Mary Colucci is Executive Director, Craft Yarn Council, a nonprofit trade association that represents major yarn resources, needle/hook manufacturers, and publishers in the yarn industry. She also serves as Executive Director of the Warm Up America! Foundation, one of the industry’s leading charities. The Warm Up America! Foundation coordinates and trains volunteers to knit and crochet afghans and clothing for people in need. Ms. Colucci started her career by editing a trade journal covering the Over-the-Counter fabric and needlework markets. She then helped to organize The National Needlework Association (hereinafter “TNNA”), another industry group, and served as TNNA’s Executive Director for 12 years. She has worked extensively with both chain and independent retailers to develop promotional and educational programs. She was a former Board member of the Crochet Guild of America.
Jolie Elder has explored a wide range of needle arts after learning to cross-stitch at age four. She has a B.A. in Art and a M.A. in Art History from Pennsylvania State University, and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. She designs, teaches, and “stunt knits” in Atlanta, GA. She is also past President of both the Atlanta Knitting Guild and North Georgia Knitting Guild, and is a past board member of Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance. Her published patterns accentuate geometric structure and feature meticulous techniques. Jolie has taught at fiber festivals including STITCHES South, Maryland Sheep and Wool, Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, and Georgia Fiber Fest. She blogs about her knitting experiments at jolieaelder.blogspot.com and posts regularly on Ravelry.
Kyle Kunnecke is an author, knitting instructor, and all around fiber-arts enthusiast. His first book, Urban Knit Collection: 18 City-Inspired Knitting Patterns for the Modern Wardrobe (Interweave, 2016) explores the use of urban architectural elements as inspiration for classic garments. Through his fiber workshops at venues such as TNNA, TKGA, Vogue Knitting LIVE, and the Madrona Winter Retreat, he provides inspiration to his students; exploring the skills necessary to continue their personal knitting journeys. His website offers additional resources and information to his students, and he continues to expand his own knowledge by attending workshops and conferences across North America.
Lilly Marsh’s interests in textiles originated in sheep breeding and colored fleece production for handspinning, and developed into professional studio practice as a sculptural knitter, dyer, and production hand-weaver. She is currently in pursuit of a doctoral degree in American Studies at Purdue University focusing on contemporary textile history and practices. Now in the final year of dissertation writing, her doctoral project is a cultural biography of the knitting writer, teacher, designer and publisher Elizabeth Zimmermann. Investigating the intersection of domesticity, feminism and professional craft identities, Lilly’s pedagogical work has included an innovative introductory level 16 week American Studies course that combined basic American Cultural Studies with craft practices and history across the 20th C. US. Her interests in the identities, communities and durable institutions of American textile craft practice will be followed up in future research projects around the histories of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon. Marsh’s own work continues to combine both practice and academic research as she is currently developing a dissertation exhibit of original knit wire sculptural work in concert with her dissertation. Designed as both a reflection upon and an artistic expression of her research, this participatory installation hopes to engage both non-academic and university community members around ideas of how what we save and what we examine produce meaning in society and culture.
Kathleen Stiso Mullins
Kathleen Stiso Mullins has served in the position of CEO for more than 30 years, directing multi-million dollar budget institutions. She has guided the restoration of historic structures; planning and building of new facilities; comprehensive strategic and master site planning; as well as vision and mission planning. Additional experience includes the development and implementation of staffing and organizational structures; new and increased existing revenue streams; capital campaigns; partnerships with academic and cultural organizations; and interpretive and educational programming. Kathleen also taught Women’s Studies at Purdue University.
Dora Ohrenstein is author of 6 books on crochet and is working on her seventh. She is among the leading crochet designers, with hundreds of designs published in craft magazines. Dora is passionate about crochet history and has published numerous articles on the topic. She has travelled the globe to study needlework traditions around the world and has given talks on the subject to numerous craft groups. She also teaches crochet at national events and yarn shops. Dora is a professional singer known for her work as the solo vocalist of the Philip Glass Ensemble. She teaches singing at Wagner College in Staten Island.
Margaret S. Peterson
Margaret S. Peterson is a life-long knitter, and a nationally recognized instructor, published designer, judge and scholar of knitting. Her early designs are included in the Wisconsin Historical Society textile collection. In addition to her knitting expertise, Mrs. Peterson brings extensive professional and volunteer experience in development, fundraising, marketing and volunteer coordination. She studied Journalism and Public Relations at University of Wisconsin, Madison, and was Director of Public Relations, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield, WI, for thirteen years. During her 60-year career as a volunteer, she has provided leadership, direction, and oversight for numerous charitable organizations, including as Board Chair of the Wisconsin Division of the American Cancer Society and as Director of Volunteer Services, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield, WI.
Myrna A.I. Stahman
A retired attorney, Myrna Stahman has been an avid knitter since the age of eight. Ms. Stahman started designing in the 1990s, self-publishing Stahman’s Shawls and Scarves: Lace Faroese-Shaped Shawls From the Neck Down and Seamen’s Scarves in 2000 while practicing law full-time. Retired from the practice of law after thirty years, she now combines writing, publishing, teaching and lace knitting with her love of travel, teaching classes and speaking about knitting in the US and internationally. Ms. Stahman is an avid collector of antique knitting tools, needles, books and hand knit lace. She is a member of the Lacy Knitters Guild, the Visionary Authors Group, and an affiliate member of the Idaho Bar.
Cheryl Stegert holds a Masters degree in Business and Health Care Administration. She has worked for 25 years in long-term care including marketing, administrator and assistant executive director. She recently worked for a religious organization as administrator and currently enjoys a 40 hour week in the finance division of Gannett Media. Cheryl has taught knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, tatting and other fiber arts for 30 years. She also dabbles in chain maille and bead embroidery. She has enjoyed working on genealogy and has found a love in digging in library archives. Excel spreadsheets and databases are also a passion.
Barbara S. Tuceling
Barbara S. Tuceling retired as director of The Smithsonian Associates (TSA) in September of 2013. TSA offers a broad array of pan-Institutional educational activities as well as the Resident Associate membership program. TSA’s nearly 1000 activities annually take many forms, including performances, lectures, courses, seminars, studio arts, local study tours, special workshops, teacher training, summer camps, and live theater for children. These programs are designed to showcase the Smithsonian’s broad knowledge network, including its many research initiatives, exhibitions, and collections. TSA also offers a Masters degree in the History of Decorative Arts, in partnership with George Mason University. TSA programs take place in Washington, D.C., and across the US.