Nice to have you here, Vickie. This is probably the most obvious question, but I’d like to know: When did you learn to knit? Who taught you?
My mom taught me to knit when I was about 8 years old, but I totally hated it. At the time, I much preferred crochet, working with plastic canvas and sewing. I found knitting frustrating and set down my needles, not to go back to them until I was in my mid twenties. After a year of pestering by a good friend of mine, I finally caved and paid a visit to this knitting shop that she liked to hang out in (La Knitterie Parisienne in Studio City, CA). I suppose I had had the same misconceptions then as some do today about the craft being archaic and limited. Once I walked into this shop though, a whole new world opened up for me. I had never seen so many amazing shades and textures of yarn—I was like a kid in a crafty candy store. The store owner, Edith Eig, helped me choose a yarn to make this baby hat that I’d seen in a magazine and then re-taught me how to cast-on and knit in the round. I started knitting that day and haven’t stopped since.
Do you have any favorite fibers or yarn?
I’m a sucker for anything soft and luscious. I dig working with Alpaca (like Misti Alpaca) or Merino Wool (especially Debbie Bliss Cashmerino) double stranded with something that has a little sparkle in it—‘Cause ya know, I love the glitter! ;-)
I hear you on the glitter. That glitter, it gets me every time...Turning in another direction with the questions, Vickie. I’m a mom of a preschool-age kid and just love your new book, New Knits on the Block. When you were test knitting the patterns, did you do testing on real kids, to see if your projects will be interesting to them or that they’ll enjoy them? I actually didn’t do any testing for the book. That probably would’ve been smart, though. ;-) Most of the contributors have wee ones in their lives in one respect or another so we just asked them what they’d like us to knit for them and then went from there.
What about your worst project, ever. Do you have a horror story for us about something you knit for yourself or as a gift that went terribly wrong? I can’t think of a specific one. There’ve been so many. LOL. Usually, my biggest mistakes occur when I get lazy and don’t knit a swatch--I prefer to just dive into a project rather than follow formalities. This practice however, sometimes gets me into trouble! ;-)
Can you think of a favorite project of all time? This may sound kind of cheesy, but I think I’d have to say my favorite project was the little cotton cardigan that I knit for my son while I was pregnant with him. Every little detail seemed significant since this new little person would be wearing it. I really enjoyed making it. I also had a blast designing the guitar pillow and felted pick for this book—knitting it totally helped feed my fantasy of being a rock star! (And no, I have still not learned how to play the real, electric guitar that I’ve kept with me for the past 13 years. Stop pressuring me, gosh!) ;-)
What would you be doing if you weren’t hosting Knitty Gritty and creating fun knitting books? Hopefully still craft designing in one respect or another--Either that or producing for television. Those are my two real loves. I feel so lucky though that I’m able to do what I’m doing. My jobs allow me to have a career and spend time with my sons. I’m really grateful.
Do you have any exciting news about future projects or shows you want to share with us? Yeah, thanks! I’m co-hosting (along with 7 other Austin Craft Mafia ladies) a new how-to series on hand made wearables called, Stylelicious. Loads of cool, crafty clothing and accessories will be showcased with step-by-step instruction on how to do-it-yourself! The show begins airing on the DIY Network in the spring of 2006. I also have a 2nd book, Not Another Teen Knitting Book, coming out in June 2006. This one will have the feel of a yearbook and the projects will represent different groups, events and milestones from the High School experience.
The most exciting thing that I’m going to be a part of next year though is, the Rwanda Knits Project through the Fiber and Craft Entrepreneurial Development Center (FACED). Together with the Business Council for Peace, they’ve donated hundreds of knitting machines and created income generating skills training camps for Rwandan victims of AIDS and genocide. FACED’s founder, Cari Clement has asked me to join her in Africa in May to be a part of training these women and I’m absolutely thrilled!
Your upcoming book sounds sensational, Vickie! Thank you so much for spending time with me today...Friends, check out The Blue Blog tomorrow for more on Vickie and her new book, New Knits on the Block. Until then, good night and have a good tomorrow.