2019 Winter Market 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 2019 Winter NeedleArts Market with new skills to take back to your business.

Elaine Aidonidis

Elaine_Aidonidis.jpgElaine Aidonidis has always had a love for needle arts. She began knitting and cross stitch as a child and was introduced to needlepoint about 15 years ago. She began teaching at the Wellesley Needlepoint Collection in June 2006 and at the Osterville Needlepoint Shop in 2017. She also currently has other teaching dates scheduled at needlepoint shops throughout the Northeast. Elaine has developed a passion for colors, fibers, and stitch selections that make a canvas come to life and help students of all levels enjoy their learning experience.

Class Teaching:

  • Stumpwork Flip-Flops | Saturday, February 2 | 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Grace Akhrem

Grace_Arkhem.jpgGrace Akhrem, a Los Angeles native, has always been artistic and crafty. She started out drawing, then painting, then moved on to photography and ceramics. Knitting and crochet was a natural progression for Grace that didn’t require any clean-up. Grace’s designs are inspired by color, yarn, texture and fashion. She loves working with vibrant and saturated colors that make you want to smile. Her love of color is where she draws most of her inspiration… although sometimes she just listens to what the yarn is telling her it wants to be. Grace’s main goal as a designer is to designs patterns that she would like to wear herself and she thinks others would as well. Grace focuses on construction and technique in all of her designs. She is known for two major design elements in her patterns, short-rows of all kinds and her uniquely designed bind off and stitch patterns. Although she does mostly focus on the short-row technique her designs can range from beginner to advanced and everything in between.  Grace loves her short-rows and she tries to use them whenever she can, but she also likes to use other techniques as well. Most of Grace’s patterns are designed for the adventurous beginner or the intermediate knitter in mind, but a well-seasoned knitter would find her patterns fun to knit. When she writes her patterns, Grace’s main goal is to make sure that its something a knitter will want to wear or make (of course), as well as to make sure her patterns are easy to read, understand and follow.

Grace has been crocheting since 2002 and knitting since 2003. She began to design knitting patterns without knowing so right away. Her first pattern was published in 2006. Her design career slowly began to grow as she independently published her own patterns. In 2008, Grace began to work with local dyer and artist Robin Page of Pagewood Farm. Grace designed many patterns with the Pagewood Farm yarns and it is still one of her favorite yarn companies to this day. In 2009 Deep South Fibers took on the distribution of Grace’s indepenently published patterns. In 2012, Grace began to pursue her design career full-time and hasn’t looked back since. Grace’s patterns have been published in other places like books and magazines. She has been featured in several issues of Interweave Press Knits, Knits Holiday Gifts, Knitscene, and Knitscene Accessories. Books Grace has been published in include Noro Kids, Noro Men, 60 More Quick Knits, 60 More Quick Baby Knits, 60 Quick Luxury Knits, Knit Noro, Easy Knitted Hats and Stitch Mountain. In addition to her design career, Grace teaches locally and nationally since 2005. Grace teaches regularly in and around Los Angeles County, where most of her classes focus on technique and design.

Classes Teaching:

  • Short Rows vs. Short Rows | Thursday, January 31 | 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Modifying Garments for Your Body and Yarn Choice | Friday, February 1 | 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 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:

  • Secrets of Great Product Photography: A Hands-On Workshop | Thursday, January 31 | 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Magic of Threes: Creating Effective Social Media Content | Friday, February 1 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Gwen Bortner

Gwen_Bortner.jpgGwen 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:

  • Building Better Business – Wholesaler Workshop | Thursday, January 31 | 2:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Accounting Basics – Making Sense of the Numbers | Saturday, February 2 | 7:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
  • The Brick and Mortar Retailer's Secret Weapon | Sunday, February 3 | 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Kerry Lord

KERRY_LORD_-_Converting_your_Customers.jpgKerry Lord is the author of the best-selling crochet book series Edward’s Menagerie. With 12 years experience in the craft industry, Kerry was at forefront of the British Craft revival which has made crochet one of the most popular crafting activities amongst millennials. Driven with an acute awareness of fashion trends and social media marketing, Kerry has built an engaged and loyal following across social media platforms that has led to the rapid growth and global success of her own brand: TOFT. As a luxury British wool company, TOFT products are sold, made, and loved all around the world.

Class Teaching:

  • Converting Your Customers to Crochet: #edsanimals and the Social Media Revolution | Saturday, February 2 | 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Gale Zucker

Zucker.jpgGale 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:

  • Secrets of Great Product Photography: A Hands-On Workshop | Thursday, January 31 | 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Magic of Threes: Creating Effective Social Media Content | Friday, February 1 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.