Teachers

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Teachers

Discover the teachers who will guide you as you learn about the newest products and techniques while developing and enhancing your technical and business education. You will leave the TNNA 2020 Summer NeedleArts Trade Show with new skills to take back to your business.

Grace Akhrem

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Color. Yarn. Texture. Fashion. These are the four pillars of every pattern designed by Grace Akhrem. Colors so vibrant and saturated, you can’t help but smile. Yarn that tells you what it wants to be, seeing if you’ll listen. Texture that looks as good as it feels. And fashion that turns your needles into paintbrushes.

Grace focuses on construction and technique in all of her designs. Most of her patterns are designed for the adventurous beginner or the intermediate knitter. In addition to her career as a designer, she also teaches locally in Los Angeles and nationally around the US.

Classes Teaching:

Fixing Knitting Mistakes | Wednesday, May 27 | 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Combined Continental or Russian Speed Knitting | Thursday, May 28 | 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Beverly Army Williams

ArmyWilliams.jpgBeverly Army Williams is a writer and writing teacher, teaching creative writing, composition, grant writing, and business and technical writing at a small public university in Western Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared in The Dandelion Review, Knitty.com, Interweave Crochet, and Project 333, among other places, and she co-edits the webzine MotherShould.com. Beverly works as ghostwriter and writing consultant for makers, creative non-fiction, and fiction writers. She has been co-teaching with Gale Zucker about the partnership of beautiful words and dynamic images since 2013.

Her website is www.beverlyarmywilliams.com, and she blogs at www.pomogolightly.com. When she’s not teaching, writing, or stitching, Beverly hikes in the woods of Connecticut, where she lives with her husband and serves a demanding terrier and a stubborn, handsome husky.

Classes Teaching:

Lights, Camera, Action! Going Live on Instagram and Facebook | Wednesday, May 27 | 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

No More Crickets! 10 Ways to Increase Participation in Your Online Community | Thursday, May 28 | 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Images and Hashtags Bootcamp: Shape Up Your Social Media | Thursday, May 28 | 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Get Your Design in Pattern Form: Self Publishing Pattern Workshop | Friday, May 29 | 7:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. 


Gwen Bortner

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Gwen Bortner has been teaching since 1986 and is a recognized name at many national venues since 2003. Beginning early in childhood, Gwen has dabbled in all of the various needle arts with knitting finally taking center stage during her college years. Gwen has nearly 30 years of experience as a business consultant, trainer and executive working in a variety of business areas, including filling the role of Interim Executive Director for TNNA. Her "superpower" is the ability to share new and valuable information in accessible, easy-to-process, bite-size pieces. Gwen can be found virtually on her blog at www.gwenbortner.com.

Classes Teaching:
The Communication Conundrum: Why Personality Type Makes Effective Communication Challenging and What to Do About It | Thursday, May 28 | 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Can't Keep Up? 10 Tactics to Make a Difference in Your Business | Friday, May 29 | 7:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

 

Melissa Leapman


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With more than 1000 knit and crochet designs in print, Melissa Leapman is one of the most widely published American designers at work today.

She began her design career by freelancing for leading ready-to-wear design houses in New York City. She also created designs to help top yarn companies promote their new and existing yarns each season. Her ability to quickly develop fully envisioned garments put her skills in great demand.

Through the years, Leapman has written a few dozen knitting and crocheting books and is the author of several bestselling knit and crochet books, including Knit It (Chronicle Books, 2014), Cables Untangled, Mastering Color Knitting, and Knitting the Perfect Fit (all Random House). She is the author of The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook (Random House, 2013), a comprehensive knitting stitch dictionary which includes favorite patterns gathered over her more than 25 years in the industry. It’s the go to book for professionals and lay persons alike.

Her most recent book, Knitting Modular Shawls (Storey Publishing, 2018), empowers knitters to create their own custom shawl using the author's basic templates.

Nationally, her designs have been featured in numerous magazines, and her workshops on knitting and crochet are consistently popular with crafters of all skill levels.  She has taught at major events such as STITCHES, Vogue Knitting LIVE, and The Knitting Guild Association conferences, as well as at hundreds of yarn shops and local guild events across the country. She is a frequent guest on the PBS television series Knit and Crochet Now. Her fans look forward to getting together on her popular annual Nautical Knitting Cruise.


Classes Teaching:

Design-a-gram: The Secrets of Pattern Drafting | Wednesday, May 27 | 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Knitting for Newbies | Thursday, May 28 | 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Patty Lyons

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Patty is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert who is known for teaching the 'why' not just the 'how' in her pursuit of training the 'mindful knitter.' Patty teaches nationally at guilds and knitting shows around the country, and her popular classes can also be found online and on DVD at Interweave, Annie's and Craftsy.

Patty's designs and articles have been published by various yarn companies and books and magazines including: Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knitter’s Magazine, and Creative Knitting, where she also writes a knitter’s advice column, “Patty’s Purls of Wisdom”.

Classes Teaching:
Managing Cash Flow: Your Business Weather Report | Wednesday, May 27 | 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The Face of Your Business: Build the Staff & Customers You Want | Wednesday, May 27 | 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Totally Tubular! | Thursday, May 28 | 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Run Your Events Like a Broadway Stage Manager! | Thursday, May 28 | 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.



Cynthia Spencer

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Cynthia Spencer has owned Stitch Your Art Out for over 15 years and publishes knitting patterns under Really Clear Designs. She has a master's in writing and a Ph.D. in educational psychology. Before owning her shop, she taught both writing and education classes at Penn State for over 20 years.

Class Teaching:
The Colors of Your Yarn Shop
| Wednesday, May 27 | 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

The Practical Shop Owner | Wednesday, May 27 | 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.







Gale Zucker

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Gale Zucker is an award-winning editorial/commercial photographer. She is the co-author/photographer of the books Drop Dead Easy Knits, CraftActivism and Shear Spirit. Her clients include yarn companies, magazines, designers and artisanal manufacturers. Gale has been teaching Photography for Knitters and iPhone-ography workshops across the country since 2009. Find her on Instagram as @galezucker.

Classes Teaching:

Lights, Camera, Action! Going Live on Instagram and Facebook | Wednesday, May 27 | 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

No More Crickets! 10 Ways to Increase Participation in Your Online Community | Thursday, May 28 | 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Images and Hashtags Bootcamp: Shape Up Your Social Media | Thursday, May 28 | 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Get Your Design in Pattern Form: Self Publishing Pattern Workshop | Friday, May 29 | 7:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.