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Speaker and Instructor Bios

Signe Aarhus

Signe Aarhus, co-founder of the Norwegian business Oleana, will deliver the keynote address at the 2019 Nordic Knitting Conference. Oleana is quite a success story - a Norwegian textile company established in 1992; it is very innovative in that it keeps production within Norway, hires "older than av­ erage" workers and, most of all, dares to tamper with traditional Norwegian design in creating fabulous new textile designs. She has been described as the "Alice Wa­ters of clothing" with an emphasis on craftsmanship, in­novation and values. She believes the world should make fewer but more beautiful clothing, and that peo­ple should "wear their values."

Signe Aarhus was awarded the "Norwegian Business Woman of the Year" in 2003. Her book is entitled Oleana: From Dream to Fairytale Reality, pub­lished by Cappelen Damm, ISBN 978-82-33160-3, year 2010, authors Kolbjørn Valestrand, Signe Aarhus and Solveig Hisdal.

Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison

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, 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 7 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.

Their 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 3 consecutive years.

The two Scandinavian designers have collaborated with many prestigious international brands, including high-end Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons (2008). Today they design for and work closely with Rowan, Shachenmayr and Regia yarns.

Evelyn Clark

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

Flóra Carlile-Kovács

Flóra Carlile-Kovács, award winner of several wearable art shows, is a professional felt artist and instructor. Born and raised in Szeged, Hungary, she now lives and works in Seattle, WA. Besides designing and teaching felting, she is leading Felting Tours to Hungary annually since 2016.

“My interest in textiles drew me to graduate studies in ethnography and museology, but I had always felt a deeper passion for creating with fiber rather than analyzing it. I have experimented with many types of traditional fiber arts, including embroidery, knitting, weaving, beading, sewing, lace making, basket weaving, etc. Since I’ve learned felting, I've quit doing all other crafts. I think of felting as painting and sculpting combined. The combinations of colors and the different qualities and applications of wool hold vast possibilities in the textures, forms, and effects. I am most attracted to felting because it is a limitless medium. I learned the most through lots of explorations and many mistakes and consider myself a self-taught artisan. Over the past 13 years, I have improved the traditional techniques and invented new ones of my own. So far my main focus has been creating wearable art and teaching my craft on all levels and fulfilling my roles as a wife and mother of two children.” www.florafelts.com, www.felttours.com

Justin Allan-Spencer

Justin Allan-Spencer is a graphic and book designer living in Seattle. He comes from a long line of needleworkers and has been practicing needlework for over 30 years. In 2014, he started a project, recreating the 1000+ traditional patterns collected in the Íslensk Sjónabók (Icelandic Pattern Book) in standard cross-stitch. He is a board member of the Seattle-Reykjavik Sister City Association, an organization dedicated to building personal connections between the residents of both cities. Learn more at www.justinallan.com

Laura Ricketts

Laura Ricketts is a knitter, knitwear designer, author, and teacher with a master’s degree in education. She combines her 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 stranding knitting, however, that has become her passion. Laura became intrigued by the crafts made by the Sámi, Scandinavia’s indigenous people, after she spent time living and working among the nomadic peoples of Mongolia. She asked a fateful question: “What have the Sámi contributed to Nordic Knitting?” The answer has led her on a wonderful quest, which 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 Sápmi, the Sámi traditional homeland, Interweave published her e-book on Sámi mittens across the region. She lives in north-central Indiana.

Susanna Hansson

Susanna Hansson is a sought-after teacher and speaker who originally learned to knit in the 5th grade in her native Sweden. She has been instrumental in the renaissance of interest in the unique patterned colorwork Bohus Stickning sweaters and her collection of vintage garments was the centerpiece of a highly successful exhibit at the American Swedish Institute (ASI) in 2009. Most recently, her collection was exhibited at the Seven Oaks Bohus Stickning Symposium in St. Louis, MO, earlier this year.

Susanna’s work is grounded in her love of technique, detail, history, and culture and this is clearly reflected in all her workshops. In addition to teaching at national ‘Stitches’ events, Susanna has taught for guilds, retreats, and shops all over North America as well as in Scandinavia, the UK, and Japan. She has attended many and taught at several of the annual Nordic Knitting Symposiums, and she’s very happy to be teaching in her own backyard at the 2019 Nordic Museum’s Knitting Conference.

To contact Susanna, please email her at susanna.hansson@oneofsusannas.com

Yr Johannsdottir

Icelandic knit artist, Ýr Jóhannsdóttir, has been creating her knitworks under the name Ýrúrarí since 2012. Ýr got her BA degree in textile design from Reykjavík school of visual arts and Glasgow school of Art. The work of Ýrúrarí is mostly done by knitting and working with the possibilities of new visual elements knit can create in spaces and on the human body in a way of illustrating the everyday three-dimensional space. Ýr’s knit works are on the wide spectrum from hand knitting figurative fun pieces on old jumpers to machine knitting abstract and complex mathematical textiles, working with the technique of weaving, OP art and making dimensions meet on the surface of knitted fabric.

Get a peek into Ýr's process through her Instagram www.instagram.com/yrurari

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