Instructors


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Kelly Agrue

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

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.

Leslie Bebensee

For 25 years, Leslie has been raising Lincoln Longwool sheep and Swedish Gotland ponies, along with operating a Handspinning business and teaching spindling. Her passion is teaching beginners how to spin, quickly and affordably. She's been with SAFF since its beginning, and enjoys creating and nurturing students' fiber passions. She owns and operates Kokovoko Breeding Farm in Corinth, KY.

Jennifer Bennett

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 Bennett

Vicki lives 8 months of the year in Asheville, NC, where she teaches feltmaking while continuing her own artistic exploration in fiber arts. She is active in Local Cloth and Handmade in America. She exhibits at the Sam Reynolds Design Gallery. The rest of the year she lives in St. Petersburg, Florida where she teaches felt making at the Morean Arts Center and exhibits at Florida Craftsmen Gallery. When not tangled up with wool she works with raptors in permanent rehabilitation and works her mountain-side garden. Her website is TangledUpInWool.com

Ann Brown

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.

Susannah Carter

Susannah Carter has been spinning for over 30 years, and teaching whenever she can get somebody to sit still long enough. She weaves, hand-combs, knits socks, and enjoys being a sheep midwife. She has her own flock of BFL, Finn, Shetland, and a Corriedale/Merino that looks like Lionel Ritchie. New to the flock are the BFF - Blue-faced Finn, that have amazing fleeces.

Jean Castle

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.

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

Cassie Dickson

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.

Jolie Elder

Jolie has explored a wide range of needle arts after learning to cross stitch at age four. She designs, teaches, and stunt knits in the Atlanta area where she demystifies the obscure. Unable to hide from nominating committees, she is a past president of both Atlanta Knitting Guild and North Georgia Knitting Guild, and is currently on the boards of Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance and Center for Knit and Crochet. Her published patterns accentuate geometric structure and feature meticulous techniques, many of which she posts on her blog at jolieaelder.blogspot.com.

Carin Engen

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

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.

Catherine Goodwin

Catherine is an avid fiber explorer who enjoys experimenting with spinning and knitting techniques and helping others expand their approach to these ancient crafts. A spinner since the late 1970's and instructor since the 1980's, she is also a woodworker and inventor of the Spindolyn, the self supported, no-drop spindle. She loves exploring a variety of fibers and techniques, and is skilled at sharing her discoveries with others.

Melissa Gray

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 2012-2014. 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 7 years.

Chad Alice Hagen

Chad Alice Hagen has been a felt maker since 1979 and exploring and teaching the resist dyeing of hand felted wool since 1990. Richly dyed colors and multi-layed surface markings are the trademarks of her years of intensive explorations on Art pieces, hats, scarves, jewelry and currently stitched and beaded books and brooches. Her work with hand made felt can be found in major collections and has appeared on the covers of Surface Design Journal, Fiberarts and Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot Magazines. She is the author of three books; "The Weekend Crafter: Feltmaking; "Fabulous Felt Hats" and "The Fabulous Felt Scarf". She has her BA and MS from University of Wisconsin and MFA from Cranbrook.

Constance Hall

Constance Hall loves that being creative is a journey that takes a lifetime and the fiber world is a wonderful place to travel. She began her fiber explorations with crochet, followed by knitting, sewing, spinning, weaving, and felting. All the while being a full time glassblower. Now teaching fiber arts and pattern design for Schacht Spindle Company fill her time. Introducing students to new skills and seeing where it takes them is the pay off of years of study. This year her patterns will be included in Creative Knitting and Handwoven Magazine as well as on the Schacht website, www.schachtspindle.com. She is a founding member of Spinzilla and moderates the Zoom Loom and Spinzilla groups on Ravlery, under her ravtar Dyeology. She is also on the Spin-Off advisory committee.

Cecilia Ho


Lisa Klakulak

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 both national crafts schools and international venues. www.strongfelt.com

Roo Kline

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 Lampley

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 Larson

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.

Crystal Lawrence


Jean-Marie  Luginbuhl

Professor and Extension Specialist Dr. Jean-Marie “JM” Luginbuhl, Professor of Crop Science and Animal Science at North Carolina State University, has been leading the Meat Goat and Forage Systems Research and Extension Program since October 1995. In that position, Dr. Luginbuhl is responsible for conducting research with meat goats and to provides statewide leadership in the development of the expanding meat goat industry through training, technology transfer and educational programs designed for cooperative extension agents, farmers and agribusiness professionals. His research program emphasis and goals include developing sustainable forage and browse-based feeding systems for meat goats, using goats as bio-agents to control invasive herbaceous weeds and woody vegetation in pastures, forest land and other areas when grazing alone or in combination with cattle, evaluating the browse potential of fodder tree species in silvopastoral systems for meat goats, and exploring non-pharmaceutical approaches to treating meat goats with traditional anthelmintics.

Lisa Mackey


Anne Magrath

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.

Nancie McCraw

Nancie has been immersed in fiber since she was a child. She has tried just about everything, but once she learned to spin, she knew that would always be her first love. She has a background in computer programming and electronic engineering and she brings this affinity for the technical to her spinning. She not only knows how, but she knows why. Lynn Vogel, one of her spinning teachers, remarked that it was such a pleasure to have a “thinking spinner” in her class. Nancie has taught beginning to intermediate spinning students at several festivals and events in the southeast, at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY, and at community colleges in western NC.

Sandra (Vasanto) Nechemias

has been working with wool and color since she learned to knit as a child. She has been spinning dyeing, knitting, crocheting, weaving and felting it. She says, 'wool is one of the first man-made fabrics. It is soft, rich, and extremely versatile.' She began to felt by learning to make hats from Beth Beede, creator of the hat-on-a-ball technique.

Kristen Nicholas

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.

Bex Oliger


Jenny Pelc

Jenny Pelc is an instructor at Weavin' Place ~ SAORI Style in Folsom, Louisiana. She received her Masters of Architecture from Tulane University in 2005. Clothing design/ construction was an interest and pursuit that remained constant throughout her formal education. It was after receiving her degree that she learned to weave and spin. In 2012, Jenny found a means to split her professional career to more fully address both design interests. Today, she teaches part-time at the Tulane School of Architecture and teaches weaving and coordinates workshops at the fiber arts studio in Folsom. The studio regularly offers introduction SAORI weaving classes to groups. Jenny also provides individual lessons to more experienced students who wish to improve their weaving skills and learn new ones. She is a very hands-on instructor with a great deal of technical knowledge but firmly believes in the non-intimidating, no mistakes philosophy that SAORI brings to weavers - traditional and free-style alike.

Sallie  Pollock

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.

Debbie Rapp

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.

Angie Richardson

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.

Melissa Ricks

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. 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

Esther is a full time fiber artist from Mebane NC. She is known as a creative art yarn spinner and for her unique fiber preparation. Esther is also a felter, weaver and knitter which gives her the perspective of how these creative yarns can be used. She is constantly innovating her spinning techniques to create new textures and is on the cutting edge in terms of yarn design. Esther is very conscious of where her fiber comes from, sourcing her wool from local and friendly farms, directly from wonderful shepherds with happy animals Esther is an enthusiastic and patient teacher; possessing both national and international teaching experience. She is a regular contributor to PLY magazine, with articles in the Autumn and Winter 2013, and Summer, Autumn and Winter 2014. Her press also includes being featured in Ashley Martineau’s 2013 book, “Spinning and Dyeing yarn”, Lexi Boeger’s 2012 book “Handspun, New Spins on Traditional Techniques”, the Winter/Spring 2011 issue of Knitscene magazine and the Fall 2010 issue of Spin Off magazine. She is currently working on her first book.

Leslie Samson

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.

Christina Serra

Has been involved in creative handmade learning for over 20 years. In the past 6 years Christina has been working primarily with animal fiber and watercolor paintings. She combines her experience of watercolor painting with the unexplored potential of dyed wool roving, creating an art form which is as free in form and color as painting, yet retains the amazing qualities inherent in fiber. Born in Miami, she migrated to the WNC mountains early on in life, adventured through fine Swiss art museums and galleries, and currently resides in Asheville with her amazing children and fluffy kitties.

Nancy  Shroyer

Nancy Shroyer knits, spins, weaves, dyes, designs, teaches, and invents in Cary, NC where she lives and works with her husband Bob. They own Nancy�s Knit Knacks. They develop, manufacture, and sell tools for fiber artists.

Stephanie Stratton

Stephanie has made her world fiber and yarn filled. From knitting to felting to spinning to crochet to dying and more, Stephanie is truly immersed in fiber arts. She is the owner of LunabudKnits and is well known for her hand dyed fibers & yarns, custom carded batts, books, patterns and fun notions, as well as carrying Louet wheels and Strauch Fiber Equipment. In addition to being the Independent Dyer in charge of LunabudKnits in Nicholasville, KY, she also owns a yarn shop, A Tangled Yarn, to help spread the joy of all things textile to her local community. She enjoys collecting antique spinning wheels, has a tendency to be distracted by bright sparkly objects, and is known to pounce on knitters wearing hand made & lovely creations. Websites: http://www.Lunabudknits.com &http://www.atangledyarn.com

Heidi Sunday

Lifelong crafter, numbers nerd and 7-year Yarn Shop Owner, now a Manufacturer's Yarn & Accessories Sales Rep in the Mid-Atlantic States. I love to Knit, Crochet and Tat, and now, Knit Companion is my BFF. Yarn related geek SWAT (Secret Weapon Against Technology) team of ONE.

Elizabeth  Taylor


Kathleen Taylor

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.

Gail  White

Owner of Ozark Wool mill

Ann Lynn Whiteside

I have been weaving for 13 years and teaching weaving for 8 years. I have a passion for weaving and a particular enjoyment for Rigid Heddle Weaving.

Eunice Williams

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 10 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 Laura Nelkin. Member of TNNA and TKGA. If you are reading this I hope it means I'll see you in one of my SAFF classes.

Julie Wilson

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

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.