Our 2013 Teachers
Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008 – now in its third printing) and proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.
Franklin's other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, Yarn Market News, PieceWork, Twist Collective, and regular columns for both Knitty.com and Lion Brand Yarns.
As a much sought-after teacher and speaker, he travels nationally and internationally to conduct lectures and classes on a variety of knitting-related topics.
When he's not on the road, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois – sharing a city apartment with an Ashford spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.
- Franklin will be teaching:
- Working with Antique and Vintage Knitting Patterns
- Photographing Your Fiber (two times - Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon)
- Garter Jacquard: Garter Stitch Gone Wild
- Snip 'n' Zip: Steeks & Zippers
- Knitted Tessellations: Playful and Powerful Patterns in Practice
Gwen Bortner is a Craft Yarn Council Certified Teacher and is accredited by the Association of Knitwear Design in both teaching and design. She teaches knitting at venues throughout the country, has been published in a variety of knitting magazines and is the lead designer for her business, Knitability, LLC.
Gwen first learned to knit when she was 6 years old, but it really took hold while attending University of the Pacific. While completing her degree in computer science and higher mathematics, she worked part time at the local yarn shop, teaching, designing and assisting customers. After graduation, Gwen followed the career path directed by her degree finally culminating a position in Kansas City where she headed up the information technology group as a Vice President for Birch Telecom, Inc.
Gwen's continuing love of fiber and knitting, in particular, was a hallmark in her life. So in the summer of 2001, Gwen gave up her executive career and founded Knitability, LLC and www.knitability.com was opened for business.
Education is probably the most important component of the Knitability business plan as all efforts focus on the company motto of "Taking Knitters to the Next Level". Gwen's passion is teaching and she enjoys every opportunity she has to share her love of knitting with others. Whether teaching through the local community education program or at a national knitting convention, meeting new people and sharing the love of knitting is one of her greatest joys.Gwen is pleased her first book, Entrée to Entrelac, has been released to resounding accolades. This is the first book to be published in nearly two decades dedicated solely to the often misunderstood technique of entrelac. A variety of projects, both large and small, explore the surprisingly large range of fabrics and shapes this fascinating technique can create. Gwen's vast teaching experience allows her to translate her in-depth knowledge of entrelac, into clear, concise, effective instructions making the technique attainable for any knitter who is interested in learning about entrelac. Discussion of not only the how, but the why help empower knitters of all levels to take lessons learned from entrelac and apply them to other projects and techniques.
Gwen's teaching philosophy can be summed up in the following quote, "I provide very few absolutes in the classroom. Although I may have a preference, experience has shown that 'my way' is rarely the only way and being inclusive is so much more inviting. My mantra is 'knitting is fun' and if class isn't fun, then I am not doing my job."
- Gwen will be teaching:
- Entrelac Basics
- Knitting in Both Directions
- The Entrelac Shift: Combining Fabrics for Max Effect
- Brioche: The Basics and Beyond
- Diamonds of a Different Color
- Kumihimo Custom Closures
Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby is the co-founder of The Shibaguyz and Shibaguyz Designz. Skilled in both crochet and knit, Shannon is an award-winning designer having published over 150 patterns for magazines, yarn companies, and his private pattern collection through Shibaguyz Designz. Shannon currently has six books published with two more scheduled for release later this year. A Craft Yarn Council of America Certified Teacher, Shannon's classes are often sold out and are always highly recommended by his students. When not in the studio Shannon can be found hiking in the Pacific Northwest wilderness with his partner Jason and their 3 shiba inu, Apollo, Atlas and Dallas. For more information about Shannon or Shibaguyz Designz please check out their website www.shibaguyz.com.
- Shannon will be teaching:
- The OH! of Math
- Crochet Cables: Put a Little Twist in Your Stitches!
- Foundations and Finishing: Start with a bang and finish like a pro!
- Chart Reading 101: Alien language, ancient heiroglyphs or the key to your hooking heaven?
- Fashion, Fit, Form and Function: Designing Garments for Everyone
- The Joy of Ribbing
Beth Smith has built a strong and loyal following who know her and her world-class fiber shop, The Spinning Loft in Howell, Michigan, as the go-to resource for specialty wools for handspinning. A passionate advocate for greater understanding of all the possibilities offered by many types of wool, Beth has spared no effort to study with master spinners from all over the world. She brings together a deep and complex understanding of many spinning traditions with a clear sense of the contemporary spinner's goals, questions, and options. Beth has taught at TNNA, New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, Spin Off Autumn Retreat as well as the Michigan Fiber Festival.
- Beth will be teaching:
- Wool Sampler Shawl
- Mastering Wool Combing
- Woolen and Worsted
- Finish that Skein
- Working Toward Consistency
Local & Regional Teachers
Aimee Abernathy is a knitter, spinner and weaver. Aimee has been knitting for 10 years, learning from a book shortly after being diagnosed with Lupus, and credits knitting for keeping her sane in doctors’ offices, lines at the post office and long conference calls. Aimee is located in Charlotte, NC, where she enjoys teaching at Yarnhouse in NoDa and meeting new people. She has been lucky enough to take classes from such fantastic knitters as Wendy Johnson, Cookie A., Anne Hanson and Charlene Schurch. Recently Aimee has taught at SAFF, Unwind Retreat, Friends and Fiberworks retreats, Arkansas Fiberarts Extravaganza and Carolina Fiber Fest. Aimee can also be found at fairieknits.com and on Ravelry as funfairiegirl.
I have been instructing in both formal education and not-for-profit organizations for the past 30 years. I received my crochet teaching certification in 2005. My goal is to introduce new skills and techniques which motivate and inspire students in the art of crochet. Most importantly I like my students to have fun.
- Molly will be teaching:
- Color Me Project Perfect
Leef has been knitting, spinning and weaving for more than 30 years, and still finds them just as intellectually stimulating and "Zen-fully" satisfying as in the beginning because she always finds something new to learn. Leef has been teaching for twenty years and approaches her classes from a practical, ergonomic, and functional point of view. She also enjoys writing new knitting and felting patterns. Leef runs workshops at her farm, Apple Leef Farm.
Michael Cook is an author, instructor, and award-winning fiber artist. Most of his work focuses on silk - from raising the worms to weaving and embroidering with the beautiful glossy filament yarns. He lives in far south Oak Cliff, with his husband Chris, three dogs, three cats, ten chickens, and hundreds of tiny, wiggly livestock. He writes and blogs about his life and adventures at his website, www.wormspit.com.
Jennette Cross is the dork behind Doviejay Knits. She loves natural fibers, good stories, cocker spaniels, and cold, gray days. She has a BS in Textile Design and an abiding interest in all things fiber - if you can spin it, weave it, or knit it, Jennette wants to know all about it. Her website is www.doviejayknits.com
- Jennette will be teaching:
- Leaving Patterns Behind
Bart became fascinated with needlework of all kinds at a very young age. Over the years, his experience led to teaching at the International Old Lacers, Incorporated convention, for regional lace guilds and specialized groups. He has won awards for original designs in Irish Crochet and Venetian Needle Lace. His works in Crochet and Romanian Point Lace have been featured in Piecework magazine. Bart found teaching and designing to be the most rewarding aspects of needlework and he is looking forward to his first opportunity to be a part of DFW Fiberfest this year.
- Bart will be teaching:
- Shuttle Tatting
Margo Lynn has been knitting before she can remember, definitely before she learned to crochet at the age of ten. Margo Lynn also spins, dyes (a class she taught at the first DFW Fiber Fest), and designs and tests patterns. She has taught for other conferences as well, including the Crochet Guild of America and the Sunflower Knitting Guild in Kansas, and is one of the founders of DFW Fiber Fest. A lover of texture and inveterate math geek, Margo Lynn turned these interests into a class to help other knitters who love texture but may be intimidated by math.
- Margo Lynn will be teaching:
- Design Your Own Cables
Although not an embryonic knitter, Kristin will admit to 40+ years of working with some sort of needle and thread or yarn. In addition to an all consuming passion for knitting, she finds time to weave and work with counted thread.
After a varied career including obituary writer, technical editor for a software company, Production Coordinator and Visual Effects Producer for feature films, Kristin and her husband "retired" to the mountains of Arizona. There she reinvented her lifelong passion for fiber into a new career of designing knitwear and teaching knitting.
Her latest publication is Glamour and Glow, Universal Yarn, and available August 2012. Also available from Universal Yarn, Garden Metallic Lacy Knits. Kristin is one of the co-authors of Perfectly Plus: Featuring the Knit to Fit Workbook for the Full Figured Woman, House of White Birches, released January 2011.
Kristin's designs have been featured in Creative Knitting, Love of Knitting, Knit N' Style, Yarn Forward, and Knits Accessories (2011). She also designs for Conjoined Creations, Universal Yarn, Fiesta Yarn and Farmhouse Yarns.
Kristin teaches at yarn shops in Arizona, has taught at TNNA, and answers technical knitting questions as a consultant for Interweave.
More of her designs may be found on Ravelry, Craftsy, and at www.KnittingNanny.com
Sony Hartley is a knitter, spinner & potter, 1/2 of the Knitting Lagniappe team. She has taught knitting classes to all ages at schools, fiber festivals, yarn shops & church groups. Her classes are filled with unique tips & tricks mixed in with techniques.
- Sony will be teaching:
- Art-ticulate Your Knitting
Suzanne Morgan has loved working with all things fiber since she was very young. This passion for creating with fiber led her to discover the art of felting, including nuno felting and sculptural felting. Most of her work is inspired by the organic forms of nature.
In 2008, Suzanne turned her passion into a business and began selling felting kits & supplies online and through Etsy.com. Through dying and creating her own materials, she is constantly developing new ideas to expand her inventory and teaching ideas. She has also traveled to study with numerous felting and other fiber artists. She began teaching her art at the Craft Guild of Dallas and was selected to be the Fiber Arts Chair in 2009. Early in 2010, she began teaching at Creative Arts Center and has continued instructing students in nuno felting and all things fiber to this day. Check out her website at: www.suzannemorgan.com
- Suzanne will be teaching:
- Felts in 3D
Louise Schubert has been sewing since she was 13. She studied Clothing and Textiles at the University of North Texas and worked as a professional stock pattern maker for several years. She is a Trained Sewing Instructor through the Sewing and Craft Alliance, an officer in the American Sewing Guild, and an active member of the Dallas Area Fiber Artists. She constantly strives to hone her sewing skills, and loves to learn new techniques. Skills in patternmaking and design have allowed her to assist others in wardrobe planning, figure analysis, and fashion styling. Her passion for custom accessories has led her to explore and develop skills in machine embroidery, needle felting, Nuno felting, beading and jewelry making, polymer clay, and other Fiber Arts. She teaches classes to make custom buttons using several different methods, needle and Nuno felting techniques, as well as several other fiber art techniques, in addition to classes in pattern making, pattern alterations, and sewing techniques. She lives in Mesquite, TX with her husband Glenn.
- Louise will be teaching:
- Creative Clay Buttons
Misty learned to knit from her Mom, Sony Hartley, a dozen years ago. Sony will tell you it took pain killers to get her thru the experience. (She likes to leave out that she had JUST broken her ankle and would have been on them anyway!) From there, Misty took spinning classes, more knitting classes, helped to teach some classes with her Mom. Then she found the DFW Fiber Fest which opened up a whole new world for her. She was at the first one only 5 minutes before calling her Mom to tell her "We NEED to do this!" That led to them being vendors two years later as Knitting Lagniappe offering shawl pins, buttons, stitch markers, patterns, Sony's amazing yarn bowls & carousels, and a bunch of "lagniappe".
Besides working with yarn, fiber of all sorts, Misty also LOVES making jewelry and creating functional pieces that are fun to wear like their line of Knitting jewelry.
Misty presently lives in the Plano area where she lives with her hubby (who she swears is a saint), her 5-year old quads, 2 dogs and a cat. Being able to work with her Mom, and share their mutual love of the Fiber arts and mixing their other loves with it, has been a very special adventure for her and one she LOVES sharing with others!
- Misty will be teaching:
- From Shabby to Chic: Knitting from T's