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! Kelly has many creative opportunities on the farm where she lives with her family and a plethora of furry friends: alpacas, sheep, angora goats, as well as a fluffy giant angora rabbit. She has been felting, dyeing, spinning and weaving for a number of years. She can be contacted at feltingsunshine@gmail.com

Cindie Bennett

Cindie Bennett is primarily a crochet instructor and designer. She has taught at many fiber festivals along the east coast. Cindie is a Certified Crochet Instructor through Craft Yarn Council. She has published multiple crochet designs into popular crochet magazines. You may follow Cindie at www.instagram.com/cindiebennettcrochet and www.facebook.com/cindiebennettcrochet .

Varian Brandon

Varian Brandon started knitting at eight. A trip to the islands of Great Britain rekindled a love of color and created an interest in the traditions of Fair Isle design and construction. She is currently designing stranded colorwork patterns for several yarn companies, international magazines, and her own website. Currently living in Saluda, North Carolina, Varian has been teaching stranded colorwork and related knitting techniques at local yarn shops, regional fiber festivals, and for the past twelve years at the Kanuga Knitting and Quilting Retreat in Hendersonville, North Carolina which she coordinates. Online, she can be found at www.brandonknittingdesigns.com or on Ravelry at varianbrandon.

Henry  Clemes

This class will be taught by the tag team of Henry and Roy Clemes. A lifelong woodworker and small business owner, Henry has been building fiber art equipment for almost 50 years and drum carders for over 40 years. Roy grew up working in his family’s woodshop and is the president of Lambtown Festival, the largest sheep and wool show in California. Together they have introduced many innovations to the fiber arts community and their equipment is known for being not only thoughtfully engineered but visually pleasing and durable as well. They regularly consult and instruct spinners, felters, fiber growers, and professional fiber artists in the use of drum carders for fiber prep. Their full lineup of equipment can be seen at clemes.com and you can find them on social media via @clemesandclemes

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. She has written 2 books in 2017: Heritage Crochet in a New Light and Crochet for Knitters, both available on Amazon. Rita is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and a Blue Ridge National Heritage Artist. Her business is Heirloom Treasures and her website is: www.heirloomtreasuresfiberarts.com

Milissa Ellison Dewey

Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, Milissa is PhD-educated in Early Modern European History and History of Science and is an Honors Scholar at Large in the University of North Carolina system, a classical flautist, and a journeyman woodturner. She has worked in the fiberarts since 1994, and in woodturning since 2009. Milissa is widely recognized for her work as a woodturner and also as a competitive spinner: in the 2017 Spinzilla, Milissa placed 2nd place among independent spinners and 5th overall internationally...using only antique equipment! In June 2018, she was featured on National Public Radio demonstrating and discussing her beloved "sock knitting machines".

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 been 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 jolieaelder.blogspot.com and YouTube channel Jolie knits. My most recent video post is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C5UGQZBSyM on how to work double-knitting only manipulating one color at a time, rather than both colors (how it is usually taught).

Brigitte  Elliott

Brigitte Elliott has always been excited by beauty whether in nature or in creative arts. During her lifetime, Brigitte’s interests after learning to knit at age nine, included a variety of needle arts. In 2007, she acquired alpacas that led her to pick up knitting again and teaching. Skacel Collection, Inc. contacted Brigitte to introduce an intriguing form of short row knitting that she learned in Germany from fiber artist and entrepreneur, Gabriele Kluge of Strickrausch. Soon there will be an affiliation with Ms Kluge also. The trademarked name, Swing-Knitting® made its debut at The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) in 2011. Ever since then, TNNA, Stitches events, yarn shops and industry manufacturers continue to ask Brigitte to teach and design for them.

Meg Evatt

Meg Evatt began knitting when she was 17 years old. Over the years, she studied and honed her knitting skills. Several years ago, Meg expanded her fiber skills to include dry needle felting. Meg began teaching knitting classes six years ago in the Upstate area to help other knitters perfect their skills. Meg also teaches needle felting for those who wish to expand their fiber skills.

Chelsea Fehskens

Chelsea has learned about the fiber world from farm to yarn living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Raising Finnsheep, learning to shear and self taught processing, dying and spinning wool opened the world of fiber. When she is not chasing three kids she can be found teaching, sewing project bags and processing wool.

Jean Glass

Jean Elizabeth Glass has been playing with beads and fiber in one way or another for 30 years. She loves to share her passion with anyone who is interested and has generously shared her knowledge during demonstrations and teaching classes at SAFF, the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, Stitches, The Fiber Festival of New England, DFW, and many other shows.

Jean Elizabeth Glass

Jean Elizabeth Glass has been knitting for longer than she cares to admit. She was brought to knitting by friends who told her that she could knit with beads thus marrying two wonderful crafts and making her smile. She has taught at the Vogue Knitting Live, DFW, PGH Knit & Crochet Festival as well as at the Southern Animal Fiber Festival, and the Fiber Festival of New England.

Tom Godleski

Tom Godleski has been carving wood spirit faces for the past thirty years or so. As well as being a wood carver, Tom is also the lead singer, bass player, and primary song writer for the Asheville bluegrass group, “Buncombe Turnpike.” Tom has also written four plays. His play, “Fresh Preserves,” won the 2009, “Scriptfest,” playwright competition at The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater at Mars Hill University. Tom’s other interest are, storytelling, gardening, woodworking, landscaping, and rock masonry. Tom and his high school sweetheart, Terri, live on the property where Tom grew up in the Emma community of Buncombe County. They have two grown sons, Taylor, and Bryan. Tom and Terri have ten Shetland sheep, four alpacas, seven dogs, five cats, three angora rabbits, and one donkey.

Eileen  Hallman

has been spinning cotton on the charkha since 1985, weaving with it since 1986, and has been teaching since 1998. She released her video "Spinning Cotton on the Charkha" in 2004. She also teaches point spinners how to spin fibers other than cotton on the charkha. As a cotton enthusiast, she also dyes it with natural dyes. Her specialty is indigo.

Cecilia Ho

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 and has taught thousands of students through one-one-one private & group felting workshops. Currently, Cecilia is a SmartARTS Teaching Artist running full-time fiber arts integration programs for k4-8th in the Greenville County School District & senior adults at OLLI Furman University. Throughout the year, Cecilia acts as fiber art instructor at Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Spartanburg Art Museum, STITCHES Expo & guest instructor in Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance & many communities. She often holds felting demonstrations at museum, gallery & festival (ie High Museum of Art, Smithsonian affiliations museums, Artisphere) across the United States & Canada. Cecilia has taken part in multiple juried contemporary & fine art exhibitions, as well as fashion shows. FELTasticFashion is the business created in 2011 which Cecilia designs & packages all-inclusive felting DIY kits as well as felting supplies. DIY kits are carried by museum, gift & hobby shops across North America. Daily inspirations can be found on Instagram FELTasticFashion. Workshop calendar & felting supplies available from www.FELTasticFashion.com

Pat Holbrook

My first introduction to basket weaving came about 25+ years ago when I signed up for a class being taught by a friend. After that class, basket weaving was added to my list of hobbies. Soon I exhausted my friends and family with gifts of baskets and began participating in area juried craft shows and festivals, coming to understand that there are many who love and appreciate things made by hand. Fortunately, I have had opportunities to demonstrate weaving at the WNC Mountain State Fair, The Cradle of Forestry and also to assist with teaching a workshop at the SAFF Animal Fiber Fair. Recently I was invited to show my creations at the Northwest Trading Post on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Weaving functional baskets is my primary focus – useful and artistic, they are made from natural and dyed rattan, woven into several shapes and sizes, with accents of color. It is a pleasure to share my knowledge of basketry.

Susannah Johnson

Susannah Johnson has been spinning for over 30 years, and teaching whenever she can get somebody to sit still long enough. She weaves, spins, hand-combs, dyes with natural and commercial dyes, and enjoys being a sheep midwife. She owns BellaLuna Sheep & Wool Co., a flock of BFL, Finn, and Corriedale/Merino. New to the flock are the BFF - Blue-faced Finns that have amazing fleeces, and East Friesians to milk. It makes super-moisturizing sheep milk soap!

Jessica Kaufman

Jessica has her Masters degree in Crafts Education, and has been leading hands-on arts programming at schools, summer camps, and workshops for 16 years. In 2016 she opened WAXON Batik & Dye Studio LLC, an open batik & tie-dye studio in Asheville. Jessica continues to teach traditional and contemporary crafts skills around the region, with a focus on textiles & fiber arts. Her patience, kindness, and love for teaching guide her classes to success.

Galina Khmeleva

Owner of Skaska Designs and author of Gossamer Webs: The History and Techniques of Orenburg Lace Shawls and Gossamer Webs: The Design Collection, Galina is a respected and knowledgeable lace knitting instructor. A former clothing and costume designer who worked with the aristocracy of St. Petersburg, Russia's music and theater society, Galina was a pioneer in breaking down barriers in the new Russia that allowed Russian women to own private companies. As the principal student to Orenburgs lace knitting elite, Galina brings the classic style and traditional knitting techniques of Russian lace to her classes. Her unique, inspiring and fun-loving teaching style has made her the guru of lace enthusiasts across the US.

Tara Kiley-Rothwell

Tara Kiley-Rothwell,weaver and fiber artist, is the owner of kite tales weaving SAORI arts studio in Mechanicsburg, PA. She encourages students to step outside of their comfort zone and experience the joy of free-flowing creativity. Tara began weaving in 2013 with studies in traditional and SAORI weaving, spinning followed shortly thereafter. Tara is a guest teacher at Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center, conducts workshops for art educators and artist in residence programs in local schools, and presents and teaches at guilds and workshops across the US. She is a cross stitcher, knitter, spinner, dyer and sheep to shawl team member. She is a past president of the Central Pennsylvania Guild of Handweavers and a member of the Lancaster Spinners and Weavers Guild.

Barry Klein

Trendsetter Group owner/designer Barry Klein has been knitting for 40 years. He started by working in his family's knitting store, where all patterns were designed for the knitter's body. For the past 25 years he has worked as an industry teacher, doing knitting classes all over the world. Barry has designed knitwear for magazines, television shows, ice skaters, and movie stars; authored 5 knitting books; and worked as a spokesman on Knitting Daily and other television knitting shows. He loves to share his love of yarn and everything that can be done with it. Barry has been voted one of the Top 10 Men who Knit/Design throughout history. Learn why 'Let the yarn do the work' is Barry's favorite motto. For more about Barry, go to trendsetteryarns.com

Claudia Lampley

Claudia started rug hooking in 2000 and began teaching in 2005. She is a certified McGown instructor, a member of the Tarheel Ruggers and the 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.

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.

Bex Oliger

Bex grew up in her mother's (Carol Leigh Brack-Kaiser, author of Continuous Strand Weaving Method and Nature Provides Dyes for Rainbows) weaving and dyeing studio. She has been weaving, spinning, natural dyeing, and knitting for over 35 years. Bex is currently a knitwear designer and owner of Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe in Columbia, MO. She and her husband travel to fIber festivals across the country to vend and teach knitting, natural dyeing, and weaving.

Stephanie Ondo

Stephanie has been knitting and spinning since 2007 when her daughters were small. Her handspun yarn has morphed into handspun thread, and her love of natural dyes has grown to encompass a love of natural pigments. Her current focus is surface design utilizing both stitched thread and hand-mulled pigments.

Martha  Owen

Martha began her adventure in spinning at the John C. Campbell Folk School, (founded in 1925), in Brasstown, North Carolina in 1978. Since 1980 her extended family has included sheep and angora rabbits. Also a banjo player (since 1973) and known to tell a story or two, Martha's interest in sheep and wool, music and dance, have carried her quite literally and joyfully around the world. Some say she is a wool nerd but her sheep say she is outstanding in her field! Martha became a member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild in 1988, is currently a Resident Artist at the John C. Campbell Folk School (www.folkschool.org). Martha is proud that she won the Local Cloth fashion show 2016 for "best use of local products" for her piece: North Carolina Fair Isle

Amie Palmer

Amie is a lifelong fiber arts enthusiast who has been knitting for over 30 years. Her favorite projects include custom-fit clothing, award-winning felted purses, and creating interesting textures using a variety of knitting techniques. When not at SAFF, this reformed engineer teaches knitting in Durham NC.

Pat Pawlowicz

Take fluffy wool and a special needle and you can create magic! There is nothing I love more than sharing my passion for this awesome art form whether I am teaching, writing books, demonstrating, or making art. I teach classes and workshops all over the country and in Europe, at major fiber festivals, bead shows, shops, and for guilds and private groups. My classes are fun and informative, tools and materials are always provided, and written and illustrated take-home instructions are included. Students leave with I did it! attitude and continue to create at home. Safety and correct use of tools is covered in every class. I am always available for questions and support for students! Thank ewe for your time

Sallie  Pollock

Being a needle worker at heart, I always wanted to learn to tat. I tried and tried from books, but could not get the "flip"!!! While still teaching 8th grade English, I came across a newspaper article about a nearby group of tatters. Needless to say, I became a part of that group and now I love to tat. Our group name is the Southern Belles Tatting Society and we have fun all year long. We decorate Christmas trees in old mansions for the county Christmas tours. We attend workshops and have our on workshops. We teach tatting all year everywhere!!! I have a beautiful family- my husband and best friend, takes me everywhere I need to be to teach. Our daughter is a Family Nurse Practitioner who adores her job in an urgent care facility. Then there is me, retired from education for about 11 years, I enjoy spinning, knitting, crocheting, rug hooking, embroidery, dying threads, and especially tatting. Last but not least by any means, is Percy, my precious French Bulldog who is that one dog of a lifetime. His breed came about largely in part due to needle workers and lace makers. Come take a class and see just how easy this old art is and how you can make it new again!

Denise Prince

Denise Prince's lifelong interest in fiber arts took her on a journey through many of handicrafts of the genre. When she found SAORI weaving she knew she had found her way home. Her journey with SAORI Weaving has brought her a new outlook on life and art, and she is eager to share her love of SAORI weaving you. In her home studio in Peachtree City, GA, Denise teaches weaving, holds fiber related workshops, and hosts SAORI-kai: a time for sharing your SAORI journey with other SAORI travelers. Denise spent February 2013 in Japan studying with Kenzo Jo, son of the founder of SAORI Weaving and President of SAORI Japan, and his teachers at SAORInoMori. While there she passed levels 3, 2, and A from the Saori Hand Weavers Testing Association. Denise has returned to Japan to continue her studies at the home of SAORI Weaving in 2016 and 2017.

Heidi Sunday

Lifelong crafter, numbers nerd and Yarn Shop Owner from Mobile, AL I love to Knit, Crochet and Tat, Weave, and now, Knit Companion is my BFF. Yarn related geek SWAT (Secret Weapon Against Technology) team of ONE.

Julie Wilson

Julie Wilson and her family own a farm in Fines Creek, North Carolina. In 1990, two sheep came to the Wilson 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.