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Merike Saarniit
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Most of us knit or crochet to relax. What do you do?
Knit and spin and weave.

What's the most unlikely place you've ever knitted or crocheted?
Muster station (lifeboat drill) during a Baltic knitting cruise on which I was teaching.

Which knitting and crochet luminaries (living or dead) would you invite to a dream dinner party?
My grandmothers (both fabulous Estonian knitters/crocheters).

Tell us about your most unusual teaching experience.
I taught several local young girls to knit by having them make my Origami Bears (XRX Babies & Toddlers). Later found out they became the fad in school.

What's your favorite tool in your knitting bag? Why?
My locker hook because it can be used as a crochet hook and seaming needle and embellishing tool.

What's the latest knitting or crochet technique you learned that rocked your world?
Every time I swatch another Estonian stitch pattern I have another AHA moment. Latest is a delightful selvedge treatment that results in what looks like a picot edge.

When you look at another designer's work, what makes you say 'wow'? 
Details and unusual construction.

Have you ever seen one of your designs on someone "in the wild"? What's that feeling like?
Oh my yes! Immensely gratifying.

As a famous knitting (or crochet) teacher, you must travel a lot. Do you have any secret airport vices you'd like to share?
My Delta Skyclub membership actually costs less per month than what I would otherwise be paying at various airport vendors for water and snacks and the occasional drink. The internet access, comfy seating and lovely line-free restrooms are also greatly appreciated.

One last thing, what are you most looking forward to about STITCHES?
Besides my usual delight in the opportunity of being able to share my Estonian knitting heritage, it's also having another "knitting family" reunion again.

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