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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.

Gail Sundberg-Douse  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 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.

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!

  - a native of the East Coast.  The mountains called her west for college and Colorado became her permanent home.  At the University of Colorado she obtained a degree in Art History.  She currently lives in Longmont with her husband, daughter and son.  While homeschooling her children or traveling the country with her family (41 out of 50 states so far), she is often found with some sort of wool project in hand.  Needle Felting, crochet, needlepoint, wet felting, wool applique and some simple knitting are all interests, but the most beloved fiber art form for Rebecca is punch needle rug hooking.  Although newer to her list of wool activities, it has captured her heart more so than the rest.  She enjoys sharing her passion for punch needle rug hooking with both adults and children.  

Kathryn Van Auken - Kathryn crafts all of the things and started making in childhood with embroidery and needlepoint. She has since added knitting, quilting, painting, digital art and more into her bag of crafty tricks.

She, her husband Michael and beloved Westie dog Murphy made the move to Colorado from Houston, TX in 2017 and have fallen love with the beautiful scenery and the creative community here. When she isn't teaching embroidery at LYS, she is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist.
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!
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!

Bryleigh McCarty - When I was 11 years old I learned how to knit from a woman who had tried to teach my momma to knit. Within ten minutes of her showing me how to cast on and knit, I was off and running. I learned to crochet around the same time from a friend! I have never let a day go by without a little knitting or crocheting.  I love that knitting is so solid for me, and crochet really lets me explore different shapes and textures. 

I have been living in Colorado since April 2011 and joined the LYS team in December 2015. Since then, all of my coworkers have helped me grow as a human, teacher, friend, and more. Seriously y'all, they are THE BEST. 

In 2016, I learned how to do brioche from a video of Stephen Wests' and I took off from there. Fast forward to now, and I am LYS's Brioche Queen!  I love teaching, and I love what each student has to offer, a willingness to learn! I teach kids and adults, and I love every minute of it.  I'm so excited to grow at LYS!
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. 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 learnt 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 is currently serving on the National Board of Directors as Vice President.

Andee has been writing about crochet techniques, designing, and healthy crafting practices for her blog and other publications since 2009. Her articles and designs have been published in Interweave Crochet, Crochet World, Crochet! Magazine,, and 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!!

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.

Cheri Whiton is a geriatric nurse practitioner. She learned fiber arts from her Grandmother growing up in Iowa. Through the years she has enjoyed embroidery, quilting, needlepoint and knitting. She has always been attracted to luxurious hooked rugs.

In the summer of 2016 Cheri and her neighbor friends (ages 12 and 14 at the time) attended the Estes Park Wool Market. Una Walker, Wooly Walkers, had a booth where she was giving introductory lessons to punch needle rug hooking making a coaster. Cheri and her friends were all were proud of the coasters they completed. They became fans of the craft and they all went on to make more projects.

In August 2016 Cheri attended a weeklong punch needle rug hooking class with Amy Oxford and her staff. Amy has been punching rugs since 1982. She has taught internationally and published multiple books on punch needle rug hooking. Cheri’s experience with Una and Amy has expanded Cheri’s passion to punch rugs, wall hangings, chair pads and coasters.

Cheri has attended additional classes at the Oxford School including teacher certification. She has taught her 83-year father the craft and he has become an enthusiastic punch needle artist. Cheri was offered the opportunity to teach punch needle rug hooking at Longmont Yarn Store in 2017. Colorado has so many talented fiber artists. Cheri is interested in expanding the community of punch needle rug hookers in Colorado.

Dianne Shantz - I've been crafting since I was in 4H in grade school, learning to sew my own clothes, then learned crochet and tatting and embroidery from my grandma. I think I first learned to knit in high school, but spent years doing embroidery instead. On a trip to Taos I decided to learn to spin and then found I had a massive supply of yarn with nothing to use it on. Then came serious knitting in the mid nineties. I really love a complex project with lots of color.
I am a nurse and taught nursing school for about ten years. I'm starting to teach at LYS to fulfill two passions, teaching and fiber arts. I hope to see you in class soon!

Liz Gipson - is the author of multiple books on rigid-heddle weaving including Weaving Made Easy, Handwoven Home, A Weaver’s Guide to Swatching, and A Weaver’s Guide to Yarn. She hosts Yarnworker (dot) com a website devoted to rigid-heddle weaving know-how and the Yarnworker School that offers virtual classes and weave-alongs. Based in New Mexico, Liz relishes helping weavers find the ease in their weave.

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 , Beading  and making 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!

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.

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.

Suzanne Trueblood  Two highlights of my life have been teaching and knitting. I do not remember a time when I was not knitting. Teaching began as a teenager at summer camp and thankfully has not stopped yet! Having moved to Colorado from the East coast, I presently spend schooldays caring for our twin grandsons. Honestly, two busy preschoolers need to be watched constantly, but my fingers can knit. And with each project I make, one grandson says, “Mimi, can you make me one, too?” The Longmont Yarn Shoppe has given me the opportunity to try new knitting methods and then teach what I have mastered. Yea, I love living here! 


I was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, but for college, I moved to Maine and remained in the East until now. I graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, married my love, lived in NYC, then raised our three boys in Wilmington, Delaware. There I also earned my Doctorate in Education, teaching countless special education kids and then teaching teachers best practices. Now, I am delighted to teach knitting to the LYS clan!

Sara Greer has been dabbling in the fiber arts since 2002, that's when she learned to crochet. She has since learned to knit, dye, and spin. She does some designing as well.

Sara has been published multiple times in Interweave's Spin Off magazine and has also done work for Ply magazine. In 2016 she earned her certificate as a Master of Crochet.

Sara has taught professionally since 2007 at rec centers, private homes and fiber festivals. Her latest work can be found on her blog at
Pam Fischer  I have been knitting for almost 20 years. I started off crocheting and then decided to teach myself how to knit. It didn’t start off well which lead me to my local yarn store in Tennessee to take some lessons and start off the right way. Here I am 20 years later working in a wonderful yarn store and knitting garments I never dreamed I could accomplish. I learned the value of my LYS many years ago when I needed guidance. Fiber people are the most wonderful people in the universe.

I love socks and hats, shawls and sweaters. Not necessarily in that order. I love helping people to learn the craft and love organizing events and classes to incorporate all things fiber related.

 Our fiber community is one of the best I have ever seen, and I feel very grateful to be a part of it and especially being a part of Longmont Yarn Shoppe, my home away from home.

Jennifer Guyor  I have been surrounded by makers and making for as long as I can remember.   I learned to crochet with my Nana when I was five.  I spent many hours at her side watching and learning.  Sewing happened about that same time:  pockets and beanbags (I actually had a sewing machine that squirted glue!) and then clothing, costumes and home goods.  I got the quilting bug as a young woman living in Ohio surrounded by a rich heritage of hand quilters generations-deep.   Somewhere along the way I learned to knit with a friend and embroider with my mother. 


A decade later while immersed in a homeschool lesson using the book “Warm as Wool,” we visited the Ewe Bet Sheep Ranch in Loveland, Colorado for an up-close and personal.  I left with a handful of Rambouillet roving, a Navajo spindle, and a new friend.  That chance reading and meeting opened up a whole new world of fleece preparation, spinning, weaving, and a new love for sheep.


I’m thrilled to be working in the Mountains and Plains Fibershed, supporting the shepherds and ranchers who are so deeply committed to their animals and growing great wool. As a wool skirter and broker it is my great privilege to be a part of the continuum of land, animal, fiber, mill, spinner, local store, and maker. You can find me most days bending over a skirting table or dye pot, spinning my own yarn, weaving a rug, and best days – hugging a lamb.

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.

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.