Our Board and Volunteers

In November 2012, CKC’s Founder, Ms. Kendrick-Hands initiated a symposium entitled “Knitting Heritage Museum: A Work in Progress,” hosted by Dr. Ellsworth Brown, Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and funded in part by a $5000 grant from The National Needlework Association’s Yarn Group.  An interim, nine-member volunteer Advisory Board created at the symposium to shepherd the Center’s initial phases of development forward has evolved into CKC’s current Board of Directors whose short bios, below, attest to their depth of knowledge and experience in knitting, crochet, development, outreach, volunteer organization, governance, finance, collections, exhibitions, fundraising, and technology.  Several founding Board members are still serving on CKC’s Board today, providing organizational continuity.  The Board seeks nominations annually from CKC members.  If you are interested in learning more about serving on CKC’s Board of Directors, or want to recommend a friend or colleague, please contact us.

Jennifer L. Lindsay, President

Jennifer Lindsay is an independent curator, scholar, arts educator, and community advocate specializing in craft and contemporary textiles.  She leads the initiative to develop the Center for Knit and Crochet as a digital entity, merging the interests, expertise, and collections of makers, scholars, and museum professionals.  She holds an M.A. in the History of Decorative Arts from the Corcoran College of Art + Design.  Her Master’s thesis, Mary Walker Phillips: ‘Creative Knitting’ and The Cranbrook Experience, 2010, documents the emergence of knitting as contemporary art.

Lindsay coordinates exhibitions, collaborative works, and public programs that blend art, science, hands-on activities, and community empowerment for museums, arts organizations, and civic stakeholders.  Past projects include The Smithsonian Community Reef, a display made with the work of more than 800 crocheters nationwide for the National Museum of Natural History’s 2010-11 exhibition of the Crochet Coral Reef.  Lindsay’s scholarly articles are published in The Textile Society of America’s Biennial Symposium Proceedings, Rowman & Littlefield’s Innovative Approaches in Museums series, and The Journal of Modern Craft.  Sixth & Spring Books and Clarkson Potter published her original knitting designs and patterns in 2003-2007.

Nicole H. Scalessa, Vice President

Nicole H. Scalessa is currently Head of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She was previously CIO at The Library Company of Philadelphia where she worked in a variety of technology capacities for 22 years. Nicole has a BA in History, Certificate in Digital Media for Print and Web from Moore College of Art and Design, and an MBA in IT Management. Previous appointments included National Digital Stewardship Association (NDSA) representative and Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries board member. She is currently on the ConnectNY Digitization committee, is a Digital Public Library of America community representative, and co-founder of the Philadelphia Regional Islandora Users Group – now the Mid-Atlantic Islandora Network. She is a member of the Delaware Valley Archivists Group, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, and the Eastern New York chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries. She has been the Communications Director for Historians Against Slavery since 2011 and was elected the Vice President of the Center for Knit and Crochet in 2016 following two years as Secretary. She is the author of Historic Reflections in Crochet (Library Company of Philadelphia: 2001) and the curator of the 2001 exhibition “The Hook and The Book: The Emergence of Crochet and Knitting in Early American Culture, 1840-1876.” More recently she has contributed to PieceWork Magazine (Interweave Press) and Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Sewing. Nicole Scalessa has a BA in History and an MBA in IT Management.

Marilyn J. Huset, Treasurer

Marilyn Huset is an ardent knitter and a member of the Madison (Wisconsin) Knitters’ Guild (the largest in the U.S.). She holds a B.S. in accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She retired from TDS Telecom as Manager of Financial Communications, where she was previously Manager of Policies and Procedures and Manager of Accounting. At TDS Telecom, with newly acquired companies, and as national president of the American Woman’s Society of CPAs (AWSCPA, www.awscpa.org) she oversaw and revamped management structures, managed corporate records, annual meetings and board actions, and revised bylaws. She also co-authored a book on the 75-year history of the AWSCPA. She served on the American Institute of CPAs’ Work/Life and Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee and co-edited the book Promoting Your Talent: A Guidebook for Women and Their Firms by Nancy Baldiga. She is a member of the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs, chaired its Public Utilities Committee, and served on its Task Force for the 21st Century. She is active in civic organizations and served as a treasurer for her church during two reorganizations, creating internal controls and a new church constitution.

Rebecca J. Keyel, Secretary
Rebecca J. Keyel is a doctoral candidate in the department of Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds an MS in Human Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA from Wellesley College. Her dissertation project examines American women’s hand knitting for servicemen during the First and Second World Wars and its relationship with labor, patriotism, and the zeitgeist of the homefront through archival research and reconstruction knitting. Her research interests include material culture, textile and knitting history, folklore, and home craft. She is the author of a forthcoming book chapter on Red Cross knitting patterns titled “Knitting Instructions: Red Cross Production Patterns, 1917-1965.”

CKC Board Members (in alphabetical order):

Callie Lasch

Callie Lasch is a Producer, Director, and Writer of public interest media. For over 20 years, Lasch has advocated for a greater appreciation of the value of the arts, including a focus on raising the profile of knitting and crochet.

Callie is also the Founder and Co-Director of The Institute for Therapeutic Craft & Creativity https://therapeuticcraftcreativity.com/p/about-itcc an online educational resource which produces talks, workshops, and videos about the power of creative making and engaging the hand-brain connection as a transformative tool for learning, cognitive development, and healing.

Additionally, Callie develops and facilitates public and private experiential programs for museums, galleries, and other arts organizations. Programs involve collaborative activities designed to expand innovative and solution-oriented thinking, and include professional development initiatives for corporate executives, school administrators, artists, scientists, engineers, veterans, students, and communities seeking to understand that the creative process is much more than a skill, but a way of operating.

Dr. Phyllis Bell Miller

Dr. Phyllis Bell Miller is a professor of Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) at Mississippi State University. She is author of AutoCAD for the Apparel Industry (1994), a seminal work that adapted computer-aided design (CAD) software to the needs of the fashion industry.  She holds more than 30 software copyrights for developing ApparelCAD™, Instant Designer International™, and Display Shop™ software.

Dr. Miller won three Fulbright Scholarships – to Bulgaria, India, and Mauritius.  As an educator, collector, author, distinguished speaker, and meticulous designer of original knitwear, she has visited 59 countries and territories.  Her travels, and the books, traditional costumes, and art she has collected inspire her original designs and her pedagogy.  In 2010, she received the MSU Faculty Diversity Award. She will retire from MSU June 30, 2017, which will afford her more time for designing, offering and participating in workshops, traveling , and promoting my favorite art and craft of knitting.

Dr. Miller won the Editor’s Choice Award from Knitter’s Magazine for her original knitwear designs six times — in 2009-2011, and 2013-2015.  In 2010, she received Ravelry’s Knitting Award (Best of Show) at Stitches South.  She regularly wins awards in juried exhibitions and national design competitions sponsored by the American Association of Family and Consumer Services, the International Textile and Apparel Association, and the Costume Society America.  As a CKC Board member, she will raise the profile of CKC among students and professionals in fashion, textile, and apparel design.

Kay L. Simmons

Kay Simmons holds a master’s degree in Communications and worked for 24 years as vice president of Communications for a Madison, WI-based non-profit health care organization. Since leaving that position in 2012, she has provided communications support and consulting and grant writing expertise to various organizations in the Madison area. Kay volunteers her time with numerous non-profit organizations helping with event planning, public relations and marketing, grant writing, and committee work.

Kay is an avid knitter and is a member of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) and the Madison Knitters Guild, where she continues to hone her knitting skills and volunteers on the community projects committee. In addition to knitting, Kay is a card making enthusiast and has an interest in history, especially related to hand crafts and fiber. She looks forward to learning more about fiber arts history and helping with the preservation of fiber artifacts.

Suzann Thompson

Like many elementary school students, Suzann Thompson learned about American tall tales.  Already a confirmed knitter, Suzann was thrilled when her teacher told the class that tall tales were also called yarns. Learning to crochet was to come later, and her first foray into the professional needlework world began when she crocheted and sold granny square drawstring purses during junior high school. She decided against mass production as a career. Years later, she designed knitting, crochet, and craft projects for publication in magazines and books. Eventually she authored Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers, Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, and Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crocheted Critters, Folks, Food, & More, all published by Lark.

Seeking a way to make knitted wall art, Suzann developed her signature TextileFusion technique, incorporating knitting, crochet, quilting, and embellishment. In 2016, she created the Celebrate Doilies exhibit, which features her doily-inspired TextileFusion art, works by Texan poet Sandi Horton, and doily heritage in the form of stories and photos from doily makers of the past and present. Celebrate Doilies travels to various locations around Texas and, Suzann hopes, beyond. Currently, she is planning and seeking funding for another exhibit, in which her textile art anchors an exploration of electrical technology and its impact on human and natural environments, and will include personal stories and artistic contributions from rural communities.

Suzann blogs at www.textilefusion.com/blog, where she will be spreading the word about CKC’s Digital Repository, online exhibitions, nomenclature project, and more.

CKC Board Emeriti:

Karen D. Kendrick-Hands, Founder 

Karen Kendrick-Hands is an attorney, community activist and lifelong, obsessive knitter: artisan, published designer, retailer and educational consultant. Inspired in part by quilt collections and study centers, and spurred by the limited access to knitting and crochet in existing museum and research settings, she is leading the effort to develop the Center for Knit and Crochet, Inc., as a knitting heritage museum and resource to collect, preserve, document and share knitted and crocheted objects and their cultural significance.

CKC Volunteers (in alphabetical order):

Edie Eckman

Edie Eckman, Crochet Advisor to the CKC’s Nomenclature Committee, considers herself “a Knit-Crochet Diplomat, easing the schism that can exist between the two disciplines.” A noted freelance author, teacher, designer, and technical editor, Eckman serves individual students, guilds, local yarn shops, yarn companies, and independent publishers of books and magazines on knitting and crochet.  She is a Master Teacher for the Craft Yarn Council’s Certified Instructors Program and has taught classes and workshops at Stitches, The National Needlearts Association, The Knit & Crochet Show, Vogue Knitting Live, New York State Sheep & Wool Festival (Rhinebeck), Fall Fiber Festival (Montpelier), and other national venues.  Her articles and designs have appeared in numerous publications, including Interweave Crochet and Knitters.  She is the author of Christmas Crochet for the Hearth, Home & TreeConnect the Shapes Crochet MotifsSocks to Knit for Those You LoveAround the Corner Crochet BordersThe Crochet Answer Book and Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs. Together with Judith Durant, she edited Crochet One Skein Wonders and Crochet One Skein Wonders for Babies & Toddlers.  We are so fortunate to have the benefit of Edie Eckman’s help and expertise on the CKC Nomenclature project.

Jolie Elder

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.

Kristi Gersbach

Kristi Gersbach, CKC Membership Coordinator, 2014-15, has been knitting since 1986 and is always intrigued by new techniques.  She is a member of the Madison Knitters’ Guild, and enjoys spinning her own yarn.  She has an extensive collection of vintage knitting patterns and booklets and is excited to be part of an initiative to preserve and share the history of her craft.

June Hemmons Hiatt

June Hemmons Hiatt is an established authority on knitting, and the author of the well-known and comprehensive resource, Principles of Knitting: Methods and Techniques of Hand Knitting, first published by Simon and Schuster in 1989, and revised and updated in 2012.  At CKC’s founding symposium, Ms. Hiatt generously volunteered to author the initial draft of the CKC’s Nomenclature, and subsequently developed a general terminology for both knitting and crochet, and a specific terminology for knitting.  The CKC is indebted to June Hemmons Hiatt for her pioneering work to develop this cataloguing system, which now includes crochet terminology added by Edie Eckman.

When vetted and tested, the CKC Nomenclature, containing terms that are familiar to knitters and crocheters, will be made available to galleries, libraries, archives, and museums for use in identifying and cataloging their collections.

Past Board Members:

Mary Colucci

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

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

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

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

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

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.