Teacher & Speaker Line-Up
Olga Buraya-Kefelian (Olgajazzy)
Olga currently lives in Alexandria, VA but grew up in Belarus, where she learned knitting at a very young age. While traveling the world in service of her spouse’s military career she adapted her knitting hobby into a career in knitwear design. Drawing inspiration from industrial and architectural fields, Olga’s knitwear designs are infused with innovation.
Her extensive design portfolio ranges from accessories to garments, balancing her love for texture and minimalism with technique-driven elements to bring us impeccably finished knitwear designs that can enrich the skills set of any knitter. She has authored several knitting titles and produced a number of collections, and can often be seen traveling the world teaching everything she knows about knitting. Find her work at olgajazzy.com and across most social media platforms as @olgajazzyknits
Connie Peng (yellowcosmo)
Connie, aka yellowcosmo, creates a wide range of sweaters and accessories designs using colorwork, cables and lace. Coming from a studio art background, she often starts her designs with original motifs of her own. Her first love is designing with colorwork, but she also enjoys working with unique combination of cables and lace in her designs. Born in Taipei, she moved with her family to San Francisco when she was in 12. The experience of learning a new language, living in a new culture in a vibrant city built a foundation of curiosity in her.
She studied art at University of California at Santa Cruz and later earned her MFA in painting at American University in Washington, DC. She moved to Lake Tahoe for snowboarding and found a job teaching art at a local college; meanwhile she started designing knit patterns. She takes her sense of adventure and her artistic sensibility into her knitwear design, making each design unique and fresh. Connie has published over 100 designs in the past 10 years and her designs appeared in Amirisu magazine in 2014 and 2015.
Francoise Danoy (ArohaKnits)
Francoise is a Franco-Māori Australian-American living in San Antonio, Texas. She started her career as a knitwear designer five years ago while living in Japan and just moved back to the States mid-2020.
Her designs document her journey to connecting with her Māori heritage. She also teaches knitwear design and helps aspiring and beginner knitwear designers feel confident about publishing patterns and establishing a strong foundation in the fibre industry through her signature program, the SWATCH Studio Circle.
Natasja is based in Amsterdam, and she finds a lot of inspiration in the beautiful architecture and the extraordinary people surround her. She is passionate about art, knitwear design, working on her PHD and her city (not necessarily in that order).
As far as knitting is concerned, she has come a long way from that first bright red garter stitch sweater she made when she was eight years old.
Natasja devours stitch pattern bibles, and her designs are modern, wearable and elegant, but always with a twist.
Carissa lives and knits in the Dallas, Texas area, where she has accepted the futility of stitching cozy woolen sweaters and has perhaps overcompensated with a three-month supply of hand knit socks. With a background in math, she particularly enjoys playing with geometry and developing new methods of constructing familiar shapes and patterns using knitted or crocheted fabric.
Artist and designer, Alexandra Davidoff blends textures, colors, cultures and techniques to create unique pieces of wearable and decorative art. Alexandra has been teaching knitting classes in Texas, Israel and Rwanda, Africa.
Before becoming Indie Knitwear Designer, she was designing garments and accessories for Coldwater Creek and Soft Surroundings. She got her Fashion Designer degree from The Art Institute of Dallas. Alexandra lives and works in Dallas,Texas, together with her husband, two daughters and adorable cocker
spaniel. You can find her on ravelry at StudioDavidoff and at her website alexandradavidoff.com
Dawn Barker is the designer and dyer behind the Texas-based Chasing Rabbits Fiber Co. With a focus on deeply saturated hand-dyed yarns, she blends her life-long love of color dynamics and experience as a fine artist into curated color collections and innovative knit and crochet designs.
She is happiest existing somewhere between the extreme freedom found in dyeing and the order necessary to create useful, wearable designs with her yarn. She lives in Amarillo with her husband and two sons.
Dawn runs a regional mill in South Central Texas, located in the low rolling hills outside of Independence, in Washington County. She and her husband make small-batch, land-based yarns and rovings from Texas grown natural fibers…minimally processed and traceable, with a known “Pasture of Origin”.
Along with the mill, they have a herd of 100 angora goats, with a growing flock of colored Rambouillet sheep.
Melanie Berg (keynote talk)
Melanie combines texture and color into wearable modern designs that are both playful and beautiful. She designs to surprise — from matching cheeky stripes with elegant lace, to choosing unexpected color combinations. She loves to collaborate with other creative types around the world, and her patterns have been published by yarn companies and knitting magazines large and small. Together with her husband and their three children, Melanie lives in Bonn, Germany, where she draws inspiration from the architecture and landscape.
Gudrun Johnston (keynote talk)
Gudrun Johnston was born in Shetland in the 70's when her mother was running the successful knitwear design company, The Shetland Trader. She spent her early years in Shetland and the rest of her childhood on mainland Scotland in various locations. Some 30 years later and now living in the U.S, she has followed in her mother's footsteps by reviving the Shetland Trader name, and has made a niche for herself in the knitwear design industry. Gudrun often includes aspects of her heritage in her work. Her third book of knitwear will be published this year and is based on her mum's work.
Pricing and Sign-up
(note: all the following links will lead to an error page until 12pm CST, Friday!)
Full Retreat Package: $350, includes three 2-hour classes of your choice, one optional 1-hr mini-class of your choice, Virtual keynote talks from Melanie Berg & Gudrun Johnston, access to all of our vendor presentations live or in replay, and a Retreat-In-A-Box Swag Box with goodies valued at $200! Full Retreat attendees will also be able to purchase additional classes at a discounted rate.
A-la-carte Options: Individual 2-hr classes are $50 each, Individual 1-hr mini-classes are $25 each, a Marketplace-only pass is $15, a Marketplace + Keynote talks pass is $45, and individual Keynote talks are $20 each
Registration will open at Noon Central Time on Friday, February 5th!
If you wish to register for the full retreat in a box:
inspired by the Panhandle landscape
inspired by the iconic graffiti art of
inspired by the unique colors found
in the flint from Alibates Flint
Quarries National Monument
Registration can fill fast so we recommend planning your schedule as well as any second choice classes ahead of time. You can download the full retreat schedule here, including brief class descriptions.