A little bit about me….
As a child I was always drawing, stitching or doing something creative and my Mum taught me to hand knit at the age of 7. My fascination with yarn, texture and colour led me to study for a degree in textile design where I specialised in hand & machine knitting learning to crochet, bead and embroider along the way.
Colour is very important to me and my design process often begins with a search for an intriguing stitch that will inspire creative juices to flow or a decorative detail that will add a stylish, contemporary edge. I’ve worked as a freelance textile designer and tutor teaching both machine and hand knitting and as an accessories obsessive have written 4 books on hand knitting. I’ve been very lucky to work with some of the best hand knitting brands in the UK and my designs have featured in several UK knitting magazines including Knitting Magazine where I am a regular contributor responsible for the ‘Ask Jeanette’ letters page, Yarn Reviews and A-Z of Techniques.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with two brain tumours which led made me seriously re-evaluate my work life balance. Thankfully I recovered and in 2017 it made me realise how much I missed the simple process of making so I began making accessories under the SLOANmade brand. With it I hoped to celebrate the joy of a carefully hand made item whether it's a felted handbag or a simple but beautiully knitted scarf.
2018 saw a sea change in the online fibre comunity with the issues of racism, lack of diversity and representation of BIPOC - black, Indigenous and People of Colour - finally being discussed. Having made the decision to 'take things a little easy' just a couple of years earlier I became involved in those conversations when I wrote two articles exploring the online discussions 'Black People Do Knit' and 'A Colourful Debate', both written for Knitting Magazine. Exploring the under representation of BIPOC working with fibre led me to start the POC (People of Color) Designers & Crafters List which became a popular resource for publications, events and individuals looking to be more intentional and inclusive in supporting the work of the designers, makers, bloggers, indie dyers and the others listed.
Seeing how much this resource was both needed and valued I wanted to develop the POC list into a standalone resource and one that could be used by the community and the wider fibre industry. So I founded BIPOC in Fiber; a BIPOC led initiative where working with fellow BIPOC Alyson Chu and Lorna Hamilton Brown as well as trusted allies Felicity (Felix) Ford and Juliet Bernard we will showcase the talents of BIPOC in the global fibre community and work towards a more inclusive fibre industry. One that's as diverse as the community it serves.
The BIPOC in Fiber website launches this year www.bipocinfiber.com
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