New Year | New Inspiration

Instructor Spotlight

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Hi fiber artists! Welcome to our inaugural post of 2017! The Interweave Yarn Fest Headquarters are buzzing with fresh ideas, and we hope you are also feeling energized and ready to take on the New Year.

If you are searching for an inspiration boost to hold you over until Interweave Yarn Fest arrives, we have a treat for you. We’re back with another instructor Q&A, and our featured artists have a lot of lovely advice and encouraging words to share. Get ready to fuel up your inspiration and concoct some new creative ideas!

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Miriam Felton 

Specialty: Knitting

Are there any current fiber arts trends you are obsessed with?

“Cross Crafting (mixing crafts like knitting, crochet, sewing, etc…), short rows, and mixing yarn bases.”

Out of all the fiber arts creations you’ve made, which one is your favorite and why is it your favorite?

“My favorites are the ones that challenged me the most. Like the matching turned hems on the Chromaticity Cowl.”

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got from a fellow fiber artist?

“Cat Bordhi told me that you don’t have to pull the end through your final stitch on a bind-off. You just have to lift that final stitch up after you cut the yarn and it fastens off just fine without that little dog-ear.”

What are you most excited about for Yarn Fest 2017?

“I’m excited to teach Cross-Craftual. I’m very passionate about mixing crafts and I can’t wait to share that with everyone else.”

 

Beth Smith 

Specialty: I Study and spin breed specific wools.

What will students gain short and long term from taking your workshops?

“In my techniques classes, I hope that students will get a better understanding of their spinning wheel and how to make it work for them.”

How long have you been a fiber arts fanatic and what sparked your passion for the craft?

“My grandmother was a pattern maker in a dress factory and my mother was a dress maker with a specialty in wedding gowns. I’ve been around textiles since I was born and it seems to be in my blood.”

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got from a fellow fiber artist? 

“Sara Lamb says Finish Things. It’s great advice because by using the yarn I’ve made I become a better spinner.”

Are there any current fiber arts trends you are obsessed with?

Weaving seems to be making a big come back right now and I can’t stop thinking about spinning for weaving.

 

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Daniela Nii 

Specialty: Knitting, closely followed by crochet and tatting.

Do you remember the first fiber arts piece you made?

“I don’t know if this was THE first fiber arts piece but my French Knitting Spool in the shape of a Fliegenpilz (name of the mushroom in German) has been with me as long as I can remember. It was one of my favorite fiber arts past times before I was of school age and learned the grown-up’s way of knitting and crocheting. The long fiber tubes were made into hot pads, trivets, hair ribbons, and many other little do-dads.”

What is your favorite tool, accessory or yarn in your studio right now- the go-to product that you most frequently turn to?

“The tool that I most frequently turn to is my needle gauge because I constantly seem to be swatching new ideas and need to know what size needle I’ve been using since all of my needles are well worn and lost any markings.”

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got from a fellow fiber artist? 

“No matter how daunting a project appears to be, it still gets created one stitch at a time, and we all know that we can handle that, right?”

Are there any current fiber arts trends you are obsessed with?

“I am so excited to see more and more wonderful linen yarns come to the market that finally break the barrier of linen being too rough and undesirable for knitting an crocheting. I can finally turn my ideas for a linen collection into reality.”

Kate Larson

Specialty: Spinning

How long have you been a fiber arts fanatic and what sparked your passion for the craft?

“I thought about this a lot as I was writing the introduction for my book a few years ago. I love that we all come to fiber arts from different points of entry. For me it was sheep. I grew up on a farm in Indiana, where my husband and I have returned to live and keep a flock of Border Leicesters. My beloved flock converts grass into wool, which I then use to create yarn and cloth. This process is not tremendously different than what someone on the other side of the world is doing right now. I find this fascinating.”
What are you most excited about for Yarn Fest 2017?

“This will be my third Yarn Fest, and I’m thrilled to have been involved from the beginning in 2014. I have been amazed at the warm, friendly community of spinners, weavers, crocheters, and knitters that has blossomed in just a few years. I have connected online with many students, instructors, and vendors I’ve met through Yarn Fest, and it is a joy to follow them through the year. I love being a part of an event that mixes folks I’ve known for many years (from events like SOAR) with local spinners dipping their toe into the community by taking their first class at Yarn Fest. I can’t wait to see you all again this year!”

What can students learn from your workshops that they can’t learn anywhere else?

“Whether I’m teaching handcarding or color theory, something that I find integral to the experience of teaching textile crafts is sharing the idea that our work is a creative act. We can get lost in a circular debate about Art vs. Craft, but I believe that when we turn fiber into yarn and useful cloth, it is both art and craft. When I teach and share my passion for fiber arts, I hope to encourage spinners to have confidence in their creative impulses and to nurture their ideas with confidence.”

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It’s simply fascinating to discover the stories behind your fiber arts idols. We love reading about the first piece someone created, their favorite inspirational advice and what they think of the ever-evolving industry. We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about your favorite instructors. Soon enough, you will be meeting them in real life at Interweave Yarn Fest! If you have not reserved a seat in your Workshop picks, we suggest registering soon. Seats are filling up fast, and the event will be here before you know it!

Join us next Thursday for a vibrant spring-inspired post, and save your seat at Interweave Yarn Fest. It happens March 30 – April 2 in Loveland, Colorado.


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