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Jane Slicer-Smith
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Most of us knit or crochet to relax. What do you do? A movie and knitting, which is why I can cope with plane travel – knitting is so transportable. My escape relaxation is horse riding somewhere the phone doesn’t ring.

What’s the most unlikely place you’ve ever knitted or crocheted?
Traveling Cairo to Nairobi after graduating. I started knitting in Cairo and completed just before the Equator in Kenya, wore the sweater when I climbed Kilimanjaro. Traded the sweater with another back packer my last day in Nepal. I have to go back to ride an elephant one day – think I could ride and knit!

Which knitting and crochet luminaries (living or dead) would you invite to a dream dinner party? I’ll stay with the living and keep up with Debbie Bliss, Brandon and Kaffe, looks like it’d be very English!

Tell us about your most unusual teaching experience. In Japan at the Vogue Nipon knitting school without an interpreter.

What’s your favorite tool in your knitting bag? Why? I don’t pack anything more than a cable needle, great yarn and long straight needles! I did buy some glasses with LED lights in them – I plan to pull them out in the cinema one day! Imagine what Alexis would think of that one!

What’s the latest knitting or crochet technique you learned that rocked your world? I love colour so miters, as they let inexperienced knitters glow! They also turn garment construction on its head, which is challenging and fun.

When you look at another designer’s work, what makes you say “wow”? It will usually be styling, whether elegant or avant-garde – or an unexpected use of colour.

Have you ever seen one of your designs on someone “in the wild”? What’s that feeling like? My husband loves to say ‘Hi here’s Jane you’re wearing her design’ – so far everybody knows what he is talking about! I have been known to hide when he does this!

As a famous knitting (or crochet) teacher, you must travel a lot. Do you have any secret airport vices you’d like to share? I do knit in airports and planes, it’s like you no longer have any boundaries, everybody smiles or comes over to look and talk. I call this the ‘No picket fence effect’ of knitting – instant warm and fussy!

One last thing - what are you most looking forward to about STITCHES? I remember my first Stitches – I’d landed in ‘Knitter’s heaven’ there are no picket fences just ‘sharing knitters’ – compliments, what they learnt that day, what they bought and been reassured they spotted the perfect yarn – and of course you can never have too much yarn!

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