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 is a teacher at East Boston High School and mom to 4 great boys Douglas, Charlie, Kayden and Samir. Annissa and her husband Doug are both life-long residents of Dorchester.
Bill Dristas' very ingenious mother and babysitter taught him to knit when he was young to keep him quiet and concentrated on something! He kept knitting off and on over the years, but recently picked it up again after being laid off from his job and found plenty of time on his hands. Bill likes some sort of challenge when he knits — like interesting stitches or a unique pattern. Lucky for his pregnant friends, he also likes to knit baby items because they finish up quickly. Bill has also promised that the next time he makes a sweater for himself it won't take two years to complete!
Casey DiCicco works for Pricilla of Boston as a pattern maker for the Platinum bridal line. She is a graduate of Mount Ida College where she earned Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design. Casey loves sharing her knowledge of sewing and fashion design, especially to assist young people in their exploration of careers in this industry. This Fall she will return to Mt. Ida pursuing a Master’s Degree in Fashion Design.
Danielle MacIsaac taught herself how to knit 5 years ago and hasn't put down the needles since. She loves all kinds of knitting but socks are a favorite since her husband won't wear sweaters or scarves. She also loves the fact that they fit so much better and prefers to wear her hand-knit socks whenever possible. Danielle is a high school teacher by day and her students will find her knitting in the hallways between classes.
Eliza Mosurick picked up her knitting needles after college and was thrilled to discover that what Mom had taught her as a kid came right back. She worked at a yarn shop in NYC and loves helping others complete a project they can’t wait to show off. Recently she’s kept busy making gifts for friends with new babies (and one with a new puppy). Eliza loves making sweaters and several are on display at the Stitch House.
Jen Paulousky may be better known as her retail alter ego, Blue Alvarez Designs. She designs knitwear and clothing for all sexes and sells the garments on her website www.bluealvarez.com. Jen’s re-design of vintage items is also notable. Her custom patterns are available for download from her site where you can also link to her blog or find out what music is inspiring her this week.
Jessica Gorham Cronin is a self-taught knitter who failed at the creation of several scarves before she discovered the joy of miniature projects that could be finished and gifted with ease! Jess, a native of Roslindale, is an Italian teacher at East Boston High School, a soccer coach and a wonderful mom to her sons Robert and Harvey and lives in East Boston with her husband Paul.
Jonetta Jones learned to sew at age 6 and have not stopped since. Along this journey she has explored every aspect of needlework. In the early 90’s Jonetta caught the quilting bug after visiting a quilt shop. One of her quilts id on tour across the U.S. and is published in Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition. Certainly multitalented, Jonetta has taught sewing, quilting and knitting.
Julie Murphy took her first sewing class at the age of 10 at the Little House in Dorchester. She learned quickly that making clothing was not her passion and began to dabble with window treatment design and fabrication. Julie owns her own business, JM Custom Design, and is the Stitch House window treatment expert. Recently Julie went international while working with a Boston interior design firm creating window treatments for a renovated home in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Katharine “Moo” Bishop taught herself to sew at age 18, beginning with an orange corduroy jacket. Even though it was a complete disaster she had so much fun! Over the years Moo honed her skills and after her kids were born she designed and sewed children's clothing under the name Milo and Mira. As the kids grew Moo moved onto vests, dresses, and bags and now spend hours at her treasured sewing machine creating various objets d'art, some to wear and some just to look at. For Moo sewing is a meditative exercise both soothing in its technique, and satisfying in its result.
Katie Rose has been knitting since childhood, and has a special fondness for fun, quirky projects and folk design. Recently Katie added handspinning to her numerous talents, which she’s taken up with gusto. Ever since picking up drop spinning last fall, she’s become addicted to Sheep and Wool festivals. She’s even tried using a drop spindle on the subway – and wouldn’t recommend it. Katie specializes in detailed colorwork, intricate cables and socks!
Katy Norris is a do-it-yourselfer who enjoys tackling all types new projects, from tiling the bathroom floor to cooking fun, new foods to sewing curtains for the kitchen. She learned how to sew from her Mother, who among many other projects, enjoyed sewing matching mother/daughter dresses - oh the pictures! Katy is Speech Pathologist by day and has become the Stitch House expert in Amy Butler designs.
Mary Ann McHugo learned how to knit from her grandmother over 40 years ago and has been knitting and designing ever since. Mary Ann’s second sweater was an Irish Knit cardigan and cabling is her passion. If you are a friend or family member of Mary Ann’s you have received a hand made gift from her for one of your life’s occasions. Her friends know her and her craft so well that one recently traveled to Ireland and brought her back not Waterford, but Irish Knit sweater patterns.
Nicole Ellis learned many crafty arts from her mother when she was young, but did not knit and crochet regularly until she picked up needles again in 2005. Since then, she loves to try new stitches and patterns to challenge her crafting skills. Recently she has dabbled in knitting with beads and teaches knit and crochet classes at Stitch House. In her "spare time", Nicole is finishing her graduate degree in Speech Language Pathology and raising her two-year-old son. Nicole and her family live in the Savin Hill neighborhood of Dorchester.
Pam O’Leary has been knitting for over 20 years. She started knitting as a social event with her mom and friends and now gifts her friends and coworkers with beautiful, hand made scarves, sweaters, afghans and baby sets. In her bag you’re sure to find the latest and cutest knitting project- and you won’t be surprised to find an adorable baby sweater in the works!
Rachel Avery starting knitting one summer after her then-boyfriend had to take a job in Maine and she found herself with lots of time. The Stitch House become a second home and her love of all things computer made her happy to work on the website. Rachel is now married, still knitting and updating the website when she doesn’t let life (and knitting) intervene.
Valerie Dunn McBee starting knitting when she was working as a clinical social worker. She found that it was a great way to relieve stress, both because of the soothing, repetitive motion, and because she could see the immediate results of her efforts (which is usually not the case in social work!). She has continued to knit over the last several years and looks for each project to be a new challenge. In working at the Stitch House and being surrounded by all the beautiful Amy Butler fabrics, Valerie is now also learning to sew.