Meet Our Staff
Kathy learned to crochet from her grandma on rainy days at the farm in Brah, MN on summer vacations. She never did learn how to read a pattern, though: lots of scarfs and freeform hats. She learned to knit at Yarn Harbor in 2002 with aspirations to make a pair of socks. She soon became addicted to knitting as her son wrote of his mother in an elementary school paper. From hats (she has a thing for hats) to sweaters, to mobius bags, and then came socks with a few distractions along the way.
Kathy became proprietor of Yarn Harbor in February of 2007 and is always searching for new yarns to fall in love with. When not knitting she is a big outdoor enthusiast. Most any outdoor adventure will do, with a project in her backpack just in case. Kathy has owned a garden design and maintenance company since 1990 called Flowers on the Rocks. She does the best she can to get her hands clean before work at the yarn store in the summer months. She doesn’t post her projects on Ravelry as she should but she’s known as Katatyh on the site.
Jean can’t actually remember learning to knit or crochet, it’s lost in the mist of time. Her mother was a fearless knitter, who taught herself to knit, so Jean probably learned from her. Jean knits strictly for fun, sticking to simpler patterns and smaller items. A process knitter, she likes starting projects much more than finishing and gives most of the things she knits away. She’s been enjoying her job at YH since Nov. 2004; since then she’s learned a lot!
Jo’Elle learned to knit and crochet from her grandmother when she was about 7 years old. She knit lots of scarves and potholders during the 70’s in some interesting colors. She got away from needlework for a while when she was going to school, working, and raising her two kids. Six years ago she started working at Michaels Arts and Crafts as the event coordinator. She taught classes and did all of the display and demos in the store. She picked up a hook and it has become like an appendage. After leaving Michaels she traveled the Craft show circuit for a few years and sold her hand made wear. Jo’Elle is an equal opportunity fiber artist. She knits, crochets, quilts, sews recycled wear, needle felts…basically she has not found a craft she didn’t become obsessed with. Jo’Elle started teaching crochet classes at Yarn Harbor in 2009 and working in the store in 2010. You can find many of her original crochet patterns for sale at Yarn Harbor or on Ravelry, where she can be found as joellegalo (not very original, but that way she knows who she is). Her goal is to assemble all of her designs into a crochet book. Jo’Elle also owns Dynamic Massage & Bodyworks where she is a massage therapist and has her wearable art for sale.
Jen learned to knit after moving to a teeny, tiny town in South Dakota to be with her (then-future) husband. She came across a magazine article describing how Julia Roberts knit on movie sets between takes, and she immediately knew that she was meant to be a knitter. She drove straight to Pamida, bought some sticks and string, and hunkered down with a how-to book. Over the last decade, she’s taken classes, worked with incredible mentors, and taught herself many new things. While she does tend to dabble in many types of knitting and projects, one thing remains the same: she is a self-professed Yarn Snob. Jen also loves to spin, although with two young kids has trouble finding the time (anyone want to babysit while she spins some yarn for you???). Jen grew up in Duluth, but moved away immediately after high school. It wasn’t until adulthood that she truly gained an appreciation for the town she calls home. Now, she couldn’t picture herself anywhere else. After all, where else can you wear that handknit wool sweater year round?
Angela learned to crochet from her Grandma as a child, but didn’t do much with it until she was grown with kids. Angela taught herself to knit about 10 years ago with just with books and a friend for guidance. She knit plenty of scarves before braving a baby sweater. It turned out! Many, many projects later…she now knits all the time. Angela joined the YH staff in 2012 and calls it her “dream job.” She loves helping people pick out yarn and patterns for projects; plus, she finds it fun to help with boo boos. Her favorite things to knit are baby items. They are fast to make and super adorable! She has also made a few sweaters for herself. She grew up in the Pacific NW (WA) and has been living in Duluth for 22 years. Look her up on Ravelry as AngLouise.
Katie G. became a knitter as a child when her mother wanted a scarf. She didn’t become obsessed until she was in grad school (thanks to her good friend Cheryl). Ever since, she always has a project or two with her, whether at a coffeeshop, Sir Ben’s, on the pontoon, or at home, watching Netflix or listening to a podcast. Her favorite things to knit include garter stitch shawls (they are addictive; there are always one or two on the needles), hats, cowls, and socks. Someday, she’d like to knit a sweater, but she’s a bit
terrified reticent to start.
Kaethe learned to knit from one or both of her grandmothers when she was still a wee girl. It took until her early 20s for her to really “get it” – after all, why make fabric when you can buy yards and yards of it at the fabric store? – but now she totally gets it and never wants to stop. Kaethe’s favorite, favorite thing is making vintage-inspired clothes and is obsessed with deeply textured stitches and clean, simple lines. She likes making up her own patterns and, currently, can’t stop making sweaters and is beginning to understand the allure of the shawl. She doesn’t post on ravelry much, but is all too happy to talk to you at yarn harbor about your projects and, if you ask nicely, hers. Kaethe grew up in the lower Midwest and moved here to finish college at UWS, studying art/ceramics. She finds it pretty exciting to live somewhere where one can actually knit sweaters all year long.
Molly learned to knit from her mom when she was a sophomore in high school, and caught the obsessive knitting bug from her sister about seven years ago. She never liked reading patterns and was designing her own projects from the start. She finally has started writing down some of her original designs, many of which can be found on Ravelry. She enjoys knitting everything from blankets to sweaters to baby toys, on needles any size and in yarn of any fiber, but especially in tweedy yarns. Molly also dabbles in spinning yarn on a drop spindle and dyeing yarn using natural plant dyes she finds in the woods and meadows around Duluth. Originally from Wisconsin, Molly moved to Duluth from Albuquerque, New Mexico to work on a second masters in water resources. She started at YH in August 2011. When she’s not knitting, you can usually find Molly out exploring the woods and streams along the North Shore with her two dogs. One day, Molly hopes to have a farm where she can raise her own sheep and play with fiber all day long. She can be found on ravelry as molwick, and blogging about knitting at Wild Blue Flax.
Jennifer comes from a fiber loving family – Grandma Amy taught her to crochet, Aunt Bev… embroidery, and Mom Carolyn is a fabulous knitter of wearable art. Jennifer started to knit seriously when she and husband, Rick, moved to Duluth in 1999. Not knowing a soul in Duluth, she became a member of the Fiber Guild for a few years and started hanging out and taking classes at Yarn Harbor. Many wonderful friends have become part of her life thanks to a mutual love of knitting and fiber arts. Jennifer is seriously addicted to knitting, and uses her painting background to play with colors and personalize her handmade garments. Jennifer loves wool and mohair and is a “sweater fanatic”. She loves to knit while listening to books on disc or watching old movies, but can’t knit to scary movies because they change her tension! Having one of the kitties on her lap makes it even better! She loves working at Yarn Harbor, the customers, her coworkers, and encouraging creativity in others.
Katie has been knitting on and off since she was 7. She helped out in the yarn department of her family’s shop The Lake Superior Trading Post in the 70’s and started troubleshooting for people way back then. She knit some really scary things in the 70’s, gratefully none of which have survived. Katie has returned to knitting full strength for the last 15 years, sustaining her passion by knitting socks while she was in California, and being challenged to knit and crochet without patterns while in Washington State. The knitting without patterns experiment has morphed into designing and drafting patterns under the name Katie Chameleon, which are available at Yarn Harbor. Wherever she has been, she has always shamelessly knit in public, been happy to teach others to knit, and has been a useful person to turn to in times of knitting troubles. Katie works and teaches at Yarn Harbor and continues to dream up and draft more patterns. She also, as Katie Chameleon, creates stitch markers and a (hopefully) growing assortment of knitting accessories. Her Ravelry name is ktvknits, and her website is katiechameleon.com. She is now working full time at her new “grown-up” job, but fills in at Yarn Harbor and teaches some incredible classes.