Longmont Yarn Shoppe's Instructors
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454 Main St., Longmont, CO 80501

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Monday - CLOSED
Tuesday - Thursday 10- 5 pm
Friday 10 - 6 pm
Saturday 10 - 5 
Sunday 12- 4 pm
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Gail Sundberg-Douse - Owner, Longmont Yarn Shoppe  As a kid I was always making things and somewhere along the way I learned to knit.  I had many adventures knitting in my youth- some went well, others not so much.  

After nursing school I had time to learn to spin and weave.  In 2005 my sister Susan purchased Alpacas- establishing “Wabi Sabi Farm” & I started knitting & spinning in earnest to demonstrate the continuum of Alpaca fiber from the back of the animal to finished product. Later I was asked by the Longmont Recreation Dept if I could teaching knitting- I said "yes!"

After a wonderful career as a RN I was ready to make a change. In September 2012 Longmont Yarn Shoppe opened its doors in the heart of downtown.  The store is the same location I used to buy candy and other trinkets when I was just a kid....the Marlou Shop.  The response from the community in having a LYS has been incredible -  I am so happy that I took the plunge!  None of my success in life or at the store would be possible were it not for the support of my husband - Mark, and my family, Michael, Austin, Max and Emma. I ever grateful to them all for putting up with my piles of yarn and projects around the house over the years.

Melanie Nieske  - For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this “I can make that” obsession and curiosity. My sister and I took a knitting class on the weekends in elementary school and since then I’ve been hooked.

The best part about finding LYS has been connecting to a community of makers that speak my language.  
I love hand and machine knitting, weaving on a floor loom, painting, illustration, and trail running. I’m learning to spin, crochet, and sew. If you find me in the shop, ask me about the magic loop method, sock knitting, continental style knitting, knitting machines, weaving, or fiber history.

Theresa White - I have lived in Longmont all my life  and have always liked to keep my hands busy with various crafts.  Over the years I have learned to Sew, Knit, Crochet, Needlepoint, Cross Stitch, Bead and make porcelain dolls. 

Knitting and Crochet are the two crafts I have done the longest.  I love to learn new things, which is why I enjoy working at Longmont Yarn Shoppe!  I also love to help others and am always happy to help our customers with their latest projects.
  Sometimes I'm referred to as Lacy Knits - and helping to teach lace at LYS is something I am excited about!

Cheryl Szydlo - Before I was 10 when my family moved to Colorado my paternal grandmother taught me to sew and I also enjoyed embroidery. I don’t have a vivid memory of my mom teaching me to knit but it was sometime in that same timeframe. My first project memory is of a sweater I knit in the 6th grade for a friend. I’m afraid it had very long and much too narrow sleeves that could’ve fit a stick figure, LOL! It didn’t deter me from a love of the craft and knitting has been my go-to creative outlet ever since despite forays into quilting and needlepoint too. I knit for hire when I was pregnant with my first child – working from home in Glenwood Springs and blasting out sweaters in bulky mohair yarns for a woman who sold them to an upscale sports store in Vail. I got to move back to my hometown of Estes Park soon thereafter, began working for the Yarn N’ Needle and became a partner in that business from 1984 until 1987. I loved everything about my time there but my favorite thing was teaching classes. I have always knit more for friends and family than for myself and love creating just the right thing to gift.

I was thrilled to discover Longmont Yarn Shoppe soon after it opened and am proud and grateful to be a part of the community created there. Currently I am excited to be a part of the staff and always look forward to sharing and creating with coworkers and customers alike.

Christianna Bowland started crocheting at the age of three and knitting at four after watching her mother and begging her to teach her. She then went on to participate in 4-H from fourth grade through her senior year of high school, where she continued to improve her skills, earning Reserve Grand Champion and Grand Champion awards in both knitting and crocheting at the county level. At the state level she won First Place and Champion awards. She also worked as a 4-H junior leader in knitting and crocheting through high school.

In college, crafting took a backseat to earning her music degree, but along the way she did teach numerous classmates how to knit and crochet, and was often “commissioned” to make afghans, socks, and sweaters for friends.

Now, Christianna almost always has a hook or needles (or a clarinet!) in her hands and has spent her life mastering her crafts. While she enjoys teaching crocheting and knitting, she also enjoys learning all she can; believing that the best teachers also make the best students.

Mary Ann Ott, We lived in 5 states prior to our move to Colorado in 1995.  Each of our previous homes was fun and unique, and we have found our long-term home in Colorado.  

I have completed a fun, challenging, and exciting career in high tech and project management.  Now, I am ready to enjoy some professional time pursuing some adventures for myself. 

I learned to sew, embroidery, needlepoint, and knit from my Mom and Grandmothers.  Needle work and fiber arts have been a part of my life since very early childhood.  Now, with my retirement from a full-time career, I get to explore more aspects of the fiber arts. 

I just love to knit! I love the math involved I lace patterns.  I love to see how a pattern unfolds as you make progress from the first cast-on row to the last bind-off row.  I love to see how a change in yard color or texture can totally change the look or purpose of a garment.  I always have two or three projects working at the same time, and enjoy the opportunity to give completed projects (shawls, blankets, socks, mittens, hats, and even some dragons) to friends and family! I am very excited to      join the staff at Longmont Yarn Shoppe, and contribute to the Fiber Arts Community in Northern Colorado!

Hannah McGinty - has always loved riding the line between the technical and the creative. She started studying music at age three, picking up piano, then violin, voice, and later harpsichord. At the same time, her parents made sure she had lots of exposure to more material arts, whether it was classes, camps, going to museums, or collecting postcards.

Hannah’s mom taught her to sew as a child, and she loved helping her mom make clothes and costumes. Her crafting got more serious when she learned how to do fine wire-wrapping, and spent most of adolescence and early adulthood making fine jewelry for friends and family (and occasionally Etsy). When she found knitting, it was like coming home: fine manual work, creativity, technicality all in one! She loves trying to learn something new in every project, and truly believes nothing is hard; you just have to be patient with yourself! She is thrilled to learn more about crochet, spinning, weaving, and embroidery, and has recently become a bit of a sheep fanatic (ask her about the Shave ‘em to Save ‘em initiative!).

When not knitting you can find her performing in a variety of professional music groups around central Colorado. She is absolutely delighted to be at LYS, getting to work and serve such a wonderful community. 

Heather McChesney- Is a native to Boulder county, raised in the mountains above Boulder. She is married, has two wonderful children, a beautiful dog, several cats and an angora bunny.

As a child her mom kept her and her sister busy with fabric, yarn, beads and books which led her to her continual desire to create beautiful things. Heather learned to knit and crochet when she was less than 10 years old and mostly crocheted off and on in her youth. In college Heather took fiber arts classes in between the classes for her child development degree and fell in love with fiber even more. She started spinning with a drop spindle, knitting, dyeing, and wet felting. After college and once Heather started her family her fiber arts passion became something that she did more frequently and she started to teach her children and the children in her daycare.

After doing daycare for eight years, Heather moved on to become a full time Realtor in Longmont. This transition allows Heather to be more present with her two kids, the flexibility to create more, and the ability help people in our community. Christmas of 2018 her husband and mom gave her her first spinning wheel which quickly became her favorite creative outlet. Heather loves to spin, knit, needle felt, crochet, quilt and is learning to weave with her handspun wool.

Mary Balzer -  Mary has been weaving and playing with the fiber arts for 30 years and is still having fun.  Coiling is a technique that incorporates her love of vessels and circles, perfect metaphors for the “circles of life” in which we all go round, one way or another.  She has exhibited her vessels in CO, NM, FL, and WA galleries, as well as national basketry shows, and has been teaching the coiling technique since 1995.
Stephanie Flynn Sokolov is a fiber fanatic experienced in teaching and motivating students in many fiber arts.  She has a diverse expert background including spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, and dying. Her interest in learning about fiber arts started at a very young age, she trained in Accessory Design at the Fashion Institute Of Technology, and continues expanding her expertise by seeking out the best in the industry.
Stephanie co-authored the book Woven Scarves: 26 Inspired designs for the Rigid Heddle Loom with Jane Patrick.  Her other projects can be found in Spin-Off Magazine, The Weaver’s Idea book by Jane Patrick, and she also Co-authors Yearning to Weave and Spin (a Schacht Spindle publication). All students are sure to find inspiration in any class she teaches. She loves to spread her contagious enthusiasm for spinning with everyone she meets, and is so fun to be around!
Sandi Avila -  I was born in Greenwich, Connecticut and moved to Boulder in 1975 and have never ventured too far from here. I enjoy living where you can appreciate the outdoors year-round and knit in every season. During a month-long visit, my German grandmother taught me to knit, that was 40+ years ago. I have been knitting non-stop ever since, I always have something brewing on the needles.

I continued my journey in knitting and found my true passion was knitting sweaters. I really enjoy the evolution of a sweater more than any other project. I am excited to become an instructor as I love to share my passion with others and help them dispel the fear of a fitted garment.

As an added bonus, I found a husband who encourages my knitting habit; he ventures with me to knit shops when we are traveling, its always on the itinerary.

It was in the last two years that I found my knitting clan at Longmont Yarn Shoppe and love the sharing, encouragement and support we bring to each other. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of.

Kris Bart - Knitting, to me, has always seemed like a mythical skill that was far beyond my capabilities. I admired hand knit garments and was in awe of people that could take two sticks and a ball of yarn to create gorgeous sweaters, cozy slippers or warm mittens and scarves. I never in a million years thought that I would ever learn to make those things myself.

Not until a new yarn shop opened up right in my neighborhood. I walked in and mistakenly thought a sample sweater was for sale. I asked how much and the owner laughed and said she could sell it for $400.00 or teach me to make my own. I took her up on the challenge and signed up for a class.

That was almost 15 years ago and I haven’t put the needles down since. I am hooked and eager to teach others all that I have learned and to show them that knitting is not only fun and rewarding, it’s the coolest craft ever!

Robin Wilton- Robin Wilton has earned a BFA with a concentration in Weaving from CSU in Ft. Collins.  She has been weaving for about 50 years. Known also as “the Weaving Lady”, Robin specializes in doing programs about weaving and spinning to Denver metro area children in schools and at events.   Robin has taught Inkle Weaving for shops and weaving guilds throughout the Front Range for many years. 

Rebecca Martin is a passionate fiber artist and educator based in Longmont, Colorado. Her studio is filled with all things wool, however, rug hooking, both punch needle and traditional, take center stage.  She is a certified Oxford Punch Needle Rug Hooking instructor, and in the process of becoming a McGown certified teacher for traditional rug hooking. Rebecca's creative work and articles about the craft have been published in Rug Hooking Magazine and the ATHA magazine. Online lectures for guilds and Rug Hooking Magazine have been a fun way for her to expand her teaching. In the summer of 2021 Rebecca had the opportunity to teach a 4 day retreat at Sauder Village Rug week, in Ohio. When not teaching or writing, Rebecca can be found hovering over her dye pots, creating rug yarn for her company StoryTeller Wool.

Andee Graves  is a crochet designer, writer, teacher and artist living in the mountains of Colorado with her family and an evolving menagerie of 4-legged friends. She combines a life-long passion for crocheting, sewing, and crafting with a strong interest in mathematics and medical science. She is endlessly intrigued by the "magic" of creating fabric or an object from nothing but hook and string, and invites you to join her in a class to expand your own crochet and crafting journey.


Andee has taught crochet, needle felting and injury prevention classes to students of all ages. She has her Level 1 & 2 Certification as a Crochet Instructor from the Craft Yarn Council. Her teaching has included classes and private lessons at her local yarn shop and schools, as well as at national festivals and conferences. She loves the versatility of crochet and enjoys designing projects that are entertaining to work up. She is passionate about passing on the crochet techniques that she has mastered and teaching others the love of working with yarn and hook. She has been a member of the Crochet Guild of America since 2008 and served on the National Board of Directors from January 2018 – July 2020.

Andee has been writing about crochet techniques, designing, and healthy crafting practices for her blog (www.Mamas2Hands.com) and other publications since 2009. Her articles and designs have been published in Interweave Crochet, Crochet World, Crochet! Magazine, ILikeCrochet.com, and RedHeart.com. Her independent pattern line M2H Designs was launched in Fall 2010 with a focus on creating “teaching” patterns that include tutorials for techniques that are used in the pattern.  

Jennifer Thompson-Miller - Jennifer brings her background in marketing, psychology, counseling, art history, science, and metaphysics to the knitting classroom. A yarn and color designer, Jennifer is the creator of Theodora’s Pearls, nationally-known handpainted and hand-dyed yarns, featuring unusual and luxury fibers. Jennifer is dedicated to promoting creative confidence in every knitter, enhancing knitting skills, and encouraging new and innovative experimentation in yarn! A self-taught artist, sourcing inspiration from the natural world, folk art, and historical textiles, she shares her own creative journey as an example of how you can express yourself through fiber, creating beauty, harmony, and functionality.

Jennifer teaches at Stitches and appears regularly at fiber festivals and yarn shops around the country. She is happy to call Longmont her home base and LYS!!

Sara Goldenberg White has been teaching weaving along the Front Range for over a decade. Her passion for weaving and teaching started during her graduate study at CSU. She teaches a variety of fiber techniques but sharing her love of weaving with others is one of her greatest joys. Sara co authored Simple Woven Garments 20+ Projects to Weave and Wear with Jane Patrick. Other projects Sara has woven can be found in The Weaver’s Idea Book, Woven Scarves 26 Inspired Ideas for the Rigid Heddle Loom, Easy Weaving With Little Looms  and Handwoven Magazine. Sara also has a lively fine arts practice and has exhibited her work at museums and galleries throughout the country. Sara enjoys the balance of creating her own work and sharing her love of weaving in the classroom, she looks forward to seeing you there!

Christie Nielsen - I come from a very crafty family, and different projects from 
cross-stitch to friendship bracelets have been a part of my life for as 
long as I can remember. I learned to knit in the 4th grade from my mom, 
but had a terrible case of "I can do it myself" and refused any mohelp from her so a year later a visiting family member finally taught me to purl. Mostly self-taught I feel like I am constantly honing my craft and love trying new challenging techniques, and you will rarely find me 
without some knitting nearby.
I knit several sweaters and random projects every year, but my real obsession is mittens! They are the perfect size to try something new, or focus for an accessible amount of time on a tricky technique. They make great presents and can be whipped up in no time. And what is better than sharing the gift of warm hands, either for yourself of a loved one? I am so excited to be teaching at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe and to share my love of knitting with this community of incredible makers.

David Johnson is a tapestry weaver with extensive professional experience employed at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts as well as the Appalachian Center for Craft. More recently David has taught for the Tucson Weavers Guild as well as the Intermountain Weavers Conference in Durango, CO.

Upcoming workshops include The Weavers Guild of Rochester, NY and the Sedona Weavers in AZ. In 2021 he will collaborate with the Spanish Peaks Tapestry Weavers in presenting "Crossovers in Tapestry: a Southwest Conference" in Pueblo, CO. David is currently president of the Rocky Mountain Weavers Guild.  To see some of David's work visit his website, ArachneWeaving.com

Kathy Partridge is an avid knitter and social media maven who has lived in Boulder County since 1975, the past 15 years in Longmont. Her grandmother taught her to knit when she was a child, a testament to Grandma's patience as Kathy is lefthanded.  Kathy dropped her needles to pursue a full-time career.  She picked them up again in 2006 when her then teenage daughter, a talented crocheter, took her to a big box store to buy yarn for a school project. Starting with skinny novelty yarn scarves, Kathy graduated to hats in the round, and then a class at a local yarn store introduced her to magic loop, stranded colorwork, and sock knitting.  Kathy loves how the Longmont Yarn Shoppe offers so many opportunities to explore even more new techniques. Since Kathy was constantly on the computer for her job, she was naturally an early Ravelry member, where she has posted over 500 of her knitting projects to date. Almost daily, as LongmontKathy, she explores new patterns and yarns on Ravelry, and networks with Wool-Aid, her online charity knitting group.

Donna Fisk – a Colorado native, living in the Arvada area,  has been a crafter all her life.  Learning crochet from her mother and knitting from her grandmother, allowed for many decades of loving both of these crafts.  She has two grown boys, three grown grandchildren a grandchild, and a wonderful extended step-family. While raising her boys and working, crochet was her go to fiber art.  Following retirement and wrist surgery, she picked up her needles again and has not stopped since.  My preferred method of knitting is magic loop.

My husband indulges me by stopping at the local yarn shops while RVing, as long as we stop at a local brewery too!

Discovering Longmont Yarn Shoppe was such a gift.  I have discovered such a wonderful and supportive community through LYS!

Dara Frenette- Hi!  I started knitting almost 58 years ago when a neighbor taught me to cast on, knit, purl and bind off.  Since then I have taught myself everything I can find about knitting.  I consider myself a student of the craft.  You can see some of my work hanging around LYS as I have knit some of the shop samples. 

I spent a number of years teaching knitting and crochet in 4-H and was a 4-H Superintendent.  I have recently been designing my own knitwear and find that very rewarding. 

I hope to see you in one of my upcoming classes or Knit-a-Longs!

E.J. Benstock – I have been interested in fiber arts since childhood, taking embroidery classes in elementary school and spending time at the spinning and weaving barn of colonial Hale Farm and Village in Bath, Ohio where my mother worked. It was impossible to keep me in enough loops for making potholders.

I joined a medieval recreation group, where I learned spinning, weaving, dyeing, nålbinding, sprang, finger loop braiding, and blackwork. I love lacemaking, including pulled and drawn work, bobbin lace, and tatting.

My job as a laboratory engineer speaks to my analytical side. I find that I am a “sampler junkie”, more interested in learning a new stitch or technique than completing a project. I look forward to teaching Beginning Tatting at LYS and sharing my love of lace.

Donnie Herrington -  I began my fiber story in the fall of 2012 with a set of slippery, metal needles and some squeaky, bulky yarn. Teaching myself to knit from online videos with the help of a good friend via texting, I created my first garter stitch scarf. Naturally, it was a gift for my mother. Finishing that scarf, my goal was to perfect that scarf with better edges, no mistakes, and more even stitches.
I moved to Longmont in February 2014, looking for a new place to call home. A few months later, I took a drop spinning class with the incomparable Maggie Casey. While I loved the experience and the storytelling from Maggie, I knew it would really take time from my knitting. I decided I probably wouldn’t be a spinner at this time.
Later that same year, I started a crafting group with our local LGBTQ organization, Out Boulder County, at the urgency of our director to expand the organization outside of Boulder proper. The group, Work in Progress, has been meeting almost every Thursday and we have taught dozens of people to knit and crochet.
I began working at LYS in June of 2016 and couldn’t ask for a better, chosen tribe to call family. You could certainly say I’ve found my home here in Longmont and at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe.