Get to know the 2018 workshop instructors and what they are teaching

Amelia Garripoli Anna Anderson Ayala Talpai Bonnie Meltzer Dan Wilson
Debbie Ellis Diane McKinnon Flora Carlile-Kovacs Hazel Spencer Heidi Leugers
Janet Deutmeyer John Simurdak Judy Taylor Juneko Martinson Kathy Martin
Laurinda Reddig LeBrie Rich Linda Hansen Linda Hartshorn Lisa Ellis
Loyce Ericson Margaret Stump Mary Ashton Michele Bernstein Miranda Rommel
Sari Peterson Sheila January Wanda Jenkins

Amelia Garripoli using a power spinner

Amelia Garripoli founded The Bellwether in 2001 to share her joy of all things yarn, wrote Productive Spindling in 2009, and plays in The Bellwether Studio in Port Ludlow. Filled with spinning wheels, looms, dyes and fibers, the studio is a playground of fiber.


Anna Anderson’s addiction to all things fiber began nearly 12 years ago with the rescue of a group of fiber goats and a free spinning wheel given to her by a dear friend. Today, she lives in Montana with her husband and 2 young adult children. She stays busy processing fiber, teaching fiber classes,vending at fiber events, and keeping the Wooly Rescue animals well cared for.


Ayala Talpai has spent much of her life making stuff alone in her room, from which fruitful environment did spring– O joy!– the first and authoritative needlefelting workbooks! And now she is moving on to complete two more volumes, playing around with WOOL.


Bonnie Meltzer is a crochet innovator whose artworks have been in exhibitions (Mary Hill Museum), collections (University of Washington), books (“The Fine Art of Crochet”, “Crocheted Wire Jewelry”, and “Artistry in Fiber”) and TV (OPB’s Oregon Art Beat). She recently taught crochet workshops at Sitka Center for Art, Pendleton Woolen Mills, and Museum of Contemporary Craft.


Dan and Susie Wilson own SuDan Farm and raise Border Leicester, Coopworth and Gotland Sheep. They have been direct marketing everything their sheep produce since before 2000…both meat, wool products, and breeding stock. They are enthusiastic supporters of all things lamb and wool!


Diane McKinnon is an avid weaver and spinner who especially enjoys seeing her students discover their own potential as they have fun with fibers. Her first loom was a rigid heddle loom that she bought while she was still in high school. Diane went on to study weaving during college. She did additional color, textile, and weaving studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Attending conference classes, working for two years in a weaving shop, and doing production weaving increased her skills and knowledge over the years. She teaches at The Black Sheep Gathering, NwRSA’s Annual Conference, Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival, and holds regular fiber classes in the Thistle Patch Fiber Studio at her home. She was honored to be selected as an Invitational Artists for 2012 Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Diane is an enthusiastic spinner as well and she uses her collection of looms to weave her special yarns into unique hand-woven items. She especially enjoys sharing the wonders of weaving with beginning weavers.


Debbie Ellis has been spinning, weaving and dyeing since 1995, and has had the good fortune to learn from many of our region’s finest instructors. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with other fiber enthusiasts through teaching; and she markets her yarns, fibers, weavings and other artwork under the name Artisan Fibers.


The award winner of several wearable art shows, Flóra Carlile-Kovács is a professional felt artist born in Szeged, Hungary, now living and working in Seattle WA. In her work she incorporates two bodies of knowledge, the nomadic traditions and the urban, modern style of feltmaking. Coming from the European tradition of craftsmanship and quality, she is constantly experimenting with ways to improve not only the visual artistic aspect of her work, but also its physical integrity as a functional object appropriate for everyday use.


Hazel Spencer is owner, with her husband Randy, of Hazel Rose Looms and has been making small weaving looms since Oct of 2000 and have sold looms worldwide. She taught art, including weaving & other fiber arts, to K-8 kids . Weaving small looms is a passion.


Heidi Leugers is the owner of Reclaimed Wool, a success small wool crafts studio and business that has operated with a zero-waste practice since 1998. Her finished items are sold locally and nationally to over 35 museum stores, American craft galleries, and other speciality retailers including New Seasons Market, The American Folk Art Museum in New York, Chihuly Garden and Glass as well as at juried retail events.


Janet Deutmeyer lives on the Washington coast with her 2 cats and husband. A graduate of the Olds Master Spinner’s program, she enjoys sharing her love of all things fibery. Her time is spent spinning, dog walking and gardening.


John Simurdak and Mary Harshfield spent two years touring the souther United States learning broom making from broom makers in Arkansa and Alabama and meeting more along the way. They’ve taken the skills they learned and created a demonstration that has proven to draw a crowd of interested folks. John & Margaret are located in Bay Center Washington. They current demonstrate and market their brooms at area festivals.

Judy Taylor

Judy Taylor has been rug hooking and teaching for over 20 years. She has written two award winning books on the subject. She breaks rug hooking down so it is easy and fun for folks of all ages to make treasured heirloom rugs.


Juneko Martinson began needle felting in 2003. It was love at first sight. She has taught classes in the Bay Area, Portland Metro, and OFFF and currently teaches at Fort Vancouver. Her specialty is designing and creating adorable animal figures. She has recently begun to produce felted animal kits so others can experience the joy of fiber sculpture. To view her work visit: alpacabonbon.com


Kathy Martin put in her time in the non-fiber related rat race and now fills her days with caretaking her Angora goats and playing with natural fibers. Kathy spins, dyes, knits, crochets, triangle loom weaves and enjoys fiber outreach. Wynham Farms and gotmygoat are recognizable from her online ventures and fiber festivals where she can be seen spinning textured and traditional yarns.


Laurinda Reddig is a crochet designer and author who loves sharing her passions through teaching. She especially enjoys experimenting with unusual techniques and working with handdyed yarns. When she is not crocheting, Laurinda enjoys spinning, needle felting, and sharing her love of all fiber arts with her children.

LeBrie Rich is an artist living in Portland, Oregon. Her work emphasizes experimentation in materials and processes and often employs pattern, print and fiber. LeBrie makes both temporary and permanent work for diverse settings including museums, galleries, storefront windows, art vending machines, and craft shows. LeBrie is the proprietress of PenFelt, a line of hand-felted wearables that can be found in craft galleries throughout the country. LeBrie has been teaching feltmaking for 12 years.


Besides running her small family sheep farm, and being half of the Bellwether Wool Company, Linda Hansen brings her skills as a private music teacher and a livestock and fleece judge to sharing her love of fiber arts. She is a weaver, spinner, dyer, felter, knitter, basket weaver and quilter, and has taught spinning both privately and in workshops.

Linda Hartshorn with dye buckets

Linda Hartshorn is known for unique dyework and lively use of color in her handwoven textiles. With over fifteen years of teaching experience, Linda shares her positive, fun and supportive style in workshops all over the country. When she’s not teaching, Linda weaves and dyes at her home in Northern California.


Lisa Ellis is a freelance knitwear designer, owner of a wholesale pattern line and traveling knitting instructor in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area. Lisa has two publications with Leisure Arts and is also a contributing designer to more than a dozen other books and magazines.


Loyce Ericson worked for twenty+ years in high tech as a mechanical designer, and then she took a personal and professional turn to follow her passion of making felt and teaching her craft. She has been making felt since 1999 and began teaching in 2001. She travels and teaches nationally as well as in her private studio Gaston, Oregon. She has taught at SOAR”s Autumn Retreat 2013, Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, and Black Sheep Gathering. Loyce”s felted pieces have taken many awards at the Black Sheep Gathering and placed Best in Show 2000, Best in Class 2001 and 2003 at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Loyce says she loves color and texture when she makes felt. She’s a product oriented teacher, preferring to teach felting techniques as students produce a finished piece in the class. She approaches her classes as a time for fun and open creative expression and teaches that there is never only one way to make felt. Her greatest delight is to see the smiles on the faces of her students as their felt comes together.


Margaret “Meg” Stump is a fiber craftsperson with work focused on pin looms and pin loom weaving. Meg is the author of Pin Loom Weaving; 40 Projects for Tiny Hand Looms, published by Stackpole Books. Due to the upswell of interest in pin looms, she has just finished a second book devoted to pin loom weaving to be published in late 2016.


Mary Ashton is a papermaker, printmaker, book and fiber artist. She has explored the various aspects of papermaking, fiber manipulation and textile-related materials. Her paper, books and textiles have been shown in regional and national shows. These pieces incorporate her research into the many facets of fiber fabrication and design. She has studied and taught related papermaking, bookbinding, fiber and specialty technique classes and workshops in England and the United States.

Michele Bernstein has been knitting since her favorite aunt taught her when she was 14. She is particularly fond of texture (cables, lace, and entrelac) and loves designing accessories that make the most of one skein of beautiful yarn. She is the designer of Rosaria, the 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Knit Along Shawlette, and has been published most recently in Doomsday Knits from Cooperative Press and the Under 100 Knit Collection from Knit Picks. She also enjoys teaching people how to be the boss of their knitting! You can view her blog at PDXKnitterati.com


Miranda Rommel is an artist and homesteader living in Kings Valley, Oregon. An illustrator by training and a spinner/knitter for fun, Miranda took up felting in 2012. Soon after, and inspired by her Corgi, “Pocket” — her business “Fiber Friends” was born. Miranda now felts lifelike pet portraits full time for clients all over the world, and loves teaching her craft to people of all levels.


Knitting and crocheting since childhood, fiber has always been part of Sari Peterson’s world. Sitting down at a wheel 13 years ago felt like coming home, and helped to feed her desire to learn the beginnings of her fibers and fabrics. Sari delights in sharing her love of fiber with others.


Shelia January learned to knit as a child and has knitted continuously since, working in financial services in many states. She has returned to her roots in Oregon, where she now lives on a farm with her sheep, a cow, chickens, cat, husband, and her extensive spinning wheel and yarn collections. She became a spinner 16 years ago and has spent time in Europe and South America to study Old and New World traditions in knitting and spinning. She knits and designs, judges at fleece, spinning and knitting competitions, and teaches spinning and knitting. Her patterns are available on Ravelry, and she has been published in books, Spin-Off and Ply magazines.

Wanda Jenkins has enjoyed playing with yarn and threads since childhood but didn’t cotton to spinning with a top-whorl spindle. When a Turkish spindle was placed in her hands, a decade ago, the spinning concept clicked. Now she’s enamored with spinning all kinds of fibers on her spindles in all sorts of places.