Early fascination with fabric and fashion came from my seamstress mother. You might say fiber art is bound into my DNA. My felting journey began with a study of skin. Skin as a protective covering, and as identifier. A study of animal skin, and human skin; leading to hybrids. All the while, intrigued with the way wearable art transforms its wearer.
Surface design inspiration rises from exploring rich color and texture combinations. Techniques include inclusions, felt Shibori and differential shrinkage to create unique textiles. Nuno felt, hand-dyeing, needle felting, bead embroidery…all compliment the tactile and visual narratives of each piece of my wearable art.
Patti Barker is an award-winning felt wear designer, teacher and author. She earned a BA degree in studio art with a concentration in fiber at Western Washington University. She lives in Archer, Florida with her husband, Rex, and a NW Farm Terrier named Buddy.
Karen has been learning and enjoying fiber crafts for almost 60 years. While this is her first class at CFF, she has taught many classes in fiber crafts, cooking, and jewelry making. She can’t wait to share this beautiful crochet technique with you!
Siobhan is a self-taught crocheter and natural yarn dyer. She enjoys teaching crochet to beginners because it really is easier with the right foundation. She lives with her husband & two daughters in Floyd, VA on family farms where they raise cattle and chickens. Her and her husband dye yarn with natural ingredients found around their farm and garden. Traditional dye methods and materials are used to create variegated, speckled, tonal, and solid colors.
Varian Brandon started knitting at age 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 national and regional fiber festivals and retreats, in local yarn shops, and for the past 15 years at the Kanuga Knitting and Quilting Retreat in Hendersonville, North Carolina which she coordinates. Online, she can be found at www.brandonknittingdesigns.com, on Ravelry at varianbrandon, and on her YouTube channel, Varian Brandon.
M Theresa Brown is a professional portrait artist whose long art career embraces many areas of the Arts. She studied printmaking and color work at East Carolina University which led her to explore the fiber arts. Using many similar skills and accumulated knowledge, she evolved as a hand painter, felter and ecoprinter on natural fibers. She uses natural dyes and low impact synthetic dyes and merges them into unique, beautiful designs on silk, wool, paper and even leather. She turns her transformed work into artisanal clothing, accessories and art. Her articles and designs in the fiber arts have appeared in international publications such as “No Serial Number” and “Belle Armoire”. She has created many “How to “ Dvd’s and ebooks in the visual arts in conjunction with the national art chain, Jerrysartarama . She has been an instructor at many fiber art shows including Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Southeastern Animal Fiber Fest, Carolina Fiber Fest, Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, Michigan Fiber Fest and many upcoming new venues. She and her artist husband, Stephen Filarsky reside in rural NC with their alpacas, chickens and family dogs!
Vickie Clontz is an award-winning designer, author and teacher specializing in wool and fiber arts. She has designed 130+ patterns for her company Annie’s Keepsakes, which celebrated their 31-year anniversary in 2021! Vickie’s designs have appeared in numerous magazines and publications in the US and abroad, and she just finished writing her 4th book for Leisure Arts. Vickie loves to share her passion and knowledge of felting, sewing and fiber arts through teaching classes and workshops across the country and abroad. To see more of Vickie’s work, please visit her web-site http://www.annieskeepsakes.com
I began my art career working in abstract watercolor, but I now work primarily in fiber, including shibori wearable art and wall hangings. I enjoy the balance and dichotomy of shibori – the specific techniques and engineering, as well as the surprise and “happy accidents.”
Lisa Doherty is a freelance violinist/violist and fiber artist/teacher in Raleigh, NC, which means she gets to do her favorite things: playing music and playing with yarn. Freeform crochet is her favorite yarny pursuit, especially finding ways to combine freeform with simple shapes and simple knitting to create comfortable, wearable art. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram at Lisa Doherty Freeform and Design.
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 invention is a method for working stockinette-based laces reversibly. You can view her experiments at jolieaelder.blogspot.com and YouTube channel Jolie knits.
My name is Chelsea Fehskens, I love working with fiber in one form or another. I learned about the fiber world from farm to yarn. Starting with raising sheep, learning to shear and processing wool to a finished product by spinning yarn. I raise Finn Sheep with my family at our small homestead in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Raising sheep and hand spinning is such a fun experience, I love sharing it with others willing to learn. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elaina is shepherd-in-charge at Avillion Farm, a labor of love and “diversified fiber enterprise.” The farm is home to Shetland and Jacob sheep, Angora goats, Suri alpacas and Angora rabbits (German, French, English). Raised on a small farm in RI, she discovered spinning in college and from there it was only a matter of time until the fiber animals would follow. Her greatest joy is experiencing the whole process from raising the livestock to producing finished goods, and sharing this joy with others.
Amy Ross Manko travels the country (and now the world) teaching, researching and writing about her favorite topic – Rare Breed Sheep! When she’s not on the road, spreading the gospel of critically endangered livestock, she’s managing her historic farm with her son Drew, raising 9 breeds of heritage and rare breed sheep, as well as cattle, draft horses, mini-donkeys and poultry. She is the owner of Ross Farm Mercantile Inc., her LYS in Hudson, Ohio, and provides love and shelter to homeless fiber equipment in her small studio there.
Grace McFetters has studied various fiber arts since 2013, starting with knitting. She began to explore weaving in early 2017. Grace established her fiber studio, Transcend Fiber Studio, in 2018, and formalized her fiber business in early 2020. She has taught Ukrainian Easter Eggs since 2011, and began teaching fiber arts, including knitting, weaving, hand spinning, and dyeing since 2018. As Grace grows as an artist and continues learning new techniques, she continues to add to her teaching repertoire. She now teaches sewing, both by hand and by machine, as well as some fun topics like needle felting, wool painting, hand embroidery, and textile collage!
Alesia started her fiber odyssey over a decade ago with a couple of sheep and a passion to learn more. They patiently taught her much about life, farming and fiber! She now lives on a small farm in Youngsville, NC with her husband and son and together they shepherd a very eclectic flock of award winning sheep.
While learning everything she could about fiber, Alesia discovered and fell in love with the process of felting. “It is a fascinating art – tactile and physical, beautiful and full of possibilities.” She is now an award winning fiber artist, businesswoman and enthusiastic teacher who loves to share her fiber knowledge with others. She considers workshops a great opportunity to share her passion and encourage others to discover their hidden artist and the possibilities this wonderful medium has to offer.
Amie is a lifelong fiber arts enthusiast who has fallen in love with knitting and sewing. She believes there are two types of knitting projects: the ones that require concentration and those meant for meeting up to chat with fellow knitters. She always has at least one of each on her needles.
Based in Durham, NC, Amie loves teaching for her local yarn shop and Durham Arts Council. She has also taught regionally at Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival and New York Sheep and Wool Festival.
She graduated from Georgia Tech with a Masters in Electrical Engineering. She interned for Lawrence Livermore National Lab before working in telecom for ten years. During this time, she dabbled in knitting and made a couple lumpy sweaters during college, but it was a slow learning process. After having kids, she discovered that carpool lines are excellent places to pick up an old skill and teach it new tricks. She finds that basic math and breaking patterns into simple chunks are the best way to take the guess work out of knitting projects.
Amie’s favorite projects include custom-fitted sweaters, brioche, and exploring the technical side of knitting. Her sweaters and colorful felted purses have won awards at the North Carolina State Fair and Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival.
She can be reached through email at DaisyAndCloverDesigns@gmail.com, on Instagram as DaisyAndCloverDesigns and on Ravelry as amiep. Her website is www.DaisyAndCloverDesigns.com.
Margaret Radcliffe is the author of the bestselling Knitting Answer Book, The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques, Circular Knitting Workshop, and The Knowledgeable Knitter. Margaret has taught knitting since 1991 and began publishing her designs in a line of knitting patterns under the name Maggie’s Rags in 1997.
Margaret’s books explore knitting techniques at a depth well beyond what’s usually presented, in a way that makes both the techniques and their appropriate uses clear to readers. As a designer, her specialty is rewarding garments that look complicated but rely on the simplest knitting techniques. As a publisher, she focuses on patterns that help knitters learn new techniques and improve their skills. As a teacher, Margaret enthusiastically teaches everything from beginning knitting to garment design, and is acclaimed for her ability to help all knitters to develop their independence and creativity.
Margaret’s many teaching venues for knitting and dyeing have included the John C. Campbell Folk School, the Madrona Fiberarts Winter Retreat, The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) trade shows, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF), Knitters’ Day Out, Houston Fiber Fest, the Schooner J&E Riggin out of Rockland, Maine, and shops and fiber guilds across the U.S. and into Canada.
Like many knitters and spinners, Margaret has had a long and varied career. She has degrees in Medieval Studies and English Literature, has been an internal auditor, computer programmer, business executive, research administrator, dancer, and editor. Her current fiber arts interests include preparing, spinning, and designing handknits using heritage breeds and participation in The Livestock Conservancy’s Shave ’Em to Save ’Em program.
I have been making bobbin lace for the past 10 years and am as excited about it today as when I first sat in front of a lace pillow. I am a member of Sir Walters Lacers, North Carolina Regional Lacers (NCRL), International Organization of Lace (IOLI) and OIDFA. I am currently the President of NCRL and also am on the board of IOLI as the editor of the IOLI quarterly Bulletin. I teach bobbin lace to beginners and demonstrate bobbin lace at every opportunity, including at CFF every year.
I love all things fiber, am an experienced knitter, crocheter and quilter, love to tat but am absolutely addicted to bobbin lace. I have taught quilting and knitting over the years. Teaching is in my blood; I retired from the Physics department at NCSU
Hannah Smith is a fiber artist, living historian, and archaeologist (but not necessarily in that order). She has been spinning for over a decade, after learning to spin at the local yarn shop in her college town in Pennsylvania. A lover of many things old and handmade, she owns 7 spinning wheels (5 of them antique), close to a dozen drop spindles of varying types, and several small looms. Hannah tends to spin mostly natural colored wools, though has recently started experimenting with natural dyes. She is often found demonstrating spinning at historic sites around North Carolina, and shares her fiber art, living history, cat, and houseplant and garden photos on Instagram as @fiberandfluff.
Amy Snell is a knitter, instructor, and designer with an eye for the unusual or unusually captivating. Her designs explore contrasting colors, geometry, textures and unusual construction and have been published by Knit Picks, Cast On magazine, Morehouse Farm Merino, and the Sun and Fog Collection, and LoveCrafts.
Amy loves to help other knitters explore new techniques and expand the way they think about their knitting. She has been teaching for over 15 years both regionally and at national events such as Vogue Knitting Live, Fiberworld, and Rhinebeck, and frequently shares tips and tricks on her website, DeviousKnitter.com.
Anitra Stone has been tatting since January 1980. She’s taught and demonstrated tatting at Wake Technical Community College, Girl Scouts Spring Leaderee conferences, Historic Oak View Park, Mordecai Historic Park, Joel Lane Museum House, Palmetto Tat Days, NC Maker Faire, Carolina FiberFest, Cary Lazy Daze, SPARKcon, and at the NC State Fair’s Village of Yesteryear.
Anitra has won awards for her work in both regular state fair competitions and within the Village of Yesteryear. She was named Female Craftsman of the Year in 2007.
Anitra was published in “The Workbasket” magazine (Aug 1989), in Norway’s “Skytteltrafikk” (Shuttletraffic) magazine (Apr 2012), and in the Netherlands’ “De Frivolite(k)ring” (Tatting Ring) magazine (Jan-Mar 2015).
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 (like us on Facebook) 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 30 years of teaching high school Special Education. She has taught Beginning Spinning at SAFF and she is in her fifth year teaching at New York Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY. Julie will drop everything and meet someone anywhere and teach them to spin! Julie is a Lendrum Spinning Wheel Dealer.