Welcome to the Wonders of Wool Classes and Instructors section for the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Our Wonders of Wool classes are a wonderful staple of our festival year after year, and the full list of classes is shown below once the class schedule is finalized. Our class instructors are shown on the Instructors tab, and if you are interested in becoming an instructor, please click on the Instructor Proposal tab to fill out our online form.
Click on a class name in the list below to see full details about the class. Look for “Register Now” on the detail page once registration for classes begins in June. Once classes fill, “Register Now” will be replaced with “Class Full.”
Nancy has been spinning and raising sheep for 32 years and Angora rabbits for 27 years. She lives in the Missouri ozarks and is a popular teacher in the Midwest. She has been awarded two Sustainable Agriculture Awards; one is for her Angora/wool socks.
Lynne Bergschultz began her career as an art educator in the public schools and 'retired' when she became a mom. She then worked for many years as a freelance illustrator and designer. About 15 years ago Lynne discovered polymer clay and since then has produced countless sets of buttons, shawl pins and jewelry. Her work has been published in national magazines and sold in galleries, shops and festivals. Lynne loves to teach and share her enthusiasm for polymer and the creative process.
Melissa is one half of the fiber arts duo that runs Hello Purl. She has been carding and creating textured art yarns since she began spinning in 2010. She loves to blend colors and textures in her fiber work and has been exploring all aspects of fiber arts with hand weaving and embroidery. She also loves to knit with chunky art yarns and on needles larger then US 10. In addition to her fiber arts business, Melissa enjoys spending time on her little homestead with her husband, two boys, ten chickens and four cats.
Kelly started on her wool craft odyssey in 1975 with four horned Dorset sheep which came to her five acre homestead in Lake Odessa "just to keep the pasture down". In the spring, she fell in love with the lustrous fleece revealed by the shearer's work. She designed a queen sized picture quilt top and hand carded the filling to make her first comforter. She had so much fun with for her first project that she went looking for more things to do with her fleeces. She taught herself locker hooking, felting, and hand spinning and is still exploring knitting, crocheting, weaving and other fiber skills. Through her fiber based cottage business, Team Effort Artisans, Kelly has shown and sold fine wool craft at shows, galleries, and festivals. Her enthusiasm for sharing fiber craft and animals has led Kelly to teach spinning and felting to children and adults at festivals and schools throughout the Midwest. For examples of her work, please visit www.teameffortartisans.com. Prospective students are invited to contact her with questions about the content of her classes at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 616-374-7176.
Heidi grew up in an artistic household. She learned to sew, knit and weave before going off to college to further her study of weaving and dying. Her life has been spent increasing her knowledge of different techniques. She has experimented with most fiber processes and loves to combine them to achieve her desired end. The last 15 years she has become more serious about jewelry and working with wire in various ways including making it. She conducted her first workshops in the mid 70s, took time off for family and children and now teaches throughout the Midwest.
This class will be taught by the tag team of Henry and Roy Clemes. A lifelong woodworker and small business owner, Henry has been building fiber art equipment for over 45 years and drum carders for 38 years. Roy grew up in his family’s woodshop and is one of the few thirty-year-olds with 25 years of experience in his field. Together they have 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. They regularly consult and instruct spinners, felters, fiber growers, and professional fiber artists in the use of drum carders for fiber prep.
My name is Jill Colbert and I have a small fiber farm in Minnesota. I love fiber and creating with fiber!
Rosie Dittmann has been felting for over 20 years. She has taken many workshops around the country and is still learning and experimenting with this ever-evolving craft. Her latest works have incorporated handmade paper and sumi ink to felt wall hangings, vessels and scarves.
As a fiber artist, ILR-SD Llama Fleece Judge, interior designer and owner of Forrest Ridge Fibers, I have been involved with fiber since my first purchase of Forrester, Llama in 1996. Since then Forrest Ridge Llamas and Alpacas houses 4 llamas, 2 alpacas and I sheep for a variety of natural, eco-friendly fibers. My specialty is needle felting soft sculptures and fiber art. The techniques I use are hand spinning, wet felting, needle felting, braiding, weaving, hand dying and dry felting to create pieces for fiber art with soft expression and depth. All of my designs are one-of-a-kind, inspired by nature and the coulee regions of Wisconsin. All fiber has a purpose and my passion is to work with a variety of fleeces while being a part of our heritage culture of handcrafting with fiber. Education about fiber has been through classes at tri-county fiber studios and llama farms, Wisconsin and Kentucky Sheep and Wool Festivals, WTC Junior college, as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin llama conferences and workshops. I am a member of Three Rivers Spinning and Weaving Guild, Left Bank Art Gallery, International Lama Registry, and Midwest Lama Association. My Fiber Art Booth received the People's Choice Award at ArtSpire in La Crosse, WI 2014.
I could crochet and knit as a child but preferred knitting... lots of sewing... and beads, don’t know at what age I actually started any of it but, it was always in my life. In the 60’s we moved our young family to the country and soon began raising sheep, having our own fiber fit right in and then along came spinning and weaving in the 70‘s. I began loom weaving in the early 80’s and soon started giving workshops which lead to teaching weaving at Carl Sandburg College in Illinois. Over time I’ve broken down many types of weaving to simple workshops giving them places like Dickson Mounds Native American Museum, at major festivals like the MichIgan Fiber Fest, Wisconsin Spin In, Illinois, Indiana and several fiber events in Missouri. This was my 14th year weaving in Tennessee as a historic craftsman at Dollywood's Harvest Fest in the month of October. My goal is to be a good beginning instructor and to set students off on a solid path into their weaving experience. I have not settled on any one type of weaving but go from the smallest miniatures to rag and wool rugs. In 2000 I moved from Western Illinois to NE Missouri and fenced in the yard for my llamas so we could grow old together. And we have!
An artist, teacher, life long learner, Jan taught K-12 art for years. In 1996, a major illness was discovered but with lots of treatments, including art therapy, good health was restored. She found her artistic voice in wet felting: making, learning, evolving. She's had work placed in juried exhibits, teaches different age groups, shows her work, and continues to learn from artists in the felting field. Her website is: wwwjanfalkart.com.
Ron Feld has been carving wood on and off since high school. His background includes foreman in a wood furniture factory and owner of a photography studio for thirty-plus years. He has seriously been carving for the last 20 years. Since retirement he has taken classes with ten different nationally known instructors. He is a member of the Kettle Karvers of Sheboygan County. Most recently he has been teaching elementary and youth classes, providing weekly classes at the Sheboygan Senior Activity Center for adults and instructing at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival.
Since 1985 Nancy has shared her love of weaving and fiber arts with hundreds of students through the Sheboygan Recreation Dept., from beginners to advanced students, ages 6 – 86! She has also presented weaving programs for various guilds and teaches during the summer at Sievers School of Fiber Arts. She has won several Merit Awards at the Sheboygan County Fair; in addition she has won various awards at WHI Annual Shows and MWA Conferences including two “Weaving for the Home” Awards of Excellence from Interweave Press. Her work has been juried into the JMK Arts Six Counties Shows. A very active member of the Sheboygan Shuttlecraft Guild, Nancy was also Co-Chair of the 2005 Midwest Weavers Conference.
Mary has been a knitter most of her life, has been teaching knitting, weaving, and other fiber arts since 1983, and was owner of The Wool Works, a yarn shop in Milwaukee, from 1985-1996. Inspired by a Latvian friend, Mary published a pattern on Latvian knitting in Piecework magazine. Trips to Latvia since 2001 and Estonia since 2005 have provided Mary with more knitting inspiration. Mary has self-published several books (some together with Sandy De Master) and teaches throughout the Midwest, including at Sievers School of Fiber Arts since 1999. Farther abroad, Mary has made trips to both coasts to present classes on Latvian Mittens and other knitting topics.
Robin is an award winning full time festival craftsman working Fiber Festivals in the Midwest, having recently served as Instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Inspired by Tolkien’s Legendarium, he started carving Ents, Wizards and Castles after reading the Hobbit four decades ago. Woodcarving, woodturning, hand built ceramics, hot and cold glass, coppersmithing, enameling, broom making, tool making, spinning & Navajo Style Weaving are current specialties. Teaching the traditional crafts is a passion. He also conducts a lively online trade in ‘Heirloom Quality Hand Made Fiber Tools’.
Teresa and her husband Robin both retired from corporate-type jobs and bought a small farm in central Illinois. She has enjoyed fiber arts for most of her life: sewing since her teens, rug hooking since 1980 and spinning and weaving since 1994. Since retirement, her focus has been on expanding and improving on her fiber skills and learning to care for her flock of Finn and Shetland sheep.
Jane Grogan has been fascinated with fiber since she ran across the tales of spinning straw into gold in fairy tales. Her fascination with spinning was realized in the mid 1970s. Jane started weaving on a 4-shaft table loom in 1979, but it wasn't until she acquired a 7-foot triangle loom in 1990 that she found her dream tool. The "instant" warp while you weave has provided endless hours of fascination. Jane has since added smaller size looms to her collection which are perfect for on the go projects. Jane has held workshops on continuous strand weaving technique at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, Black Sheep Gathering, Madison Knitters’ Guild Knit-In, the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, Silver Creek Alpaca Fiber on the Farm, and the Wisconsin Alpaca and Fiber Fest.
Mary Jo Harris lives in the knitting Mecca of Madison, WI. She has been a teacher all of her adult life and has formally taught knitting for the last 10 years at various sheep and wool festivals, fiber festivals, Knit-In's, Madison College, and the Wisconsin Craft Market. For the past 7 years, she has included Chair Caning classes in her teaching repertoire and has taught local classes in addition to classes at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival, Shepherd’s Harvest, Missouri Fiber Retreat, and Michigan Fiber Festival. Under her designer name of Jo Harris, Mary Jo designs knitting patterns and has written a book entitled 'Double Knitting - Inside Out' which is available through Amazon or Ravelry. An active member of the Madison Knitters’ Guild and an employee of the Wisconsin Craft Market, Mary Jo has an almost constant opportunity to discuss anything and everything knitting-related.
Linda Harwood is self taught in the early American art of rug hooking. Her skill and eye for color have brought commissions both in America and internationally. The themes, texture and color of the rural landscape emerge in her work, influenced by her family life on a sheep and cattle farm. "In my hooking I use recycled wool as well as new material and over-dye the wool for more interest. I have been hooking for over thirty years and teaching since the early 1990s." As a fiber artist Linda has enjoyed sharing her knowledge with others and her work has bee seen in magazines, books and on television. Visit her web at www.harwoodhookedonewe.com.
Stefania has been a life-long knitter, and started spinning and dying to supply herself with “the best yarns in the world!” She got her Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning from the Handweaver’s Guild of America in 1997. Since then she has opened her own business called Handspun by Stefania and taught numerous workshops dealing in natural dyes, spinning, knitting, and basket making. She has spoken about the fiber arts to numerous groups, and has appeared on Home & Garden TV as a guest on the Carol Duvall Show. She sells handspun, natural hand dyed yarns, original knitting kits using her own yarns and patterns, hand dyed roving dyed with natural dyes, and handmade baskets. She was previously a high school English teacher, and now enjoys teaching spinning, dyeing, and knitting to fiber enthusiasts. Most recently, Stefania has authored a book on natural dyeing, titled In Search of the Perfect Green–And Orange, Too!
Jill Johnson is the Shepherd and creative force behind RiverWinds Farm, a small farm dedicated to high quality Cormo and Bluefaced Leicester sheep and wool. Jill combines the art of wet felting, embroidery and beading to create original art pieces and wearables.
Deb is an enthusiastic hand spinner and teaches spinning workshops throughout the region, including at Sievers School of Fiber Arts and The Clearing. She is owner of The Fiber Garden, a year-round fiber arts school and shop that has been featured in American Small Farm, Impressions, and Positive Thinking magazines. She is also a travel consultant hosting travel tours focused on the fiber arts. For Deb it’s all a means to promote fiber arts and combine her love of spinning, dyeing, teaching and country living!
Letty Klein has been making custom braided rugs from roving for almost 20 years. She has raised Karakul sheep since 1982 on Pine Lane Farm outside of Kalamazoo. and has judged sheep and fleece shows all across the country. She is on the Michigan Sheep Breeders Association Board of Directors. A graduate of Michigan State University, with a degree in Microbiology, she is a retired research scientist from Upjohn/Pfizer Animal Health. She has a regular column in the Black Sheep Newsletter. Along with co-author Ann Brown they have conducted rug braiding workshops all across the country since their book "The Shepherd's Rug - a braided wool rug from roving" was published in 2006.
The Krause’s started the family’s llama farm, Pine Knoll Llamas located in Clintonville, back in 1988. Her passion for fiber started with a llama outing where Kathy saw llama fiber being combed. An “internal switch” was flipped on that she says changed her life forever! She now shears around 30 llamas a year and processes her own wools/fibers. Kathy states that she loves every aspect of wool and all levels of processing, saying “There’s no greater joy than to take a fleece and to work with it to see the finished product.” She is one of the founders of “fiber thing," an event that was held annually in Shawano, Wisconsin and still remains a committee member of the current “fiber thing” event now called “Winter Weekend Warm-up”. Kathy, and her husband Dick, have opened a retail yarn/spinning shop called The Copper Llama. The shop is located on their property in an old restored 1300 sq. ft. shed which offers a full line of yarns and accessories, rovings and fibers for the knitter/spinner/felter. Kathy is also a member of the Shawano Knitting Guild and Saxony Spinners.
Bev has been weaving since 1988 and teaching since 1999. She loves to share the joy of basket weaving with those around her and has done so by teaching in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and the Caribbean on the Basket Weaving Cruises. Making basket weaving fun, relaxing, and inspiring is her goal. In 2003 she won the Eiteljorg Museums Weavers Challenge and in 2009 added broom making as an outshoot of weaving and it too is now a passion. In 2016 she received the honor of becoming an Indian Artisan in both basketry and broom making.
Kate Larson loves using fiber arts as a bridge between her passions for art and agriculture. Her fiber journey has led her to a degree in soil chemistry, travels through northern Europe in search of textile traditions, and back to the farm where her family has lived for six generations. She keeps an ever-growing flock of Border Leicester sheep and teaches handspinning and knitting regularly in central Indiana and around the country. Kate is the author of The Practical Spinner's Guide: Wool (Interweave, 2015) and several videos, including How to Make Yarn to Knit (Interweave, 2016). Her articles and designs have appeared in Spin-Off Magazine, Jane Austen Knits, Enchanted Knits, Knitting Sweaters from Around the World, and more. Follow her woolly adventures at KateLarsonTextiles.com.
With over 1000 designs in print, Melissa Leapman is one of the most widely-published American crochet and knit designers at work today. As a freelance designer, she’s worked with leading ready-to-wear design houses in New York City. Also, top yarn companies commission Melissa to create designs promoting their new and existing yarns each season; her popular patterns and name recognition help them sell yarn. Leapman is the author of several bestselling knit and crochet books, including Cables Untangled, Mastering Color Knitting, and Knitting the Perfect Fit (all published by Random House). She is the author of The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook (Random House/Potter Craft, 2013), a comprehensive knitting stitch dictionary, includes favorite patterns gathered over her more than 25 years in the industry. It’s the go to book for professionals and lay persons alike. Two crochet books launched in 2016: Melissa Leapman’s Indispensible Stitch Collection for Crocheters and Designer Crochet Accessories. In February 2017, her largest and most important work to date, 6000+ Pullover Possibilities was released. This book offers interchangeable sweater pieces to allow the reader to knit customized women’s sweaters in nearly any gauge and in nearly every size. Melissa has been a featured guest on numerous television shows, is the host of several Leisure Arts knitting and crocheting DVDs, and has written many crochet and knit leaflets for Leisure Arts and Annie's. Additionally, her designs are popular on web-based venues such as Craftsy, Ravelry, and Mainly Crochet. Nationally, her workshops are popular with crafters of all levels. She teaches at every major knitting and crochet event, including STITCHES, VKLive, and the CGOA/TKGA shows, as well as at nearly every TNNA industry trade show for the past twelve years. Additionally, she has appeared at hundreds of yarn shops and local guild events across the country, working approximately 25 events every year, including one or two knit/crochet cruises. To keep up with Leapman and her designs, and to have a sneak peek into her world, “like” her page on Facebook and join her fan group on Ravelry.com (Melissa Leapman Rocks). Leapman has just launched several Craftsy classes. Sign up to get Melissa’s personal attention as you learn—and master—new techniques!
Jillian Moreno, author of Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want, loves to spin yarn and knit, weave and stitch with it. She enthusiastically encourages her students and readers to feel confidence and joy making and using their handspun.She can’t stop writing and teaching about spinning, wool, yarn and making things. If you can’t find her in person you can find her in her best-selling Craftsy class, Ply to Knit and several Interweave spinning videos. Jillian is the editor of Knittyspin, writes and designs regularly for PLY Magazine and Spin Off Magazine. When she isn’t traveling to teach, she can be found wantonly basking in her stash in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Keep up with her fiber exploits at jillianmoreno.com.
Chiaki O'Brien is a SAORI Leader Committee Certificate Recipient. She graduated from the SAORI one-year course and worked at the SAORI head office in Japan until moving to Minnesota in 2004. She teaches at fiber festivals in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and South Dakota every year and is a teaching artist for The Textile Center (Minnesota), the Weavers Guild of Minnesota, and others. She taught at the Midwest Weavers Conference 2015 in St. Paul and the Michigan League of Handweavers Conference in 2015. She was a resident artist of the Blake School (Private school in Minnesota) in the 2015-16 school year and has taught Pre-K through 12th grade levels. Also a teacher of Bengala Mud Dye techniques, Chiaki received the Jerome Fiber Artists Project Grant in 2012 and went to Japan to study Bengala Dye. She enjoys teaching both SAORI and Bengala Dye to people of any age and ability!
Esther started knitting in 4-H and from there went on to spin and weave just about every fiber available. She began raising silkworms about 10 years ago and fell in love with the whole process of watching the silkworms spin their cocoons and then processing the cocoons into yarn or thread and ultimately into a finished silk scarf or shirt. She has demonstrated silk reeling at schools and museums and has taught workshops on both silk reeling and making silk mawatas (hankies and caps).
Mary Scott is an avid fiberholic! After a very successful career in public education and teaching student teachers, her son's '"4-H project gone amuck" took over her life! She had one of the largest wool flocks in Virginia for many years and was the weaver at George Washington's Mount Vernon for eight. She was the weaver at the State Fair of Virginia and demonstrated fiber production at many other venues. When the farm was downsized, she taught classes at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts in Suffolk, Virginia for 10 years, as well as at her own studio. Mary has been teaching fiber-related classes for over 30 years and is the owner of Serendipity Farm's Studio, newly relocated in Florida. Her interest in dyeing has lead to cultural experiences with members of an international organization devoted to experimentation and educated study of mushrooms that produce color for dye.
Nancy Shroyer knits, spins, weaves, dyes, designs, teaches, and invents in Cary, NC. As the founder and President of Nancy’s Knit Knacks LLC, Nancy, along with a select team, designs and develops a line of tools and winding equipment for yarn shops, fiber artists and producers. Nancy personally invented 15+ tools for knitters and spinners. She is a free lance book writer and designer and has 2 published books as well as over 30 patterns published by a variety of magazines and books. Nancy is also a co-host for a retreat for 60 fiber enthusiasts.
Amy's formal training was in modern dance, kinesiology, and physiology. She then taught physical therapy students about critical inquiry, evidence-based practice, and research design. A dozen years ago she left the academic life to pursue fiber arts. Now she teaches spinning and knitting at venues across the country and is well known for her animated and engaging teaching style. She has published articles in Spin-Off and PLY Magazine. Her art and science backgrounds give her a keen understanding of learning movement skills, composition, pattern recognition, and systematic exploration. The result is her focus on spinning and knitting technique, texture, three-dimensional structure, and knit designs that exploit handspinning techniques. You can find out more about her work on her website, http://www.stonesockfibers.com and on her blog, http://stonesockblog.blogspot.com.
Becky Utecht is a fiber artist living in rural Ogilvie, MN. Her flock of sheep provides the raw materials she uses to create felt artwork, clothing, humane sheepskins (felt pelts), handspun yarn and handknit items.Her work has won awards in fine art and fiber venues. She enjoys teaching fast-paced, fun fiber art classes regionally and in her outdoor studio in the woods. She operates River Oaks Farm Studio, www.riveroakssheep.com.
Loving the properties of Icelandic wool, Mohair & Angora fibers, Diana continues to mixand create all sorts of fibery things. She enjoys using Old World processing tools; VikingCombs and Hackles are a mainstay in her life of fiber processing. Collecting and growing natural dye stuffs on the farm rounds out her menagerie of playful fibery products.
Emily has loved fiber, jewelry, and sparkly things since she can remember. After receiving her BFA from Adrian College where she studied metalsmithing and textile techniques, she learned to spin as a way to get back in the classroom. She now creates hand crafted jewelry and hand dyed fiber goods for her business, Bricolage Studios, and teaches classes and workshops both locally and throughout the United States in spinning, fiber blending, and jewelry/metalsmithing. Emily works from a cooperative fiber studio in Kalamazoo, Michigan where she enjoys the camaraderie of her studio mates and the occasional pint from the attached brewery.
Proposals submitted after March 1 will be held for consideration for the following year's classes.