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.
Ann Grandy is the Collection Manager at the Pope County Historical Society in Glenwood, Minnesota, where she gets to catalog everything from teacups to tractors. Using her Master’s Degree in history to collect, preserve, and share stories and artifacts from her home town is her passion. Ann is also the Project Manager for CollectiveAccess Minnesota, a collaborative software system for museums throughout Minnesota managed by the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums (MALHM). CollectiveAccess MN allows museums to not only manage their collections internally, but also share them with the public at MNCollections.org. An avid knitter, spinner, and dyer, Ann has recently discovered the joys of scouring raw fleece and has dreams of designing a garment and completing the entire project by hand starting from raw fleece.
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.
Heather Hernandez is a librarian with experience in public, academic, special, law, and museum libraries. She holds an MLIS from the University of California at Berkeley, and specializes in cataloging, metadata, and the preservation and repair of paper-based library materials. A fiber enthusiast since she began to embroider around age 5, Heather became an avid knitter and crocheter in the 1980s. Sewing, learning to quilt, mending, writing, playing Dungeons & Dragons, baking, and cooking keep her busy as well. You can find her on Ravelry as igel, and as @ulmerigel on Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and iNaturalist. Heather speaks and reads German, and also loves hedgehogs (“Igel” in German.)
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.
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.
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.
Mary Claire Phillips
Mary Claire Phillips is a Historian, Activist, and Knitting Teacher living in Washington DC. Prior to joining the Center for Knit and Crochet, Mary Claire has worked as an independent curator, public history consultant, and writer. Her work ranges from guest blog posts for the Library of Congress’s Veteran’s History Project to curating an exhibit with Goethe-Institut DC and Schwules Museum Berlin highlighting Queer life in the nation’s capital.
Phillips graduated with a B.A. History & Government with Honors at the University of Texas at Austin where she wrote her thesis “Uncovering the Story of America’s LGBTQ Servicewomen in WWII”. Her research interests include mid-20th Century queer cultures, public memory, archival activism, and the relationship of handicraft and gender.
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.
Nicole H. Scalessa
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.
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.