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Leslye Solomon
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Most of us knit or crochet to relax. What do you do?
Lately, I'm into spinning yarn. Funny....I own a yarn shop filled with the stuff. This kind of activity for me comes and goes. However, I always love to collect fabric and turn it into clothing. Sewing gives me knitting design ideas

What's the most unlikely place you've ever knitted or crocheted?
In my store, Woolstock Yarn Shop. Yep, that's right. When you own a yarn shop, it is unlikely that you will ever have time to knit or crochet there. I sneak in a few rows at the store every now and then

Which knitting and crochet luminaries (living or dead) would you invite to a dream dinner party?
I always have thought that my friend, Nicky Epstein, is the most creative sweater designer of them all. I'd also set the table for the lady who owned my local yarn shop, Eddie. Although she now resides in that yarn shop in the sky, she taught me so much about knitting and crocheting when I was growing up. I used to ride my bike to her store and saved babysitting money to buy yarn.

Tell us about your most unusual teaching experience.
I was hired to do a kid's birthday party. Imagine....eighteen 9-year-old kids!. She told me about 10 were coming. Surprisingly, they were really great kids and most of them learned how to knit that day.

What's your favorite tool in your knitting bag? Why?
I'm a scissors nut. I love my 14K gold scissors. Almost lost them once at the airport!

What's the latest knitting or crochet technique you learned that rocked your world?
I recently attempted a pattern that directed me to purl 2 together TBL (through the back of the loop). That technique can be very awkward and a struggle to do especially for new knitters. Instead I slipped the two stitches as if to knit them to the RH needle, but then sent them back to the left hand needle so they are mis- mounted. With the two stitches mis-mounted, it is very easy to purl them together TBL

When you look at another designer's work, what makes you say "wow"Âť?
When they understand how to combine and use many colors successfully.

Have you ever seen one of your designs on someone "Âśin the wild"? Whats that feeling like?
It was a really fun meeting. It was a beautiful trio of friends in my Quadraphenia design each in the one of three different colorways.

As a famous knitting (or crochet) teacher, you must travel a lot. Do you have any secret airport vices you'd like to share?
Airport Vice: I love to bake bread for my trips. I think this is a survival thing. I not only bake bread, I grind the wheat as well so I could live off of the bread....if needed. So before any trip, I time my bread machine so the bread is ready when I have to leave for the airport. When you get hungry and all they have is salty peanuts, I just reach down in my zip lock bag and tear off a piece of home. And then the whole plane smells good, but no one knows why.

One last thing, what are you most looking forward to about STITCHES?
As a teacher, I love the excitement of seeing someone suddenly realize how understandable or easy a previously confusing technique was. I love to watch how "the lights turn on." I also love seeing all the yarn and gadgets to be discovered in the exhibit area.

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