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.
My “other job” is as a librarian. My life has always been about getting information to people that they want and need. As a teacher, my mission is making sure that my students get the information and techniques that they can use to be creative and enjoy whatever it is they decide to make. This is what I love and what really excites me about teaching. Join me for the exciting journey!
Someone taught me to knit and crochet a long time ago, and since then crocheting especially has been my passion. My first project was a hot pink granny-square afghan which I wore to shreds. I’ve widened my project base to include sweaters, vests, afghans, scarves, hats and more, and my taste in yarns has grown to include alpaca, silk, wool and llama. I especially like working with lace-weight and fingering weight yarns to create lace crocheted items.
Sharing my love of crocheting is something I really enjoy, along with helping others to master the art and create beautiful items.
Donna is currently the President of the Crochet Guild of America local chapter that meets at LYS on the 1st Wednesday of each month.
My knitting adventures have taken me many places. I have traveled to Wool Markets, Fiber Festivals and yarn shops large and small. I have visited the land of socks, sat with other knitters as we knit for various charities and now find myself in the land of lace, where my passion lies.
Knitting gives me a calm space where I can be creative and watch what the stitches and fibers unfold for me. From a simple lace pattern in a warm scarf or hat to the more exquisite fine alpaca and wool of lacy fashion scarves, my passion grows stitch by stitch and inch by inch.
After much soul searching and a desire to make a difference I decided it was time to pursue a lifelong dream and 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 excited 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.
I have always love knitting and being able to create items for myself and others. I think the presence of handmade arts in our lives is so important, as it teaches us to make our own clothes and shows others the value of something handmade. My life has led me on many knitting adventures from that Brown Sheep trip, to knitting retreats, to working at A Knitted Peace for many years when my mother owned the store.
In May 2010 I started Peace Knitters, a charity handwork group here in Longmont. This amazing group of knitters and crocheters created many wonderful items for local organizations around Longmont. In the fall of 2011 I met Gail, who was starting her own charity knitting group Loops for Love, and we took off on an adventure of collecting 1000 handmade items for the homeless. Along the way we organized with members of our groups, several yarn bombings around town (remember those geese in hats & scarves?). This whole journey has landed me here at The Longmont Yarn Shoppe where I work a couple days a week and teach some classes. When I am not at the store I am running my herbal business, Stinging Nettle Apothecary, and making batches of Yarn Balm for the maker community.
About four years ago I went to my first wool festival in Taos, New Mexico and discovered spinning and needle felting. I bought my first drop spindle and sat with a group under the Ravelry tent to learn how to spin. I became eager to learn more about spinning. I took my first spinning class three years ago and continued to learn as much as I could about fiber and spinning yarn.
I also began to dye my own fiber. I love making my own new and unique color combinations. Spinning and dyeing opened up so many other doors with knitting and crocheting for me. I feel I have a better understanding of fibers and their uses. My knowledge of fiber has been expanded greatly and I learn so much with every class I take. During the day, I am a teacher with the St. Vrain Valley School District. I love teaching and look forward to teaching others about fabulous fibers.
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!
She finds crochet to be an exciting and diverse fiberart for exploring both sculptural and wearable designs. She is endlessly intrigued by the "magic" of creating fabric or an object from nothing but hook and string. Andee facilitates our monthly "Casual Crochet" meetup at LYS.
By day she is a Programmer Analyst for St. Vrain Valley School District and an Adjunct Computer Science Professor and Course Developer for Colorado Technical University. However, much of her spare time is dedicated to working with all types of fibers through her crochet and knitted creations. She also has earned Crochet Instructor Certification Levels I and II in Craft Yarn Council’s Certified Instructor Program. Debby was the founding President of the local Crochet Guild of America Local Chapter that meets at LYS.
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!!
Anna Kuzminsky - Growing up in Sweden, I learned to knit at an early age. My favorite toy was my Barbie, but rather than playing with the doll, I sewed and knitted her clothes. My knitting needles were toothpicks and my yarn as heavy sewing thread. Unfortunately none of those creations have survived into my adult life. After a few semesters at design and art school, I realized I needed to make a living as well, and my working life was spent as a teacher and a technical and medical translator, knitting in my “spare time” - our two sons always had hand-knitted sweaters, hats and mittens for as long as I could make them wear what I made.
Since my retirement in December 2015, I am knitting full time, always looking for challenges in my designs, choosing colors, yarns and techniques. I have always enjoyed teaching and love inspiring others to think outside their comfort zone and let the needles and the yarn talk
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.