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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.

Donna Pattee- I recently retired from my job at the University of Colorado in computer security. Since then I’ve had either a hook or needles and yarn in my hands during most of my waking hours.

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.

Gage Evans - I have been weaving, spinning, and felting for over 30 years. Before I began “officially” teaching, I was doing public demonstrations of weaving and spinning at cultural and historical fairs, museums, etc. Finally, it seemed to make sense to formally teach what I know about fiber arts. By that time, I had added feltmaking to my repertoire. I have taught at Denver area stores (D’Leas Fabric and Button Studio and the Recycled Lamb), at schools (North Middle School, Arapaho Community College), and fiber gatherings (Estes Park Wool Market, Colorado Weavers Day).

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!

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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.

Gretchen Hofer - My grandmother taught me to knit when I was in grade school. I have been knitting ever since. Living in Colorado there is always a need for warm clothing - from scarves and hats, to sweaters and socks.

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.


Rebecca
Martin
  - 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.  

Jane Anderson - I have been knitting on and off for over 27 years, having first learned when I was in 4th grade. I took it back up again in high school, with my first project being a knitted pouch and mouse that I attempted to make with my mother on a bus ride out to the home of the Brown Sheep Company in Nebraska. A fun trip, but not a fun first project.

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.

Cassandra Gilbert - I remember being eager to learn how to crochet about fifteen years ago, but some how I began to knit instead. My mom always encourages me to try new techniques with knitting telling me, "You can do it, it is easy!" Sometimes I do not always agree with her, but it has definitely made me try different things with knitting.

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.

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, artist and teacher living in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two sons and a variety of furry friends. She combines a life-long passion for crocheting, sewing, and crafting with a strong interest in medical science and mathematics. She retired after 10+ years as a licensed massage therapist to devote more time to her design, writing and teaching activities.

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.

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Debby Telfer has always loved working with all types of textures. She started sewing at age 5 which blossomed into jobs as a tailor and seamstress by age 16. She has also loved crocheting for many years. More recently she has embraced knitting.

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 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!



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



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.