A Lifelong teacher, musician, lover of science, avid horseman, and all things fiber. Since opening the
Spinning Loft and later moving home to our farm studio Gate House Fiber Arts, I have continued helping people on their fiber journey. The past several years my personal interest has been in tapestry, including designs of petite tapestries, Navajo style weaving, and recently floor loom tapestry designs, sometimes I spin my own yarns to get a blend of color that enhances my work. Tapestry designs can be planned in detail, or you can let your work evolve as you weave. I'm excited to share my passion with you.
KAREN has been crocheting and knitting since she was 12 years old. For 15 years she was a craft leader for her Church’s Vacation Bible School Day Camp with as many as 160 children. Spinning and weaving have been part of her life for about 25 years. She learned Naal binding to participate in Viking age reenactments. She has been part of the Weaver’s Guild of Kalamazoo for 22 years as well as a past president of the guild and the current Education Chair. Nothing makes Karen more happy than teaching and showing others the skills she enjoys! KAL was a craft leader for his Church’s Vacation Bible School Day camp for 5 years. He’s been a weaver for 7 years and creates and makes potholders and weaves rugs. He also enjoys lucet cording and needle felting. A member of the Weavers Guild of Kalamazoo for 7 years, he is the chair of the Service Bureau and enjoys demonstrating historical fiber crafts and learning about the different things you can do with fiber. Add beginning spinner with a working knowledge of the supported spindle to his interests. KAREN and KAL are both demonstrators for historical sites around Michigan and for the Weavers Guild Service Bureau.
KAL and KAREN VANDERWEELE
Lisa has enjoyed fiber arts, including sewing, quilting, crocheting, and knitting, as an avocation since childhood. In recent years, she has led workshops in needle felting and wet felting with an emphasis on wool fiber from a diversity of breeds of sheep produced in Michigan and Wisconsin. She takes delight in creative learning and teaching with other fiber arts explorers. Most recently she completed a wet felting workshop with the internationally renowned fiber artist, Natalya Brashovetska. Lisa is a member of the International Feltmakers Association.
Pegg Thomas started knitting at age 9 in her local 4-H club. She has been spinning her own yarns since the tender age of 16 after she purchased a pair of English Angora rabbits to show in 4-H. From there she switched to French Angora rabbits and then to Border Leicester sheep. Drafting and Design captured Pegg’s interest in high school and she went on to study at Lake Superior State University. However, her love with design went into a direction she never imagined. She started charting her own counted cross stitch designs. Published in numerous counted cross magazines throughout the 1980s and 1990s, when cross stitch started to slump in popularity, Pegg took her design skills and her love of knitting and started creating her own knitting patterns. Today, Pegg creates her signature wool shawls from the fibers of her own flock of sheep. With the release of each new book, one of her newsletter subscribers is chosen to win the shawl that is themed to go with the new book.
Tina is a fifth generation Detroiter who landed on a small farm in Howell, graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in interior design. She is known for her unique needle felted sculptures such as a hat covered with a coral reef, and fantasy birds from 7 inches to 7 feet tall. Tina had a booth at our festival in 2022 filled with felting wool & supplies along with other felted sculptures. She appreciates this opportunity to nurture others in the art of needle felting chickens and peas & carrots!
2023 is Julie’s first year teaching fiber arts outside of Arizona. She has teaching contracts with Interweave (Interweave Milwaukee, May), Prairie City Fiber Festival (Prairie City, OR, July) and Wisconsin Sheep & Wool (Jefferson, WI, Sept).
Kathy started weaving baskets over 30 years ago. She has owned The Basket Sampler in Highland, MI since 2007. There are many styles of baskets that interest her, from simple pencil baskets to more complicated twill patterns. She often incorporates yarns and fibers into her baskets. She teaches all age groups from preschool to senior citizens. You can see some of her work at her website www.thebasketsampler.com
Nancy owns and operates Wilder Creek Workshop. She creates hand crafted decorative and functional brooms from natural products. Beauty and craftsmanship go hand in hand. She also makes wood and crocheted items. She was a vendor at the 2022 Kerstmarkt in Holland, MI. This is her 2nd year instructing a festival class.
Stephanie Carrico, aka knitsabout, finds it hard to contain her knitting passion and as a result has been knitting all around the globe, and in all forms of transportation. The majority of her knitting now takes place on a boat in Florida or at her cottage in Northern Michigan, although if you find her sitting anywhere else for long, you’re likely to find knitting in her hands.
She has had patterns published in Knitters Magazine, has self-published her designs on Ravelry, and has taught knitting workshops at the Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool Festival. A retired middle school science teacher, she enjoys sharing her passion for knitting with others.