Meet Our 2016 Madrona Teachers

Karen Aho •  Karen Alfke •  Sarah AndersonJanine BajusAnne Berk •  Cat Bordhi
Beth Brown-ReinselNancy Bush •  Eveyln ClarkY’vonne Cutright • Carson Demers
Amelia Garripoli • Linda Gettmann • Franklin Habit •  Sivia HardingIlisha Helfman
Daniel HerreraAmy Herzog • Mary Scott HuffDeborah Jarchow •  Galina Khmeleva
Kyle KunneckeCatherine LoweJudith MacKenzieNancy MarchantSyne Mitchell
Jillian MorenoJohn Mullarkey • Stephanie Pearl-McPheeDebbi Stone • Jean Wong

Karen Aho comes from Nordic roots and learned to knit as a child.  As owner and guiding force behind Acorn Street Shop for 28 years, Karen was known for her expertise in many of the fiber arts. She has been teaching classes at Acorn Street in Knitting, Crochet, and Needlepoint since 1980, and also teaches at conferences and retreats. Although Karen has passed Acorn Street ownership into new hands, she continues to be involved in the knitting community and enthusiastically shares her vast knowledge with others.

Karen Alfke learned to knit while living in Germany in the 1980’s where she was taught to draft simple garments without patterns. She has since translated that experience into her line of “Unpatterns” which allow knitters to create garments with their own choice of yarn and gauge, based on measurements from favorite sweaters or tops they already own. Long active as a teacher at Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island, she also traveled and taught nationally for many years. She now stays closer to home, working in merchandising and design at Churchmouse — though she loves the chance to get out and teach! See more about Karen and “Unpatterns” at

Sarah Anderson has been fascinated by all things fiber since childhood and is the author of The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs published by Storey Publications which has become the “go-to resource” for spinners. She has contributed to the All New Homespun Handknit book published by Interweave and Spin Off, Handwoven, and PLY magazines. With a fascination for spinning techniques and constructions, Sarah’s enthusiasm for spinning techniques and constructions has driven her to create an extensive library of different yarn constructions that she loves to share with other spinners.  She has taught at SOAR, Madrona, NWRSA’s Spinner’s conference and for many guilds and shops. She has also filmed a new video about “The Building Blocks of Spinning” with Interweave Press.  Sarah lives, spins, knits and weaves in the Pacific Northwest with her husband in a small house FULL of fiber, wheels and spindles.

Janine Bajus, known as Feral Knitter, has been intrigued by the mysterious effects of Fair Isle knitting for years and she loves sharing her obsession by teaching the secrets of color knitting. Her designs have appeared in Color in Knitting (an Interweave eMag) and Sweaters from Camp. She has gathered all her wonderful Fair Isle world into a book, The Joy of Color: Fair Isle Knitting Your Way, soon to be published. You can read about more of her current projects at

Anne Berk was certified by The Knitting Guild of America as a Master Knitter in 2003. Her DVDs, “Inside Intarsia” and “Intarsia InDepth” are available from Interweave.  Annetarsia Knits, newly published is a reference book for learning to knit intarsia flat or in the round, in stockinette or garter stitch. The book includes workshops, a motif library and 28 patterns for using the new techniques. She has written patterns and articles for many publications, including Piecework, Sockupied, Colorknit and Twist Collective. Anne has been a knitting instructor since 1998. She has taught at Sock Summit, Madrona Fiber Arts, and Interweave Knitting Lab and local yarn shops.   Anne is also an optometrist in private practice in Portland, Oregon.  Check out Anne’s website at .

Cat Bordhi has been with Madrona in one way or another since our beginning when she was still teaching her elementary school students to knit. Cat is a person who loves the innocent, unfettered intelligence and sense of wonder that rises in knitters as we explore this sensuous world of pulling loops and rearranging them to create beauty.  She absolutely loves to teach and it is natural for her to perceive each student as their best self. This and her passion for teaching make each workshop whole and fresh. Cat is the author of one novel and the artisan publisher of all eight of her knitting books, as well as a number of single patterns. Since 2005 she has been leading Visionary Retreats, mentoring other knit designers to artisan publish spirited books of unique value. More recently, Cat has been working in South America with indigenous fiber artists. Check out Cat’s website where you will learn more about her adventures in forensic knitting and her amazing work.

Beth Brown-Reinsel has been passionately teaching historic knitting workshops nationally, as well as internationally for over 25 years. Her book Knitting Ganseys is a classic. She has completed three DVD’s: Knitting Ganseys with Beth Brown-Reinsel, Color stranded Knitting Techniques, and Sanquhar Gloves. She loves to prowl the storage section of museums around the world to look at old knitted things for inspiration for her patterns and classes. Beth’s articles and designs have appeared in Threads, Cast On, Interweave Knits, Knitting Traditions, Piecework, Shuttle, Spindle, and Dye Pot, Vogue Knitting and Knitters magazines. She continues to design for her own pattern line Knitting Traditions. She lives in Vermont and loves winter! Beth’s website, blog and eNewsletter can be found at

Nancy Bush found her way to traditional knitting techniques and uses of ethnic patterns via a degree in Art History and post-graduate studies in color design and weaving in San Francisco and Sweden.  Her passion is the wonderful knitting of Estonia.  She has published articles and designs in numerous magazines and is currently a member of “Piecework’s” editorial advisory panel.  She teaches workshops in the United States and abroad.  Nancy is the author of Folk Socks (1994), Folk Knitting in Estonia (1999), Knitting on the Road – Socks for the Traveling Knitter (2001), Knitting Vintage Socks (2005), and Knitted Lace of Estonia (2008) all published by Interweave Press. Find more info at Nancy’s website at

Evelyn A. Clark is a designer who lives in the Pacific Northwest. She left a marketing career to live a simpler life and developed a passion for putting holes in her knitting. Her designs have been published by Fiber Trends, Interweave Press, Knitter’s Magazine, Vogue Knitting, and Leisure Arts and she is the author of Knitting Lace Triangles and of Icelandic Lace Collection e-books. Her designs, patterns, and e-books can be seen on Ravelry and are available at

Y’vonne Cutright is a Master Knitter with TNNA and a member of the Professional Designers Guild.  She has been knitting since elementary school and developed a love of teaching as a school teacher. Y’vonne lives in Portland and has taught all over the Pacific Northwest. Currently she is retired and devoting her time to making custom garments for clients and designing and teaching classes in Portland.

Carson Demers is a physical therapist and ergonomics specialist by day for a San Francisco Bay area medical center. Every other moment, he’s knitting, spinning, designing, or otherwise up to some fiber fun with a watchful eye toward ergonomics. His passion and experience in fiber arts combine with his expertise in physical therapy and ergonomics to create a unique skill set that he eagerly shares with the fiber community to keep us all creating healthfully ever after. Find more about Carson at

Amelia Garripoli “fell” into spinning when she purchased a house that came with two llamas. Since then, her spindle collection has taken over the book case! Amelia runs The Bellwether, a specialty spindle and fiber shop online and at local shows. She is the author of Spindling: The Basics, and is an active mentor in several online spinning groups including Spindlers and Spindlitis. Amelia teaches workshops, private classes, classes at local yarn shops. Visit her website at

Linda Gettmann is a veteran crafts person who escaped from her corporate office in the financial services industry to have more time for her favorite hobbies: kumihimo jewelry, weaving, knitting, scuba diving, and photography. An avid fiber nut, Linda teaches kumihimo and rigid heddle weaving at many festivals and events in the Pacific Northwest and belongs to several weaving and knitting guilds in Southwest Washington and Oregon. Her kumihimo necklaces, felted hats and handwoven scarves are now for sale at several Made in Oregon stores. She also sells her creations at local art fairs and boutiques under the name “Fiber Art Designs”.  You can see her winning rigid heddle scarf and kumihimo necklace combination, “Golden Sunset”, in the Sept./Oct. 2013 issue of Handwoven Magazine. She is always on the lookout for new ideas, and enjoys teaching others and experimenting in the realm of fiber arts.

Franklin Habit is a writer, illustrator, photographer and author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). He is the proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet, On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep. He recently founded Yarn Shaming (, because while he loves yarn, yarn does not always love him. Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective, and regular columns for, PLY Magazine and Lion Brand Yarns.  Several of his independently published designs are available via

Franklin travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, Stitches Midwest and East and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat. These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with an Ashford spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.

Sivia Harding has worked in fiber art ever since she can remember.  Obsessed since youth, by adulthood she dabbled in weaving, spinning, and dyeing, but only learned how to knit in the year 2000. Almost immediately, she began to design. Sivia is known mainly for her exceptional lace bead designs, although her patterns also include accessories, garments, and imaginative Moebius creations. She has been widely published in books and collections, including Jared Flood’s Wool People series, online magazines such as Twist Collective and Knitty, and on Ravelry.  Sivia is known as an enthusiastic, warm instructor, and really enjoys the cross-pollination of ideas that happens in class setting.  See Sivia’s patterns and work on her website at .

Ilisha Helfman is a graduate of Smith College and the Yale University School of Design. She has been knitting quietly and creatively for over 40 years, has shown her knitted work in galleries in NY and Portland and had her collages in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Great Britain. Ilisha has a chapter in Knitting Art by Karen Searle (Voyageur Press, 2008) and has a book called Jazzknitting: An Introduction. She has worked as a Graphic Designer, Textile Designer and Toy Maker and currently is involved in making miniatures. For a more indepth look at Ilisha’s range of creative work, especially those using her JazzKnitting technique check

Daniel Herrera is amazingly versed in all forms of knitting, crochet, and needlework. His first experiences in the fiber arts was while traveling through Central America as a young child and absorbing everything he could about fiber arts. His love of fiber arts and cultures lead him to continue traveling with the US Navy before settling in Seattle.  Daniel thrives on puzzles and clarifying instructions to help find the key to move you forward. He is the best-kept secret in Seattle. He is on-call to a number of designers for technical editing and test knitting and has taught classes from absolute beginning to theoretical knitting.  His newest class Modern Knitting Techniques and Methods has been designed to demystify the techniques you aren’t frequently using and help you know when they can be of assistance in your knitting toolbox. Knitting and designing for over 30 years, Daniel is our resident expert at the Knitting Help Clinic at Madrona and available to consult on any of your knitting or crochet problems that have you stumped. Find Daniel in the Rotunda near the Market on Saturday and Sunday.

Amy Herzog is passionate about sweaters people love to wear. She is the author of Knit to Flatter (STC Craft, 2013) and designs sweaters that flatter the figure and are easy to modify.  She is also a knitting expert on American Public Television’s “Knit and Crochet Now.” She teaches classes across the country and on, and her figure-flattering pattern designs have been published in Twist Collective, Knitscene, Interweave Knits, Knitty and more.  After several years of teaching knitting classes, she realized that knitters will skip modification math if they can, but would really like to wear sweaters that fit them well. So she created CustomFit, a website that produces custom sweater patterns. It can be found at To learn more about Amy, visit her website at

Mary Scott Huff is the author of five knitting books: The New Stranded Colorwork, Teach Yourself Visually Color Knitting, Fun and Fantastical Hats to Knit, Fun and Fantastical Slippers to Knit, and The Creative Kids Photo Guide to Knitting. An Information Technology refugee, Mary now leads a yarn-centered life. The many friends she’s found along the way have helped her become a nationally-recognized designer, teach and author. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Mary shares a wee little house there with her husband, two children, some Scottish Terriers and more yarn than is strictly necessary.  Join Mary and her adventures playing with string at

Deborah Jarchow discovered weaving in 1996 after many years of teaching, knitting and crochet and her love of fiber, texture and color came together.  Since then she has worked full time as a weaver and artist, including teaching, creating and selling wearable art, giving lectures, and showing in local, regional and national exhibits. Since 2004 she has been an artist in residence, teacher and weaver at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo CA. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country and she’s won numerous awards and written articles for national publications. She has taught at many national conferences and loves helping fiber enthusiasts discover the joy of weaving. See Deborah’s work at her website

Galina Khmeleva, owner of Skaska Designs and author of Gossamer Webs – The History and Techniques of Orenburg Lace Shawls and Gossamer Webs – The Design Collection, has earned the reputation as one of the most respected and knowledgable lace knitting instructors in the country.  As a former clothing and costume designer who worked with the “aristrocracy” of St. Petersburg’s music and theater society, Galina was a pioneer in breaking down barriers in the “new” Russia that allowed Russian women the opportunity to achieve ownership status in private companies. As the principal student to Orenburg’s lace knitting elite, Galina brings the classic style and revered traditional knitting techniques of Russian lace to her classes.  Her unique, inspiring and fun-loving teaching style has made her a favorite of lace students across the US and an unforgettable cultural experience. To find out more about Galina and her work visit

Kyle Kunnecke is a San Francisco designer and has a not-so-secret passion for color work. Tirelessly creative, he puts himself to sleep at night dreaming of new design concepts, collaborations and outreach projects. Through his fiber workshops he provides inspiration to his students; exploring the skills necessary to continue their personal knitting journeys. His patterns are published in numerous knitting books and magazines, by yarn companies and under his own label, Kyle William.  His first book with Interweave is scheduled for release August, 2016  Learn more about Kyle and his work at

Catherine Lowe is known for her original and unique construction techniques and her pairing of luxury fiber with elegant design. She has developed an approach to hand-knitting that rethinks the traditional technical and design vocabularies of the hand-knitter and translates the distinctive elements of haute couture dressmaking into refined techniques. Her designs have appeared in Vogue Knitting and in Interweave Knits. Her articles on couture knitting technique have been featured in Vogue Knitting, and she has been profiled in Interweave Knits, Knitting Lessons by Lela Nargi, and in KnitKnit: Profiles + Projects from Knitting’s New Wave by Sabrina Gschwandtner. See all that Catherine has to offer at

Judith MacKenzie is a nationally known teacher, master weaver, spinner, dyer and fiber artist now living in the State of Washington. Judith teaches as only she can— with depth of knowledge honed by years of practice, scientific and historical knowledge, patience, creative informality, personal perspective, great humor, and hands-on expertise that demystifies any process. Classes with Judith are an experience in learning the story behind every fiber and process. Judith is a regularly featured author in Spin-Off Magazine and she has published a book, Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning. Her second book The Intentional Spinner published in 2009 by Interweave Press became an instant best seller. You can now experience a Judith workshop in your own home with one or more of Judith’s best selling spinning DVDs released by Interweave Press. You will experience the history of each process as it has been performed through the ages and come away with a depth of knowledge that raises your skill towards excellence.

Nancy Marchant, a.k.a. the Queen of Brioche, was born in Indiana but now lives and works, as a graphic designer, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has written articles and designed for Vogue Knitting/Designer Knitting and Interweave Knits, as well as a number of Dutch knitting magazines. She is the author of Knitting Brioche, which is the first and only knitting book devoted exclusively to the brioche stitch as well as her new book Knitting Fresh Brioche. She maintains a website on brioche at

Syne Mitchell is the author of Inventive Weaving, a book that explores the furthest reaches of what you can weave on a rigid heddle loom. She is the host of the online radio show WeaveCast, and for several years published an online magazine for handweavers, WeaveZine. You can keep up with her latest adventures in fiber at

Jillian Moreno is passionate about making things with handspun yarn. She is perpetualy curious and loves to dissect creative processes. She loves to inspire other spinners to think a little differently. Jillian is the editor of Knittyspin and ad manager and catalyst of Knitty Magazine. This means she is often the brains behind the exciting new ideas implemented at Knitty and is a key par to the success the magazine has enjoyed over the past 12 years. She is a regular contributor to Ply Magazine and currently sits on the editorial board. Jillian has been a knitter forever, and a spinner almost as long.  She touches fiber everyday. She is working on a spinning book for Storey Publishing that is due out in 2016.  Jillian likes vintage dresses, British murder mysteries and if you ever go into a bookstore with her, don’t expect to leave empty handed. She lives in a house well insulated with fiber and books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Find out more about what Jillian is doing at

John Mullarkey has been spinning and tablet weaving for nearly a decade. He has had works displayed in the Missouri History Museum and won awards from Interweave for garments featured in Handwoven magazine.  He has developed software (freely available on his website at that enables one to easily design tablet weaving patterns.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is a writer, mother, blogger, knitting humorist, and philosopher and the author of seven funny books about knitting, one of which spent a glorious week at the very bottom of the New York Times bestseller’s list. Another book will be published soon and on to knitting fame. The real mystery is how Stephanie manages to knit, spin and weave when she is writing so many books. Stephanie has knitters around the world laughing out loud and reveals the real truth about obsessive love of knitting and its culture. Along the way, she imparts her unique perspective that clears up many a knitting mystery and shines light onto some of life’s secrets. Most of all it is important to have fun and in Stephanie’s world there are no mistakes only opportunities to knit more. After all, “Knitting is not defusing a bomb!” Stephanie lives in Toronto, Canada and has dedicated herself to support Doctors without Borders enlisting knitters worldwide into Tricoteuses Sans Frontières/Knitters without Borders. Together they have donated more than 1 million dollars to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders. She keeps the blog in her inestimable spare time.

Debbi Stone having learned to knit and crochet at an early age from both of her grandmothers, fiber arts have always been an important part of her life.  Debbi’s designs can be found on Ravelry at “The Stitches of My Life Designs” and she goes by the name of “cockeyed” for obvious reasons.  She chronicles her family and her designs at and lives in rural northwest Oregon with her husband and her brown dog, Porter.

Jean Wong is a NAC certified knitting instructor trained by the rigorous Japanese Nihon Vogue Knitting Association. The certification took four years and allows the certificate holder the privilege to teach others to become instructors. Her wealth of experience includes over 20 years of teaching, and her patient ways are an encouragement to any knitter. Have you ever seen a pattern that you really liked, but either couldn’t find the yarn the pattern called for or wanted to use a different type of yarn with a different gauge and didn’t know how to make the adjustment? With Jean’s courses, you can now break free and use yarns of your choice. Jean’s Nihon Vogue course offers techniques that also produce a professional finished look. Her step-by-step instruction will enable both beginner and master knitters to customize projects to fit. Currently in Vancouver, Canada Jean teaches 4 levels of instruction courses of varying degrees of difficulty along with a number of year-round certificate courses that, upon graduation, will equip you to teach these techniques. Jean has a DVD, Knitting with Jean: Professional Finishing Techniques, and more information is available on her website