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Meeting a Living Legend of the Knitting Industry

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Meeting a Living Legend of the Knitting Industry

With Janet (pictured left) and the other ladies from the Guild

As a fourth generation member of a family-owned business, I’ve always been fascinated with the “living legends” of the yarn industry since, like me, many of them have been involved in the business for 30 or 40 years.

At the Knit and Crochet show last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Janet Johnson Stephens, who won the Honorary Lifetime Member award from the Knitting Guild of America. 

The very talented Janet Johnson Stephens is a particularly influential person. Not only is she a dedicated crafter, but she is an accomplished teacher and designer.

As Janet tells it, she began knitting in third grade where she learned to knit afghans squares during World War II –and hasn’t stopped. She is certified in Advanced Knitting Design and has about 200  published designs in prominent needlework magazines, and has won countless ribbons and rosettes at exhibits and competitions. Janet also developed and administered a certification program for knitting judges, a valued contribution to the industry.

She is one of only three recipients to receive the Lifetime Member award to date. The others are Barbara B. Scott and Marlyn Ibele, both founding members, who have contributed heavily to what TKGA has become – a well-known institution within the yarn industry.

I saw Janet again a week after the show when I spoke at the Local Atlanta Knitting Guild, of where she is a member. At the Knit and Crochet Show, she thoughtfully presented me with a gift, a Hanukah stocking, to thank me for my work, which I now proudly display on my office desk.

Lion Brand has brought me to so many places and allowed me to meet so many people. It amazes me whenever someone comes up to me, telling me their story of how Lion Brand has influenced them.

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