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The Net Loft welcomes the following fine fiberart instructors to FisherFolk 2016.

Beth Brown-Reinsel

The Net Loft welcomes Beth Brown-Reinsel as our mentor for the Cordova Gansey Project, and instructor for Fiber & Friends 2016.

Beth Brown-Reinsel has been passionately teaching historic knitting workshops nationally, as well as internationally, for over 25 years. 


Her book Knitting Ganseys has been deemed a classic.  She has completed three DVDs: Knitting Ganseys with Beth Brown-Reinsel, Color Stranded Knitting
Techniques, and Sanquhar Gloves.  She loves to prowl the storage section of museums around the world to look at old knitted things for inspiration for her patterns and classes.  Her articles and designs have appeared in Threads, Cast On, Interweave Knits, Knitting Traditions, Piecework, Shuttle, Spindle, and Dye Pot, Vogue Knitting, and Knitters magazines.  She continues to design for her own pattern line Knitting Traditions.  Beth's website, blog, and eNewsletter can be found at  She lives in Vermont and loves winter!

Knitting Ganseys Book

Bonne Marie Burns

Loving all things to do with the making and wearing of fashionable clothing, Bonne Marie Burns founded the design company Chic Knits early in the 21st century. She is currently being inspired by the colorful majesty of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives and designs modern knitwear and teaches innovative knit construction techniques.    

Her FisherLassie sweater was designed as a contemporary gansey as part of our Cordova Gansey Project.

Chic Knits: Modern Designs for Modern Knitters 
Valerie Covel

"Began my self-taught knitting career at the young age of ten.  My parents were selling their house in upstate NY and a couple came to look at it and the lady was knitting while they were discussing details.  After they left I told my mom I wanted to learn to knit.  There were plenty of relatives who crocheted, tatted and sewed but no knitters.  So off to the five and dime store we went and bought some pink variegated yarn, a pair of straight needles and a “Teach Yourself to Knit” book.  A few weeks later the couple came back wanting to buy the house and I was quite excited to show the lady my variegated pink ameba.  It is an image I will never forget.  That’s how it started and I have been hooked ever since.  While living in Cordova The Net Loft has played a major part in my knitting success and I am thankful to have such a wonderful avenue available to further my knitting journey."

Valerie is a multitalented individual and has taught kntting classes at The Net Loft for over ten years.

Kathy Hattori

“Kathy Hattori is the founder and President of Botanical Colors and markets natural dyes to artisans and industrial clients seeking the beauty of the sustainable natural color palette. Ms. Hattori is a recognized authority on natural dyes and pigments and commercial applications using natural dyes and has worked in the field since 2003. She consults and advises companies on their natural dye implementation strategies and has worked with the largest natural dye houses in the United States, including Swans Island, Bollman Hat Company and Ramblers Way Farm. Her international experience includes creating a natural dye program for IUV, the largest organically certified tannery in Europe and current work in Southeast Asia with a Bluesign certified dye house implementing large scale natural dye programs. She is currently advising on the design of an eco-dyehouse in Kenya, completing a USDA grant on the feasibility of growing natural dye plants in the southeast US and developing a new natural dye knitting yarn line. She teaches and lectures about natural dyes and has written articles for the Turkey Red Journal and is sought after as a speaker about the status of natural dyes in global textile production.”

You can find out more about Kathy’s work at:
photo credit: Beth Newfeld

Christa Hoover

Christa is one of the core Net Lofters from days out the road  at 6 1/2 mile, when we were actually located in a Net Loft of a fishing warehouse.  She is a multi-talented handcrafter, and has lent many a hand through a variety of Net Loft classes, programs, and events, and has taught both needlework and needlefelt classes  at the shop.  

Christa is a fine needleworker and craftsperson, but most recently, she has become a skilled surface needlefelter, and will be sharing her skills in creating artistic scenes in felt using a variety of fibers.   (ps...Her little felted mushrooms and terrariums are pretty sweet, too.)

Elizabeth Johnston

Elizabeth Johnston is a Shetland spinner and knitter.  She learned much of her craft as a child, observing and learning from family and friends. She uses these age old skills, handed down through generations, to turn Shetland fleece into beautiful soft yarns, and knitted Fair Isle and lace items in her business, Shetland Handspun. Elizabeth has demonstrated, lectured and taught workshops in Spinning, Lace and Fair Isle knitting in Shetland, through the UK, Europe and in the USA. 

Here is a wonderful interview with Elizabeth to learn more about her:

Alyssa Kleissler

Alyssa Kleissler started dancing when she was 3 years old in her hometown studio in Union, NJ.  Encouraged by her dance teacher, she completed the Dance Teacher's of America summer intensives in NYC and began teaching at Cherney Dance Studio when she was 16 years old.  Although she did not major in dance in college, she continued to take classes in ballet and modern dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts, part of Rutgers University in NJ.  At 23, she joined the performing group Up With People and traveled around the country and the world as one of the lead dancers.

Upon moving to Cordova, AK, where there was no dance going on other than on the barroom dance floor, she decided to open her own dance business, then called Cordova Danceworks.  She has remained in Cordova, now teaching all styles of dance to all ages out of her home studio, Current Rhythms.  Before she became of mom of 2 girls, who so far LOVE to dance, she enjoyed going to dance intensives.  

She started practicing yoga in 2001 and has just recently completed the 200 hour yoga teacher's training through Laughing Lotus Yoga Studio in Anchorage, AK with Svia Rothstein and Lindsey Britt.  Her yoga classes are a blend of different schools of yoga including Viniyoga - the therapeutic style, Vinyasa Flow - linking the postures with the breath like a dance, and Hatha Yoga - focussing on alignment and foundations of the postures. Having practiced through both pregnancies and breast cancer, she loves how yoga readily adapts to a person’s ability every day, every practice.

Alyssa has been dancing for 40 years and teaching dance for 27 of those years.  Alyssa loves how dance allows a person to express herself without words and also how dance develops and nourishes human relationships.  She enjoys seeing her students strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence as well as work on their problem solving skills. She will be teaching the yoga for knitters workshops

Melina Meyer

Melina is from Cordova, Alaska and the class coordinator for the Net Loft.  She is the instructor and creative force behind our CraftSaturdays at the shop, and skilled in many crafts.  She has her own local business of jewelry making and handcrafting of teas and herbs, selling at our local Saturday Markets and craft fairs. 

Mary Jane Mucklestone

Mary Jane Mucklestone is a hand knitting designer who likes the process of knitting as much as the product she makes. This website gives Mary Jane the happy opportunity to share with you directly what she's learned and what she loves. Mary Jane Mucklestone loves to knit, especially with color.

Mary Jane’s the author of 2 new books featuring stranded colorwork; the stitch dictionary 150 Scandinavian Motifs, and Fair Isle Style a contemporary take on colorwork featuring 20 projects from 18 popular designers. Her first book 200 Fair Isle Motifs was an instant classic and has been translated into many languages. Mary Jane travels the world to study traditional knitting techniques and to learn more about the history of the craft.

Mary Jane is a popular teacher specializing in lively, fun and informative classes. She feels lucky to be invited to teach all over the world, and is eager to share knitting knowledge with her students. She aims to give students the courage to try something new! Mary Jane’s inventive handknitting designs are featured in many books and magazines as well as on her website,

Gail Nowicki

Gail Mack Nowicki has been a summer resident of Cordova since 1987.  She was born and raised in Hawaii, and is the wife of a commercial salmon fisherman in Cordova.  Being the fortunate neighbor of the original Net Loft at 6 1/2 mile, Gail began working at the Net Loft in 1989, as well as taking numerous classes in knitting, cross stitch, silk ribbon embroidery and weaving.  

Gail has been teaching rigid heddle weaving classes since 2002, when the Net Loft moved to its current location.  She is a returning Fiber and Friends weaving instructor and is most grateful to the Net Loft for providing years of fellowship and tea at knitters night outs,  enlightening classes for the heart and soul, and years of friendship around the camp fire. 

Bonnie Morris Phillips

Bonnie is a returning instructor for Fiber and Friends, and well suited for our FIsherFolk theme. Having met Bonnie in the APA bunk house in 1978, she has been a source of inspiration and a beloved friend.  Bonnie taught me how to hang fishing nets and it was in the old net loft in the  Alaska Packers Association  warehouse  that the idea for  "a little wooden cabinet with a shelf of yarn and a jar of needles and some cross stitch kits" was conceived.  I have known her for her knitting and her sourdough.  

Born in Bozeman, Montana,  sewing since age five, she learned to knit when she was eight years old.  Bonnie studied at UC Berkeley in 60's, graduated with a  Bachelors of Science  in Civil Engineering from University of Wyoming, and Masters in Secondary Math Education at Alcorn State, Mississippi.  She  studied textiles at Pacific Basin in Berkeley, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Haystack Mountain, and Amana Arts Colony, and taught knitting in the Alaska Artists in Schools Program.  Having lived in Alaska for many years,  her multi media creations range from  birch bark baskets to Nets of Ribbon  reflecting her years  as a commercial fishing net mender on the docks of Cordova.

Currently living in Laramie, Wyoming, she does some experimental art work with textile techniques, but mostly for friends.  Her knitting, however is functional and fitted, and a stronghold for her throughout the years.  In her words, simply, yet perfectly put, "I love wool, it is so cuddly and reliable".  She will be teaching a class that will connect those taking to the art and craftsmanship of net construction.
A kindred spirit.

Terri Stavig

While in fourth grade, Terri Stavig and her one-room country school classmates, were taught to knit during recess when the winter temperatures in northern Minnesota fell below zero.   She didn’t pick up knitting needles again until the fall of 1980 after being inspired by a summer spent in Greenland and Iceland.  With Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books at her side, knitting friends, and the support of her local yarn shop owner, she has enjoyed a knitting journey filled with fun!   

Her blog,  Dilly Dally Days, is a pleasant and enjoyable retreat into her wonderful multi-craft life.