Charlotte, NC, based Aimee Abernathy learned to knit from a book shortly after being diagnosed with Lupus and credits knitting for keeping her sane in doctorsâ€™ offices, lines at the post office and long conference calls. Creator of GaugeMaster, which calculates yardage and pattern changes based on your gauge, she has never been satisfied with just knitting and broke into crochet, spinning, weaving, teaching and designing. Recent appearances include SAFF, Unwind Retreat, Friends and Fiberworks retreats, Arkansas Fiberarts Extravaganza, Carolina Fiber Fest, DFW Fiber Festival and Wool Over Your Eyes, Greenville, SC. She is a regular teacher at YarnHouse in NoDa. Aimee recently became a certified yoga instructor, teaching at Charlotte Family Yoga Center. Aimee can also be found at fairieknits.com and on Ravelry as funfairiegirl.
Kelly is a teacher from Dade City, Florida. While her Process-Oriented Left Brain gets a workout with her students, she is happiest when she is able to unleash her Artistic Right Brain! Whether she is spinning yarn from her wedding dress or felting a couture quality jacket, Kelly has many creative opportunities on the farm where she lives with her family and a plethora of furry friends: alpacas, angora, pygora, and nigora goats, as well as a fluffy giant angora rabbit. She has been felting, dyeing, spinning and weaving for a number of years and has a blog dedicated to her fiber art exploits http://sunshinefelter.blogspot.com and an Etsy site http://www.feltingsunshine.com/ where she sells her hand dyed fiber and art batts.
Phylleri Ball, a fiber artist for 30 years, specializes in dyeing fiber and yarn, spinning, knitting, crocheting and weaving. Her passion for dyeing results in the gorgeous palettes of Steam Valley's dyed fiber and yarn. As a shepherdess, her focus is raising fine-fleeced Angora Goats & sheep using sustainable farming practices. Dedicated to utilizing all grades of Mohair has resulted in the production of fine knitting yarns, Core Spun rug yarn, roving and mill-spun & knitted socks from Steam Valley's Mohair.
Patti is an award-winning, full-time American fiber artist who enjoys incorporating hand-dyed silk and fibers, as well as handspun art yarn into her unique felted accessories and garments. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest where she teaches felt making and exhibits in fine art shows.
Jennifer Bennett has been spinning all kinds of interesting yarns for nearly 30 yrs. She has taught at the JCCampbell Folk School, Convergence, and various other fiber conferences. She has been an alpaca breeder for 19+ yrs, and raised National Grand Champion angora rabbits, owned a carding mill and spun miles of soft yarn.
Vicki lives 8 months of the year in Asheville, NC, where she teaches feltmaking, exhibits at the Sam Reynolds Design Gallery and works in the garden of her mountain home. She lives the rest of the year in St. Petersburg, Florida where she teaches at the Morean Arts Center, exhibits and sells her craft at Florida Craftsmen Gallery. When not tangled up with wool she works with raptors in permanent rehabilitation. Her website is TangledUpInWool.com
Joan enjoys anything fiber - dyeing, spinning, knitting, weaving and felting. Her main focus is to use these techniques to create unique, one of a kind garments. Originally trained as a home economist and an expert seamstress, she became enchanted by weaving and felting classes and has recently graduated from the Professional Crafts Program at Haywood Community College. Joan is currently a member of the River Arts District Artists and has her work at Desert Moon Design Studios on Depot Street. She is also a juried member of the Southern Highland Guild. Joan has exhibited at several juried Handweavers Guild of America (HGA) Convergence Conferences, a number of HGA fashion shows, Gallery 86, and the Peters Valley Gallery Art to Wear Show, and the Folk Art Center in Asheville.
Gwen Bortner is a Craft Yarn Council Certified Teacher, teaching at venues throughout the country and is the author of, Entree to Entrelac. Her designs can be found in a variety of knitting magazines and through her business, Knitability, LLC. 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". Whether teaching at a local yarn shop or at a national knitting convention, 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, "As a teacher, my goal is to help students increase the size of their knitting 'tool box'. Although I may have a preference, experience has shown that my preferred way is rarely the only way. My mantra is 'knitting is fun' and if class isn't fun, then I am not doing my job."
Ann lives on a farm in central Kentucky that has a cow/calf operation and raises Dorset, Karakul, and English Leicester Longwool sheep. She bought her first flock with money she made selling her interest in a needlepoint/knitting/gift shop, and then had so much wool she needed to find something to do with it. Ann makes and markets braided, felted wool rugs and chair pads, wrote THE SHEPHERD'S RUG in partnership with Letty Klein and now travels the country doing workshops and festivals.
Angie Buchanan is a fiber artist living in Greer, SC who raises alpacas and angora goats and incorporates their fiber into her work. She is a weaver, felter, dyer, and crocheter... pretty much all things fiber. She started drawing and painting at an early age, and in 2005, got hit with the 'fiber bug' and began learning and using it in all of her work. Professionally, she is a private tutor for children and young adults with dyslexia. By teaching fiber arts classes, she has found a way to combine her love of fiber with her love of teaching.
Joyce is a Master Hand Knitter certified by The Knitting Guild Association. As a retired aerospace engineer, she loves the technical details of knitting. As a teacher, her goal is to help knitters improve and polish their skills in classes that are comprehensive and enjoyable. After all, knitting isn't rocket science!
Susannah Carter has been spinning for over 30 years, and teaching whenever she can get somebody to sit still long enough. She has her own flock of BFL, Finn, Shetland, and a Corriedale/Merino that looks like Lionel Ritchie.
learned to crochet from her grandmother when she was 5. In later years she began raising fiber animals to supply the kind of materials she wanted to work with when the local stores carried ONLY acrylic yarns. She has taught crochet at SAFF and other venues for many years and currently lives in Candler NC with three, sometimes 4 cats and two parrots. At this time, all my fiber animals are gone but she still has an abundant supply of fibers.
Linda Sue Davis
Linda Davis is the owner of The Tail Spinner, which is located in Eastern North Carolina. She has been active in the fiber arts all of her life, and teaches spinning, weaving, felting, dyeing, crochet, knitting, and other fiber related crafts.
Rita de Maintenon
Rita de Maintenon is a retired educator, speaker and business owner who moved to Asheville in 2009. She was raised in Germany and learned all dimensions of fiber arts while growing up. She has taught workshops for many years to encourage participants to create their own heirloom treasures and now concentrates on crochet heritage techniques like broomstick and hairpin lace, Tunisian, Aran and Irish crochet. Rita is a member of the Southern Highland Guild, HandMade in America and a Blue Ridge National Heritage Artist. Her business is Heirloom Treasures and her website is: www.heirloomtreasuresfiberarts.com
A member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Cassie Dickson is a traditional pattern weaver who specializes in the weaving of coverlets and the processing of the flax plant to linen cloth. She has been spinning, weaving and natural dyeing for over 35 years and has raised silk worms for silk for the past 24 years.
Carin is an award winning fiber artist and workshop instructor who has been using her experimental, playful nature to explore felting and color seriously since 1992. She maintains a studio in Garberville, California where she produces a line of hand dyed wool fabric and fiber as well as her felt art. She is an enthusiastic teacher who encourages innovation in her students work.
Abby Franquemont, author of Respect The Spindle, is steeped in the fiber arts since birth. The daughter
of field anthropologists studying textile production, she was raised largely in the rural Andes of Peru,
where she learned to spin, weave and more starting at the age of five. In 2006, she left a successful
career in information technology in order to write and teach full-time about the fiber arts, particularly
spinning. Why spinning? Abby says it's the most fundamental of the fiber arts – the one upon which the
most others depend – as well as the most at risk of being lost and the hardest to pass down in any way
other than hand to hand. Abby is technical, passionate, inquisitive, and informed; she has taught
individuals and groups of all ages, skill levels, and combinations thereof. Her classes sell out wherever
she goes, her book, instructional DVDs, magazine articles, and blog are widely recommended, and her
down-to-earth approach is empowering for students of all levels.
Abby has taught and lectured at large events including The National Needlearts Association (TNNA),
Golden Gate Fiber Institute, the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR), Sock Summit, the Taos Wool
Festival, and New York State Sheep & Wool (Rhinebeck), not to mention many of the finest fiber,
knitting, and crafting shops in the USA, along with weaving, spinning and knitting guilds nationwide
and a select group of private retreats, seminars and workshops. Her writing has appeared in Spin-Off,
Spindlicity, Interweave Knits, Twist Collective, Entangled, SpinKnit, Knitty, and more.
Melissa Gray is a Needlefelting artist and mother of 3 living in SE NC with her husband, where she raises Fine white Corriedale sheep and horses. Her work will be displayed in the booth for East Carolina Corriedales and is currently in 2 galleries in the Southeast in Wilmington and New Bern NC.Her work was also displayed at Vogue Knitting live in Chicago in October 2012, and at The Butler Museum of American art in December 2012. In the Spring of 2013 she has been requested to teach at the John C Campbell Folk Art School and has been a teacher at SAFF for 6 years.
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 (the-panopticon.blogspot.com), one of the most popular knitting blogs on the 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.
Lisa Klakulak is an internationally recognized artist and educator of the felt medium, who happens to reside in Asheville, NC! Klakulak's teaching focuses on studies for technical understanding, resulting in finely crafted works and the empowerment of the maker. Her work has been featured in publications such as: Surface Design Journal, Fiber Arts, Shuttle Spindle Dyepot and 500 Felt Objects and her teaching sought at Penland, Arrowmont, Surface Design Association and Handweaver's Guild of America Conferences and abroad. www.strongfelt.com
A graphic artist by trade, Roo Kline became involved with alpacas in 2006 and shortly after purchasing her own herd in early 2007, the 'Moonwood Farm' fiber studio was launched, gathering a following of spinners and fiber artists who fell in love with her luxuriously handcrafted spinning fibers and supplies.
Since 2010 Roo has been teaching her personal techniques and style to students, especially those who love and/or raise alpacas. She is the co-founder of Alpaca Fiber Solutions and teaches at Magical Farms, fiber festivals and alpaca shows, local yarn shops, has been featured on several episodes of The Knit Girllls videocasts, has proudly provided her fiber creations for the students of art yarn teacher Jacey Boggs, writes how-to articles for American Livestock Magazine, and is featured in the 'Mail-Order Dyers' article in the Spring 2013 issue of Spin-Off Magazine.
Claudia started rug hooking in 2000 and began teaching in 2005. She is a member of the Tarheel Ruggers and Merrie Mountain Hookers guilds and a juried member at Dogwood Crafters in Dillsboro, N.C. She has tried many other needlecrafts, but rug hooking has become her passion. She loves seeing a simple drawing come to life as it is hooked.
Bev has been weaving since 1988 and teaching since 1999. She loves to share the joy of basket weaving with those around her and has done so by teaching in Indiana,, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. Making basket weaving fun ,relaxing, and inspiring is her goal. She came in first place in the Eideljorg Weavers Challenge.
Nancy Liebrecht is a landscape architect with an addiction to the fiber arts. She has been knitting for over fifty years and is continually investigating other fiber techniques (felting, crochet, spinning and weaving) to produce a wide variety of items. Experimentation with different and unusual materials using traditional means of fabrication is a hallmark of Nancyâ€™s work. Her work has been shown in exhibits and galleries throughout the Northwest. Nancy is also a former art teacher and painting instructor who believes that the design and production beautiful items enhances life.
Art has always been an important part of Anne's life. After she earned a BA in Fine Arts, she decided should would be more employable as a Graphic Artist. Although she enjoys Graphic Design, she has always been a tactile/hands on person. Fiber is Anne's calling. She has dabbled in a variety of fiber arts, and has rarely met a craft she didn't want to at least try. Quilting, knitting, weaving, dollmaking, felting, she loves it all. Anne first picked up a felting needle over 10 years ago to attach hair to a soft cloth doll. Even then she knew that their was something special in the process and was soon using the felting needle to attach embellishments to quilts, make pumpkins and finally coming full circle and creating goddess dolls with a needle and some wool. Anne truly enjoys the magic of sculpting with wool, and has settled on needle felting as her current passion.
Kristen's creative spirit, and love of color, texture and the smell of wet wool naturally led her to fiber arts and the world of spinning. She's been spinning for six years and never tires of the simplest way to make yarn; on a drop spindle. Taking a raw fleece, washing it, dying it, and spinning it brings her great joy. She readily admits the process is what excites her, not necessarily the finished product (as in actually knitting something from her many skeins of hand-spun yarn!). She and her partner Vicki Bennett started Tangled Up In Wool a few years ago, and they've been tangled up in the many uses of wool ever since.
Mary Nichols is a fiber artist who has been knitting since childhood. She spins and dyes fine yarns and knits them into lace shawls and scarves often incorporating beads to enhance their delicate lace patterns. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and Western North Carolina Fibers/Handweavers Guild. She participates in the East of Asheville Studio Tour and is a regular demonstrator on her great wheel.
My name is Sallie Pollock, I am a retired English teacher living in middle Tennessee with my husband of 41 years on a Angus farm. We have one daughter who is a Family Nurse Practitioner. I spin, weave, knit, crochet, embroider, rug hook, sew and love to shuttle tat. I belong to a group of tatters called The Southern Belles Tatting Society. We meet regularly year round. We go to Georgia each fall to the Palmetto Tatters conference. Our group tats ornaments to fill 2-4 Christmas trees in the antebellum homes that are on tour in Maury County each Christmas season. We support and teach tatting where we meet and also do demonstrations at various events all year long.
I learned from my grandmother how to knit, weave and crochet. From there, I went on to discover spinning, hand dyeing and needle felting. I am always looking for new uses for the wool from our family farm including wreaths, needle felted farm animals, yarn hair accessories, handwoven rugs and chair pads, and bird nesting balls. I am a juried artisan at Tamarack The Best of West Virginia and the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center.
Melissa Yoder Ricks has been crazy for yarn and fiber since learning to crochet from her great-grandmother when she was a preschooler. She’s been knitting since elementary school and spinning since 1990. In addition to earning a BA in fine art/design from Duke University, she’s taken spinning classes from Rita Buchanan, Lexi Boeger (pluckyfluff) and Jacey Boggs (insuboridknit). Since 2008, Melissa has pursued her love of fiber arts full time as the owner/fiber artist at Wild Hare Fiber Studio (http://www.wildharefiber.com) and by teaching classes and workshops, particularly in creative spinning and fiber preparation. Her knitting designs and handspun yarns have appeared in ‘Knitters’ magazine and ‘Spin Off.’
Esther Rodgers is a fiber artist who lives in Mebane, NC, though originally from Chicago IL. She is inspired by everyday life- through music, nature, television, she?s always thinking ?how can I spin this into a yarn?? Esther loves to play with color and texture, and her one of a kind art yarns and art fiber batts continue to prove it. She?s spun yarn that includes shredded money, cassette tape, sequins, beads, sparkly pom pom?s, flowers?nothing is off limits! Her most was featured in the Winter/Spring 2011 issue of Knitscene magazine and the Fall 2010 issue of Spin Off.
Leslie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Her area of specialization was metalsmithing and jewellery. Although a profitable endeavor, she found it to be an unhealthy occupation. She searched for an alternative medium of expression.
Leslie rushed headlong into the fibre world when she bought her first pair of angora rabbits in 1980. Soon Leslie’s life was full of rabbits and spinning wheels.
She is the co-author of Completely Angora, a reference book on angora rabbit husbandry and fibre use that has sold in over 45 countries.
While researching different applications for this unique fibre, Leslie came across felt making. Felting offered her the freedom of expression that she enjoyed. By applying a jeweller’s sense of detail to this natural fibre medium, she continually challenges herself to create innovations of feltwork.
For the last 25 years, Leslie has taught felting and angora rabbit care classes across North America. She has taught in Germany and Japan. Her work has also been shown in Scotland and France.
She has been featured on a news program in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia as well as Town and Country Ontario and CBC radio. She has written for Spin-Off Magazine as well as many others.
A founding member of the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders (IAGARB), Leslie has kept herself busy developing a North American angora yarn co-op and a performance testing system for registration by merit. She works within her association to collect data which is used to improve management of angoras on this continent.
When Leslie is not living out of a suitcase, she enjoys a peaceful life on a small farm outside a tiny village outside Brantford, Ontario.
Tracey owns and operates Interlacements Yarns in Abrams, Wisconsin. A multi-talented fiber artist, Tracey started as a weaver, is passionate about color and texture and loves working with found objects.
Has been involved in creative handmade learning for over 20 years. In the past 5 years Christina has been working primarily with animal fiber and watercolor paintings. She combined her experience in watercolors with the unexplored potential of dyed wool roving, to create an art form which is free in form and color as painting, yet retains the natural tactile qualities inherent in fiber. Born in Miami, FL, she migrated to the WNC mountains early on in life, adventured through fine Swiss art museums and galleries, and is now exploring the Southeastern US with her two children, vending at art/craft shows and helping to spread the Fiber Love through her workshops.
Nancy Shroyer knits, spins, weaves, dyes, designs, teaches, and invents in Cary, NC where she lives and works with her husband Bob. They own Nancyï¿½s Knit Knacks. They develop, manufacture, and sell tools for fiber artists.
Did you know that you can create exquisite knits with a knitting machine? Learn how to create lovely knitted projects, and finish them beautifully, all while having more fun! Diana has many years experience teaching hand knitting, machine knitting and crochet, and has published numerous books, patterns and DVDs. Diana has the “dianaknits” channel on YouTube with almost 2 million views, and writes the Diana_natters.blogspot.com blog, chock-full of patterns, tips, ideas, and instructions, the busiest blog in the machine knitting arena, and a must-see site for fiber artists.
Kathleen Taylor is a wife, mother, grandmother, spinner, knitter, designer, and writer. Her knitting books include: Knit One, Felt Too; Yarns to Dye For; I Heart Felt; The Big Book of Socks; and Fearless Fair Isle Knitting. She lives in South Dakota, and absolutely loves coming to SAFF to teach.
Vithard is a Danish knitwear designer and textile artist. He started knitting at the age of 10 and has worked professionally as a knitwear designer for the past 8
years. Heavily inspired by traditional Scandinavian knitwear patterns, Vithard loves the way that simple geometric shapes accentuated by different colours or different knitting techniques evoke incredible beauty and tell so many stories. As an experienced teacher, Vithard approaches his students with respect, patience and enthusiasm. He is currently working on his first two books; the first of which
is planned for a January 2013 release.
Owner of Ozark Wool mill
I am a life long "crafty person" but began focusing on fiber when I crocheted clothes for my first Barbie doll; then learned to knit a couple of years later. As a little girl I never imagined that my hobby would one day become a career, but it has! I love all things yarn related but especially my teaching opportunities. While teaching knitting and crochet in Asheville for the last 9 years, I've been lucky to be able to travel around the country to take classes from some very talented teachers, such as Laura Bryant, Margaret Fisher, Arenda Holladay, and especially Laura Nelkin.
Julie Wilson and her family own a farm in Fines Creek, North Carolina. In 1990, two sheep came to the Wilson?s family. Since then, Jehovah Raah Farm has grown to Shetland sheep, alpacas, llamas, Angora goats, Angora Rabbits, and Scottish Highland cattle. Julie has been spinning since 1990, and has retired from teaching high school Special Education for over 30 years. Julie has been with SAFF since its beginnings in Winston-Salem and has taught the spinning class since instruction was offered. Satisfaction guaranteed by Julie.
Ken Wolf and his wife Claire have been raising registered corriedale sheep for more than 25 years. Ken is a trained wool judge and skilled shearer.