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Annissa Essaibi George is the owner of Stitch House. At age 6 her mom stayed up late teaching her to sew her first project - a Barbie skirt! She never stopped sewing and you would find her late at night, throughout high school and college, sewing. As a teenager she was national finalist in a McCall’s Pattern Company sewing contest. In college her and her roommate would create an assembly line and sew hair scrunchies to sell in the dorms to fund take-out dinner or a night on the town. After college Annissa had a small line of custom, special occasion children’s clothing featured in several retail shops. Annissa made her own prom dress, wedding gown and all her bridesmaid dresses and flower girl dresses. She’s also made countless quilts and hand-crafted gifts for her friends and family. Although sewing is her passion she enjoys the portability of knitting and crocheting and always has several projects going at once.

 

Annissa was a teacher at East Boston High School for 13 years prior to being elected to the Boston City Council. She serves as an At-Large member, elected in 2015. Annissa is a mom to 4 great boys Douglas, Charlie, Kayden and Samir. Annissa and her husband Doug are both life-long residents of Dorchester. 

Ravelry username:  Annissa

Stitch House Staff

I always say, my shop's success is due to the incredible staff that treat the Stitch House as their own business. They love this space and our customers. Each brings a little something special to what we do here. In no particular order...

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ROBYN BOOTH

Knitting Instructor

Retail Sales

Robyn comes from a family of talented women who are knitters, crocheters, sewers, and embroiderers. Her mother who is a sewer, a knitter and a crocheter taught her these skills when she was young. After college, knitting became special with the realization that you are creating your own pattern that ultimately becomes a wearable piece. Now, she always has at least two projects going at the same time and one is usually for charity.

When Robyn is not knitting she enjoys cooking, reading and watching sports.

Ravelry username:  Alphonsus

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KATHY PAGLIERANI
Knitting Instructor
Retail Sales

Kathy has been knitting for over 25 years, She loves to knit everything from sweaters to socks. She always has several projects on the needles, in order to have knitting available for all occasions! :) Kathy grew up sewing and making her own clothes and studied fashion design and merchandising in college. Kathy also loves to sew quilts for the fun of using all the beautiful fabrics in her stash. Kathy loves to share her crafty knowledge and is excited to be joining the staff at the Stitch House!

Ravelry username:  Kpaglierani

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SHELLEY LEAHEY
Knitting instructor
Retail Sales

Shelley has been knitting and sewing since childhood. Taught by her grandmother, she also has a love affair with buttons. Many times the buttons are chosen first and the yarn or fabric will follow. Her motto is it's all about the buttons. A former owner of a quilting shop, Shelley now spends just about all her creative hours knitting. She is the organizer of Sheep Ahoy Knitters' Cruise. Shelley is an active member in the Greater Boston Knitting Guild and the MetroWest Knitting Guild. Aside from knitting for her 6 grandchildren, she loves to knit for charity. This years items went to Homemade for the Homeless in Boston.

Ravelry username:  Feenishknitter

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CASHMAN KERR PRINCE
Knitting instructor
Retail Sales

I started with crochet as a young child. My grandmother always had hook and thread in hand; I asked questions, then asked if she would teach me. Other skills, like sewing, I learned from playing on the floor of her workroom as she sewed garments for sale. For me, knitting came later but once started I gained momentum. Now I am a far better knitter than crocheter. Early days I found Elizabeth Zimmermann, Knitting without Tears, and that emboldened me. From the beginning of my years knitting, I substituted — yarns or fit, adapting patterns to my body and my tastes. There is a great and powerful joy in combining shades or patterns in new and personal combinations, whether it is making a little something for daily life, crafting a special gift for a friend, or mending a well-loved item for use another day (or year). As I have become more confident in my knitting, I have started dreaming up my own patterns. I love helping others on their own craft journey as they make their own lives. I look forward to all the fabulous things you will make!

Ravelry username:  CashmanCreates

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SUZANNE FILBEY
Knitting instructor
Retail Sales

I was born with busy hands.

They have always had to be doing something.

I learned embroidery first, then crewel work, sewing, cross-stitch, crochet...

 

Oddly, I didn’t learn to knit until in my 40s. And only then, because I desperately wanted a Dale of Norway ski sweater. Once I took it up, though, I was thoroughly hooked! In a yarn shop, I was like a kid in a candy store.  I fell in love with the look, the feel, and all the things you could make with yarn. There was so much I wanted to try! I couldn’t knit fast enough. But, unfortunately, as a learner, I couldn’t knit fast. Once I got over “beginner frustration,” I settled down into the slower pace that knitting necessitates. I discovered a whole new community of  knitters. Weekly classes continued through months and then years. Not only had I found a new passion, but I had found a new home-away-from-home where I could learn, laugh, share, and at times even cry, as we sat and knitted our projects and our lives together. 

 

As I began finishing projects, I discovered the joy of giving something that I had knit, stitch by stitch, to someone special. After all those special people—including our dog—had a gift, and after I had more scarves that I could ever wear, I began knitting for those most in need. Here was another way that I could use my craft to offer comfort and caring to people who may not even have one hat, or one scarf to protect them from the cold. 

 

As I became more experienced, I wanted to share the joy that I had discovered with others.  I set up a knitting table at our weekly farmer’s market, and freely taught anyone who came up to learn. I would give my number to waitresses who would remark on my knitting and lament that they didn’t know how to knit, I taught kids at my son’s school, and, as a reading teacher for kids with dyslexia, I gave the gift of knitting to all willing students.

 

Finally, I felt knowledgeable enough to work in “candy land,” The Stitch House. To be surrounded by fibers and friends, to help people find just the right project, or colors that work together, or yarn that makes their heart sing, is a truly wonderful experience! And best of all, I get to combine my love of teaching with my love of knitting to bring the joy of knitting to all who want to learn.

 

I hope to see you in The Stitch House soon!

Ravelry username:  SecondHandRose