Instructors

2016 INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION

Special thanks and appreciation go out to our wonderful instructors for 2016 Fiber “U” who are joining us from 6 different states in the Midwest. This event would not be possible without them graciously sharing their talents and knowledge with all of us. So that you may get to know them a little better, below please find a short bio on each.

DeAnna Amos (Gravois Mills, MO)  DeAnna Amos is a fiber artist and long time spinner and weaver.  She loves to share her experience and knowledge with students of all ages.  She makes handwoven garments from a variety of fiber and loves to spin and weave.

Diana Armes Wallace (Alton, MO)- Diana loves the properties of Icelandic, Mohair & Angora fibers.  She continues to mix and create all sorts of fibery things.  She enjoys using Old World processing tools: Viking Combs & Hackles are a mainstay in her life.  Collecting and growing natural dye stuffs on the farm, along with some purchased products round out her menagerie of playful fibery products.

Nancy Barnett (Alton, MO) Nancy lives in the Missouri Ozarks and has been spinning and raising sheep for 27 years and Angora Rabbits for 25 years. She likes to share her “homespun” knowledge with beginners and encouraging them to try new things.  Her classes are easy and simple, perfect for the beginner.

Connie Blechle (Perryville, MO) Connie is the owner and operator of Breezy Ridge Alpacas LLC.  She creates and designs accessories and fashions.  Connie has been talented since her teenage years, and has translated that through working with her fibers, as if the fiber speaks to her.

Kandys Bleil (Boonville, MO)  Kandys is a fiber artist who loves to try new things.  She started knitting as a child and that hobby resurfaced several times throughout her life.  But when the “bug” came to learn how to spin, she struggled, at first, to learn the skill.  Perseverance paid off, though, and once accomplished, it wasn’t long until she learned to card, dye, weave and felt.  She has been teaching various fiber art classes since 2011.

Zelma Cleaveland (Chillicothe,MO)  In June 2015 Zelma completed the Master Spinner Program through Olds College 6 Year Program with only the in-depth study remaining.  She has learned so much from taking the classes, teaching different techniques, and sharing with friends, too and is delighted to continue learning, no matter how many classes she takes.

Brenda Courtney (Mercer, MO)  Brenda’s farm, “BE-Ewe-tiful Acres” is located in northern Missouri where she raises Icelandic sheep.  She has spent over 5 years learning to work with the wool and found that is fabulous for felting.  She has lived in several countries and US states, done many different hand crafts, and has taught many other types of skills around the world including felting to her grandchildren.  She feels she will be able to offer a very good introductory level of knowledge about the craft, as well as an excitement for the magic that stabbing a blob ob lifeless wool into something delightful can bring (not to mention what a great stress reliever it is!).

Judy Crouch (Auroa, MO) Judy is a retired Paramedic with a desire to continue helping people. This time helping them to learn new fiber arts such as spinning, weaving, felting and dying. She has been working with fiber arts for over 20 years and has learned from some of the most amazing teachers.

Christian Davies (Maxwell, IA)  Christian, along with his wife Michelle, have been involved in the alpaca industry for the last 10 years with both Huacaya and Suri Alpacas.  In 2012 they opened C&M Acres Fiber Mill & Alpacas and learned first hand the importance of skirting fleeces, no matter what type of fiber, as it shows directly in the quality of the finished processing.  Christian has been teaching a wide range of fiber arts since 2007 including fiber skirting.

Jonee Davis (Wheaton, MO) Jonee has been active in the fiber arts since 1991.  She first learned to weave then took up spinning.  She is also an avid crocheter while dabbling in all the other aspects relating to fibers.  She feels that we are never too young or too old to learn new things about the world of fiber arts and loves to share whatever knowledge she has with others.  Jonee has raised animals all her life and comes from a family of ranchers.  She now has a small hobby farm where she and her husband are the caretakers of a multitude of livestock at home with a farm.

Rosie Dupuy (Bethel, MO)  Rosie raised sheep for over 30 years and began spinning and weaving in the 70’s.  She is mostly self taught.  She has helped form the Bishop HIll Fiber Guild, shared learning and doing workshops and taught weaving at Carl Sandberg Jr. College in IL.

Robin Goatey (Columbia, IL)  Woodcarver, Wood turner and Student of Folklore, Robin owns TheDancingGoats.com and is a core Maker providing hand made fiber tools and teaching and preserving traditional craft folkways since 1987.    Spinning at festivals is a major aspect of his business and he also has a blog TheImaginariumForge that chronicles the creative processes behind the scenes.

Teresa Goatey (Columbia, IL)  Teresa is a weaver, spinner and rug hooker.  The Fiber Arts have been a passion for her for 30 years.  Her concentration has always been on original designs in rug hooking and skills building in Spinning and Weaving.  A desire to understand processes from beginning to end is the Genesis for Oak Knoll Farm and their flock of Shetland and Finnish Landrace Sheep provide the wool for many of their projects and products.  Their Marrema dog keeps an eye on all of it.

Elyse Hargis (Springfield, MO) Elyse was taught at the tender age of 6 to crochet by her grandmother and then the wonderful world of wool and spinning.  Later Elyse had the time to explore the fiber arts she love.  Over the years she has had several different breeds of sheep and learned that each breed has it’s own distinctive gift to offer.  She also has different breeds of Angora rabbits that she hopes to show.  She carries fiber from her own animals in her vendor booth as well as fiber related tools.  Elyse has learned that there is always something new that can be learned which is something that makes the fiber arts so enjoyable and exciting.

Stacy Heydt (Marshfield, MO) Stacy is a fiber artist and designer of fiber art projects, patterns & kits.  She is the chair of AOA’s Fiber & Fiber Products Committee and the co-chair of the Camelid Community’s Fiber Committee, national judge for Fiber Art, Skeins and Spin-Off Competitions and the author of The Fiber Factor and The Fashionable Mrs. Blue has a Plan and a Clue.  She gives seminars and workshops on fiber and fiber art on her farm and around the country.  She owns White River Alpacas with her husband

Jama Kilgore (Eldridge, MO) Jama was given 2 sheep 15 years ago and since then has fallen in love with the entire world of fiber arts.  Her passion is raising long wool breeds of sheep and is shepherdess to an eclectic flock on a small farm in SW Missouri. Dabbling in many fiber arts she has found loom knitting and the triangle loom to be her favorites.

Audrey Kruse (Macks Creek, MO) Although Audrey learned to crochet as a youngster, her passion for knitting and the fiber arts rekindled around 2008 when she became an empty nester.  With the kids all grown, she and friends dove into developing their knitting skills.  For Audrey, that wasn’t quite enough.  In 2011, she and her husband purchased their first alpacas, and her passion for fiber and fiber arts has been growing ever since.

Gina Levesque (Wagoner, OK)  Gina has been working with natural dyes and surface design techniques for several years.  As an instructor, she has taught this and many other dye classes throughout the US.

Julie Lindsey (Aurora, IL)  Julie is the dyer behind Happy-Go-Lucky Yarn.  She also teaches classes at String Theory Yarn Company in Glen Ellyn, IL.  Julie has never met a color she didn’t like.

Christine Long Derks (Overland Park, KS)  Christine gets entirely too excited about yarn.  She is the owner of Treasure Goddess Yarn.  Any moment not spent working in the real world or keeping up with her four teenagers is spent dyeing, spinning, knitting or crocheting.  She wants to make the world more colorful one skein at a time.  Christine teaches knitting, crocheting and spinning classes, loves spinning textured art yarns and designs knit and crochet patterns that highlight hand dyed and hand spun yarn.

Ann Mayes (Auxvasse, MO) Ann owns Alpacas d’Auxvasse and has been raising alpacas since 2003. Starting with three Suris, the herd has now grown to forty alpacas, both Huacaya and Suri. Her main business focus has always been on fiber production and her goal is to use every bit the beautiful fleece the animals produce. Her yarn and roving is carried in local yarn stores, and sold at fiber festivals throughout the year. Ann is dedicated to producing the best yarn and roving possible in a rainbow of colors for the pleasure of fiber artists worldwide.

Kay McCoy (Sabetha, KS) Kay loves fiber- and loves finding new ways to feed her fiber enthusiasm.  In real life she is an FSA Loan Officer, but fiber arts has been her passion ever since she learned to spin 24 years ago.  Kay, her sister Sally Brandon, and their Mom own the Shepherd’s Mill Retail Store in Phillipsburg, KS which is located with the Sherpherd’s Mill.  Kay’s fantasy job is to be the “research and Development Specialist” at the Shepherd’s Mill because she loves experimenting and learning new techniques for the Fiber Arts.

Mary McCreery (Stark City, MO)  Mary has been making baskets for about 15 years.  She loves trying new styles and techniques. She loves seeing the students leave with a project they are proud of.  She currently belongs to Ozark Mountain Weavers.  She lives on a small farm in Stark City and has a husband and 3 “rare breed” dogs (mixed breeds of the best kind) living with her.  She loves to spin, weave, crochet and collect “how to” books.  In her professional life, she is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Lorry McDonald (Odessa, MO) Lorry is an avid spinner who is enrolled in the Master Spinner program at Olds college in Alberta, Canada. She is a member of several fiber Guilds and just plain loves fiber! Creating works of art with fiber is a passion of hers and includes both wet and needle felting along with spinning. She lives on a small farm with her Icelandic Sheep, Alpacas and Angora goat wethers.

Cindy McFarland ( Labadie, MO)  Cindy is a rug weaver and pursues multiple rug making techniques.  She has many types of looms which she has mastered and shared with others.  She has been a demonstrator at Silver Dollar City for three years.

Donna McFarland (Union, MO) Donna is the Master Weaver Craftsman at Silver Dollar City, President of Franklin County Fiber Guild, Past VP of Weavers Guild of St. Louis and co-owner of Dewberry Ridge- A Fiber Art Company, loom designer, handwoven apparel designer and more.

Darlene Megli (Lamar, MO) Darlene lives in SW MO on a farm raising Romney and BFL sheep along with a couple of Alpaca fiber boys. She is a retired RN after working in the medical field for 50 years! She has a small fiber business, A Twist In Time, with her best friend Judy Crouch and they travel to a few shows each year and teach classes both at shows and at home. She mostly spins and weaves, but also knits and crochets. She has a circular sock machine she is currently learning how to use-she’s named it Harold! She loves to share her knowledge of the fiber arts with others and hope they enjoy it as much as she does.

Jane Millette (Springdale, AR)  Jane learned to tat 35 years ago.  She also knits, crochet, macrame, crewel, cross stitch, needlepoint and bargella and is a seamstress.   Jane is a retired CPA and taught non-traditional college students for 20 years.

Missouri Trout Fisherman Association of Greater Kansas City (Kansas City, MO)  The members of the association share their love of fishing and enjoy fly tying and educating others.

Liz Mitchko (Lebanon, MO)  Liz became interested in fiber and fiber arts when faced with an overflowing closet full of alpaca fleeces from their herd of Huacaya Alpacas at Whirlwind Ranch that she owns with her mom Linda. She soon took a dyeing class and was hooked- enjoying the endless colors options- that more than stimulated her creative side. She enjoys sharing that by teaching dyeing and weaving classes at their farm and at other fiber events. Her absolute favorite is incorporating her hand-dyed creations into award winning weavings and selling them to customers who truly appreciate them. Liz’s “other life” included a Marketing degree, consulting on international trade shows and driving race cars.

Bex Oliger (Columbia, MO)  Bex was raised in her mother’s (Carol Leigh Brack-Kaiser) fiber arts studio and was spinning, weaving and natural dyeing in her early teens.  She developed the knitting side of the business to the point that it needed its own space, so Bex as run several incarnations of yarn shops in Columbia, MO for the last 15 years.  She has taught over 30 different class topics in weaving, dyeing, crochet and knitting and now works as a knitwear designer and instructor.  Bex is the founder and owner of Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe.

Teri Plemel (Overland Park, KS)  Teri lives for spinning, knitting, sewing, embroidery, and otherwise manipulating fiber.  She is a member of the Kansas City Fiber Guild as well as the Sunflower Knitters Guild.

Patricia Ruether (Paola, KS)  Patti has Alpaca Patti’s Fiber Farm, a small farm with alpaca, sheep, goats, chickens and horses.  She has been weaving for over six years, and also enjoys spinning and working with fiber “from sheep to shawl.”  Patti is an Olds College Level IV Master Spinner, working on completing Level V.  She lives with her husband, Greg, and two dogs in Kansas.

Tammy Taylor (Odessa, MO ) Tammy has always lived in a creative atmosphere where hand crafting and creating is a way of life. She has worked in many fiber/fabric mediums, but her love of strings and colorful threads brought her to a special love of Kumihimo. Always learning new techniques, she is especially happy when she is able to share her knowledge and encourage other people to learn this beautiful art of Japanese braiding.

Jennifer Watkins (Effingham, IL) Jennifer “Daizie” Watkins is a self taught knitter, spinner and indie dyer.  A love of hand knit socks brought her into the fiber arts world 12 years ago.  Currently, Daizie is working her way through the Master Knitter Program.  Spinning fiber and dyeing them seemed the logical step in the fiber arts.  In Sept of 2011 Daizie Knits opened as an etsy shop offering a range of hand dyed yarns and fibers.

Brian Willsey (Owensville, MO)  Brian has been a fiber producer since 2006 with alpacas and sheep since 2011. He is a certified sorter, President of Natural Fiber Producers Cooperative, past President and BOD member of MOPACA, and partner in Certified Sorted Systems, LLC.

Susan Wilson (Salem, MO)  Susan Ream Wilson is a professional fingerweaver who has been practicing her craft for over 25 years.  Her work is in the collections of six museums.  To her knowledge, Susan is the only contemporary person to fingerweave shawls.

PLEASE DO NOT USE THE FORMS LINK IN THE GREY SECTION BELOW.  GO TO Fiber “U” Forms page for the correct forms for 2016.  Thank you