"As a child growing up in East London I was always drawing, stitching or doing something creative.
My fascination with yarn began when my Bajan Mum taught me to hand knit at the age of 7 and it led me to study for a degree in textile design where I specialised in hand & machine knitting.
I've worked as a textile a designer for nearly 30 years and during that time I've learned to crochet, bead and embroider along the way and have developed a colour aesthetic that has become an important part of both my process and design identity. So what gets my creative juices flowing? It may be an intriguing stitch from an old stitch dictionary or perhaps a decorative detail that will add a stylish, contemporary edge to a shawl; either are enough to get me sketching and swatching. I'm a self confessed 'accessories obsessive' who's written or contributed to 6 books on hand knitting, most recently Warm Hands which I co-edited with Kate Davies and Field Guide No 15: Open for Modern Daily Knitting.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with two brain tumours made me seriously re-evaluate my work life balance. Now thankfully recovered it made me realise how much I missed the simple process of making so in 2017 I began making accessories under the SLOANmade brand. It was a tangible way to celebrate the joy of a carefully hand made item; whether it's a felted handbag or a simple but beautiully crafted hand knitted scarf.
Having decided to 'take things easy' in 2018 I became involved in online discussions about the lack of diversity and representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) in the fibre community.
Exploring these conversations I wrote two articles - 'Black People Do Knit' and 'A Colourful Debate' - and created the POC Designers & Crafters List to highlight the work of People of Colour working with fibre. It soon became a valuable 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 valued by publishers, events and individuals looking to support the diverse range of makers it included, I created BIPOC in Fiber. Launched in May 2020 it's now a standalone resource centred round an interactive directory of BIPOC fibre artists from across the globe and covering a broad range of craft disciplines.
A must visit site for publishers, event organisers and crafting individuals the website showcases the talents of BIPOC in the global fibre community and is part of a movement working towards making a more inclusive fibre industry. One that's as diverse as the community it serves.
I am also a regular contributor to Laine magazine."
Jeanette will be writing an introduction for Yarn + Stitch magazine if our Kickstarter campaign is successful.
You can donate to the Yarn + Stitch Kickstarter here