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Most of us knit or crochet to relax. What do you do?
Sometimes my knitting or crochet is very relaxing and I truly enjoy every stitch. But other times, for example if IÃ¢ÂÂm knitting to make a deadline or if IÃ¢ÂÂm trying to figure out a way to execute something thatÃ¢ÂÂs only in my mind I can feel very excited or stressed when knitting. My other ways to relax include lounging at one of ReykjavÃÂkÃ¢ÂÂs many geothermal pools, reading a good book, watching a crappy TV show or listening to a really good podcast.
WhatÃ¢ÂÂs the most unlikely place youÃ¢ÂÂve ever knitted or crocheted?
Hmm, IÃ¢ÂÂd probably have to say while walking in a remote beautiful valley in the West fjords with a wonderful group of knitters on one of my knitting tours.
Which knitting and crochet luminaries (living or dead) would you invite to a dream dinner party?
Wow! This would be so much fun but my list would be pretty long if I were to include all the people I like to hang out with plus the masters I respect. So letÃ¢ÂÂs say I have room for seven people around the table. I would love to invite my late great grandmother RÃÂºna, who was an amazing knitter and her husband, my great grandfather FriÃÂ°rik, who also used to knit with his wife whenever the weather was too bad for fishing out on his boat. Of course I have to name my all-time guru and in my view the Yoda of knitting, Elizabeth Zimmermann, and IÃ¢ÂÂd also love to have Meg Swansen (i.e. Obi Wan Kenobi of knitting) come along because sheÃ¢ÂÂs awesome. Then IÃ¢ÂÂd ask Franklin Habit to come and bring his awesome Dolores along (she doesnÃ¢ÂÂt count because only Franklin sees her) because I love them both to pieces, and Stephen West because I canÃ¢ÂÂt get enough of him and my dear super-inspirational friend Cirilia Rose because she oozes happiness and joy of life. But as I said, this is just a small fraction of my laminated list of awesome knitting people.
Tell us about your most unusual teaching experience.
Sitting with my student on my lap, facing away from me, me knitting and my studentÃ¢ÂÂs hands on top of mine feeling the movement. I did this a lot with my daughter when she was little and now my two year old granddaughter is starting to enjoy my Ã¢ÂÂlessonsÃ¢ÂÂ.
WhatÃ¢ÂÂs your favorite tool in your knitting bag? Why?
ItÃ¢ÂÂs my 32Ã¢ÂÂ US7 needles because I use them for almost everything I knit. I use them for working back and forth and I use them for working both small and large diameters in the round. I mostly use Lopi in my garments and this is most often the best size for my working gauge.
WhatÃ¢ÂÂs the latest knitting or crochet technique you learned that rocked your world?
Yarnovers at the beginning of a row that I learned from the lovely Gudrun Johnston. She came as a guest teacher on one of my tours this summer and did an amazing class on Shetland lace. This technique creates the perfect edge for picking up stitches for a border.
When you look at another designerÃ¢ÂÂs work, what makes you say Ã¢ÂÂwowÃ¢ÂÂ?
Often itÃ¢ÂÂs the beauty in simple but clever constructions, as examples I can name Cookie AÃ¢ÂÂs new garment collection Shapes + Form, Stephen WestÃ¢ÂÂs architectural shawl designs and letÃ¢ÂÂs not forget the knitting engineering masterpiece Elizabeth ZimmermannÃ¢ÂÂs Baby Surprise Jacket (IÃ¢ÂÂve probably knit fifteen of those).
Have you ever seen one of your designs on someone Ã¢ÂÂin the wildÃ¢ÂÂ? WhatÃ¢ÂÂs that feeling like?
Yes I see my sweaters a lot in Iceland and it always feels amazing. IÃ¢ÂÂve also seen my sweaters several times at knitting events in USA and each time I almost fainted. ItÃ¢ÂÂs exhilarating!
As a famous knitting (or crochet) teacher, you must travel a lot. Do you have any secret airport vices youÃ¢ÂÂd like to share?
No coffee and no alcohol 24 hours before the flights and none on the flight. LotÃ¢ÂÂs of water and a really, really, really, good podcast or criminal novel on the MP3 player.
One last thing - what are you most looking forward to about STITCHES?
The people and the atmosphere. ItÃ¢ÂÂs so wonderful to get to spend a few days among knitters that totally immerse themselves in their craft for the duration of the event. ItÃ¢ÂÂs almost impossible to describe that kind of vibrant creativity, you just have to show up!