The Rockstar is in da house!
Well, not exactly a rockstar but most definitely a Knitstar! Some of you may remember this cool, hip, guitar strap from Knitty's Fall '03 issue and not have put it together that this is also Knitty Gritty's own Vickie Howell.
Before we get to the interview let's start this off right. To celebrate the end of Vickie's Blog Tour I'm serving up my own creation of Christmas Cosmopolitans to all of my readers. Go ahead and grab one and let's go.
As I've mentioned before, I grew up knitting. As soon as I heard the buzz about the new show on DIY called Knitty Gritty I set my TiVo up for a season pass and was immediately hooked. To this day I still record the shows and always learn new knitty tricks. The crazy-busy, mama of two recently finished wrapping up shooting seasons 4-6 of the show and has just released her first book titled New Knits on the Block. You can even buy a signed copy if you want.
With another new book in the works as well as a new TV show it sure as heck doesn't look like she'll be slowing down any time soon. Let's see exactly what our favorite knitster grrrl has to say shall we?
I know that you do other needle crafts. In what order did you learn those? (I asked her this because everyone says it's harder to learn how to crochet after knowing how to knit)
Jeez lady, I don’t remember my crafty chronology. ;-) Ummm…I think I learned to hand-sew first when I was about 6 or 7 and then over the next few years I learned how to cross stitch, crochet, embroider, punch embroider, machine sew, plastic canvas and then finally, knit.
I have knit my whole life and can't wrap my mind around crocheting. Do you do a lot of that?
Not anywhere near as much as I knit but my 3rd book will be on crochet, so that’s soon to change. I’m actually really looking forward to dedicating some time into experimenting with it!
Have you always been such a crafty mama?
Yeah, I guess so. I was raised by a crafty mom so it was inevitable that I’d become one myself.
List your top 5 most favorite Knitting Books that you have used over and over again.
In no particular order: Stitch N’ Bitch Nation (Debbie Stoller), Loop-d-Loop (Teva Durham), Weekend Knitting (Melanie Falick), Simple Knits with a Twist (Erika Knight) & Vogue’s Big Book of Knitting.
My husband is asking me to ask you what music do you like to listen to when you knit. (We're listening to the new Bob Mould that inspired this question!)
Well Hubby, I don’t have any special knitting music per se —I usually just put my i-pod on random and put my needles into motion, yo. ;-) As I’m typing this I’m listening to this amazing song called “Salome” by Pigeonhed (a band that my friend just turned me on to). Lately though, I’ve been revisiting Radio Head’s Kid A (one of my all time faves) and listening to a lot of White Stripes, The Dandy Warhols, The Decemberists, LadyTron and Gwen Stefani (‘cause ya know, a little pop never hurt anyone.)
Do you get into a knitting slump during the summer or do you just grab the needles and whip up a bikini?
Living in Texas you would think that I’d avoid knitting during the ridiculously hot summer months, but that has yet to happen. When I’m not knitting something work related (I think I knit the dude’s Brimster Beanie that’s in the current Knit.1 during the summer), then I’m most likely working on a bag or a smaller project. This past summer my son wanted a “wristband o’ power” to match his black low-top Chuck’s for the first day of kindergarten, so of course I had to oblige.
How did Knitty Gritty come about and how did you become the host?
The show’s production company, Screen Door Entertainment, had sold the idea of a knitting show to DIY. When their original host plans fell through, they hit the internet in search of someone new. They literally Googled for “Hip knitters” and a logo for one of the Stitch n’ Bitch groups I started came up. They e-mailed me and to make a long story short, two days later I flew to L.A. to audition and shortly after was offered the job.
Are you enjoying it? It seems difficult to juggling everything you have going on in your life, how do you do it all?
Yes, I love what I’m doing and yes, it’s really difficult balancing it all. I don’t sleep a lot, ingest a lot of coffee and diet coke, have a cocktail now and then and rely greatly on my daily chats with my best friend Tammy (aka keeper of my sanity). I don’t always do the best job of juggling, but I’m learning.
Tell us a little bit about your new book New Knits on the Block. It must be so exciting to be published!?
It’s really exciting! I’ve always wanted to write craft books so really, it’s a dream come true for me. NKotB was a labor of love for me, so I’m thrilled that people don’t seem to think it sucks (or if they do, they’ve kept that fact to themselves…which I greatly appreciate).
What do you have coming up in the next few months that we have to look forward to?
Hmmm….well, This Saturday (the 17th) I’ll be a guest author at the BUST Magazine Craftacular in Brooklyn (www.bust.com), I have a (sewn) hot water bottle cozie (I know, random) coming out in the February issue of Budget Living and the TV show I co-host (Stylelicious) with the other Austin Craft Mafia members starts airing in the spring. Other than that, I’ll mostly be traveling to promote this book, decorating my new house (woohooo!) and working on the crochet book. There’s other stuff I know that I’m forgetting about but if you’re interested, you can always go to www.vickiehowell.com for the scoop.
Lastly, what do you love about knitting the most?
I love that it gives me something to do with my hands when I’m sitting “still”; I love that it helps me relax while simultaneously creating something beautiful; I love the community that it’s afforded me (holla out to the MEOWers!) and most of all, I love that I’m still constantly challenged and inspired by it.
A great big thanks to Vickie for taking the time to answer all of our Bloggy questions on the virtual tour. I wish you tons of luck with all of your crafty endeavors. Just make sure that when you do your real book tour you get your crafty-self here to Albuquerque so we can all meet you.