We're thrilled to welcome the brilliant Vickie Howell as a guest author to our blog. Vickie, is here to talk you through knitting with circular needles and has a FREE headband pattern for you to test your skills on. Enjoy...
Who Am I?
Hey there! I’m so excited to have teamed up with Deramores to design two new yarn lines, as well as plenty of patterns to make with them! For those of you who are thinking, “who the heck is this woman?”, let me introduce myself. My name is Vickie Howell. I’m a U.S. based on-air host, knitting & crochet designer, author, and craft ambassador. I first started in the industry about 13 years ago after landing the gig as the host/creative consultant for a television show called, Knitty Gritty which aired for 8 series on the DIY and HGTV cable networks. Later, I co-hosted a few other shows, and more recently hosted and co-produced a show for public television called, Knitting Daily with Vickie Howell. I’ve written a dozen or so craft-based books as well, have worked as a brand ambassador for companies internationally, and host and produce a podcast called, CRAFT*ish which aims to inspire creativity through conversations with professional artists, artisans and creators of all, crafty walks of life. I feel passionately about encouraging people to tap into their creativity, and if that can be done with a ball of yarn and some needles (or a hook) -- well then, even better!
I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Deramores followers, as well as the yarn crafting communities in the U.K., Australia, and beyond. So, thank you for having me!
Ok, enough about me, let’s get to the good stuff!
Make & Take ... at your own home!
Recently I came across the pond to help launch Woolpaca Chunky and Mod Wool yarns, and to take part in the Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally. During my time at the Deramores booth I spent a few sessions hosting “Make & Takes” (knitters come to the booth, we provide the pattern, assistance and materials for a small project, and they walk away with a little, finished something.) Knitter’s seemed to dig it -- at certain points there were so many of us knitting that there was barely enough room to move in the booth -- which made me really happy.
Just a few of the stitchers who stopped by our booth to Make & Take with us!
I spent as much time as possible meeting and chatting with participants during which time I learned something that was surprising to me. Using circular needles isn’t as much of a thing in the U.K. as it is in the U.S. and for many, there’s even a feeling of intimidation about using them to knit in the round. I use circular needles (“circs”) whenever possible -- I find them to not only make for easy circular knitting, but also just kinder to my wrists in general. That said, I thought that a quick video to demystify the process might be helpful, so we set up cameras on the show floor and shot a tutorial. You can watch it here!
Alright, now that circs (hopefully) make more sense, how about a small project to take them (and Woolpaca Chunky) for a spin? Here’s the pattern for the same project some of us made together at Ally Pally!
In a Hurry Headband
Size 8mm (U.S. 11), 60 cm circular needle Tapestry needle.
CO 54(60) sts. Join round, taking care not to twist.
Rounds 12: *K1, p1; rep from * around.
Round 3: Knit.
Round 4: Purl.
Round 5: K around wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch. (You’ll have double the loops on the needle at this point.)
Round 6: * Slip next 3 stitches knitwise to righthand needle dropping extra loops, pass these 3 stitches back to lefthand needle, [k1, p1, k1] through 3 stitches together; rep from *around.
Rnd 7: Knit.
Round 8: Purl.
Rounds 910: *K1, p1; rep from * around.
Cast off in pattern stitch.
Weave in ends.
Have I brought you over to the circular needle dark side, yet? Well then, come on in, the water’s fine! Here are 3 more Woolpaca Chunky projects that are knit in the round.