2017 Knitters' Day Out
Teacher Biographies

Mell Bolen

Mell BolenHaving travelled all over the world, my knitting has been inspired by textiles, architecture and art from many different countries (76 so far and still going)! I love to work with knitters at all levels to see them develop their own skills and passion for the craft and art that is knitting. After knitting, favorite activities are biking and gardening - including biking around other countries and bringing together all 3 passions by visiting gardens & knitting shops along the rides. My favorite bike trip so far was across Vietnam from north to south along the coast. Ravelry Username: MellBoDesigns

Gwen Bortner

Gwen BortnerGwen Bortner teaches knitting techniques at workshops and conferences across the country. She's been published in Knitter's Magazine, Creative Knitting, and lots of other places. You can find Gwen's patterns, books, classes and thoughts on knitting on her website: http://confidentknitter.com. When she's not on the road, she lives with her husband, Arlis, in Le Grand, Calif., in a farmhouse built in 1902 by her great-grandfather.

Cathy Briscoe

Cathy BriscoeFrom a very early age my mother instilled in me a love and appreciation for needle arts. She started all of her children (including my brother) with embroidery, teaching us to stitch animals in outline stitch on muslin panels, which she later sewed together to make a quilt. She taught me how to crochet when I was 8 years old. When I was 11 I found a pair of knitting needles and began teaching myself to knit. I did not have any books on the subject, I just picked up some yarn, the needles and a knitted sweater and started experimenting until I was able to reproduce the stitches in the sweater. I tried to knit my first sweater at the age of 19, I didn't care for the pattern so I made changes, and began knitting away. I've come a long way from that first sweater. Knitting is now my vocation, knitting historic garments for living history interpreters, designing patterns and teaching all levels of knitting and crochet, from beginner to advanced, at local yarn shops, and at knitting workshops, such as Knitter's Day Out and Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival, and fiber festivals. Ravelry Username: knitted4ewe

Leslie Broznak

Leslie BroznakLeslie Broznak lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley near Winchester Virginia, with her husband and Boston Terrier, Louie. She has never met a pattern that she didn't want to change, which led to designing patterns for her local yarn shop. Leslie has been knitting since 1979 and teaching since 2004. To further her fiber obsession she also spins and weaves. Ravelry Username: LeslieBroznak

Lily Chin

Lily ChinLily M. Chin is an internationally famous knitter and crocheter who has worked in the yarn industry for more than 30 years, as a designer, instructor, and author of 8 books on knitting and crochet. Lily teaches around the world and now has instructional DVD’s out as well as some online classes. She has created looks for the New York Fashion Week runway collections of designers Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, and Isaac Mizrahi, and her work has been on the backs of celebrities and super models. She was named a “Master Knitter” by Vogue Knitting. She is regularly cited in media across the U.S., including the Late Show with David Letterman, Martha, CBS Morning News, CNN, HGTV, Knitting Daily, Knit and Crochet Now, and more. Lily Chin has lived in New York City all her life and has been involved in some aspect of the fashion industry since age 13.

Laun Dunn

I am an avid fiber artist who creates many items from beginning to end. I have been shearing alpacas and llamas for the past 10 years and creating commissioned work from their fiber. As a knitter, I have 25 years of knitting experience and thoroughly enjoy the process as much as the finished garments. Ravelry Username: laundunn

Elizabeth Durand

Elizabeth Durand Elizabeth Durand is a lifelong knitter. She has taught at KDO most years since 2004. She taught at the yarn shop Stash (first in Ardmore, then in Havertown) for 4 of its 5 years, and still works with private students. She may have too much sock yarn, but she's not confessing. Ravelry Username: BadInfluence

Denise Fannon

Denise Fannon I have been crocheting since I was very young. I learned to knit in my 20s but gave up when there was no support. Picked up my needles again when all the lovely novelty yarns appeared and haven't put them down. I haven't found any yarn or color that I won't knit with and enjoy challenges (lace work especially). My greatest joy is sharing my passion and love of this art with others. Anytime I can share or teach others is a great day. Ravelry Username: Rosarian

Tanis Gray

Tanis Gray A graduate of RISD, Tanis Gray is a former Yarn Editor at Vogue Knitting, Knit Simple, Knit.1, Yarn Market News and the Debbie Bliss magazines, and co-editor of Knit.1. A prolific knitwear designer, Tanis has over 450 published knitting designs, 9 published books, and her work has been featured in many major magazines and books worldwide. She recently shared her passion and expertise on Fair Isle knitting in her first Craftsy class, Fair Isle Fundamentals. Tanis is a regular guest on Knitting Daily TV, and teaches frequently in the hopes that knitting will take over the world.

Winnie Hardy

I learned how to crochet when I was 10yrs old. But I truly love to teach it! Seeing my students get that "Aha moment" when learning a stitch or understanding a pattern, it's very satisfying to me. I see crochet and knitting as an art not a craft. We take a string and make beautiful ART out of it! I think I'll change my shop title to: Crochet Art Teacher! Ravelry Username: Winiferd

Aurora Johansen-Wardigo

Aurora Johansen-Wardigo'Rora is her own life-sized super-heroine and front-end dev geek. She's rarely without a knitting or spinning project on her person. Life in the Philly suburbs just wouldn't be as joyous without the love, support, and kisses from The Playwright (spouse) and Hades (greyound). Ravelry Username: Roralee  

Beth Lutz

Beth Lutz Beth is the owner of The Alpaca Yarn Company a distributor of fine alpaca yarns to stores and farms across the US. Her love of knitting was the impetus to open Uncommon Threads in York PA with several of her knitting friends in 1999. She owned the store for 11 years during which time she taught extensively. Beth has also been raising alpacas since 2001 at her farm, Painted Spring Farm Alpacas, and creates new yarns each year from their fiber that is locally milled. You can find the yarns at shows and at the small store on her farm. Ravelry Username: paintedspring

Anjeanette Milner

A city dweller who lives a pretty relaxed lifestyle. I knit, I spin, I sew, and I am learning to weave. I am well known in my house for never starting with an easy project, because I get bored. Ravelry Username: purlewe

Ruth Santos

I am passionate about yarn. And knitting needles. And crochet hooks. And notions. And, and, and! When I was tiny, maybe about 3 or 4 years old, my grandmother placed a crochet hook and yarn in my hands. She made her living crocheting items for a large network of friends and clients and she loved nothing more than teaching her precocious grandaughter her art...and it kept me out of her hair and well behaved for hours on end! From that time and until my sister taught me to knit as an 8 year old, I developed a fascination with creating "something" with yarn and a funny looking hook or a set of needles. Most needle arts intrigue me, and over the years I developed my technique and became an avid learner. While I love knitting and crochet -- they offer me peace whenever I need it -- needlepoint, loop knitting and other fun needle arts drew my attention. I am always up for learning something new. In the Fall of 2013, I was shopping in a yarn store in New York City, chatting with the owner when she told me I should teach. I didn't really think it was something I'd have fun doing. And I was wrong! Now based in Northern Virginia, I offer lessons that vary from making basics like dishcloths to hats, scarves and cowls, to sweaters, shawls, and pretty much anything that can be manufactured with yarn. When I'm not teaching I'm a Realtor here in Northern Virginia. I love interacting with people and the combination of jobs makes me a happy person! Lexy Knits is named after my late kitty cat, Lexy, a cranky old lady who passed on in early 2016. I am still owned by two more kitty cats, Mia and Jax, who try hard to avoid my many knitted projects around the house. And no, I'm not a crazy cat lady...yet. I spend much of my free time with my knitting and crochet friends who love nothing more than to get together a couple times a week to gab and have some fun. All in the interest of perfecting our craft, you understand... Ravelry Username: Ktblexy

Linda Singley

Linda Singley credits her grandmothers, great aunts and Scouting with sparking her interest in fiber arts.   From a young age she learned knitting, crocheting and needlework by example. Her parents further supported her interest in exploring various materials when entering college. She holds graduate degrees in chemistry and education, both of which have allowed her to appreciate the unique properties of fibers and communicating their importance to others.  With her husband and daughter, she resides in Franklin County while teaching science and raising fiber animals at Bearlin Acres. Grass becomes garment.  Fibers come full circle. Ravelry Username: Fuzzygoat17

Sheri Hunt Smith

Sheri Hunt Smith has owned Alpacas of York for the past ten years and from that time has developed a passion for fiber. She has recently moved her farm from York to Mount Wolf, PA and it includes a small farm store. There is nothing she likes better than to get the dye pots out and make a royal mess, but in the end have a scrumptious new color that will be used for needle felting, roving or yarn. A favorite needle felting project is to create designs on hand dyed silk. She also hosts a fiber group where like minded enthusiasts get together and knit, crochet, spin, weave and needle felt. Life is good when fiber is your friend.

Mary Speedy

I'm a yarn addict and love teaching and learning knitting and crocheting techniques. Tunisian crocheting has become a new love as I discover some of the ways an old craft is being used in new ways. Love the way KDO gives us an opportunity to share our love of fiber arts. I hang out at the Colonial Yarn Shop in Shiremanstown whenever work and family allow. Ravelry Username: sheepygal

Candace Eisner Strick

Candace Eisner StrickAuthor, knitwear designer and teacher, Candace teaches workshops internationally at major knitting conventions and guilds. She is the author of eight books, her most recent being Knit My Skirt (XRX Publishing, 2016). A former cellist and Suzuki teacher, she now devotes all her time to the various aspects of knitwear. Appropriately, "strick" means to knit. Her designs and writing have appeared in knitting magazines and book compilations nationwide. She continues to design for yarn companies, and her designs can be found at the Ravelry store and at Love Knitting website. 

Katrina Updike

Katrina Updike is the owner of Fluffy U Fiber Farm. She has been knitting for almost 30 years and spinning fiber for over 10 years. She is addicted to anything fiber related and has more yarn and fleece than one woman should own. Fluffy U Fiber Farm is located in Dover, Pennsylvania where Katrina is currently teaching beginning knitting classes. We are a sheep to yarn farm and have received numerous awards for our knitted garments and fleeces. Ravelry Username: fluffyufiberfarm

Traci Verdin

Traci VerdinI love to work with fiber. There is a point in every project where I just love to watch the color-ways blend their hues or a texture become evident. Knitting to me is more then just a craft; often times it is a meditation. Fiber, needles and my hands create a balm that soothes my soul while forming a fabric of color and texture. The simple joy of taking a ball of yarn and turning it into something never ceases to amaze me. There is always something new to learn; something fresh to knit. I can express things in my patterns that I cannot fit into words. Brioche can be a symphony of color and texture. Lace can dance into beautiful formations that add air and lightness to a fabric. One of my core goals is to empower people through teaching or my patterns. My students teach me so much and help me to see things from views that I never would have thought of. They are all blessings to me. Knitting has brought to me an awesome circle of friends. We are bound by the stitches we create and the stories we share. Knitting isn't just a craft for me; it is a way of life. Ravelry Username: Ruinwen

Ann Weaver

Ann WeaverAnn Weaver sees knitting patterns in container ships, Tom Waits lyrics, Moby-Dick, classic cocktails, and the work of artists like Josef Albers and Mark Rothko. When she is not traveling to teach knitting workshops, Ann lives in Baltimore, where she works as a freelance editor and writer and spends her free time volunteering and working to bring change to her community. You can follow Ann on Instagram and find her designs Ravelry, where her username is weaverknits.