Teacher Bios

Carole Adams learned to spin in the early 1980s.  She has taken many classes in dyeing, sheep breeds, cotton spinning and weaving and felting.  She taught Spinning at Hampshire College for 4 years in the 90s and has given private lessons at the Farm.  Carole owns a small farm in Colrain, where she raises various breeds of sheep and has a blog on wordpress.  Nowadays she spends time hooking rugs with handspun yarn.

Beth Altimari learned to knit from her grandmother at age ten. At a loss for how to teach her, since Beth is left-handed, her grandmother sat in front of her and had her mirror every step. After years of transposing patterns and graphs, Beth now knits with either hand, but teaches right-handed. In the last twenty five years she has become a more serious knitter,  adding a wide variety of  techniques to her repertoire. Beth runs other classes in and around the Northampton area as well as giving private lessons.

Caroline Filler is obsessed with fiber arts! She works mostly with knitting, spinning, dyeing, weaving and felting and is always excited to learn more techniques. She loves being a part of the creative processes and discoveries of other people, which is what brings her to share her knowledge through teaching.

Linda Forget learned to knit at age 6 from her Canadian French grandmother, Memere. She taught knitting classes for six years at Michaels Arts and Crafts Store in Hadley. Linda enjoys designing patterns that employ geometry, texture and cables.

Connie Gray:  Weaver of “things INKLE,” Connie began weaving as a summer camper in NH, on a “lowly Inkle loom.”  Finally able to “graduate” to a “real loom”, she continues to enjoy a career of weaving and teaching, mostly on 4-shaft looms of all sizes.  Moving to Hancock, NH in the 1980s allowed a “real studio space” where she has taught adults and children for over 50 years. She has also shared her skills at Sharon Arts Center in Sharon, NH, Harrisville Designs, NEWS, Weavers Guild of Boston, NH Weavers Guild, and Fiber Arts Studio in Amherst, MA (now closed).   Recently, a Fiber Arts Program was set up at a FARM for developmentally disabled adults in Hillsborough NH, under Connie’s direction. Having come “full circle,” now the simple craft of INKLE weaving has again become the technique of choice!

Emily Gwynn:  Emily is an example of all things fiber:  she knits, she teaches knitting, she designs knitting patterns, she weaves, she spins, ….  New to our area this past year, she is working part-time at Sheep & Shawl as well as teaching here, while she works on her weaving studio plans.

Sandra Haynes learned to crochet sometime between kindergarten and second grade and has never really stopped playing with fibers since then. She earned her Master Weaver certificate from the Hill Institute in Florence, MA. She has worked as an industry sample weaver and jacquard textile designer in North Carolina. As a conceptual artist, she uses fiber and fiber techniques to create jewelry, costumes, art books, sculpture, installations and performance art.

Katherine Johnson is a fiber fanatic, and making stuff out of yarn or wool or — oh! let’s try that grass out in the weed patch, maybe we can spin that and then make it into something! — is a pretty big part of her life. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts where she has been tatting, knitting, spinning, crocheting, looping, naalbinding, band-weaving, botanizing, gardening, animal husbanding, and child-raising.

Susan Loring-Wells has been weaving and teaching fiber arts in Massachusetts for over 35 years. She has a Master Weaver Certificate from the Hill Institute in Florence, MA and a BFA in Fiber Arts from the Program in Artisanry at Boston University. Susan has a life-long passion for weaving and fiber art and loves teaching all ages. She maintains a studio at the Leverett Crafts and Arts Center.

Kathie Nowill  began a life-long love affair with knitting at age five.  Her mother also introduced her to embroidery, crochet, tatting and sewing.   She pursed the needle arts for her own pleasure until she began teaching classes and private lessons over  30 years ago in knit shops in NJ and MA.  She has also designed and executed commissioned knits.   More recently she has donated time teaching school children and running a knitting drop-in and classes for seniors in her community.

Chris Pellerin has owned Pygora goats with her husband for 7 years.  Chris is an accomplished rug hooker and nuno felter, and is in the process of learning to spin her Pygora fleece (her Pygora fleece, nuno-felted bracelets, and felted baby booties are available for sale at Sheep & Shawl). She’s now also teaching her art to others.

Suzanne Ress recently relocated to western Mass.  She has knitted her whole life and taught many knitting classes at yarn shops in eastern Mass.  She also spins & dyes occasionally. Specializing in socks, color-work, cables, and teaching knitting techniques.  She is never at a loss to create a new class – come and meet her at Sheep & Shawl’s Wednesday Knit Nite.

Liz Sorenson is the owner of Sheep and Shawl and a fiber artist specializing in knitting, weaving, knitwear design, and teaching.  She has taught knitting locally and in eastern Massachusetts.  She started knitting in high school.  Her knitwear patterns are available online at www.ravelry.com.  She has received her Weaver’s Certificate at the Hill Institute in Florence, is a member of Pioneer Valley Weavers Guild, Weavers of Western Massachusetts, Massachusetts Fibershed, and CISA.  She opened Sheep & Shawl in August 2013 to help support local fiber farmers and fiber artists, supply local yarns and roving to customers, create a welcoming space for the fiber community, and pass on her love of knitting and weaving to others through teaching and networking.

Deb Stratton has been crafting all her life and has done it all from macrame to jewelry making to most recently needle felting. She started both wet and dry Needle Felting about 6 years ago but has continued to master this craft for the business she started on Etsy. She started her own supply company and Emma’s Garden Primitives –  egprimitives.etsy.com – was born! The online shop was a success right away, and allowed her to spend more time with her kids. She sells supplies in her online shop and at Sheep & Shawl, and also makes items to sell at Sheep & Shawl and other local gift and craft shops.  She loves teaching her craft to others.


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