Knitability, LLC was conceived of in the summer of 2001 with the official company formation taking place in the fall of that same year by friends and knitting buddies Gwen Bortner and Beverly Jensen. Knitability's first public appearance was as a vendor at Stitches West in February 2002 with the Knitability web site, being open for business that same month. 2003 marked the launch of the Knitability Representative program, the first of its kind in the industry. That same year, Gwen was asked to teach at several national knitting convention venues. In the Fall of 2004, it become obvious that to be most effective, Knitability would need to focus its efforts. In short, Knitability had to move from being a marginal resource for all kinds of knitting supplies to the premier source for knitting instruction.
In 2005, Gwen became the sole owner and began a process of defining a more narrow focus for Knitability. Today, Gwen's passion is the company motto,"Taking Knitters to the Next Level". Gwen Bortner has been teaching knitting and designing knitwear since the early 80's. Her math background made designing and writing patterns a natural extension to her love of fiber and knitting in particular. But Gwen's greatest passion is sharing her love of knitting and helping knitters of all levels move to the next level of their hobby.
Knitability headquarters is housed in Gwen's home, a California farmhouse built in 1902 by her great-grandfather. These days, Gwen spends very little time in her office as much of the time she is traveling all over the country teaching.
Gwen's Teaching Philosophy
One of the greatest personal revelations was to understand that I was not actually a designer, but instead I was a teacher.
I am an extrovert in the biggest way possible, so I get lots of energy being around people and I think it shows in the classroom. Over the years teaching all around the country, I have developed my own signature style that includes high quality, detailed handouts and memorable explanations with the use of "knitting aerobics".
Read what students say about Gwen and her classes:
A Bit More About Gwen
When Gwen is not busy knitting (or teaching), she enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband, Arlis and playing with her dog Zephyrene. She also spends quite a bit of time on Facebook, Twitter and Ravelry.
Even though Gwen gets plenty of travel time, The Bortners still enjoy traveling together whenever their schedule allows. Some of their favorite activities include skiing, biking, hiking, scuba diving and playing video games! In fact, Gwen enjoys skiing so much, she also is a part time ski instructor at their local ski resort, China Peak.
Arlis (aka - the best husband ever) also supports Knitability by providing technical support for a variety of computer related functions.