Nordic Knitting Conference

2017 Teacher Bios

Meet This Year's Instructors!

Arne & Carlos

Scandinavians Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison are highly regarded designers, textile artists and authors. They are best known for their craft books and their original, colorful and visually striking designs. Their work is highly influenced by their Scandinavian background and their everyday life in rural Norway. They work under their artist name ARNE & CARLOS, arnecarlos.com, which they established in 2002.

In 2010, ARNE & CARLOS’ first craft book, Julekuler (55 Christmas Balls to Knit) became an immediate Norwegian best-seller and consequently went on to become a best-selling book in North America, Europe, and Asia. Today, ARNE & CARLOS have published seven books, which are enjoyed by people from all over the world. Their books are available in Norwegian as well as English, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

ARNE & CARLOS’ work is on permanent display in two museums in Oslo, Norway: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. They have also been on display at The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and The Gwangju Museum of Modern Art in South Korea. In 2012, to mark ARNE & CARLOS’ 10th anniversary, The National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design curated and produced a solo exhibition of the duos’ work. The exhibition was later shown in museums and art galleries all across Norway for three consecutive years.

The two Scandinavian designers have collaborated with many prestigious international brands, including high-end Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons. Today they design for and work closely with Rowan, Shachenmayr, and Regia yarns.

ARNE & CARLOS’ creative base is located 170 kilometers north of Oslo, Norway in the mountainous region known as Valdres. Between the lake and the mountains, visitors will find a disused railway station that has been converted into their own eclectic design studio and home. In this idyllic location Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison absorb the rich traditions of Scandinavian arts and crafts while adding their own personal inspirations.

Arne & Carlos will be teaching:

  • Traditional Norwegian Mittens with Akle Pattern Design
  • Knitted Birds
  • Crocheted Primrose Throw
  • Christmas Ball: The Squirrel

Beth Brown-Reinsel

Beth Brown-Reinsel has been passionately teaching historic knitting workshops nationally, as well as internationally, for over twenty-five years. Her book Knitting Ganseys has been deemed a classic. She has made three DVDs: Knitting Ganseys with Beth Brown-Reinsel, Color Stranded Knitting Techniques, and Sanquhar Gloves with Beth Brown-Reinsel.  Her articles and designs have appeared in Threads, Cast On, Interweave Knits, Knitting Traditions, Piecework, Shuttle, Spindle, and Dye Pot, Vogue Knitting, Knitters magazines, as well as The Knitter, a magazine of the UK. She continues to design for her own pattern line Knitting Traditions. Beth's website, blog, and email newsletter can be found at knittingtraditions.com.  She lives in Vermont and loves winter.

Beth Brown-Reinsel will be teaching:

  • Latvian Fingerless Mitts: A Study of Latvian Mittne Cuff Techniques and Multiple-Color Knitting
  • The Norwegian Fana Cardigan

Chris Bylsma

Chris Bylsma retired from a career in marketing communications and advertising to pursue her artistic passion – knitting – in her hometown, Madison, Wisconsin, and enjoy a little gardening with her husband, Charlie. Instead she is having a wonderful time teaching workshops coast to coast – and beyond – for TNNA, shops, guilds and conferences and has her own line of knitting patterns. She has also designed knit garments for the American Girl clothing line and has been featured in Vogue Knitting, Knit Simple, Creative Knitting and Knit n’ Style.  Taught by her grandmother to knit at age seven, Chris was encouraged in her knitting thereafter. When she was a teenager, her father offered to pay for her knitting yarns so she would follow through and complete her projects. He soon realized the folly of making such an offer but dutifully kept his (expensive) promise!  Of her career life, Chris says, “I continued to knit off and on as I pursued my career in marketing and advertising including a short stint in bank marketing. I am definitely not a pin-stripe type, though. I have long arms so I resorted to knitting my own designer suits that were presentable in the stuffiest of boardrooms yet were comfortable and traveled well. I called them my ‘St. John knits for the financially challenged’.” Chris continues to design to fill a specific need in her wardrobe. "I became more daring with age (purple is my neutral)." Others took notice and commissioned her knitwear. When she left the corporate world she started teaching classes locally, and now nationally and internationally. In her teaching role, Chris’ reward is when the "light bulb" goes off and knitters learn to discover and trust their own creativity. Among others, her classes include finishing techniques, unusual ways to combine colors and gauges, and special knitting techniques, such as the dropped stitch. In her workshops, she encourages knitters to “color outside the lines” – where it’s more fun! Chris firmly believes that knitting is not construction. Knitters should explore and make mistakes, feel free to change their minds and most of all, enjoy what they are doing. Chris’ classic designs are notable for their ease, clever constructions, and fresh, surprising looks. Her Crayon Box Jacket and inventive Ladder Shawl designs are two of the most notable. Also a Master Gardener, Chris finds inspiration in nature’s colors and combinations, and her knitting designs reflect her pleasure combining fibers, textures, gauges, colors, in ways that create fun, yet always wearable knits.

Her website, ChrisBylsmaDesigns.com, showcases all of her designs and provides a list of sources.

Chris Bylsma will be teaching:

  • An Uncommon Approach to Traditional Steeks
  • Embrace Your Nordic-ness: Two-Color Stranded Knitting 101
  • A Selbu Mitten Tradition: Your Own Family Mitten Design
  • Translating Traditional Designs into Modern Knits

Evelyn Clark

Evelyn Clark is a designer who lives in the Pacific Northwest. She left a marketing career to live a simpler life and developed a passion for Icelandic lace. She enjoys sharing her knitting with others in classes and workshops. Her designs have been published by Fiber Trends, Interweave, Knitter's, Leisure Arts, and Vogue, and she is the author of Knitting Lace Triangles and The Icelandic Lace Collection e-books.

Visit evelynclarkdesigns.com for more information.

Evelyn Clark will be teaching:

  • Modern Icelandic Lace Shawl

Laura Ricketts

Laura Ricketts is a knitter, knitwear designer, teacher, and author. A history teacher by profession with a Master's degree in education, she has combined that love for history, literature, and textiles in her handcraft teaching. Some of her literature-inspired patterns have appeared in Cooperative Press’ Defarge book series. It is the beauty and precision of Nordic, stranded knitting, however, which has become her passion. Inspired after teaching and living among the nomadic peoples of Mongolia, Laura was intrigued by the handcrafts of Scandinavia’s nomadic peoples, the Sámi, and asked the question, “What have the Sámi contributed to Nordic Knitting?” The answer has turned into a wonderful quest, and has blossomed into visits, friendships, and wonderful knitwear. Piecework and Knitting Traditions have published her articles about the Sámi knitting tradition, as well as BÁIKI: The North-American Sámi Journal. After an extensive visit to Sapmi, the Sámi traditional homeland, Interweave published her ebook on Sámi mittens across the region.  She lives in north-central Indiana. Visit laurarickettsdesigns.com to learn more.

Laura Ricketts will be teaching:

  • Jokkmokk Flowers, Miniature Mittens: A Swedish Sami Handgarments Class
  • Skolt Sami Socks
  • Sami Knitted Mitten Techniques, Beginners
  • Skolt Sami Motifs

Carol Rhoades

Carol has researched traditional knitting in Scandinavia and has a special interest in the wools and techniques for traditional handspun and knitted garments, particularly those of Scandinavia and England. She is the Technical Editor of and frequent contributor to Spin-Off magazine, writes for Piecework, and translates Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish knitting books into English. Carol’s teaching has taken her around the US, including to the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) and the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, as well as to England, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and New Zealand.  She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Carol Rhoades will be teaching:

  • Lace and Bead Knitting
  • Finnish Kornsäs Knitting/Crochet
  • Knitting and Wrapping Stitches
  • Beaded Wrist Warmers

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