Jill Duarte:
Jill Duarte is the owner of HipStrings and is an avid fiber artist – spinning, knitting, crochet and weaving. She is inordinately fond of super fast spinning tools and short stapled fibers.

Raven Fagelson
Raven Fagelson learned to stitch at her parent’s knee. Thirty years later, she is an accomplished embroiderer who stitches crewel, blackwork, goldwork, and more. She loves teaching, especially that “Ah ha!” moment when a student grasps a new skill. Her master plan is to usher in a new gold age of embroidery.

Rebecca Harrison
I work with hands-on fibers processes, including natural dyeing, embroidery, screen printing, and knitting. Sustainability informs my concepts, material choices, and practices. Together, the two elements of Fibers + Sustainability have given me a structure for creating objects that I see as functional artifacts- objects that people can use and maintain as expressions of experience. I see my work as documenting stories. The relationship between land and people has been my main inspiration, especially in the places I’ve visited and where I’m from

Carolyn Oliver Haushalter
I have been a beaded jewelry maker since 2000. In 2006 I was introduced to kumihimo and it became my passion. With the support of my friends in the bead society I began to teach in 2009. I have taught at Crystal Bead Bazaar, the Society for Contemporary Craft, and the Pittsburgh East Knitting Guild. This year, a project I created was published in a special issue about kumihimo from Bead and Button magazine.

Sarah LaVoie:
My mom taught me the basics of crocheting about 8 years ago when I was home visiting for Christmas. I haven’t put the hook down since. I love the excitement of getting to make something original for someone, especially if it is something I have never created in the past. Crocheting is my happy place, whether that place is taking my yarn with me to the park, on a plane or on my couch.

Amy Ross Manko of Ross Farms
Amy transitioned from non-profit CEO to full-time agripreneur in 2012 and became the “Farmer-In-Chief” of The Ross Farm in 84, PA. She has traveled the country with her line of Heritage and Rare Breed wools, collecting ribbons for her fleeces AND her finished objects. She’s a lifelong learner and continually honing her craft to bring you the best in classroom instruction and hands-on workshops.

Margaret Mitchell:
Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa. I was privileged to attend Tam O`Shanter Art Classes taught by Joseph Fitzpatrick famed for having taught Andy Warhol. A large chunk of my childhood memories are of gathering with hundreds of my peers on Saturday mornings to sketch in Carnegie Museum. I can still hear Mr. Fitzpatrick’s famous maxim, “Look to see to remember.” This is where my formal art education ended. My world encouraged a more practical career endeavor. After completing my Masters Degree in Nursing I was inspired to learn to quilt. After several years of reproducing patterns I discovered that I could create my own designs. I remember thinking one day that art had been given back to me. For the last thirty years quilting has given me a venue to express myself artistically. My daughters played in scraps of fabric, wrapped themselves in quilts, and earned the joy of creating with fabric. Each received the required dorm quilt and other life celebration quilts. Each of them have gone off to pursue their own dreams. Playing with fabric often speaks the design. Vintage feedsacks and other vintage fabrics as well as modern cotton and wools are the medium I use to create unique pieces. My venture with Nonni’s quilts started in my quilting studio with a view of the West Virginia hills in the distance and has taken me back to urban Pittsburgh. In my studio when I open my inspiration book to start designing another piece for Nonni’s Quilts I understand that I live and am driven by Mr. Fitzpatrick’s words, “Look to see to remember”.

Sam Rose:
I have been sewing since I was about 4, my mother was a costumer and my grandmother is a visual artist. In middle school, I started cross-stitching and embroidering, and picked up knitting in college. From there, I have self-published patterns on Ravelry, have taught knitting in several states, and am a member of the South Hills Knitting Guild, the Weavers’ Guild of Pittsburgh, and the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh. Currently, I am a prospective board member of FGP, as well as Assistant Director of Fiberart International 2016. Along the way, I have picked up crochet, weaving, spinning, tatting, bobbin lace, and nalbinding.

Kitty Savel:
Kitty Savel, who lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taught herself how to crochet when she was in the sixth grade. She has been crocheting ever since. She is an active member of the Pittsburgh Fiber Arts Guild and is chair of the Guild’s Knitting and Crochet Mentoring group. Her work has been shown in galleries and artisan shows here in the Pittsburgh area as well as at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Art Gallery. She works with all types of yarn, crochet thread and, of course, wire in her work. She especially enjoys working with thread and wire. She is also a knitter and has taught both the Teach Me 2 Knit and Teach Me 2 Crochet classes at previous Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festivals. In addition to teaching at the annual Knit and Crochet Festival at the David Lawrence Convention Center Kitty teaches this class at the Veterans Administration in Oakland.

Lauren Sims:
After 10 years’ experience as a costume technician making everything from leather armor to lacy lingerie, Lauren left the theater to pursue freelance project management. Her fiber classes receive acclaim for their clarity of instruction and humor.

Nora Swisher (Founder):
I am a physicist by day and a fiber junkie by night. I knit, spin, and dye yarn as a creative outlet while attending grad school at Carnegie Mellon University. I am always happy to mix my two areas of expertise and look at the science of fiber art including the chemistry of dyes, material science of wool, coding in knitting, and stochastic knitting.

Anna Sylvester (Founder):
I am a lifelong fiber enthusiast with a passion for teaching and learning. I knit, spin, and dabble in crochet and fiber dyeing. I am always on the hunt for new techniques to learn and incorporate into my projects: the more complex, the better. I am fascinated by the way that fiber arts can be both alarmingly simple and incredibly intricate, and am excited to pass on the knowledge that she has gained in over 15 years of knitting.

Jen Walker:
I do science for money, but I nerd for free. I am a research scientist heading back to grad school soon. Crafting keeps the stress manageable. I am a process crafter, I’m more interested in how a thing is made than actually using the finished item. I like bright colors and sparkles and unicorns and rainbows (think LISA FRANK). I like to comb fiber and make rolags and blend things. I like to spin on Irish tension double treadle wheels (I <3 my Louet S10DT), and right now I’m into making traditional 3 plys and worsted weight singles. I also like beads, because shiny.

Please fill out this application if you have a skill that you’d like to share with the community, and are interested in teaching with Steel City Fiber!



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