We’re proud to introduce a really fantastic line up of presenters and teachers at this year’s event!
Christel Seyfarth, Denmark
Christel Seyfarth is born on the westernmost island of Denmark, Fanø. She is an islander of heart, and she thrives and is inspired by the sandy beaches and the North Sea on Fanø.
Today she works as a knitwear designer and organizer of Fanø International Knit Festival and Loch Ness Knit Festival. Christel runs a lovely shop on Fanø and she sells her colourful designs world-wide. Christel’s outstanding designs is known all over the world for her colourful pattern and colour mix.
In 2013 Christel Seyfarth wrote the knitting book “COLOURS OF FANØ”, a personal tale of her inspiration sources as a member of a sailor family and an inhabitant on an island with a very special cultural history. In September she is launching her second book with new exiting designs inspired by the island life.
Christel is also a very busy lecturer and has just completed the third TV shooting of “The Great Knitting Contest” where she is one of two judges.
This year Christel was awarded the prize for outstanding entrepreneurship from the state of Denmark – due to her success with the knitting festival.
More information about Christel can be found at www.christel-seyfarth.dk
Di Gilpin is the founder and creative director of Di Gilpin Ltd, the hand-knit design studio which has been based in Scotland for more than 30 years.
Di Gilpin studied history and politics at university and started work as a teacher. In 1983, she took a year-off to travel, and arrived on the Isle of Skye with little more than a rucksack containing a tent, wool and knitting needles. Based in a semi-ruined croft, she spent 18 years on the island. Inspired by the nature, landscape, sea and people around her, she developed her knitting expertise, experimenting with different processes, styles and stitches. With her business growing, she moved to the mainland and established Di Gilpin Ltd. Her studio today retains the simplicity of her brand’s origins. It is a restored 16th century stone outbuilding, known as a bothy, near St Andrews in Fife. Its walls are lined with shelves of cashmere, cotton and linen threads, baskets of Scottish lambswool and rails of exquisitely knitted garments.
Her internationally-renowned brand involves collaborations with designers including Graeme Black, Erdos 1436, Paul Hardy and Meadham Kirchoff. Di Gilpin has also supplied garments to Topshop Unique, Nike, Cabbages & Roses, Sophia Kokosolakis, HancockVA and Margaret Howell.
The label has a strong following in Japan and North America and is actively expanding into a range of international markets. Di is presently working on an arts based project with April Crichton, who in the recent past was Creative Director for Sonia Rykiel in Paris and is now based in New York. With her Production Manager, Sheila Greenwell, Di Gilpin Ltd have recruited homeknitters from all over Scotland for the larger production runs. They use an elite core of knitters, who live within a 15 mile radius, to fulfil special orders, designer commissions and statement collections.
A single Di Gilpin piece may take as long as two months to create. As Di says, perfection won’t be rushed.
More information about Di can be found at www.digilpin.com
Chrissie Day works as a knitwear designer and mixed fiber artist and has had 11 books published. She has designed for companies as far afield as Australia and also private commissions abroad, taught in Europe and Scandinavia as well as magazine commissions work, including most of the major UK magazines.
Chrissie Day also designs for companies to promote their yarns in books and magazines, and teach knitting privately.
More information about Chrissie can be found at www.chrissieday.co.uk
Hazel Tindall, Shetland
Hazel Tindall learned to knit before she could read and write, and has no memory of learning to knit. As a child she was surrounded by knitters who had to knit quickly and to a high standard as they needed to sell their knitwear to supplement the family income.
Hazel particularly loves knitting Fair Isle, knitting her own designs. She now writes knitting patterns for other knitters to follow.
Hazel is a regular instructor at Shetland Wool Week and has led classes for Edinburgh Yarn Festival, Dornoch Fibre Fest, Craft Cruises, Arena Travel, Celtic Journeys, Joyce James Tours and others. She is now working on her second instructional film – a good alternative for those who can’t get to workshops.
More information about Hazel can be found at www.hazeltindall.com.
Karie Westermann does things with wool and words. Born in Denmark, she now lives in Scotland designing and teaching knitwear. Her work combines her love of storytelling, art and beautiful yarns as she is a big believer in knitting being so much more than “just knitting”. 2017 sees the release of Karie’s book This Thing of Paper, a Kickstarter-funded knitting book inspired by medieval books and manuscripts.
More information about Karie can found at www.kariebookish.net
Kyle Kunnecke, USA
San Francisco designer Kyle Kunnecke has a not-so-secret passion for color work. Through his fiber workshops he provides inspiration to his students; exploring the skills necessary to continue their personal knitting journeys. His patterns are published in numerous knitting books and magazines, by yarn companies, and under his label, Kyle William. He leads workshops at national events, including TNNA, TKGA, Vogue Knitting LIVE, and the Madrona Fiberarts Winter Retreat. His book, Urban Knit Collection: 18 City-Inspired Knitting Patterns for the Modern Wardrobe (Interweave,2016) showcases projects that utilize the techniques he loves to share with his students.
More information about Kyle can found at www.kylewilliam.com
Professional, award-winning bookbinder Laura West has taught thousands of people how to ‘make a book.’ Her workshops are organised, enlightening and fun – everyone learns a new skill. Working with professional knitters she has designed a project to make a book/folder which can be kept with one’s current project.
This workbook can be made quickly and learned during a morning workshop. No experience is necessary, but those with good hand skills (Hello, makers!) will achieve great results AND come away with a really useful object which will help organise their own work. Ideal for designers, once the current project is finished, all the inserts and patterns can quickly be archived in a normal folder, since opened out these items are based on A4 size. Professional knitters and makers can design and print their own ‘project forms’ to suit their own working methods and required information.
More information about Laura can be found at www.laurawest.com
Lucy Hague is a independent knitting pattern designer, originally from Orkney and now based in Edinburgh. She enjoys designing and writing patterns with a focus on complex and engaging texture and unique stitch patterns. Her first book, ‘Celtic Cable Shawls’, was published in 2015
More information about Lucy can be found at www.lucyhague.co.uk
Sarah Berry, England
North Child is where I design knitwear influenced by my childhood, by the Northern Lands in which I live – and by my love for pure, unique, enduring wool. I also design and make natural, wool-stuffed Waldorf dolls, often with knitted bodies.
I am fascinated by wool in all its manifestations; I love its many textures, its strength and delicacy, warmth and breathability, its highly-evolved waterproof, flame-resistant and anti-microbial properties – and its age-old links to people and cultures no longer with us. I grew up being knitted for, and photographs from my ‘70s childhood often include Aran bobble-hats and grey school cardigans; memories are still strong of nearly grazing my nose on the inside of polo-necks, and of the warm, sheepy smell of bundled-up woollen layers on Bonfire Night. Whenever I design for children, I know that their sensory memories of the garment will long outlast its physical lifespan.
As well as designing knits and dollmaking, I work part-time as an Art teacher in local Primary schools, and I tutor adult textile-craft workshops. Apart from spending my twenties in Brighton, I have always lived in the countryside: as a child, in rural Worcestershire, and for the last 20 years, on the West Highland coast of Scotland.
More information about Sarah can be found at www.northchild.co.uk
Tania Ashton Jones, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Tania Ashton Jones is a Dorset Button Maker, a hand knitter and teacher. Brought up in Dorset, and now living on the Isle of Skye, Tania’s creative business, TJFrog, aims to contribute to keeping alive the traditional skill of the handmade Dorset Button, a cottage industry dating back to the 1600s, which collapsed after the introduction of the electronic button making machine in 1851. Tania makes buttons and various accessories using Dorset Buttony techniques. She loves sourcing a variety of different yarns and choosing a design to best showcase the nature of the yarn.
More information about Tania can be found at www.tjfrog.co.uk
Woolly Wormhead, England
My main degree is in Textile Art, having graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 1999. From there, I achieved my teaching post grad (PGCE) in Art & Design at Goldsmiths, and spent a number of years teaching in mainstream schools, covering all areas of the creative curriculum but with a specialism in fashion, textiles and sculpture.
I developed the A-level Textiles curriculum, organised and taught extra curricular life drawing classes, as well as short workshops in constructed textiles (knitting and weaving). Prior to my time at Goldsmiths College, I had qualified as an Electronics Engineer and then went on to study Industrial Textiles at Bolton University as well as a number of other shorter qualification courses, including silver-smithing, pattern cutting and lacemaking.
More information about Wooly Wormhead can be found at www.woollywormhead.com
Katherine Lymer, Scotland
Katherine is an experienced knitting tutor who loves to knit and loves teaching knitting techniques to people of all ages and skill levels. Locally based in the inspirational East Berwickshire countryside, Katherine keeps her workshop projects up to date using modern and unique designs, created using some of the most beautiful yarns. Although she travels throughout the UK giving workshops and classes on all aspects of knitting, Katherine is delighted to be at Loch Ness Wool Fest and looks forward to meeting – and knitting with – you there!
More information about Katherin Lymer can be found at www.knitwithkatherine.com