Beth Whiteside, Teaching, Editing and Designing in the Fiber Arts

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 Whiteside

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. BW CraftsyCutting 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).


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  1. Renee' C. says:

    Love it when you have Beth on your show, Marly! She’s so down-to-earth like you! She makes cutting your work sound so easy and non-intensive! I have her Steeking class on my wish list so that someday I might be as nonchalant about cutting my work as she seems to be (and you, for that matter, as I heard you talking about cutting your crochet). And, of course, that would be serendipity to take that course and be able to cut my work without having a heart attack!

  2. Erin K says:

    I was literally looking at Beth’s Craftsy class the day before I heard the interview. Talk about serendipity! Steeking both intrigues and scares me, so I predict her class is in my future eventually 🙂

  3. Vicki Lynch says:

    Perhaps it’s serendipity….I’ve been hearing about steeking and contemplating stranded knitting, but just haven’t felt confident enough to try without guidance. It sounds like Beth’s class would be a win/win for me and also for Beth. Wonderful show!

  4. Michelle says:

    It would certainly be serendipity at work if I learned how to do stranded knitting or steeking! They sound sooo scarry. Although you ladies did make it seem fun…maybe….I’ll give them a try!

  5. Lisa Nixon says:

    I doubt that I would be in a state of serendipity the first time I tried steaking…..but I am willing to add it to my list of “to do”. As always – thanks for a great podcast!

  6. Audrey Abbott says:

    Recently got on the Marly Bird wagon. Doors and windows are opening for this 58 year old brain! Wouldn’t it be serendipity if the first post I ever made turned out to be a winner?

  7. roseruffolo says:

    I guess it was serendipity that brought us together! I too am a “Jack of all trades”! I enjoy being that way….life never gets boring…but then again how could life get boring with Marly’s podcast and steeks with Beth?! THERE IS JUST NOOOO WAY!

    Great show ladies!

  8. Debbie Austin says:

    Loved to hear all about steeking. I have yet to try it. So I just might have to take Beth’s class. The serendipity of learning to steek really intrigues me.

  9. Ramona says:

    Ah serendipity, one of my favorite things. I experienced a lot last week on my driving trip around Texas. Thanks for another great interview. I learn so much from them and Beth was no exception!

  10. Kate M says:

    Thanks for another great show. I really enjoyed learning about Beth. I am still very nervous about steeking but maybe if I try I will have a serendipity moment.

  11. Renee S says:

    Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. And it would definitely be my serendipity moment if I were the winner!!! I enjoy your energetic podcast and the guests you interview.

  12. Missy Schmidt says:

    Steeking is sooooo scary!!! I would love to learn more! I also love the word “serendipity”. Thanks for another fantastic show!!!

  13. Lisa says:

    I’ve been wanting to learn to steek, and I have taken some classes from Beth at Stitches (she’s excellent, by the way)….her Craftsy steeking class is a bit of serendipity – this might be the perfect opportunity!

    (and speaking of Serendipity, can someone say “frozen hot chocolate”? – yum!)

  14. liz fox says:

    would love to be brave enough to steek! I say eek! But you never know – serendipity might just win out. Loved the interview with Beth

  15. Carol T says:

    Great interview with Beth. I do have to admit that steeking scares me! I am not sure that I will ever be brave enough to do it. The more that I listen to people talk about it on podcasts I think that it is slowly creeping closer to me maybe trying it??? Maybe someday? Maybe it would be serendipity to do it the first time. Thanks for a great podcast, Marly.

  16. Kathy M. says:

    I have never done steeking on my knitted items. I have the yarn and in my Ravelry queue a Fair Isle sweater. So, I will hopefully be steeking soon. It is a serendipity moment to hear about the class on steeking.

  17. hot knitter says:

    Serendipity – I love that word. I’m not afraid of seeking at all, but I haven’t done it yet only because I haven’t done a project that calls for it. I definitely want to steek some day.

  18. Martha Donley says:

    I just cut my knitting for the first time and I didn’t die. I only really learned one way to finish the cut edge so learning more would be great and it would be serendipity to learn something I didn’t know I needed to learn from her class.

  19. Suzanne says:

    In the serendipitous way the world works, I happened to stumble upon another podcast where Beth was interviewed after listening to yours. I kept thinking parts of the story resonated with me but then it became crystal clear why. Beth has a lively story and you were a great pair for enthusiasm. Thanks for the podcast!

  20. Amy L. says:

    I love to knit in the round much more than knitting flat so I guess it’s just serendipity that Beth’s newest offering is all about steeking! Thanks so much Marly for a great podcast episode!

  21. Ashleigh Eden says:

    I loved hearing from Beth! I’d never even heard of steeling before this podcast but it sounds like an interesting technique to try out. I think that serendipity is a great word, and it’s how I felt when I diary came across The Yarn Thing podcast 🙂

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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