Instructor

2019 Instructor bios

Sari Peterson

A crocheter and knitter since childhood, it seems as though Sari has always had crafts and fiber in her life. Later, as a seamstress and costume designer, her love of textiles continued to grow. Learning to spin nearly 15 years ago was a natural extension of her love of craft and a desire to learn the beginnings of her fibers and fabrics. Once Sari sat down at a wheel there was no turning back. A couple of years ago she learned to weave in order to have a greater use for the miles of handspun yarn in her stash!

Linda Hartshorn

LINDA HARTSHORN is known for unique dyework and lively use of color in her handwoven textiles. She shares her positive, fun and supportive teaching style in workshops all over the country.  When she’s not teaching, Linda weaves and dyes at her home on the redwood coast of Northern California.

Elizabeth Palmer

Liz Palmer was born with knitting needles in her hands in a small town in Connecticut. Knitting helped her cope with childrearing and a career as a scientist and chemistry teacher. When she moved to the state of Washington seventeen years ago she learned how to spin. And it has all been downhill ever since. An early retirement has allowed her explore everything fiber, from carding and combing, to dyeing and blending, spinning and plying, and designing her own knitted and woven garments. Now it is all about developing the right side of her brain and sharing her passion by teaching. Liz has taught classes at NwRSA Conference, OFFF, and Blizzard Yarn and Fiber and at her studio.

LeBrie Rich

LeBrie Rich has been exploring the visual possibilities and emotional resonance of felted wool for the last 15 years. Her work has appeared internationally in a variety of settings including museums, galleries, storefront windows and art-vending machines. She has been teaching people to felt since 2006 and has a reputation for facilitating fun, upbeat workshops with a high level of individualized attention for each student. Find her Portland workshops at PenFelt.com.

Heidi Leugers

Heidi has over twenty years of needle felting experience and sells her own needle felted and other wool creations through her zero-waste business, Reclaimed Wool, to specialty retailers and fine craft galleries across the USA. Her customers include The American Folk Art Museum in New York, Timberline Lodge, New Seasons Market, and Chihuly Garden & Glass. She can also be found at sheep and wool festivals and juried art shows in the Pacific Northwest, and online at www.reclaimedwool.com.

John Simurdak

John  and Margaret 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.

Hazel Spencer

Hazel Spencer is owner, with her husband Randy, of Hazel Rose Looms and has been making small weaving looms since Oct of 2000. She has been teaching weaving for many year. Making clothing & other useful items for the home is her favorite use of her hand woven fabric.

Linda Hansen

Besides managing her small family sheep farm, and being half of the Bellwether Wool Company, Linda Hansen brings her skills as a music teacher and a fleece and livestock 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.

Diane McKinnon

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.

Dan & Susie Wilson…mainly Susie

Dan & 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!

Judy Taylor

Judy Taylor has been hooking rugs and teaching for nigh onto, well, for a really long time! Both of her rug hooking books won the eLit Book Awards, and she’s recently released her new book, T-Shirt Treasures, with everything you need to know to make beautiful, durable, machine-washable hand hooked rugs that will last for generations, with T-shirts!

Wanda Jenkins

Bio: Wanda has played with yarn since she was young. Spinning took her by storm in 2005 when her husband, Ed, began making Turkish spindles and she unexpectedly fell in love with spinning. She enjoys helping spinners discover those “ah-ha” moments with various fibers and techniques.

Margaret Stump

Margaret (Meg) Stump has been working with pin looms for over 40 years, creating items from Amish style blankets to three dimensional animals. She is the author of three books on pin loom weaving and is thrilled to see so many fiber artists involved in the art of pin loom weaving. Margaret’s newest book on pin loom weaving, Adorable Beasts; 30 pin loom woven animals and four playscapes, just came out on September 1st of this year.

Rio Wrenn

Portland native and textile artist Rio Wrenn, has been developing and creating with natural dyes and rust for 18 years.  During that time she has made work for gallery exhibitions, and created collections for her lingerie label and yardage panels. Finding sustainable ways to work in cyclic patterns with the earth is a priority.

Bayarma Batomunkueva

My name is Baya. I am from Siberia, from place called Buryatia. My ancestors are nomads with strong culture of felting, sadly abandoned after my nation started more settled way of life.
First time I’ve tried working with fiber when I was 11. Our Home art teacher decided to revive the tradition of felting. I made a small carpet and embroidered it with our traditional ornaments. It took 10 days to finish the project, but result was worth it. Since then it became my obsession. I learned a lot about fiber, different techniques, even about myself. And now I want to share this knowledge.

Ruth Northrup

Ruth Northrop has been spinning for 19 years. For many of those years she has taught spinning classes at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Black Sheep Gathering, Taos Wool Festival, and many fiber retreats. She has won awards for her spinning, including a Reserve Champion at Black Sheep Gathering, and multiple Best in Shows. As a former first grade teacher, Ruth has a knack for explaining methods and processes with clarity and a bit of humor. She lives in So. California with a wonderful husband and a splotchy cat

Shelia January

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.

Michele Lee Bernstein

I’m Michele Lee Bernstein, PDXKnitterati. I love designing accessories, especially if they use one or two skeins of very special yarn. I’m fond of texture (cables, lace, entrelac, elongated stitches) and how techniques can be used to make small objects sing. My patterns are available through Ravelry.com. I love teaching knitters to be the boss of their knitting! I teach at local yarn shops (Twisted in Portland, Oregon and For Yarn’s Sake  in Beaverton, Oregon), fiber festivals (Madrona Fiber Arts Festival, Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival), and retreats. I blog about knitting, food, and music at PDXKnitterati.com. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook, Ravelry, and Twitter; I’m PDXKnitterati on all platforms.

Laurinda Reddig

Laurinda Reddig is an award-winning designer and author specializing in crocheting with handdyed yarns and experimenting with unusual techniques. With designs published in various magazines and books, she now runs Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club and ReCrochetions Retreats, featuring her designs and classes. Learn more about Laurinda at www.ReCrochetions.com.

Juneko Martinson

Juneko began needle felting in 2004 while living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2007 she began raising her own alpacas and sheep. Since then she has immersed herself in all phases of fiber  art from wool production to fiber sculpture. She teaches classes in the Portland/Vancouver area and designs kits that let people discover the joy of felting. Visit her website at www.fiberartbyjuneko.com

Lisa Ellis

Lisa Ellis is a freelance knitwear designer, owner of a wholesale pattern line and traveling instructor.  Lisa has two Leisure Arts publications and is also a contributing designer to more than a dozen magazines and books and has written numerous knitting technique articles.  Her passion is taking knitters to the next level.

Janet Deutmeyer

Janet lives on the Washington coast with her husband. Spinning for 10 years, she became a Master Spinner last year from Olds. A love for all things fiber she also knits, crochets, weaves and rug hooks. Exploring and sharing the world of fiber with others is her goal. Janet has taught at other fiber festivals in the U.S and has been published in PLY magazine.

Rachael Grow

Rachael Grow is new to being an instructor in a formal setting but has been sharing her how to tips with friends and family members for years.  Her passion for fiber arts started when she was 6 years old and her mother taught her to crochet. From there it was love at first stitch and she pursued learning as many different fiber arts as possible. She has a passion for art yarns, and loves to create projects with handmade yarns when time allows. When Rachael isn’t frolicking with fiber she is playing with her family in Portland Oregon.

Kay Klose

A wearable art designer working with wool and other natural fibers, I create elegant, durable clothing and accessories.  Based in Newport Oregon and Nayarit Mexico, I teach felting and design fashions for events raising money for young women’s college scholarships. I have a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts.  Raised on a farm in N. California I grew up working sheep.


Ilisha Helfman

Ilisha has taught Turkish Spindling, Jazzknitting (a form of intentional pooling she created) and Tiffany Knitting at Madrona, fiber festivals, shops, and retreats. A graduate of Smith College and Yale University, she has written several books on inventive knitting technique and works as a designer and miniaturist. You can see her work as Jazzknitter on Ravelry and as @ilishahelfman on Ravelry.

Karin McTeague

Born and raised in Switzerland, I earned a diploma as a Textile Home Economics Instructor. Living in Portland, OR for 24 years, Angora Rabbits became my passion in 2009. The Giant Angora Rabbit fiber is the main ingredient of our Sinfully Soft, LLC. yarns.

Kitty Bryan

Kitty Bryan is a designer who focuses on showcasing hand-dyed yarn.  Travelling the USA and Canada, she teaches students to accentuate a yarn’s unique fiber, color, and stitch behavior.   Her designs, available on Ravelry, have featured The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze, Jacques Cartier, Alexandra – The Art of Yarn, and Malabrigo.   

Ruth Northrup

Ruth Northrop has been spinning for 19 years. For many of those years she has taught spinning classes at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Black Sheep Gathering, Taos Wool Festival, and many fiber retreats. She has won awards for her spinning, including a Reserve Champion at Black Sheep Gathering, and multiple Best in Shows. As a former first grade teacher, Ruth has a knack for explaining methods and processes with clarity and a bit of humor. She lives in So. California with a wonderful husband and a splotchy cat

Linda Hansen

Besides managing her small family sheep farm, and being half of the Bellwether Wool Company, Linda Hansen brings her skills as a music teacher and a fleece and livestock 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.