Abby Franquemont, author of bestselling spinning book Respect The Spindle, is steeped in the fiber arts since birth. The daughter of field anthropologists studying textile production, she was raised largely in the rural Andes of Peru, where she learned to spin, weave and more starting at the age of five.In 2006, she left a successful career in information technology in order to write and teach full-time about the fiber arts, particularly spinning. Why spinning? Abby says it's the most fundamental of the fiber arts – the one upon which the most others depend – as well as the most at risk of being lost and the hardest to pass down in any way other than hand to hand. Abby is technical, passionate, inquisitive, and informed; she has taught individuals and groups of all ages, skill levels, and combinations thereof. Her classes are among the first to sell out wherever she goes; her book, instructional DVDs, magazine articles, and blog are widely recommended; and her down-to-earth approach is empowering for students of all levels. Abby has taught and lectured at large events including The National Needlearts Association (TNNA), Golden Gate Fiber Institute, the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR), Sock Summit, the Taos Wool Festival, and New York State Sheep & Wool (Rhinebeck), Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF), Fibre East in Bedfordshire, UK; not to mention many of the finest fiber, knitting, and crafting shops in the USA, along with weaving, spinning and knitting guilds nationwide and a select group of private retreats, seminars and workshops. Her writing has appeared in Spin-Off, Spindlicity, Interweave Knits, Twist Collective, Entangled, SpinKnit, Knitty, and more.
Alisha Reyes, owner of Fiber Circle Studio, began her fiber journey at age 17 with a first project of knitting a pair of socks. Eleven years later, she's found herself immersed in the world of fiber arts and provides the community with a space to learn, share and evolve creatively!
Gwen Powell holds the HGA Certificate of Excellence Master in Handspinning. Gwen began teaching basketry at age ten and all the other fiber arts she picked up along the way. Currently she teaches all ages to knit, crochet, weave, spin and sew. Working with Henry Clemes together they re-invented the carding board into a safe useful tool for fiber preparation for handspinners and felters. Gwen is occasionally published in PLY Magazine, Spin-Off and is the author of Blending Board Basics and Beyond.
A lifelong woodworker and small business owner, Henry has been building fiber art equipment for over 45 years and drum carders for over 40 years. His family has introduced many innovations to the fiber arts community and their equipment is known for being not only thoughtfully engineered but visually pleasing and durable as well. He and his son, Roy, regularly consult and instruct spinners, felters, fiber growers, and professional fiber artists in the use of drum carders for fiber prep.
Kira Dulaney has been teaching knitting and crochet classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond since 2002. As a teacher, her focus is on providing valuable information in a stress-free environment, and supporting students through the learning process. She is also the designer behind Kira K Designs, a line of original knitting and crochet patterns featuring clean lines and intriguing details that are both interesting to make and easy to wear.
Michelle Russell-Delezene has been growing her own dye garden, making plant pigments, and playing with natural colors for many years. She secretly has a goal of illuminating a manuscript with homemade pigments on homemad parchment.
My passion is hand spinning, and I will do it above and beyond everything else! It is my meditation, my creative spark, my center. I have been spinning for more than 30 years and have been teaching for more than 15. I spin with a technical perspective based on my degrees in engineering and math. I am also a weaver and knitter, and have taught both topics extensively. I want others to embrace the magic of spinning both in a technical way - as in, spinning exactly what you intend to! - and in a meditative way as part of engaging the body in order to calm the mind.
Sandi Young has raised an award winning herd of Angora Goats for hand spinning fiber for 26 years. She uses their fleece in her fiber art - both yarn and garments - that are sold throughout the Bay Area.
Sharon has been weaving, carding and spinning since the 1970s and learned how to felt from her sister, Carin Engen, in 2008. Over the last decade she has perfected her technique and has taught thousands of students how to felt. She enjoys both nuno and wet felting and uses needle felting sparingly to add detail to her vibrant art pieces. She has also raised sheep, and is an avid dyer (including acid, indigo and botanical) of fibers ranging from wool to silk to cotton. Her pieces have been featured in Mary Janes Farm, Belle Armoir, Blue Line Arts Gallery and the Sacramento Center for Fine Arts, where she has also served as a judge. In her early days of spinning and weaving, Sharon took lessons from Bert Barrow and Monique Anglin. In recent years, she has taken workshops from U.S. and Europe based fiber artists including Annalisa Hedgestrom, India Flint, Leiko Uchiyama, Nicola Brown and Melissa Arnold. She looks forward to teaching at her first ever Lambtown Festival.
Stephenie Gaustad began working in textile arts at the tender age of 8. She began weaving and spinning in 1972 and has been teaching fiber arts: spinning, weaving, and dyeing since 1974. She has taught across the US and Canada. In 2001, she illustrated Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning. Thirteen years later she wrote and illustrated her own, Practical Spinners Guide to Cotton, Flax and Hemp. When asked her favorite spinning fiber she responds, laughing, “The one in my hand.” When asked, “What do you like to do best: to spin, weave, dye, or teach?” Her answer is, “Yes!”