Spring Cleaning Sale! Phoebe Mouse Knitting Kits!

We are doing some spring cleaning here in our studios at Slate Falls Press! 

Knitting Kits include:
- Brown Sheep Co Lamb's Pride Superwash Worsted in Oats 'N Cream  
- Brown Sheep Co Lamb's Pride Superwash Worsted in Strawberry Chiffon
- Digital Knitting Pattern PDF
- 100% wool felt eyes and nose
- Embroidery thread for eyes and nose

Here's to hours of happy knitting!


Madison Knitters' Guild Knit In!

by Joanna

 Doesn't everyone pack for a business trip like this?

I recently flew to Madison, Wisconsin to teach at their annual Knit In. Of course, I had heard of the Madison Knitters' Guild, but nothing could prepare me for this impressive group of knitters! The event was held at the Alliant Energy Center, and apparently three times the size of last year's event!

 The Friday evening keynote was delivered by Patty Lyons

The event was jam-packed with activities: keynote address, classes, marketplace, Nancy Drew mystery knitalong, live music, wine and beer tastings, yarn swaps, yarn tastings... it was incredible! Patty Lyons, Susan B. Anderson, and Annie Modesitt were a few of the fabulous knitters who taught over the course of the weekend.

  We had a kiosk booth in the marketplace

The guild kindly offered me the opportunity to have a kiosk during the event. Although I was busy teaching four classes over the course of the weekend, I was honored to have team Johanson as shopkeepers for the weekend, they were incredible! Thank you, ladies!

 My incredible team of volunteer shopkeepers!

At one point a kind volunteer asked me if I needed anything... and I said, "A body double!" I loved teaching this talented group of knitters, but I wished I could have attended the event just to shop, take classes, and join in the fun! Maybe next year...

Timber Mittens- Buff Knitting class!

The Timber mittens class was a knockout. Although we didn't find any Adirondack Loggers in Wisconsin, the Timber Mittens would be really useful for dog walking or clearing off an icy car!

Some spinning fiber snuk home in my bag!

I had just a whirlwind of minutes to shop... and some magical spinning fiber found its way home in my bag. The second from the bottom is a wool bamboo mix. I have never spun bamboo before and am eager to try! 

Thank you, Madison, for an amazing weekend!!


Knee Thighs

A brand new cozy pattern for you today~ Knee Thighs!
Inspired by the stunning color combinations of the Zauberball remnants I found in my sock bin, I set out to create a magnificent pair of shaped leg warmers! Visit the pattern page on Ravelry here to learn more about our newest pattern:


Knitting Pattern Announcement

Dear friends, knitters and readers,
         I am writing today to share an announcement with you about seven of my knitting patterns which are currently available for free on our website. After much thought and reflection, I have decided to convert these seven knitting patterns to paid patterns, available on Ravelry and Etsy. Just over five years ago I fell down, down, down... into the "rabbit hole" of writing knitting patterns, beginning with our first book, Phoebe's Sweater. It has been an incredible experience for me both personally and creatively. In the early years of my journey, I had the opportunity to create several knitting patterns to offer free of charge to our readers. Through this process I had the honor of collaborating with some amazing online publishers, namely, Knitty, Petite Purls, and Rhythm of the Home. I am very thankful for the relationships forged through the creative process. 
         Through the years I have learned the hard way that there really isn't such a thing as "free". Although I can publish a pattern on our website, write about it on Ravelry, share photos of it on Instagram and email the link to my readers, all for "free"- it still has a cost. Along with the "free" pattern I bear the cost of pattern writing, editing, proof reading, professional photography, test knitting, pattern support, and upkeep of notes. I am a writer, a publisher, a wife, and a mother of three. Every hour I spend doing these tasks is time I am taking away from my work, my family, my relationships, my self-care, and my other pursuits. I am sure you all would agree that my time is just as valuable as the time of your dentist, your mechanic, your child's teacher, your plumber and all of the other professionals from whom you purchase goods and services. Our oldest child is now a teenager and looking to the future to pursue her own dreams and interests. And as she does so I also wish to set a good example to her as to the value of my own dreams, time, and talents.
          Two weeks from today I will be converting the following patterns to paid patterns:
Sheep Wagon Shawl, Foliolum, Christopher Robin Pullover, Klickitat, Little House Shawl, Polly Flinders, and the Acorn Doll Blanket. If you are interested in these patterns this will give you a window of time in which you may access the patterns in their entirety.
           Thank you deeply for your understanding, and for being a part of Slate Falls Press growing far beyond our dream and into reality.

Artistic Differences Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Today we are delighted to be a stop on the blog tour for Talitha Kuomi's brand new publication, Artistic Differences. This pattern collection has been created in collaboration with Classic Elite Yarn. Inspired by her musical experiences, each of the ten patterns in the collection is designed to be styled in two different ways~ acoustic vs. electric, take your pick!

We first met Talitha years ago when she very kindly reviewed a book of ours for the talented Jaala over at Knit Circus, and it is an honor to return the favor by being a part of the launch of this stunning collection!

Talitha has been kind enough to answer our questions about her creative process, musical tastes, and design style. Enjoy!!


What inspired you to create this collection?
When CEY and I first started talking about collaborating, they said that I could pick any theme. Anything at all. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to do something related to the local music scene and indie musicians. For awhile it was me and the guys in my band playing stage to stage in the Greater Boston area. I loved those times and I’d seen very little to no patterns knit with indie music in mind. It seemed like a space waiting for me to fill it.


I love how you have imagined each design in two ways… how did you develop this concept? Did it complicate or simplify the design process for you?
Music is so many things. It’s rock, blues, gospel, country, folk, alternative, rap…it was difficult to think about capturing the essence of what music means to me in just one collection. Doesn’t help that I do find it hard to nail down the details of any pattern I’m designing. My head gets cluttered up with what something would look like with 3/4 sleeves, or more colors, or in a different length. The idea of each pattern with different modifications simplified things, because the variations come easy to me. Narrowing it down to only two variations (actually I cheated and gave a third mod possibility for each pattern in the book) was a bit harder, but worked.


How long have you been a musician? How are songwriting and pattern writing similar and different?
Aren’t we all born musicians? And we believe it until the world starts pointing out our lack of talent compared to the superstars. Then we don’t say we’re musicians anymore. I played the violin when I was young, then the piano. I sang at church and in the chorus at school through college. Then I did some solo acoustic sets and sang with my band as a grown-up.
I have this strong need to make things. Whether that be music or knitwear, poetry or bulletin board collages. I feel better, think clearer and sleep better when I create. I think that’s why I’d say I’m a musician and a knitwear designer: my head spins with ideas that long to be set free. Always has.
You’ll laugh here, but the real difference to me between pattern writing and songwriting is math. There is rhythm and balance and volume (which is measured in numbers), but thankfully no math in songwriting. That’s the biggest difference. The way it works for me, they have a lot of similarities. Both express strong emotions or memories (I know that’s not true for all designers, but it is for me), are cathartic, and the next person to sing that song or knit that sweater will do it a little bit differently, so they’re both extremely personal.


Were there musical inspirations for this collection? What did you listen to while designing it?
I started with the music of the local indie scene, which means everything from metal to jazz, hip-hop to retro. I did find, though, that I returned to certain discs over and over again while I worked on these designs. Certain music does get my head into certain grooves and kept the flow going. Here are the albums I had on repeat:
Derek Webb ‘Ctrl’
Amber Hunter ‘Freedom Steps’
Rob Thomas ‘Something To Be’
David Wilcox ‘The Very Best Of David Wilcox’
Hayley Sabella ‘King Solomon’
David Cook ‘David Cook’
Lori McKenna ‘Numbered Doors’
Matthew Mayfield ‘Banquet For Ghosts’
It’s all pretty mellow, which isn’t always my taste, but it was this time around.

If you were an instrument, what instrument would you be?
I hope I’d be a double bass. A little awkward, an effort to bring with you out and about, but with a rich, haunting sound so that once you’ve heard its place in music, it is hard to get it out of your head. That’s not necessarily what you’d think meeting me in real life, but that’s what I’d like you to think.


What was the most challenging part of writing this collection? The most rewarding part?
The most challenging thing and the most rewarding part are the same. Simplicity. I love the presence of complicated designs. Like a cabled cardi that has eight separate charts and looks ever so impressive when worn, but there’s not enough space in my life to knit stuff like that right now. My knitting has to be portable so I can bring it along to waiting rooms and school meetings. I have to be able to work it while simultaneously my kids are interrupting my thoughts and the phone is ringing and I’m not sure what’s for dinner yet and someone’s boo-boo needs a kiss and a big hug. I have to enjoy the process because I don’t get to the end of something that made me crazy to knit and then suddenly love it. Ever. It seemed most honest to design things I’d actually like to knit. So, I wanted to take my original ideas and really shave them down to their core. That took the most time and the most work, and it’s the something that I’m the most horribly happy with the result of.


We are excited to be featuring the Trume pattern on this stop of the blog tour. Just for today, Wednesday, January 7, this pattern will be on sale for 10% off. No code is needed.

Also, one lucky commenter will win a free copy of this pattern. 
To enter: Leave a comment, including your ravelry name, website, or email address, and tell us which pattern in Talitha's collection is your favorite!
Comments will close one week from today, January 14. Thanks!

Comments are now closed to entries. Thank you!

*all photos credit courtesy of Classic Elite Yarns
*a review copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher


Book Review~ Sockupied

Four years ago I walked into Interweave's offices in Loveland, Colorado, to interview for a job. It was for the role as an assistant editor on a groundbreaking new eMag, Sockupied. The interactive eMag was in its infancy, and it was quite a thrill to work alongside the editor, Anne Merrow, developing ideas for reviews, articles, interactive features and yarn concepts. 

Edited by Anne Merrow
Interweave/F+W; $24.99

 photo courtesy of Interweave
Frost Feather Stockings by Deborah Newton

What is truly unique about this book is that it is a direct inverse of what is the general pattern in publishing today. While many books are being converted to digital formats, it is rare to see a digital product convert to a traditional printed book. With a strong design aesthetic, incredible patterns and the inclusion of the industry's top sock designers, Sockupied hits it out of the park with this unique digital-to-print transformation. 

  photo courtesy of Interweave
Oak + Acorn Socks by Spillyjane

I admit I might be personally biased in my love for this book- the personal connections are strong- reviewing submissions, ordering yarns, following up with designers, seeing the finished designs as they arrive in the office- you can't *not* feel connected to the patterns.

  photo courtesy of Interweave
Speed Bump Socks by Deb Barnhill

That being said, the sock knitter in me is completely taken by the strength of the twenty patterns in this collection. Each pattern has a unique quality that draws me in- an unusual technique, use of color, stitch pattern, or "a-ha!" design element.

  photo courtesy of Interweave
Our Paths Cross Socks by Lorilee Beltman

My absolute favorite pattern in the book is Our Paths Cross by Lorilee Beltman. The designer uses an interesting vertical stranding technique to create a wandering diagonal pattern that hints heavily at argyle. I remember being intrigued by this submission as it came into the office, and cannot wait to get started on a pair of my own.

My socks will be very similar to Lorilee's original design- using a simple gray as the background color and contrasting colors of bright teal and sunny yellow.

To see all of the patterns from Sockupied visit the source page here on Ravelry. Which pair do you want to cast on first?

A review copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher.


Green Gables Knits Instagram Gallery~ Anne's Sweater

by Joanna

Time for another Green Gables Knits Instagram Gallery post! This is the third Anne's Sweater I have knit. (1st one- for the book, 2nd one- for me, 3rd one- for my mom's birthday!) I used the yarn as called for in the pattern, Brown Sheep Company Lanaloft Sport, in the colorway Buoyant Blue. I worked the sweater in a size 42" from a one-pound cone of yarn, and was pleased to see that I only needed one more skein to finish the sweater.

Confession- this was supposed to be mom's birthday present last fall, then her Christmas present. Alas, the sweater sat in a small laundry basket in my studio all summer, sad and sleeveless. I determined to finish it for her THIS fall for her birthday, and was able to deliver it to her in person. It fit her perfectly!

In other Anne's Sweater news... I just cast on a 4th Anne's Sweater for our teenage daughter. I am knitting it as a part of Little Skein in the Big Wool's #annealong. (Click here to read about this awesome knit along!)

My goal when I designed Anne's Sweater was to create an easy and wearable cardigan that I would make for me, my mom, or my daughter, and that we would all love and enjoy. So far I have had success with two of three generations... I will keep you posted on how this one works out for Laurel!