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Interview With Kristin Nicholas

Kristin Nicholas is prominent in the knitting world for her color expertise. The author of eight books, including Color by Kristin, Kristin Knits and Colorful Stitchery, it is no wonder that she was handpicked for Knit and Crochet Now!, a TV show you can watch on your local PBS station.

What got you started in knitting?
I learned to knit garter stitch when I was 9 on a car trip to Kentucky. I made a striped orange-and-yellow pocketbook with a drawstring out of Aunt Lydia's Cotton Rug Yarn. I actually didn't pick up knitting again until I was in college when I began knitting sweaters. My first sweater was a Fair Isle yoke sweater made of Reynolds Candide yarn that I doubled. It weighed a ton, and I pulled the colorwork too tight, so the yoke didn't fit properly.

What prompted your move into color expertise?
I've always had a passion for color. Growing up, I did all kinds of crafts -- embroidery, crochet, sewing, baking and all kinds of the crafty kits that the big chain stores sell now. Color has always been fun for me. My mom taught me to appreciate color. I sewed all my clothes through high school and studied textiles and clothing at university. I also did a minor in fiber art. Color, paint and dyeing has always been a thread through all the work.

The opportunity to be on Knit & Crochet Now! must have been exciting! How'd that come about?
I've been in the needlework business for almost 30 years. I was the creative director of Classic Elite Yarns for 16 years. One of the first people I met was Candi Jensen. She was the creative director of Crystal Palace Yarns. We hit it off and have been friends ever since. When Candi became the producer of Knit and Crochet Now!, she asked me if I wanted to be a "knitting expert." I had never done much television, but I decided to give it a go.

What is it like working on the show?
There definitely is a learning curve working on television. We have between 7 to 9 minutes to demonstrate a project. That isn't much time. I try to fit every step in, but sometimes I run out of time, and it becomes rushed at the very end -- especially with difficult projects.

Do you have any secrets you can hint to for season 5?
Not really, but I do have something funny. Do you know how hard it is to knit with metal needles without clanking them on the table? Listen hard to see if I clank them. I really tried not to, but once in a while I slip, and the metal hits the wood table. UGH!

To watch Knit and Crochet Now!, be sure to check for local listings in your area or call PBS right away to request it if it's not on their schedule. You can also visit Knit and Crochet Now! for more show information. To learn more about Kristen and her amazing work, please visit her website at