Meet the Team

Every year we are lucky to invite a myriad of fibre artists from spinning, weaving, felting, dyeing, knitting and other assorted topics. This year, we're very excited to include these instructors among our workshop list. Be sure to check out their associated websites and biographies to learn more about them. If you see an instructor you like, sign up for their class quickly! There is limited space to share some time learning from these incredible artists.

A full list of instructors and organizers for Fibre Week 2018 will be available soon.

2018 Fibre Week Instructors:

2018 Fibre Week Instructor Biographies


Michelle Boyd

Michelle Boyd is a spinner and weaver who lives right here in Olds, Alberta. Michelle is a graduate of Olds College’s Master Spinner Program and is now an instructor for that program. She has also taught spinning and weaving workshops at numerous fibre arts shops, conferences and festivals across North America. Michelle also writes about the technical aspects of handspinning and has been published in Spin-Off and PLY Magazine. While she still spins daily, Michelle is also currently exploring free-style weaving and garment design based upon the principles of SAORI weaving with the intention of incorporating handspun yarns into her one-of-a-kind wearables.



Fiona Ellis

Fiona Ellis graduated from DeMontfort University (England) in 1993 with a degree in fashion knitwear design. Since then she has designed for ready-to wear fashion. Her work has appeared in the leading knitting magazine publications and in yarn pattern booklets for many of the large yarn companies, as well as in collaboration with other businesses, including River City Yarns (Edmonton AB). She is proud to have been included in Twist Collective since the premiere issue in 2008. She is also the author of Inspired Cable Knits, Knitspiration Journal and Inspired Fair Isle Knits and an instructor at Craftsy.

Visit her online at

Michelle Hughes

Michelle was first introduced to the fiber arts by her Mom and grandmother, learning how to knit and crochet at the age of 7, Michelle has been sewing since the age of 10. Later Michelle, her husband and 3 boys moved to Canada from England, where she then had another son. Michelle has lived out on their hobby farm for 15 years raising both goats, sheep, chickens and a horse. Michelle has learned lots of hobbies that have brought her back to basics, from milking goats, making cheese, spinning her own yarn and her biggest passion is weaving, where she has dedicated the last 16 years weaving and pushing boundaries. The last 5 years she has been working on her Master Weaving program through Olds College where she is has just completed Level 4.


Carol James

Carol began exploring North American sash-making methods because of her Quebecois husband. Invited to teach in her hometown of Winnipeg, she came to be known as The SashWeaver. Her students encouraged her to publish the handouts she created for the class. This was the genesis of her first book Fingerweaving Untangled.

Known for her expertise in North American braided belts, military re-enactors asked her to make sashes for them. They wanted sprang sashes. This opened the door to yet another technique. Encouraged by the success of Fingerweaving Untangled, and determined to ease the learning process for others, Carol transformed her sprang learning curve into the book Sprang Unsprung.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to travel, Carol has taken the time to examine historic examples of these techniques. She has successfully reproduced a number of items including sashes for the US National Parks Service, sashes and a hammock for Parks Canada, a replica of George Washington’s silk sprang sash, a replica of the “Tonto” shirt in the collection of the Arizona State Museum, belts for the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, and numerous sprang bonnets. Carol has published articles on the subject of these techniques in magazines such as Handwoven, Spin-Off, Journal for Weavers Spinners and Dyers, and Ply Magazine.

Carol has been invited to teach at diverse international conferences, including HGA’s Convergence (Long Beach, Providence) and The Braid Society’s Braids 2012 and Braids 2016. She has attended professional textile conferences, presenting papers on her work at the Textile Society of America, CIETA (Centre International d’Etude des Textiles Anciens) of Lyon, France, the Textile Research Center in Copenhagen, and the Textiles of the Nile Valley Conference in Antwerp, Belgium.

Visit her online at


Amanda King

After sewing casually for over10 years, Amanda graduated with distinction from the Olds College Apparel Technology program in 2013 with the goal of specializing in leather garment design. Whilst a student, she secured a position with Buckskin Leather Company in Calgary, AB, where she learned more about her favourite medium than would have been possible from reading and research alone. During her five-years at Buckskin, she has combined her knowledge in fashion design with that gained at the store to produce one-of-a-kind leather garments for a select clientele, and advise Buckskin customers on the most appropriate leathers for their projects. More recently she has worked in co-operation with the Olds College Continuing Education department to offer introductory level classes at the Fashion Institute for others wanting to learn more about working with leather.

Currently, Amanda is continuing her post-secondary studies in business, and developing her long-delayed line of leather corsets.


Maria Lougheed

Maria is an avid knitter and very knowledgeable about her craft.  She spends time every day knitting and designing one of a kind items.  She has a Master Knitter Certificate from the Knitting Guild of Canada, Master Spinner Certificate and Dress Making and Design Certificate as well.

She does all types of knitting from plain knitting to lace, cables, fair isle, intarsia and complex patterns. A day is not complete without doing some type of fibre arts be it spinning, knitting, or sewing. Adding to the fun is to mix different fibre arts into one project.


Lois McDonald-Layden

Hi! My name is Lois and I was born and raised in a very small fishing village in Northern Nfld. A horticulturist by trade, I am now a full time felt artist and I own a thriving felted art/home decor business. An Army wife & Mom of 3, I have lived all over Canada. I make felted home decor, little birds and wool paintings. My work is inspired by this gorgeous country and includes lots of moons, sunsets, trees, wildflowers, northern lights, and the ocean. I currently live in NB where I have a lovely home studio, and lots of inspiration outside my door. I am a member of The Fibre Arts Network and a juried member of Craft NB.

Visit her online at


Kara Perpelitz

Kara Perpelitz began spinning in 2008, and completed the Master Spinners program in 2017. She has taught classes on wet and needle felting, as well as a variety of spinning classes ranging from beginner to intermediate to students ranging in age from 5 - 75. Her favourite experience was working with a local teacher to bring life to a lesson on global awareness of textiles by teaching grade 7/8/9's to spin, dye, and weave. She has had work published in PLY Magazine. Examples of her spinning and felting work can be found at

Outside of the fibre world, Kara enjoys spending time with her family (which consists of 1 husband, 3 kids, 3 cats, a dog, a couple budgies and many guppies), co-owns a plumbing business with her husband, and volunteers with a few local organizations.

Visit her online at


Catherine Ross

Catherine has been studying fiber arts all her life and weaving for the past 8 years. She has explored many looms and weaving techniques and is something of a collector. Her teaching history includes weaving classes at Fiber Week and quilting and sewing classes at many varied locations.


Christie Schulze

Christie has been spinning for close to 10 years.  She signed up for the Master Spinner program at Olds College having never even touched a wheel before and her passion for fibre arts was born.  She practices her art in Calgary, AB where she lives and draws inspiration from the doorway between mountains and prairie.


Ingrid Servold

I first became an avid embroiderer, then a knitter and seamstress as a young adult. I went on to study at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and earned a B.Sc. in Textile Studies.  Shortly after graduating, my grandmother gifted me with her floor loom and my journey as a weaver began. Through Olds College I have completed Levels 1-3 of the Master Weaver program.  Currently I am working on completing Level 4 and am enjoying the creative design process that it explores.


Laurie Steffler

Laurie Steffler is an accomplished Canadian fibre artist, felt fashion designer and instructor. Her passion for texture, colour layering, dyeing, resists, using new felting innovations and the sculptural possibilities in felt replaced her paint palette in 1986. She loves to work with merino wool, silk fabrics, exotic fibres, dyes and her own prefelts. Every year she designs a new felt fashion line of hats, scarves and garments as well as carrying her original favorites for her annual Xmas Craft Show Tour. She travels to teaching engagements and holds her Annual Summer Felt Retreat on Salt Spring Island. Her students appreciate her 30 years of extensive felting knowledge and the stories she shares through that experience. She uses many tricks to make felting an easier and quicker process so that her students have lots of design time and their work is completed in class.

Visit her online at


Diana Twiss

Diana is an experienced fibre arts instructor with a background in adult education and fine art. Passionate about fibre, fabric, colour and texture, she has introduced many beginners to the wonders of making yarn and has helped experienced spinners experiment with technique, colour, and fibre to take their spinning to a new level. Diana has a deep curiosity about how fibres, colours and techniques all work together to make unique yarn, and translates this into accessible, interesting and fun classes. She lives in the countryside outside of Vancouver, BC; grows flax for linen, flowers for her dye pot, and basil and garlic for the best pesto in the valley.

Spinner Spotlight 
Instagram: dianatwiss