1. Tell me about your show, Knitty Gritty. How did that come about?
Knitty Gritty is a knitting how-to series that airs on both DIY Network and HGTV. It focuses on bringing the love of a needle art tradition to a modern audience, through funky projects, veteran instructors, hot, new designers and a sense of humor. Really though, we just want people to get excited about being creative. With the help of respected gurus like Lily Chin, combined with rockin' yarn enthusiasts such as Lisa Loeb and Kelley Deal (The Breeders), we hope to prove that knitting can be just as cool as wielding a guitar or knowing how to snowboard!
Currently, we're in the middle of shooting a one-hour Knitty Gritty special (to air in February '08) that focuses on unique groups of knitters across the nation whose work will result in a finished blanket to benefit Warm Up America (www.warmupamerica.org
2. What do you love about Knitty Gritty?
I love that the show seems to appeal to people of all different ages and life spaces, unifying them with at least this one thing in common: knitting.
3. Why knitting?
This generation is about finding balance and knitting lends itself well to that pursuit. One can be in a boardroom with a project in their briefcase or on the sidelines of a child's soccer game with knitting in hand. It offers a great way to nurture our creative side while at the same time producing something unique and beautiful to put out into the world. My favorite thing though, is the community that knitting affords. Through national Stitch n' Bitch, online and local groups, people who may not have anything else in common are coming together now to knit and actually talk to each other. I feel that we, especially women, have been missing the community that was part of daily life a few generations ago. Knitting (actually, all mobile handicrafts) had brought a little bit of that back.
4. Now the veggie questions, how long have you been a vegetarian?
Not that long, actually—maybe a year and a half.
5. I know you have 2 adorable boys, are you raising them vegetarian?
Well, yes and no. When they're with my husband (whose also a veggie) and me, they have a totally meat-free diet. I split custody of them with their dad though, who's not a vegetarian. We try and educate them about animal rights and meat alternatives so that when they're ready, they can make their own decision without discounting their dad's opinion.
My kids are actually one of the main reasons I became vegetarian, though. After my divorce from their dad I realized that my anti-hunting beliefs didn't hold the same weight in the household, once I wasn't a part of it anymore. Since he comes from a long line of hunters my absolute worst fear is the possibility that my children will someday have a gun in their hands. Once my oldest son was old enough to realize the hypocrisy (this happened at about age 6) in me eating meat but being against killing animals I knew that it was time to make some changes in my own life.
Honestly though, when the boys are with us they don't even seem to miss meat. Companies like yours offer so many great alternatives that it's easy now to be a vegetarian without feeling like you're missing out on yummy foods.
6. Tell me about your new yarn you have coming out? I saw that one of them has organic cotton. How did that come about?
The Vickie Howell Collection currently consists of 4 yarns: CRAFT (made from organic cotton and milk protein), ROCK (a wool/hemp/soy blend), LOVE (silk and bamboo) and the newest, VEGAS (fine wool/SOYSILK—made from the byproduct of tofu—and lurex). I teamed up with Southwest Trading Company (www.soysilk.com
7. Anything else you want to add....
For those mamas and papas out there, I also write an eco-friendly craft column in the healthy parenting magazine, KIWI (www.kiwimagonline.com
Thanks, I really appreciate what Amy's does. Your products are a staple in our house!