Presenter List and discriptions

Presentations and Demos

Lecture and Demos Descriptions

What are the earliest knitted projects that survive? Where did knitting start, and how did it spread? We will explore the history of knitting, look at surviving projects, and ask questions about the origins of our craft.

A humorous, educational and interactive lecture including a game with prizes! Catherine will take you on a trip around the globe with the quilts from her exhibit that debuted in April 2017 at International Quilt Festival in Chicago. It was at Houston in October that year and has since popped up in various sites across the USA. Learn where she finds her inspiration, the stitches she uses and the finishing techniques she employs.

Amy Singer will be interviewing Diane Ivey of Lady Dye yarns. Come learn more about her fascinating life and her passions

Demonstration of animal fiber dyeing from start to finish. Focusing on the process, source of inspiration, and equipment required

Ever see a ridiculously long beer list at a bar and not know what to order? Don’t let the hipsters intimidate you anymore! I’ll help you out-snob them all! Dive into the world of craft beer on this guided tour. We’ll discuss some beer history, talk about different beer styles, and most importantly sample the beers! You can find the beers listed here at most major beer outlets.

Beers Covered
Czech Pale Lager: Pilsner Urquell
German Wheat Beer: HackerPschorr Weisse, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, or Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
English Brown Ale: Newcastle Brown Ale, or Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale
American Pale Ale: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, or Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale

So you’re ready for the next level of beer snobbery? Let’s “”kick it up a notch”” and explore some of the stronger and wilder flavors that beer has to offer. Taste along with Ron and expand your beer knowledge! The beers listed here for tasting can be found at most major beer stores. One beer of each style will be enough!

Beers to Sample
American Barleywine: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
Belgian Tripel: St. Bernardus Tripel, Unibroue La Fin Du Monde
Oatmeal Stout: Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Young’s Oatmeal Stout
Doppelbock: Ayinger Celebrator, Paulaner Salvator, Spaten Optimator
Berliner Weisse: Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Style Weisse, Berliner Kindl Weisse, Nodding Head Berliner Weisse

Two of our 2020 host, Mary Anne Mohanraj and Franklin Habit. Find out what they have been up to in the past year and what they are excited about this year.

From Chanel and Balenciaga to the House of Worth and Ralph Lauren, passementerie has been a way to elevate a garment from something ordinary to something extraordinary. What is passementerie? It’s a French term without an English equivalent. Passementerie encompasses a multitude of techniques used to create embellishments. Modern-day uses of passementerie may be found in couture fashions, like the trim edging on French cardigan-style jackets made famous by Coco Chanel and the fashions seen in period films or shows. In this lecture, Robyn Spady will share simple trimming techniques used by many couture fashion designers to add that something extra to a garment or fashion accessory.

This creative writing workshop will offer fiber artists an opportunity to explore their own life stories by using memoir writing prompts that draw on the vocabulary, imagery, and aesthetics of fiber crafts. A brief introductory lecture will consider some examples, for inspiration, of knitting and sewing from within American literature and history, but most of our time will be spent exploring the metaphorical and narrative possibilities of our craft. Memoir writing prompts will invite us to remember, imagine, experiment, and develop our artistic selves as writers and storytellers.

Wet Felting is an ancient felt making technique. Wool is durable, naturally antimicrobial, breathable, odor, and stain-resistant. Many practical items can be created through felt making. Teaching-artist Cecilia Ho from FELTasticFashion of Greenville, SC, will go through various simple wet felting projects like making decorative yet functional washcloth, coaster, dryer ball, stress ball, felted soap, oven mitt & more. Once you get hands-on making these basic wet felting techniques, using your imagination, you will be able to create more than you can think of. How about felting your OOAK knitting needles holder case?!

Last year at Fiberworld, we talked about concepts of domesticity and what has been traditionally considered “women’s work,” across cultures. We discussed issues of feminism around these topics, and took a look at what various rights movements have changed — and what they haven’t. This year, we’ll unpack “femininity,” and its expectations from culture to culture, and generation to generation. Where has “femininity” as a concept caused damage? Where is it valuable? Who gets to have access to femininity and why? Why do we prize it in some contexts and disparage it in others? We’ll talk about the traditional, the radical; femininity in all its complexity and contradiction. Pull up a chair for another “we’re never afraid to go there” Fiberworld panel. It’s going to be glorious.

One of the most iconic fashion items in the world is the French cardigan-style jacket designed originally by Coco Chanel. Many of the fabrics used are ideal for recreation by handweavers. The weave structures are simple, yet the fabrics look complex because of the combination of yarns. During this lecture, Robyn will introduce techniques for planning and designing contemporary tweeds using a combination of yarns and create samples as a way of prototyping for potential projects.

Cecilia Ho from FELTasticFashion of Greenville, SC, was working on a commissioned wool felt painting based on her client’s favorite travel memory to Etretat, France. About 15 oz of NZ Merino wool, Mulberry silk & Blue Faced Leicester wool locks were used to make a 30x40in gallery wrapped canvas. Through mixing & blending & laying out these natural fibers, Cecilia created the striking white chalk cliffs and the Manneporte arch which is famously described as an elephant rock. Wet felting (with sander) and needle felting techniques were applied.  All step-by-step processes from start to finish are shown in this demo video.

As curious and creative folx, knitters are always looking for new (or old!) sources of inspiration. In this lecture, historian and knitter Dr. Kristen Howard will bring book history to life by exploring the early history of Western typography and how elements of historic and rare books can inspire our knitting. Come away with a new understanding of book history, and modern colorwork patterns inspired by printers’ fleurons from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century. Printers’ fleurons (sometimes called Printers’ Ornaments) were small typographic elements created by printers to punctuate and decorate printed books. This lecture is for book lovers, history buffs, and knitters alike as we discover knitting ex libris — from the library. Notably, although this lecture focuses on knitting patterns, the associated charts can be used for other crafts including embroidery, cross-stitch, quilting, and more.

Let’s have a chat and understanding of stranded knitting versus Intarsia – what’s the big difference? I’d love to hang out with you and show you!

Fermenting foods is fun, fast, and not nearly as scary as you think it is! In this demo, I’ll show you how I turn regular, storebought milk into yogurt without needing any special equipment and my favorite way to make pickled carrots, which are our family’s favorite of the fermented veggies. Fermenting does take some time for the bacteria to do their thing, so these aren’t instant projects, but both these projects really do just take a few minutes of hands-on time and probably don’t use any equipment you don’t already have in your kitchen!

Yogurt materials list:
1 quart of milk
4 Tbsps powdered milk (optional, for thicker yogurt)
1 Tbsp plain yogurt (storebought works fine)
Stove + pan big enough to hold milk
Mason jar or something similar (to hold the yogurt)
Small cooler/insulated lunch bag/bath towel (to keep mixture warm)
Rice bag/heat pack/jar of hot water (to keep mixture warm)

Pickled Carrots materials list:
Table Salt
Tap Water
Mason jar or other glass jar with lid
Herbs/spices such as garlic, peppercorns, dill, hot pepper (optional)

Since Ancient Greece (and probably long before!), knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners have been using their craft to care for others, make social statements, and even affect political movements. This lecture will discuss examples, including Penelope (who picked out her tapestry work every night to avoid finishing since then she would have to marry), NuShu (a secret language embroidered on silk fans by Chinese women in the Huang Province in the 9th century), the Westminster Broiderers (who made 56 cushions and over 300 kneelers in the 1930s that are still used at Westminster Abbey), the Names Project (AIDS quilt) and of course, the Pussyhat.

We will also discuss textile projects in which attendees can participate right now, from “craftivism” projects like the 25,000 stitches and stitched face masks, to care knitting projects like the Purple Hat Project and Afghans for Afghans.

Ellen Rosewall is Professor Emerita of Art and Design at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where she retired in 2019 after 20 years of directing the Arts Management program. She is the author of Arts Management: Uniting Arts and Audiences in the 21st Century, a primary textbook for the field. As a textile artist, she has participated in craftivism including the Exquisite Uterus Project, the Tiny Pricks Project, and Welcome Blanket project, and has exhibited work at the Lawton Gallery (UWGB), Baer Gallery (St. Norbert College), Artless Bastard (DePere, WI), the ARTgarage (Green Bay, WI) Wisconsin Memorial Union (Madison, WI), New Visions Gallery (Marshfield, WI) and Woman Made Gallery (Chicago IL).

An intro and exploration into crochet foundation stitches.

Making a buttonhole can be daunting since it often means putting a hole in a garment or fashion accessory. During this lecture, participants will be presented with different techniques that may be used to secure a garment or fashion accessory. From frogs and hand-wrapped hooks and eyes to knotting and clasps, designing and making your own closures can be fun and exciting.

If you’ve only used your drum carder to make plain batts then this is the demo for you! Pick up techniques to card better quality fibre, and learn how to create roving, and rolags.

In this hour, our 2021 Fiberworld hosts are going to interview each other. How fun is that!?

When the general public is asked to describe a knitter, they almost exclusively describe a traditional ‘grandma.’ Yet when we look at a longer-term history of knitting, knitters were almost always men. The gendered ‘switch’ of knitting from a male to female craft happened only 150 years ago or so. How is it possible that the ‘gender’ of knitting changed so recently, and dramatically, that the general populace has no recollection of knitting as masculine? Find out why, traveling across the ocean and through wars and royalty to understand the gendered implications of knitting as a craft and why they changed.

Knitting has had a strong presence in each American war. From the Revolution, when Martha Washington knit socks on the battlefield alongside George, to WWII, when women and girls knit helmet liners and socks for soldiers, through to modern-day anti-war knitting protests, knitters have always played a role in wartime (whether in support or opposition to the war itself). Learn more about knitting’s role in American wartime, and a few bits of history beyond American war (including the invention of the cardigan during British wartime).

Ever wonder how we got to this point of so much wealth in ideas and materials for fiber people? So many fabulous gatherings, techniques, interest groups, podcasts, hand-painted yarns! Has it always been this way? Absolutely NOT! Join us, Dr. Lilly Marsh and Sara Bauer, in our two part series covering Elizabeth Zimmermann’s influence on the contemporary knitting scene. We’ll follow her through her TV series, books, and textile community activism, and take a look at how her ideas about design and knitting independence helped generate a sea change in how knitters viewed themselves and their community. Dr Marsh’s 2016 dissertation broke new ground in documenting knitting history as a serious academic subject, and we should know our Knitting History!

Ever wonder how we got to this point of so much wealth in ideas and materials for fiber people? So many fabulous gatherings, techniques, interest groups, podcasts, hand-painted yarns! Has it always been this way? Absolutely NOT! Join us, Dr. Lilly Marsh and Sara Bauer, in our two part series covering Elizabeth Zimmermann’s influence on the contemporary knitting scene. We’ll follow her through her TV series, books, and textile community activism, and take a look at how her ideas about design and knitting independence helped generate a sea change in how knitters viewed themselves and their community. Dr Marsh’s 2016 dissertation broke new ground in documenting knitting history as a serious academic subject, and we should know our Knitting History!

Demonstration of lace blocking, items needed, how to block and finishing touches and tips.

Learn how to turn fabric, yarn and other fibers from your stash into functional or wearable pieces. We will discuss how to make your own fiber-fabric twine. We will also discuss how to use fabric scraps or yarn for simple projects. Then we will show several completed projects based on the techniques learned. Versatile, functional, fashionable and fun!

Video walkthrough of how to make chicken & sausage gumbo, step by step

Ingredienys List:

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 large white onion diced
1 bunch of green onions washed and diced
6-8 cups of cold water
1 link of andouille sausage cut into 1 in pieces
1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
2-3 cups of cooked rice
2 handfuls of fresh parsley run through a good processor
4 or 5 big size boneless and skinless chicken breast cut in half.

I own about 30 articles of clothing. It took me a decade to realize that my days go smoother without tons of clothes, and then another decade to actually get my minimalist closet perfected. In this lecture I’ll take you through my closet, my thought process, and my journey to get here. One of my biggest motivations for doing this has been the sustainability issues of the fast fashion industry, so where the small amount of clothes that come into my closet come from, and what happens after they leave is a huge factor for me. This is where my closet and my crafting intersect, so I’ll also talk about how I plan and make clothes to fit in with my store bought items, and what I use my too-worn-to-wear clothes for when they come out.

Join us for a truly unique experience in stretching the senses and embracing the unpredictable madness of interpretive yoga with our fearless founder, Kel Bachus.

Join curator and historian Juilee Decker to learn about the exhibition she co-organized, Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts & Activism, which was on view at multiple venues throughout 2019-2020 in New York, Virginia, and Ohio during 2019-20 (even during COVID!). In this live presentation and discussion, Juilee will center the conversation on the curatorial process and share visuals of the works as well as the installation venues. Juilee will identify the exhibition’s theoretical framing around craft’s employ as a tool of expression by artists whose works were featured in the exhibition and as a means of giving voice to people who seek an active role in democracy. Juilee will share how, too, the exhibit functioned as a form of activism. Participants of the session will be invited to join the conversation and discuss how fiber can be employed to make statements about socio-political, cultural, and economic issues and how fiber and craft, more generally, can be employed as a pathway to positive change and a tool for enacting social justice. The conversation may take an historical glance, as well, in thinking about how objects of material culture can provoke and engage all of us as productive tools in deliberative democracies.

I will be teaching how to get a boll of cotton, gin it, card it, make a puni, and spin on a takli.

Missed the bread making craze the first time around, or just looking for another (or faster) way to do it? I’ve been bread this quick and easy way for years! Ok, so you don’t actually go from flour to eating bread in 5 minutes, but it’s really not much more active time than that. I’ll show you how to do it with a sourdough starter, or with regular commercial yeast, and give you some of my favorite ways to use it too (pizza dough, stovetop flat breads, tear and share loaves) Ingredients list: 6 ½ CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR 1 TBSP SALT 3 CUPS WARM WATER 1/4CUP SOURDOUGH STARTER OR 1 TBSP YEAST

Debunk common misconceptions about pattern testing, and get a few tips and tricks from a pattern tester with almost 10 years of experience,specifically for anyone who in interested in learning to test knit.

This lecture will enable new and intermediate knitters to approach every project—including lace, cables, and color work—with greater confidence. It explains how to evaluate and select the right knitting needles for every project, including length, shape, style, material, tip, cable, and connection. It also covers crochet hooks, which every knitter needs, too. It describes how to select markers and row counters and the many unique ways to use them. If you’ve ever thought about adding beads, this lecture explains how to select and test beads and the tools for applying them in different ways. It also discusses how to select other tools, including, sewing needles, cable hooks, and more. Knitters will learn how to use their swatch as a laboratory for testing needles, supplies, and techniques. It’s everything that advanced knitters wished they’d known sooner!

Despite the common adage, gauge swatches don’t actually lie. But we often lie to ourselves when we knit them. Learn the principles of better swatching so you can believe what your gauge swatch is telling you. In this lecture you’ll consider when and how to swatch, what to do with your swatch after it’s knit so it will be a useful and accurate representation of your knitting, measuring, and tips for dealing with yarn that “”just won’t get gauge!”””

In an increasingly multicultural society, it is essential to understand the significance of the symbols related to each culture. This knowledge may protect people from danger, allow them to stand out or assimilate, or lead to greater profitability. The color of dress—which is defined as anything that is carried or worn on the body—is an especially important and visible symbol. This lecture explains and illustrates the role of color in dress throughout the world, including its importance in displaying social, economic, political, marital, and religious status; revealing technological level; and protecting the wearer from supernatural forces. Whereas some colors indicate that social contact is welcomed, other colors warn people to keep their distance. This is essential information for everyone who works, lives, and trades with other cultures. It’s also a great source of inspiration.

Do you dread picking up stitches on a selvedge? Do your lace projects languish for months, waiting to be blocked? Would you like to work entrelac more easily? Do you even know about modular intarsia (adding one block at a time)?

Tekhelet is a blue dye described in the Old Testament of the Bible. This ancient dye’s creation and color are meticulously detailed in this text, and was traditionally used in Jewish prayer shawls called ‘Tzitzit.’ Tzitzit are still worn by religious jews, and still depict this traditional blue color. What is the history of this ancient, biblical dye? Who was responsible for carefully creating the dye itself and the sacred garments it would color? What happened to Tekhelet over time, and can it still be produced today? Find out in this lecture about this sacred, ancient dye.

A history of the use of fibers in jewelry and wearable embellishments over time. This lecture delves into textiles used as adornment and function in historical objects like chatelaines, in memoriam as in Victorian hair jewelry, and combining ancient techniques with modern innovations today.

Socks need more washing than other handknits, because socks get dirtier than other handknits! In this demo you’ll get to see the process of washing, drying, and blocking handknit socks from start to finish. Amy will demonstrate the full process on actual volunteer dirty socks, using materials you already have in your home. She’ll discuss how sock care differs from what we do with other handknits, and how to take special take care in the process so our socks last a long time looking great.

The history of the modern sheep is a fascinating one, and through it we can start to understand a lot about the geography, politics and innovations of the past 10,000 years. From Ancient Mesopotamia, to the scandalous 18th century press, all the way through to the creation of a not-for profit Wool Marketing Board.

This demo presents the Ravelry pattern database from the point of view of an information scientist. The database offers remarkable granularity for organizing patterns, which are described individually at the item level and include more than a dozen categories of organization. The database supports both basic and advanced searches, with forty-two filters that can be applied in a Boolean search. However, not all patterns are described with the same depth, and it is traditionally difficult to describe individualized items in a standardized matter. This demo will go into some of the (k)nitty gritty of the Ravelry database, which will be of interest to both those who are more tech-minded and those who wish to learn some “hacks” for searching within the Ravelry database.

Please note this demo will use images from Ravlery’s current website, which is not currently considered safe and accessible by many neurodivergent and disabled feature. A free online accessibility checker indicates that some pages that will be used may cause screen flicker. It may be advisable to offer this demo both with video and without (i.e., audio only) for attendees who are interested in learning about the Ravelry databse features but are unable or unwilling to see the website in its current state.

Color can feel like an ominous world to enter. What seems like second nature to some can be a vast sphere of uncertainty to others. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. In this lecture, Robyn will present a variety of tools, techniques, and strategies will be presented to assist in exploring different ways of incorporating color into future projects and give more confidence in discovering new color horizons.

The time is coming when we can begin to stretch our legs again! Where have you been dreaming of visiting? Anne Frost will share some encouragement that will get you back in the travel habit (or get one started) along with ways to find fiber crafting experiences along the way. Learn about the different ways to include fiber crafts in your travel experiences, as well as some tips to find local craft groups or teachers who teach regional techniques, and more! She will also share some general tips about packing, traveling with grace, and preparing yourself ahead of time so you get the most out of your trip. Can’t travel, but want to? She’s got a tip for that, too! The world is an amazing place. It’s time to plan your next adventure!

Have you wondered if there are better ways to warp or weave? With over 25 years weaving experience, Deborah has discovered easy ways to remedy many problems/mistakes that occur when weaving. In this presentation, she will share handy ways to make your weaving easier and more efficient. She discuss warping tips, ways to fix tension issues, easy methods for sampling, ideas for record keeping, techniques for choosing colors, what tools will be helpful (both traditional and inventive), and so much more. Whether you weave on a rigid heddle or multi harness loom, you will learn useful tips to enhance your weaving process.

Do you think that a rigid heddle loom is more like a toy than a “real” loom? Let Deborah open your eyes to the endless possibilities offered by these simple looms. She will show samples that allow you to imagine the techniques you can achieve on a rigid heddle loom. See not only scarves and shawls, but bags, vests, jackets and more woven on small (10”) simple looms. But be forewarned, you may get hooked on this method of versatile, portable, easy weaving.

Inspired by my background in science and passion for art and nature, I use my artwork to create unique, visual learning resources. In my demo, I will share a little about my experiences as a scientist and artist, while demoing the process of creating a science learning resource. I hope to share my inspiration and process for creating educational resources that spark curiosity about science, sustainability, and the natural world.

The learning resource I’ll create in my demo video will feature the different aquatic insects and their life stages. Aquatic insects are creatures that can be found in most pond and stream ecosystems but often go unnoticed. Turn over a rock or log in shallow water and you’ll likely find a few aquatic insects! These amazing creatures can even help scientists assess the health of aquatic ecosystems! As a scientist, I had amazing opportunities to study the aquatic insects in Rocky Mountain National Park. I plan to include learning resources with aquatic insects in my portfolio because these are amazing creatures that students can find almost anywhere, and can teach us a lot about ecosystem health and insect life cycles!

My creation process that I’ll demo begins with initial sketches and planning, followed by mixed-media illustration. I finish with digital editing and printing the final resource! My finished learning resources are designed to be used for educational purposes, for students of a variety of ages and backgrounds.

Explore yarn and wine pairings with someone who is not at all a wine expert! I’ll go through various wines and pair them with yarns I have in my shop.

List of Presenters (alphabetical)

Sara Bauer

Sara Bauer headshot

Sara Bauer has been hosting the Yarns at Yin Hoo podcast for seven years. Knitting and sewing her way to a mostly handmade wardrobe, she shares stories to inspire others and foster a community of thoughtful fiber friends. She is a champion of local fiber production and processing, hosting retreats in Washington County, NY and promoting the efforts of the Hudson Valley Textile Project. Sara also designs knitting patterns, most recently a collection of accessories based on Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ Women Who Run with the Wolves.

  • Knitting History 101: Elizabeth Zimmermann and the Arc of Knitting History with Dr. Lilly Marsh and Sara Bauer
  • Knitting History 102: Elizabeth Zimmermann and the Arc of Knitting History with Dr. Lilly Marsh and Sara Bauer

Phyllis Bell Miller

phyllis_miller_story_memo 2015 - Phyllis Miller

Phyllis Bell Miller first learned to sew, embroider, and crochet from her mother, who was assistant to one of Washington, D.C.‘s leading designers. Her lifelong love of design and knowledge led her to earn a Certificate in Couture from the Academy Nvart in Oak Park, MI; a B.A. in Clothing and Textiles from Mundelein College in Chicago; an M.A. in Human Environment and Design and Rehabilitation from Michigan State University; and a PhD in Human Ecology/Design and Communications from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She has also studied at the Arrowmont Art and Craft School; the Royal School of Needlework and the Hand and Lock Embroidery Institute in England; and the John C. Campbell Folk School.

As a teacher, Miller focuses on taking the mystery and guesswork out of the design and construction processes. She likes to provide information in an easy-to-digest format and creates tools that everyone can use to improve their designs, regardless of medium.

Miller is a recently retired professor and department head of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Mississippi State University, where she taught fashion and computer-aided design (CAD); portfolio development; creative design techniques (knitting, crochet, dyeing, and embroidery); and cross-cultural design, merchandising, and marketing. The former Singer Sewing Teacher has also taught computer-aided fashion and fabric design and cross-cultural design as a Fulbright Scholar at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria (2005-2006) and the University of Mauritius in Port Louis (2012). Miller also won a Fulbright-Hays grant to Ibdia in 2006. She has taight CAD as a visiting professor at Cornell University, the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University.

Miller frequently combines her love of design and technology by using CAD to create patterns, dyeing templates, and embroidery and knitting charts. She is author of AutoCAD™ for the Apparel Industry (Fairchild, 1994), the world’s first book on applying generic CAD software to the fashion industry. She also developed ApparelCAD™, Instant Designer International™, and Display Shop™ software, for which she holds more than 30 copyrights. The software has been used throughout the world for fashion, costume, and uniform design and by numerous businesses, schools, and universities, including the U.S. Navy.

  • The Perfect Match: Selecting the Right Needles, Beads, & Other Supplies for Every Project
  • Shades of Culture: How the World Uses Color in Dress

Karen Bochinski

Bag Maker and Cotton Spinner

  • My Cotton Journey

Meg Larned Croft

Meg Larned Croft is the owner of Woven Art Yarn Shop in East Lansing, Michigan, and is a knitter, crocheter, weaver, and spinner. She has worked in contemporary art in both New York City and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has her Master’s degree in Islamic and Medieval Art History from the Institute of Fine Art, New York University.

  • A Short History of the Origins of Knitting

Juilee Decker

Juilee Decker is a professor of history at Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) where she directs the Museum Studies/Public History program in the College of Liberal Arts. She earned her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Museum of Art. She is co-curator of the exhibition Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism.

  • Moving the Needle : Exhibitions and Activism

Valerie Doebley

Welcome to Wild Earth Lab! My name is Valerie and I’m a scientist, artist, and avid outdoorswoman currently in Colorado, USA. My curiosity about the natural world started at a young age, exploring the prairies and woods of Wisconsin where I grew up. This curiosity blossomed into a love of backpacking and hiking as a teenager, which inspired me to embark on what I saw as the ultimate outdoor adventure – a thru-hike of the 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail – and to later pursue a degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology.

In the past few years, I have worked as a scientist in both the field and in the laboratory. I’ve measured the flow of headwater streams, counted new seedlings in beetle-kill forests, evaluated the health of insect communities in a national park, and studied soils following forest fires and chemical spills. As a scientist, I’ve had the opportunity to intimately understand our relationship as humans with nature: what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and how we can do better.

My goal in creating Wild Earth Lab is to create resources for you, your family, and your students to learn about the Earth and our relationship with it. By combining my background in science with my passions for nature and art, I aim to create unique and beautiful educational resources covering a range of topics related to science, sustainability, and the natural world. I use my colored pencil, pen, and mixed media artwork to create printable diagrams and educational materials to help students notice both the science and natural beauty of the world around them. I hope my resources help make science feel engaging and approachable while also increasing connection to nature.

  • Wild Earth Lab: connecting to science and nature through art

Jolie Elder

Jolie has explored a wide range of needle arts after learning to cross stitch at age four. She designs, teaches, spins, and stunt knits in the Atlanta area where she demystifies the obscure. She has served on the boards of Atlanta Knitting Guild, North Georgia Knitting Guild, Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance, and Center for Knit and Crochet. She has published in PLY, Spin-Off, and Cast On. Her cleverest unvention is a method for working stockinette-based laces reversibly. You can view her experiments at and YouTube channel “Jolie knits.”

  • Stunt Knitting with Vertical Lifelines

Anne Frost

Anne Frost is the host of the I Thought I Knew How, a podcast about knitting and life and all sorts. She has been crocheting for over 30 years and knitting for over 20. Her love of fiber arts is equal only to her love of travel. She is at her happiest when she’s combining the two. At the start of the lockdowns, Anne launched the Online International Fiber Festival, a fiber-art-travel alternative for those who can’t travel. The eight day event includes all the elements of a fiber tour, taking crafters to eight different regions of the world through the comfort of their home wifi.

  • Travel with a Side of Knitting

Michele Grim

Michele is an indie dyer based in Toledo, OH and Chicago, IL. She learned how to knit when her grandmother would watch her and her brother before school while her parents went to work. She would learn how to knit while her brother washed the breakfast dishes. After she taught herself to spin in 2007, she was interested in creating her own colorways. Thus, Misfit Yarns was born. She is excited to share this yarn dyeing passion with her customers!

  • Yarn and Wine Pairings!

Cecilia Ho

2020 “Fiber Art Now” Teacher Grant award winner, Cecilia Ho of Greenville, SC, was born into a family of designers in Hong Kong. During her last residence in Nova Scotia, Canada, the local sheep farms influenced her passion and direction into felting and fiber arts. Since 2013, Cecilia relocated to South Carolina & became fiber art instructor at local art centers. She has taught event workshops at Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Asheville NC since 2015, & STITCHES Expo in Santa Clara CA in 2017. She often holds felting demonstrations at museums & festivals across the USA ie High Museum of Art in Atlanta, & Smithsonian affiliations museums. Cecilia enjoys taking part in juried art exhibitions & fashion shows. Cecilia is a South Carolina Arts Commission Certified Teaching Artist running fiber arts integration (STEAM) units to k4-12 students from local & regional public & private schools. FELTasticFashion is a business created in 2011 to offer Ashford NZ wool fibers, Clover felting supplies, all-inclusive felting DIY kits, private workshops, group events, as well as customized wool felt commissions. Daily Inspiration on FB/IG @FELTasticFashion

  • Decorative yet Functional Wool Felt Making
  • “Etretat, France” Landscape Wool Painting | Wet Felting Demo

Kristen Howard

Kristen C. Howard is a historian, librarian-in-training, and avid knitter born in Alaska and currently living in Montreal. After knitting for over twelve years, she’s turned to rare books and historic manuscripts for design inspiration.

  • The Ravelry Database
  • Ex Libris Knitting

Deborah Jarchow

Deborah Jarchow is a full time weaver and artist who teaches and lectures on fiber arts, creates and sells wearable art, and exhibits her work at galleries and museums across the United States. Her commissioned pieces are held by churches as well as in many private collections. Deborah loves helping people discover the joy of weaving and during the past several years, has focused her teaching mainly on rigid heddle looms. Until recently, she traveled extensively to share her weaving enthusiasm and expertise. She is known as a generous teacher who makes weaving accessible and exciting to students of all levels.

Deborah is the co-author of The Weaving Explorer: Ingenious Techniques, Accessible Tools & Creative Projects with Yarn, Paper, Wire & More and has a new book coming out in 2021 that focuses on rigid heddle weaving.

  • What can you make on a Rigid Heddle Loom??
  • Weaving Tips and Tricks

Erica Kempf

After a late start at learning to knit and crochet (I didn’t really learn until I was in college), I jumped in with both feet and opened my own Local Yarn Shop (Nomad Yarns) at 25. 10 years later, I’m still running it, but it’s changed a lot! I developed my skills as a knitting pattern writer from helping customers with their projects and teaching classes, and now have over 100 of my original patterns up on Ravelry, many of them having gotten into the top spot in the Hot Right Now section – which I consider one of my biggest accomplishments (I love designing things people enjoy and want to make!). Two years in to running my shop, I got married and my husband became part of Nomad Yarns too as our in-store indie dyer. Having input and first hand observations of watching yarn being dyed, colorways designed, and dye classes being taught has shaped a lot about my own pattern designing and teaching. Our shop added our only other 2 employees, our 2 kiddos, in 2016 and 2017 and then underwent another huge change, moving from a brick and mortar shop for 9 years, into a mobile yarn truck (like an ice cream truck, but better) in 2019 when our physical location was sold to a developer. It’s been great to bring our love of yarn all over our state and surrounding states, and now with virtual events even farther!

  • No knead, 5 minute sourdough bread
  • Fermenting Foods, quick and easy yogurt making and pickled veggies
  • Minimalist closet – how it works for me, how I got here and how I fit my handmade garments into it

Vicki Leopold

Vicki Leopold is a life-long fiber and craft lover. She learned to crochet, knit, sew, and embroider as a child. Somewhere in the middle of a long and prosperous corporate IT career, she pursued her passion for all things fiber. She owned a LYS for over 7 years where she taught hundreds of customers how to knit, crochet, felt, and delve into the wonder world of fiber.

  • Make Your Own Fabulous Fiber Fabric

Dr. Lilly Marsh

Lilly Marsh has covered a lot of ground in 35 years. Beginning as knitter looking for good wool yarn, Lilly ended up raising natural colored Corriedales and teaching spinning while selling fleeces and roving. She became a production weaver, and was invited to become a member of Artists’ Own, a juried cooperative gallery in Lafayette, IN. She also began knitting wire for sculptural work and exhibited in galleries across the US and in Canada.
In 2009, needing a deeper understanding of the context of American fiber artists, Lilly Marsh was accepted into the American Studies PhD Program, Purdue University, and began work researching the role of Elizabeth Zimmermann in contemporary American knitting. Her work blended social, cultural and craft history, anthropology with original research. Completed in 2016, her dissertation was published (2020) as a book chapter in the Bloomsbury Visual Arts publication Stitching the Self: Identity and the Needle Arts.
Dr Marsh has since returned to full time studio work, specializing in locally sourced and processed wool and alpaca fibers. She works closely with fiber farmers and Battenkill Fiber Mill in Greenwich NY, to produce home décor and wearables for resale, and is a founding board member of the Hudson Valley Textile Project, a consortium of farmers, processors, vendors, and artisans working to strengthen the supply chain for fiber in the Hudson Valley.

  • Knitting History 101: Elizabeth Zimmermann and the Arc of Knitting History with Dr. Lilly Marsh and Sara Bauer
  • Knitting History 102: Elizabeth Zimmermann and the Arc of Knitting History with Dr. Lilly Marsh and Sara Bauer

Monica Mulligan

Monica Mulligan is a knitting and crochet pattern tester and designer who specializes in helping designers make sure their patterns fit on different bodies. She spends most of her time studying how humans effect wildlife populations but has spent the last 10 years her knitting and crocheting skills.

  • Pattern Testing 101: introduction to the art of testing a pattern

Kathleen Pfeiffer

Kathleen Pfeiffer is an essayist, memoirist, and literary critic living in Rochester Hills, Michigan. A 2012 Kresge Artist Fellow, she won the 2018 Michigan Writers Chapbook Contest with her memoir Ink. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Oakland University.

  • Creative Writing for the Fiber Artist

Marsha Polk

Best known for unique wearable art designs. Marsha Polk is the lead designer and Proprietress of M.A.P. Fiber Creations. She is the author of Crochet Squared, (a contemporary approach to the art of crochet, for which she received the Ohioana Author’s Award). She has her own line of fashionable knit and crochet wearables and patterns, and specializes in designing simple shawls and wraps that stylishly adorn the body.

  • Make Your Own Fabulous Fiber Fabric

Arica Presinal

ARICA PRESINAL is the human behind Skeinsnsticks Designs. Skeinsnsticks Designs is a ‘bistitchual’ (both knit and crochet) design house passionate about the fashion-forward elevation of yarny garments and accessories. Crocheting ever since she can remember, Arica also loves to instruct others in the yarn crafts especially through modern and unique designing. Skeinsnsticks Designs is based in California where Arica lives with her husband, spoiled pup and wild child toddler. To learn more: or any social media platform with handle Skeinsnsticks.

  • Exploring Colorwork Knitting – Stranded vs Intarsia

Catherine Redford

Catherine Redford was born in England where she learnt to knit and sew as a young girl. After relocating from London to Naperville, Illinois, she learned to quilt and never looked back. She’s an award-winning quilter, an active member of her local guilds, and a popular teacher at the local and national level. Catherine is a frequent magazine contributor and has enjoyed being a guest on Quilting Arts TV. She is enjoying the resurgence of interest in handwork with a new embroidery book, Butterfly Stitches, published Fall 2020, and with two DVDs and a book on Modern Machine Quilting techniques, Catherine delights in finishing her own quilts on a domestic machine!

  • A Quick Trip Around the World in Quilts

Ronald Roberts

Ron is a Nationally ranked beer judge with a knitting problem. After getting started in homebrewing in Colorado, he dove into the world of beer competitions and judging. He has judged numerous events in several states including the regional and final rounds of the National Homebrew Competition. He enjoys sharing beer and brewing knowledge with everyone to promote craft beer!

  • Beer Snobbery 101 (Tasting Included!)
  • Beer Snobbery 202 (Tasting More Beer!)

Ellen Rosewall

Ellen Rosewall is a textile artist, retired college professor, and writer. She teaches courses and workshops on various aspects of arts management, including marketing, public relations, and fundraising. She is the author of Arts Management: Uniting Arts and Audiences in the 21st Century, a standard text for the field now in its 2nd edition. In her business Sheep Shape Knits, she sells unique hand knit items made with luxury yarns. She loves to tell the stories about how each piece came to be.

  • From Penelope to Pussy hats: Making a Difference with Fiber Art

Amy Snell

Amy Snell is a knitting instructor and designer with an eye for the unusual or unusually captivating. Her aesthetic focuses on color, contrast, and texture, especially the exploration unusual stitch patterns and constructions.

Amy has been teaching since almost the moment she learned to knit nearly 20 years ago. Her favorite thing about teaching is the opportunity it gives her to expose knitters to new ideas and help them expand the way they think about the craft.

  • Savvier Swatching
  • The Care and Feeding of Handknit Socks

Robyn Spady

Robyn Spady has been weaving for over 50 years. She is fascinated by the infinite possibilities of crossing threads and loves coming up with new ideas to create fabric and transform it into something new and exciting. She is committed to turning the weaving world on to uncommon and advanced weave structures, passementerie techniques, and figuring out creative ways to use up a yarn stash. Robyn is also the founder and editor of Heddlecraft® magazine.

  • Designing a Couture Tweed Fabric
  • The Taming of the Hue
  • Garment Closures without Buttonholes
  • Couture Trimming Techniques

Deborah Stack

Deborah has been knitting for over a decade. After teaching herself to knit during the summer between high school and college, she quickly began pursuing professional fiber craft opportunities. After an internship at Vogue Knitting Magazine, she began working as an acquisitions editor for Lark Crafts, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, editing all manner of DIY and craft books. After 3 years of full-time work in the craft publishing world, she made a shift to teaching, working full-time as an 8th grade ENL teacher in the Bronx, and teaching knitting both in the middle school classroom and to adults. Deborah is a certified yoga instructor, and likes to combine traditional mindfulness techniques with knitting, bringing even more calm to her favorite

  • Knitting: A Gendered History
  • Knitting: An American Wartime Tradition
  • Tekhelet: A Sacred and Mysterious Dyestory

Larry Sullivan-Bradley

48 yrs old and living in Shreveport LA. I am a knitter of 7 years, a weaver, and an indie dyer. My husband and I started a local fiber group (Shreveport Fiber Fanatics) and our business Louisiana Yarn Guys, LLC.

  • Lace Finishing and Blocking
  • Animal Fiber dying Process
  • How to Make Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Katie Weston

Katie Weston is a dyer based in the hills of southern Snowdonia, Wales. She runs the fibre business Hilltop Cloud, and has been supplying fibre worldwide for the past 10 years. In a previous life she was a science teacher, and regularly applies the skills she learned in that career to her new life in the fibre arts. In the past year she’s been doing lots of online teaching, and loves the way it’s allowed her to communicate with so many groups of people.

  • Getting more from your Drum Carder
  • The development of sheep breeds in the UK

Emily Wohlscheid

Emily Wohlscheid is the fiber and jewelry artist behind Bricolage Studios. She works out of a cooperative fiber and dye studio in West Michigan or from her cozy dining room turned jewelry studio at home. Emily shares her craft through articles, lectures, and workshops with virtual and in person options for learning.

  • Textiles in Jewelry Making
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