Instructor Spotlight: Lauren Sims

Lauren Sims: Spinner, Knitter, Teacher


“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.”

A Brief Interview with Lauren:

SCFC: How long have you been knitting, what got you started?
I’ve been knitting seriously for a little over a decade. Like a lot of people, my mom taught me to knit when I was eight or nine, I made a couple of scarves, and then I forgot about it. When I was in my mid-twenties and working full time in costuming, I was doing a lot with clothing construction and decided I wanted to understand knitting on a structural level. I started with the book “Knitting in Plain English” by Maggie Ryan (which is still one of my favorite resources), worked my way through her “Stupid Baby Sweater” project (her words, not mine!) and took off from there!

SCFC: What interests you about teaching?
I learned the skills I value the most by studying – in person – with people who are serious, long-term students of their art. I think the best way to learn is to be in a room with someone like that who’s really paying attention to you and to what you’re doing. The teacher seat is the most interesting place in the world because you get to see your experiences reflected in the work of your students, and you are always trying to make a better connection with them to pass on as much information as possible in the way that clicks best.

SCFC: What other kinds of things do you make?
Right now, mostly a one-year-old son. He doesn’t leave me a ton of time. But I spin, sew, cook, preserve… anything that keeps me working with my hands.

SCFC: What inspires you?
People who are dead good at what they do. I’ve been blessed enough to study in person with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the Yarn Harlot), Judith MacKenzie, and Beth Smith, and they are such gifted teachers and such phenomenal practitioners. I also draw a lot of inspiration from the clockmaking videos that Chris at Clickspring makes, for their clarity and his mind-bending attention to detail. I am in awe of his patience.

I am also inspired by the four co-owners of the Steel City Fiber Collective, who took a brave leap to open this business and run it with nothing but grace and class. Cheers, ladies!

If you’d like to take one of Lauren’s classes, you’re in luck! She teachings all levels of knitting and spinning at Steel City Fiber. Check out some of her upcoming classes in our Square store:


12 Days of Crafting Wrap Up

Stumped for ideas of what to get the crafter in your life for the holidays? The SCFC has your back. See all of our gift ideas in this reference post!

  1. Cross Stitch Kits
  2. Sock Yarn
  3. Project Bags*
  4. Deconstructed Sweater
  5. Learn to Spin*
  6. Don’t Be Crewel*
  7. Sweaters for your Coffee*
  8. Dye-It-Yourself*
  9. Warmth*
  10. Fortitude
  11. Membership*
  12. Custom Gift Bag*

* marks gifts that don’t require experience to enjoy!