Beth Whiteside, teaching, editing and designing in the fiber arts world, shared her story for the first time on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.
Beth says her parents immigrated to the US in the early 50’s and her parents were very self-sustained, she and her mom did a lot of crafts together, one of those crafts being knitting. A friend, Katie, encouraged her to knit, taking her to a knit shop and getting her hooked up with a Lopi Sweater. Knitting became a hobby.
When Beth worked in Boston, working as a quality assurance engineer testing software she and her with her co-workers discovered that a bunch of them were knitters, it sounds like lunchtimes became knit groups, and sometimes included and adventures to yarn shops. She enjoyed color and bounced around with all that could be done with knitting. Her mother referred to her as a ‘Jack of all Trades’ with her craft, not as a bad thing, but as there was so much to experience.
At some point the software career faded, and yarn became her career. The Jack of all Trades realized combining the skills she’d accumulated, the technical detail, the knowledge of graphic design, her love of writing could be used in the yarn industry. She found Atelier Yarns which is where Beth began teaching. Beth created a syllabus of classes she could teach. Over the years, she has found she has become not just a Jack of all Trades, but a Master of Plenty.
Beth attended a Stitches West when it was held in Oakland, about ten years ago, vowing never to miss another one and she hasn’t. Beth is now teaching at the various XRX Books/Stitches Events and co-hosting with Rick Mondragon the student fashion show held on Saturday evenings. She has been working with and learning from others that she’s met through the experience, like Sarah Peasley that we heard a couple of weeks ago, Laura Nelkin and Stacy Trock among others. Beth’s career of teaching at Stitches, began when she mentioned to the event coordinator that she would like to help with the learn-to-knit classes they were just beginning. (There’s others too, learn-to-crochet….) She was asked if she could travel, even with a small son she felt she could handle the other three locations. The thought by Beth that she could encourage new knitters was a very wonderful opportunity for her. She loves seeing the light bulb moment with students as they get it.
With Craftsy, Beth gets to share her love of Steeking, which is a technique many knitters haven’t the heart to attempt. Cutting your Knitting Strand & Steek with Confidence, accomplishes both the helpful tips to accomplish double strand knitting colorwork and then the courage we need to CUT our work. Beth admits she was nervous about this technique herself for many years. She actually took a class at Stitches where they practiced on a baby sweater, so it’s not a lot of time or money investments involved. The benefits of taking the class with Craftsy include the fact that your not walking away from class missing the nuggets you needed to accomplish something a little technical, you can go back and review, you can ask questions, you can read the questions of other students.
Creative Knitting (remember we just heard from Kara Gott Warner, the editor, when she shared the Annies Craft Festival) is hosting a KAL (Knit-A-Long) with Beth, HERE is the link to the Group Ravelry to experiences Mosiac knitting. Beth will also be taking over the newsletter from Tabitha Hedrick.
You can follow Beth Whiteside at her website www.bethwhitesidedesign.com, She has a designer page in Ravelry, a professional page in Facebook (which could use some likes, so go follow her there!) take a class with her at Stitches West or Stitches South (sharing the links to what’s currently open for registration for 2016).
If you missed getting to hear this live it is still available as an archived episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/11/05/beth-whiteside-teaching-editing-and-designing-in-the-fiber-arts or in iTunes.