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Saturday Chat with Vickie
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Saturday Chat with Vickie

It is my pleasure to present my special Saturday morning chat with Vickie Howell, hostess of the DIY Network’s show, Knitty Gritty, and author of the fun and fabulous New Knits on the Block. I got the chance to ask Vickie some questions about her life, her knitting, and her future crafty plans.

With the DIY show, the books, and the family, how much time do you actually get to knit? What project are you currently working on?

Unfortunately, I almost never get to knit for pleasure anymore. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. I try and squeeze in small projects as often as I can, though. Right now, I’m finishing up the Cabled Newsboy Cap that was designed by my friend Shannita for Stitch n’ Bitch Nation.

What tips do you have for the knitters who want to make the jump to knitwear designers? Was there a text or some advice that you found particularly helpful when designing for your books?

It’s helpful to have some kind of “knitting bible” on hand like, Vogue Knitting’s Ultimate Knitting Book and if possible, a slew of knitting friends to brainstorm with if you hit a design obstacle. I also like to use fabric garments as templates for the general shaping ideas. Really though, I think the best advice it to have a willingness to think outside of the box and not worry about making mistakes. Some of the best design features are the result of a project gone wrong!

I would love to hear more about your idea of "feminist-based knitting" and the subsequent founding of the Austin Craft Mafia. Can you share your philosophy on what feminist knitting is, and how the Craft Mafia works?

Well, I think the only thing that makes the current knitting movement a feminist one is our reclaiming of it as an art form or hobby rather than as traditional “women’s work”. Shattering stereotypes about what sort of person now chooses to knit, furthers the movement by opening people’s eyes to a new social norm of sorts.

The Austin Craft Mafia was formed by 9 women with craft-based businesses who felt that we could have a stronger voice as a united force than we could individually. We believe that women are each other’s greatest informational resource and are hoping to perpetuate that philosophy by encouraging other groups of female-run businesses to form their own Craft Mafias.

Women helping women, yo, that’s where it’s at! ;-)

What is your knitting "herstory"? Who taught you how to knit? How long have you been knitting?

I’ve only been knitting seriously for about 5 years. My mom tried teaching me when I was 8 years old but it didn’t really stick until I visited a yarn store in my mid-twenties and was re-taught by the shop owner.
That day, it was love at first knit. ;-)

Where do you get your "knitspiration"? Books, magazines, TV, or internet/blogs?

I’m inspired mostly by music, pop-culture, vintage clothing, art, fashion mags, other designers, novels and movies. Ya know, the usual stuff.

What advice do you have for new knitters and crafters?

Just to remember we’re not curing disease here, it’s only knitting. Relax, have fun and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

What’s next for Vickie Howell? I have heard rumors of a new DIY show called "Stylelicious". Can you tell us more about this venture?

Yeah! Stylelicious is a new show for the DIY network, about handmade fashion. It’s co-hosted by myself and 7 other Austin Craft Mafia members and begins airing next spring. We’re super excited about it! Other than that, my 2nd book (Not Another Teen Knitting Book) comes out in June, I’m going to continue writing and designing for Knit.1 and Budget Living, and I’m gearing up to get started on writing my 3rd book, which will be on crochet. That’s pretty much it for now.

Thanks for having me here, Lolly–it was a pleasure. Knit on!


Flipping through Vickie’s book, I was captivated by the whimsical patterns – ah, to be a kid again! There were many that caught my eye, but these two held a special place, probably because I am wishing I was in Hawaii right about now!

Make sure to check out her book: its full of fun patterns just like these, for girls and boys.

You can follow Vickie on the rest of the BLOG TOUR – Tomorrow she stops by and gives Booga J a photo tour of the book, and Monday, she will be at Scout’s for another interview. If you missed a blog tour date, go back and catch up!

You can even read more about Vickie’s ongoing projects, ideas, and life news on her blog. (I can’t wait for Stylelicious!)

Thank you to Vickie for answering my questions, and thanks to all of you for reading! Let me know what you think!

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25 Responses

  1. Barb

    I love it. Thanks. “Just remember, we’re not curing disease here…” What? Relax?

  2. dianne

    great Sat. morning chat/read!! wonderful range of questions that take Vickie’s answers beyond what’s asked. I agree about Hawaii!

  3. Scout

    Great questions Lolly! I swear she’ll be bored out of her mind by the time she comes to my little ole Blog!

  4. Carole

    Great job, Lolly. Maybe you should be studying journalism!

  5. chris

    Awesome job, Lolly!! I loved the questions you asked, especially the one about feminist-based knitting. And I love the idea of “herstory!” Definitely something that’s not heard often enough in “history.” Yay for gender equity! Looks like there are some fun patterns in Vickie’s book. And BTW, it’s been getting COLD here in HI…down to the 60′s at night. We’re such wimps in the tropics, hee! :-)

  6. Karen

    That was a great read Lolly! Did you have a hard time coming up with the questions? I would think that would get harder after each blog she has visited. It’s sad Vickie hardly has time to knit for pleasure anymore though.

  7. Amy

    Great job Lolly! She seems like such a fun person.


  8. Esther

    Oh I LOVE KNITTY GRITTY And Vicky of course!! I just ordered a signed copy of her book.

    Your interview was awesome!!

  9. margene

    Great interview Lolly! Thanks for bringing us such an interesting and fun person to meet.

  10. catherine

    What a great opportunity:) Loved reading the Q&A, U asked the right questions girl ;)

  11. Wendy

    Such a great interview!

  12. Deb

    I was just cruising the blogs (I am a lurker) and saw that you featured the tropical outfit I designed for Vickie’s book-Thank you! great interview-I especially liked the question on becoming a knit designers.

  13. Moni

    That was so fun! I like the idea of feminist-based knitting…

  14. Mimi

    Great interview! You are such a talented lady Lolly, and Vickie sounds great too! It is cold here. I have been getting goosebumps.
    Love You!

  15. Beak

    Great job! You asked such interesting questions.

  16. Mom

    Good Interview, Lol’. Your questions were good and helpful. Glad you asked a question for beginners.;-) You have gotten some great feedback. XXOO

  17. debbie

    applause, applause!!! brava, brava!!! excellent!

  18. heather

    I loved reading this interview…supporting other knitters is where it’s at. We’re all inspired by so many different things!

  19. Rebekah

    Great interview. I love her new book, wish I got the DIY network for the show, and can’t wait to knit the guitar pillow. In fact friends of mine are expecting their first baby, and that baby is so getting a guitar pillow because the baby’s daddy is a guitar player and it’s perfect. Of course my husband has picked out several other outfits the baby will have as it gets older.

  20. Catrin

    So, you didn´t finished Lucky either.. I like Lucky and I really looking forward to finish her – but I found the pattern kind of boring to knit.. (Sorry Melissa!) BUT I will start over in the new year! I´ll promise! Well, my bags are packed and now I´m off to Rome! Ciao!

  21. Alison

    Cool questions! I enjoyed reading the interview.

  22. LeAnne

    Hey Lolly, Don’t worry about Hourglass. I did mine a few rounds at a time, too, until the raglan decreases at the shoulders/neck, which drove me crazy enough just to sit and finish them! The sweater for Kirs…I want to make that one for myself since my husband doesn’t want it. I got my zipper for my Ribby Cardi at JoAnn, but was disappointed at the lack of color range, even with all those zippers. I’ve heard ZipperStop (online) is great for zippers. Great interview with Vickie!

  23. eyeleen

    great interview Lolly!

  24. Dana

    Look at you, interviewing famous people! That was a fun read. Vickie Howell sounds like someone I would like to meet! And thanks for the tip about the ACM’s new show. Thanks for the compliment on my sweater. Happy Holidays!

  25. Gina

    Thank you for your wonderful work!

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