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.
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!
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, 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 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.
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.