As the new owners, we know that our customers demand a friendly, warm and inviting atmosphere when they come to knit, sew, or shop. We’ve gathered an amazing staff of our favorite long timers and some new additions to help you learn new techniques, start a project, work on a pattern, or find the right yarn, thread or fabric. In terms of expertise, professionalism and friendliness, our team has it all. Best of all, each of them brings their own special skills, design esthetic, and backgrounds. Come and meet us!
Amy Tyszkiewicz is a knitter, spinner, dyer, and proud New Jersey native. Her adventures in fiber began at the age of 7, when her grandmother taught her how to knit, and she’s loved crafting and playing with color and design ever since. She sells yarn, fiber, and knitting patterns under the Limonene Designs umbrella and blogs about her adventures at http://limonene.wordpress.com.
AssafAssaf is responsible for the orange trees in the windows, and for our sunlit knitting bar. He is also responsible for the magazine jail; the pipes throughout the showroom that display jewelry, sweaters hats and cards; for Keffi our mascot; for the Colinette meat hooks and the time-tunnel sewing table, as well as for the gallery button jars, jam jar displays of threads, and every last inch of the design you see when you walk in. Did we mention he designs most of our exclusive colorways with the yarn dyers? He is also a corporate lawyer and co-owner of The Yarn Company. He grew up in Soho and lives in Manhattan to this day.
Baby LomesBaby Lomes is a photographer, blogger, color consultant and budding fashion designer. Bably Lomes runs The Electric Thread, our sewing and fashion blog. She gathers much of her inspiration from her bird, Tweety.
David von Buskirk (Weaving)
David van Buskirk has been studying and working as a weaver and textile designer since 1974. David studied art and education at the University of Northern Colorado. He subsequently spent 3 ½ years studying weaving and textile design in Sweden first as an apprentice to Age Faith-Ell, one of the pioneers in Swedish Modern Design. David continued his studies at Handarbetets Vänners Vävskola in Stockholm and at the Textil Institute in Borås, Sweden.
David has designed woven fabrics for home furnishings and women’s wear since he moved to NYC in 1981 He created and produced his own line of decorative fabrics selling, “To the Trade” through his company Weave Design, Inc. David currently designs for a variety of textile mills and teaches weave design at FIT.
Ilona is a born and bred New Yawkah with an unhealthy passion for all things fiber. She loves spinning, knitting, crocheting and falling asleep on top of her yarn stash. When she's not playing with yarn, you'll likely find her wrist-deep in her computer, cleaning alpaca fuzz out of the fans.
One of the industry's foremost and most talented and prolific designers, Irina is trained as an industrial engineer (Art School), weaver, tapestry artist (Art School), and more recently (since 1993), a freelance designer in Vogue Knitting Magazine, Berroco, and Stacy Tahki Charles. We are so proud to have Irina aboard.
Jasmine double majored in Scenic Design and Costume Technology at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University where she graduated in 2008. Since then she has been working as a freelance set and costume designer since then in and around the tri-state area. She loves the challenge of figuring out how garments were constructed just by looking at them. She is the Technical Director at Trinity School in Manhattan where she designs sets and lights for their 8+ theatrical productions a year and teaches Technical Theatre and Design.
Laura ZukaiteWho does our finishing? Laura Zukaite! A native Lithuanian, Laura has moved to the United States when she was 18 years old. After graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2007, Laura has been pursuing her career as a Sweater Designer in New York City.
Her work has been published in major knitting magazines such as Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, and various collective designer books. Laura’s two solo books: Luxe Knits (Lark 2009) and Luxe Knits: the Accessories (Lark 2010)- showcase collections of garments and accessories that represent her aesthetics and design philosophy.
Laura’s Feather-weight Mohair Lace Dress was selected as the winner of The International Magic of Mohair Competition (Sponsored by Vogue Knitting and Mohair South Africa).
The Golden Girl Collection is Laura’s first online group created to represent her design aesthetics. With many additional collections on their way - this website is soon to be a book of Pattern Designs accessible to every knitter.
Rebecca Klassen (Weaving)
Rebecca Klassen studied textiles at San Francisco State University with Candace Crockett. She has been a production rug weaver at a Minnesota atelier, a research assistant in the archives of a pioneering fiber artist and, most recently, associate editor of Vogue Knitting. She also has a master's degree in the history of design.
Rhonda Fargnoli ( Summer Fashion Camp)
Rhonda Fargnoli is the co-owner/designer of Coastal Colours Yarn, a Connecticut-based yarn company that creates hand painted yarn from natural dyes and botanical extracts. She studied fashion and textile design at Chamberlain School of Design, and has taught art and studio art for more than 15 years. She has been featured in articles about teaching knitting design courses for RISD/CE in Yarn Market News and, in Vogue Knitting, for her Vogue Knitting Challenge class for teens, which included the winning student's design. She is also a contributing writer for Fiber Art Now Magazine and is the Faculty Advisor of the Hand Knitting Design Certificate Program at Rhode Island School of Design/ CE. Fargnoli has also designed for several yarn companies, including Blue Sky, Koigu and Sheep Shop. Her yarn line is carried in 10 shops nationwide and her line of children's sweaters has been carried in specialty shops throughout New England and the Bahamas.
Vogue Knitting interviews RISD|CE's own Rhonda Fargnoli in their Spring/Summer issue. The feature profiles CE's Fashion Design program for Young Artists: "For her part, Fargnoli gives her young stitchers as much support as possible, not only using all the RISD resources at her disposal but also creating new links to the knitting industry in an effort to further professionalize the proceedings." http://vogueknitting.com/
Steve May is a maker of many things and an enthusiast of many more. While he is presently most obsessed with knitting and performance art, his roots are in punk rock, experimental music, math, ecology, and movement. He began his college days as an engineering student with ambitions in alternative energy but was soon won-over by the dance program at the University of Illinois. Whilst a student there he became 'besties' with Stephen West and Kyli Kleven. A few years later Mr. West had become a fully fledged knitwear designer, Steve and Kyli had moved to Brooklyn to pursue dance and performance art, and the three of them joined forces to form the Westknits Fun Squad. They make knitting related videos and KALs that aim to inspire knitters everywhere to have as much fun as possible and to encourage unabashed exploration of the craft. They also eat many delicious snacks. Steve started knitting this past summer in Iceland under the ever-generous tutelage of Mr. West, Ragnheiður Eiríksdóttir, and a small posse of other wonderful young knitters. He became heavily addicted to the craft, began designing his own work, and is excited to be publishing his first patterns in the near future. In addition to knitting, experimental dance, and performance art, Steve is in several fledgling bands, loves yoga and tai chi/qi gong, makes furniture, and grows a variety of plants to varying degrees of success. Note: please speak kindly of winter when Steve is around, even if you are glad for it to be over; he is very, very fond of the colder months.
Tavy grew up in Soho in the same house as Assaf. They both had a mother who loved reading Burda patterns, sewing, knitting, painting, drawing, design, architecture and amassing degrees of various sorts. They both had to help, each in their own way. Somehow it rubbed off on them. Their dad taught them to always pursue their dreams and think out of the box. So here we are.
Zabeth Loisel Weiner learned knitting as a child and began her career as a freelance knitwear designer in NYC in 1986. Her work has been widely published in magazines and as house patterns for yarn companies; she has also worked with knit studios, designing for the fashion industry. Zabeth's recent focus on lace composition has resulted in some spectacular designs, including her wildly popular lace Mid-Spring Night Shawl, inspired by seeing Madeline Tosh's exclusive Yarn Company colorway Midnight in Manhattan at Vogue Knitting Live NY 2012. You can see her beautiful contributions in recent issues of Vogue Knitting, other magazines, and as exclusives for The Yarn Company. A devoted instructor, Zabeth has taught knitting at all levels. We are thrilled to have her on our team!