unabashed use of batiks and solids. She considers herself a traditional quilter who uses modern tools and color palettes and of course if it can’t be die cut, it isn’t getting made!

For more about Ebony, go to lovebugstudios.com or the public studio at madecreativestudio.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 are the DIY duo known as the Shibaguyz behind the design studio of Shibaguyz Designz and Shibaguyz Photography.

Shannon's award-winning crochet & knit designs have been featured in and on the covers of both US and international publications, and he currently has over 300 published patterns credited to his name. Shannon has been teaching adults for 20+ years and is a Craft Yarn Council certified instructor. His quirky sense of humor and relatable teaching style have made him a sought-after teacher in both local and national venues.

Jason is a professional fashion and portrait photographer whose fashion photography can be seen in many of the Shibaguyz' pattern books. Jason also works as a freelance book-packaging designer and photographer for indie knitwear designers as well as major publishing companies like Sterling Publishing, Leisure Arts, Quayside, and Creative Publishing. Jason is known for his candid style of photography in his portrait work and is sought after in the fiber-arts community for his insights into what it takes to show an artist's work at its best.

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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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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Karen Pharr
Growing up surrounded by quilting, Karen didn't begin practicing the craft until after a high-tech career. Although she started by taking a class so she could hand-quilt like her Grandmother, it took less than a week to realize machine quilting was her future! Now Karen is an award-winning quilter with quilts shown internationally in quilt shows and art galleries.

As a teacher, pattern designer, author, and quilter, Karen loves to coach students through new fun approaches and creative techniques—which they can then apply to their own quilting styles. A yes-you-can attitude flows throughout her classroom, helping everyone become the quilter they want to be.


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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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Tracy Purtscher
Tracy Purtscher is the author of Dimensional Tuck Knitting An Innovative Technique For Creating Surface Design. She has been a finalist in The Fiber Factor knitwear competition sponsored by Skacel and the winner of Vogue Knitting design competition; her designs have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Simply Knitting, knit.purl, and Noro Knitting. Tracy honed her teaching skills in her past life experience as a Jr. High Math and Science teacher.

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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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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,  popular teacher at local and national levels, Catherine also co-founded the Naperville Modern Quilters Guild.

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

For more about Catherine, go to catherineredford.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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Jennifer Vancalcar
Jennifer Vancalcar has been dyeing yarn as Holiday Yarns for the past 15 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 and January 2016. Among other places, you can find Holiday Yarns on The Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee) Blog and on Debbie Macomber's needles when her book Starry Night was released. Jennifer has produced over 100 fun and eye catching colors over the years and continues to come up with more everyday!

For more about Jennifer go to: holidayyarns.com/


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Katrina Walker
Katrina Walker is a designer, educator, and author known for her expertise in textiles, construction techniques, and modern American pojagi piecework. Her work is featured in many magazines including Threads, SewStylish, Stitch, SewNews, and Creative Machine Embroidery. She is a popular instructor both at national sewing shows and online, where her classes for Craftsy, Taunton Workshops, BurdaStyle, Craft University, and Craft Daily have enrolled thousands of students worldwide.

When she is not creating in her studio, Katrina travels to spread her love of sewing with Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking sewing machines.


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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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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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