top of page

2019 Retreat Instructor and Designer Bios

Betsy Alspach

I have been obsessively spinning for 22 years and enjoy every step of the process from seeing sheep, washing a fleece, dyeing, carding/combing, spinning, knitting. I learned first on the spinning wheel but also appreciate the drop spindle, an ancient tool which was used long before there were spinning wheels.


Through my small business, Eagle Lake Fibers, I teach all aspects of the spinning process in a variety of settings. I sell yarns and spinning fibers at shops in MA and also in the Etsy shop

angela crease.jpg

Angela Crease

I have been crocheting for 35 years. I learned from my grandmother and enjoy to pass along my love of the craft. I then got bit by the designing bug and now create my own patterns.

deb gerhard.jpg

Deb Gerhard

Deb Gerhard is a former environmental engineer who turned her pursuits to technical editing over the last eight years and more recently to knitwear design. She can usually be found in either Rhode Island or Maine with yarn and needles in tow. She enjoys creating designs that use color and shaping in an innovative fashion. When she's not knitting, you can find her cooking, baking, tinkering around on the piano or off hiking somewhere along the New England coast.

Barbara Kish

I knit. I spin. I weave, embroider, and sew. I was lucky to grow up in a family that not only enjoys handwork, but has a deep respect for the time and effort that goes into it. I was taught that the end product is only as good as what you put into it-from your own effort to the materials you choose.

Natural dyes rarely produce exactly the same result twice, even when using a recipe for extracts. I'm also attracted to the connection to the past natural dyes provide. Contemporary dyeing wasn't around until the late 1800s, but colored cloth? Just a little longer. For example, weld, or dyer's broom has been found on cloth from ancient Egypt.

And because I'm a pragmatic iconoclast, I'll offer one more thought: your time is precious. Don't waste it on ugly yarn.

Pam Sluter

Pam Sluter is a knitting designer and teacher living in Rhode Island. She loves exploring different techniques, new yarns, and the problem-solving aspects involved in designing. She has a B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a certificate in textiles. She has taught knitting at a variety of venues including the Fuller Museum, Barrington Community School, Slater Mill Knitting Weekend and local knitting stores.


When not playing with yarn, Pam likes hanging out with her family, dogs and chickens, as well as sewing and hiking. Pam welcomes you to view her designs at

Debbie Trainor


Stitches by Debbie is the home of the knitting life of Debbie Trainor.  Debbie formerly operated Knit n Sew Studio to share her passion for all things hand-stitched.  Debbie is a life long knitter having learned as a young child.  Throughout her career as a public school accountant, Debbie taught knitting to children and adults in summer programs, local libraries, and craft stores.

In 1997, Debbie designed and produced the Row Keeper Bracelet for Knitting for Patternworks. The bracelet was sold by Patternworks for more than 15 years. Her dishcloth dress designs are published by Leisure Arts and her patterns for the home, doll clothes, and accessories for the cold weather are available on Ravelry and Craftsy.

Now with the freedom to use her time to knit and design , Debbie is focusing on expanding her knitting designs to include blankets, pillows, and other items for the home along with scarves that will provide comfort and warmth to all. Her newest publication “A Hug from Henry” is a children’s picture book that includes the knitting pattern for Henry the 5 inch bear.

bottom of page