This past month, while hanging out at VKLive Chicago, I bumped into Vickie Howell. She reminded me her new book Step It Up Knits has just been published and includes an adorable design in Spud & Chloë Outer.
What was your inspiration for the sweet Cape Dear?
I wanted to include a project that was quick enough to make that any busy mom could make it, while still including some design features (simple lace and mitered shoulders) that kept the pattern interesting. Plus, that little twirly girl in the photo is my daughter, Clover–and even though she’s lately treated knitted garments as if they were made out of brimstone and lava, I’m still constantly inspired by her to design more kid-centric items!
Cape Dear is available in a twelve month size, 2T, and 4T. Knit in Spud & Chloë Outer (shown in Rockett #7211) on size 11 (8mm) needles, this is a quick knit for busy moms.
How did you get from simply learning to knit to hosting a TV show, writing books, and having a your own yarn line?
The getting-the-show thing was a fluke: the producer Googled “young, hip, knitter” and came up with my logo for the Stitch n’ Bitch groups I started in L.A. & Austin. (This was a decade ago when reclaiming the craft from the older generation was big.) She asked if I knew anyone who’d be interested in hosting a knitting show, I pitched myself (I had a background in television production, so I knew how to do that), and showed her what was coincidentally my first ever published knitting design: a guitar strap for Knitty.com. I apparently had the kind of look they were going for, so I went to L.A. and auditioned. Once I landed the show, I felt (still feel) like I owed it to the opportunity to make as much out of it as I could. I immediately pitched a book. Since then, I’ve never stopped pitching!
Where is your favorite place to knit?
Hands down, my favorite place to knit is wherever my online knitting group meets up. We recently had our 10th anniversary retreat at my house–most of the group flew to Austin from all over the U.S. to spend the weekend knitting, drinking wine, and just hanging out. Throughout the year, a few members of the group here and there, try to see each other at various events. Being around them always serves as a reminder about what one of my favorite things about knitting is: the community around it.
What are you curious about?
You mean in life, or in knitting? In life, I’m wondering what will top the invention of the internet and is world peace a possibility in a human-based society? In knitting, I’m wondering if I’ll ever have enough time and quiet to work on something really complicated and lacy.
Vickie, what was your favorite part of writing Step It Up Knits?
I loved the challenge of coming up with designs that were a combination of quick-to-knit and on-trend items that also employed at least one “step it up” skill.
Cape Dear can be found in Vickie Howell’s new book: Step It Up Knits: Take Your Skills to the Next Level with 25 Quick and Stylish Projects
Available at your favorite LYS, book store, or online.
What is your favorite color?
Turquoise is probably my favorite color, but I love chartreuse, magenta, olive, teal, and orange, too!
What is your favorite Spud & Chloë or Blue Sky Alpacas Yarn?
I especially love working with Techno because of the loft, softness, and saturation of color. I noticed you have a new yarn, Metalico, though, that looks right up my alley! I’m definitely going to have to check that one out.
(For all the details on Vickie’s Blue Sky Alpacas Techno design, Hood Winked, also available in Step It Up Knits, click here.)
See more of Vickie’s inspiration from her Pinterest boards.
Thanks to Vickie for a fun interview. I cannot wait to cast on for a few Step It Up Knits myself. Quick projects for holiday knitting with many techniques to learn!