Cathleen Stephen, Designer

Cathleen Stephen is a freelance designer and instructor with a contemporary style.  She has a flare for combining fibers and elements in unconventional ways focusing on freeform and modular techniques to create vibrant fabrics and exquisite jewelry.  She has also produced a variety of designs for knitting magazines and pattern books and enjoys sharing her passion for knitting and beaded jewelry through workshops and classes.

From a very early age, the arts have been central to Cathleen’s life having grown up in a musical family in western Maine.  Classes in drawing, dance, and piano complemented her early interests in embroidery and pottery.  In 1983, her love of fiber and knitting took off in earnest as a music student at Ithaca College where she stumbled upon a yarn shop.  She was immediately drawn to the array colors and textures presented by the yarns and was smitten! 

A self-taught knitter and beader, Cathy embarked in knitwear design in 1985 and has had the opportunity to participate in classes and workshops led by such designers Melissa Leapman and Sally Melville, was awarded the People’s Choice Award by Cast On magazine in 2006, is a Level II Master Knitter and enjoys dying fibers for her designs.

The love for fiber soon led Cathleen to explore beading – the allure of color and the juxtaposition of Czech beads and cabochons, metallic, glass, leather, shells, with other materials was a natural progression.  Freeform embroidery offers her the opportunity to create jewelry that truly complements the knitwear/fiber designs in color intensity and texture.  Like music and the arts, Cathy’s designs are born out of desire to create works that are a partnership of pattern, color and a cacophony of elements to evoke curiosity and joy.