Picture Book Illustration: Animal Characters, Eric's new Craftsy Class

We are delighted to announce Eric's brand new Craftsy Class: Picture Book Illustration: Animal Characters! Eric was busy at work in his studio all summer getting his samples and coursework prepared for this new class, and we are so excited to finally be able to share the news with you!

Here is the description of the class from Craftsy:

"Join illustrator Eric Johnson and master the art of animal character design from start to finish! Learn how to conceptualize and develop an endearing, realistic character using thumbnail sketches, and add expressive human characteristics with Eric's expert tips. Create a captivating visual narrative as you explore a variety of poses, props and settings, and refine perspective, scale and balance for a lifelike composition. From the celebrated ink-and-watercolor style of Randolph Caldecott to a layered approach that incorporates colored pencils, you'll learn how to bring your work to life with charm and whimsy."

We hope this piques your interest! One more thing... we are offering you a special rate of 50% off so you can purchase the class for just $19.99. Click the link below to take advantage of this special offer for our readers!


Book Review and Giveaway~ Kung Fu Knits by Elizabeth Green Musselman

If you are at all familiar with our work here at Slate Falls Press, you know we are huge fans of "two in one" combination knitting books. Therefore, we were really pleased to have been asked to host a giveaway for Elizabeth Green Musselman's new book, Kung Fu Knits. As a mom of two boys, 10 and six years old, this is right up our alley! Knitting + comics + martial arts = superfun imaginative knits!

Kung Fu Knits includes six knitting patterns with full-color photos, clear instructions and schematics along with an awesome illustrated comic story kids are sure to enjoy. I am sure my boys will want a set of nunchucks and throwing stars after seeing this! We love how perfectly the story, drawings, photos, and patterns unite together in this playful book!

Vital Stats:
71 pages
Available as a paperback, digital download, or both
Individual patterns will be available next fall
Publisher: Cooperative Press

Digital download: $9.95
Paperback: $15.95 (comes with the digital download if purchased through Cooperative Press)

Where available:
Currently available on the Cooperative Press website ( and on Ravelry (as digital download only:

Awesome video trailer:

Pattern Sale!
Elizabeth is offering a coupon code on my other patterns to your readers/viewers. From now until the end of November, the coupon codekfklaunch will take 15% off all of my self-published patterns (

Be sure to visit the rest of the reviews on Elizabeth's blog tour!
22 September | Mixed Martial Arts & Crafts blog |
24 September | Fibretown podcast |
28 September | Must Stash podcast |
29 September | Through the Back Loops blog |
2 October | Through the Looking Glass blog |
5 October | The Knitgirllls podcast |
10 October | Makewise Designs blog |
15 October | Sunset Cat Designs blog |
17 October | Joeli's Kitchen podcast |
22 October | Slate Falls Press blog |
3 November | Wattsolak blog |

Book Giveaway!
To enter the giveaway for a digital copy of Kung Fu Knits, please leave a comment on this post and tell us your Ravelry username and the name of your favorite comic book hero! Giveaway entries will close on October 30 at midnight MT.


Announcing Knitting Kits for May Platypus!

by Joanna

We are pleased to announce our brand-new knitting kits! Today we are featuring our kit for May Platypus, the adorable doll from our book Freddie's Blanket

 Each kit contains the required yarn for your very own May Platypus doll: Brown Sheep Company Serendipity Tweed in three colors. Also included are the notions: 100% wool felt eyes, embroidery thread, and ribbon, along with a stationery set of four blank cards featuring a beautiful illustration from the book.

Additionally, the digital pattern PDF for May will be delivered to customers via email. Our favorite part? Everything comes in this winsome Goodnight Moon knitting bunny project bag. We love these bags! They are based on Jeni's pattern, and are the perfect size for small to medium sized projects: toys, socks, kids garments, shawls, and accessories!

Visit the kit section of our Etsy store here to view our new kits! We will be featuring our new kits on the blog here throughout the week. Happy Stitching!


Book Review~ Everyday Lace by Heather Zoppetti

This week I am pleased to bring you a review of Heather Zoppetti's new book, Everyday Lace. I first met Heather a few years ago at TNNA, the yarn industry's trade show for retailers, manufacturers, publishers and designers. From the time I met her, I have been deeply impressed by Heather's artistry, passion and aesthetic. Heather and I were also able to visit together "after hours" last winter at the filming of Knitting Daily season 13. I have been eagerly waiting since then to see her new book and I was not disappointed!

all photos courtesy of Interweave

Why Lace?
Heather has a wonderful intuitive sense of how to employ the unique qualities of handknit lace. Whether for drape, texture, accent, or structure, Heather inserts the perfect stitch pattern for each design's silhouette and form. 

What to Love
I love that this book is organized into three categories: Warm, Transitional, and Cold. As a Colorado girl, I love the variety of seasonal knits, and the way Heather has created a truly year-round collection of knits. I am not a "foul-weather" knitter- I love making and wearing handknits year-round; my favorite part of Everyday Lace is that the patterns are exactly that- perfect for every day of the year!

Another side note: the book was photographed at the Loveland Feed and Grain, which is located in historic downtown Loveland, just blocks from my neighborhood, so I especially enjoyed the great photography in this collection!

What to Knit
With five accessories, two pairs of socks, and 11 garments including cardigans, pullovers, and vests, Everyday Lace offers up a wonderfully curated collection of handknits perfect for a variety of fibers, styles, and skill levels. 

Vital Stats
Everyday Lace
By Heather Zoppetti
Interweave/F+W; $24.99
142 pages
18 projects

To learn more about Heather and her work, please visit her website here:

A review copy of this book was provided to me by Interweave/F+W


Spinzilla~ The Godzilla of Fiber

by Joanna

I was recently honored to be a guest blogger at the Spin-Off blog. The topic of my post? Spinzilla! Are you in? I have been hoarding curating a collection of fiber all year to prepare for this year's competition. I will be blogging all about it in October, and sharing lots of spinning photos on my Instagram, find me as joannajohnson if you want to join in the fun!

photo courtesy of Fancy Tiger Crafts

In the meantime, you can head over to the Spin-Off blog to read about my Spinzilla adventures last year with Team Fancy Tiger. I wonder... will they return for a second win and retain the Golden Niddy Noddy? I can't wait to find out!


Christopher Robin Pullover

A. A Milne’s witty and tenderly crafted stories have become a part of our family treasury of favorite stories. The various animal characters, with their distinct personalities, quirks, and foibles, are both endearing and unforgettable. As we watch our children grow up, as we hear from our readers who have created the knitted and sewn storybook characters from our books, and as I reflect on the magic of the world of Winnie-the-Pooh, I see how the real life of a children’s book plays out in the imagination of the child. It is in the fertile mind of a little boy that a homely collection of odd stuffed animals becomes a world of fun, adventure, challenge, and delight.
Pattern Overview
Inspired by the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh stories, the Christopher Robin pullover is a sweater created from very simple shapes and techniques. Inspired by the stylish play clothes of the 1940′s, this square neck pullover is the perfect no-fuss three-season sweater for outdoor play. Worked in Amy Butler’s beautiful Belle Organic Aran, which is a soft blend of 50% organic cotton and 50% organic wool, it is an all-natural fiber that is a pleasure to knit with and easy to care for. The sweater is created from just two pieces- a front and a back- and seamed together with a simple single crochet stitch. If you are a beginning knitter and have never made anything more complicated than a scarf, this would be a wonderful first sweater for you to try. The back of the sweater is a simple T shape, and the front is exactly the same as the back except for the square cutaway neckline.
Thoughts On Gauge
Knitting a swatch (a small sample of knitting, about six inches square) is an essential part of creating a successful garment. Using the suggested yarn and needle size is a good start to obtaining the correct gauge, but if you tend to knit looser or tighter than the suggested gauge, you will need to adjust your needle size accordingly. For this pattern, you should be getting 19 stitches over four inches using stockinette stitch on size 7 needles. If you are getting less than 19 stitches, your knitting is loose, and you need to switch to a smaller needle like a 6 or a 5. If you are getting more than 19 stitches, your knitting is tight, and you need to switch to a larger needle like an 8 or a 9. It is worth it to take the time to get this right before you start so the finished sweater will fit properly.
To fit a child size 2 [4, 6] years old. Sweater is shown in a size 4 on our son when he was 3.
Finished chest circumference 25 [27, 29] inches.
Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran, distributed by Westminster Fibers; 50% organic wool, 50% organic cotton; shown in Robin’s Egg #209, 5 [6, 7] skeins.
US size 7 circular or double-pointed needles, or size to obtain correct gauge.
Crochet hook size F.
Stitch markers, tapestry or bent-tip needle, stitch holder or waste yarn.
19 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on suggested needle size.
Be sure to take time to check your gauge for a proper fit.
Knitting Skills Needed
To create this sweater you only need to know a few basic knitting stitches and techniques:
Bind On
Cast Off

Stitch Guide
Quaker Ridging Stitch Pattern
Pattern as worked back and forth
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: Knit
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: Knit
Row 13: Purl
Row 14: Knit
Abbreviation Chart
k knit
Pp purl
CO cast on
BO bind off
st stitch
sc single crochet
Pattern Instructions
Sweater Back
Cast On 54 [60, 66] stitches.
Work 14 row Quaker Ridging pattern a total of 4 [5, 6] times.
Increase for sleeves:
Knit across all stitches. Do not turn work. Cast on 40 [45, 50] stitches. 94, [105, 116] stitches.
Next row: Turn and purl across all stitches. Do not turn work. Cast on 40 [45, 50] stitches. 134 [150, 166] stitches
Work rows 3-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern. * (repeat to star for front of sweater)
For size 2 only: Work rows 1-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Work rows 1-7 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Bind off all stitches.
For size 4 only: Work rows 1-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Work rows 1-11 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Bind off all stitches.
For size 6 only: Work rows 1-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern twice. Knit one row. Bind off all stitches.
Sweater Front
Work exactly the same as the back of the sweater up until the star *.
Continue for front:
Work rows 1 and 2 of the Quaker Ridging pattern.
Create neckline:
Knit 58 [65, 72] stitches, bind off 18 [20, 22] stitches, knit 58 [65, 72] stitches and place on a holder.
For size 2 only: Working on 58 stitches, work rows 4-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Work rows 1-7 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Bind off all stitches.
For size 4 only: Working on 65 stitches, work rows 4-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Work rows 1-11 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Bind off all stitches.
For size 6 only: Working on 72 stitches, work rows 4-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern twice. Knit one row. Bind off all stitches.
For second sleeve, place stitches from holder onto needles, and start working with the wrong side facing.
For size 2 only: Working on 58 stitches, work rows 4-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Work rows 1-7 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Bind off all stitches.
For size 4 only: Working on 65 stitches, work rows 4-14 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Work rows 1-11 of Quaker Ridging pattern once. Bind off all stitches.
For size 6 only: Working on 72 stitches, work rows 4-14 of Quaker Riding pattern twice. Knit one row. Bind off all stitches.
Place sweater front and back wrong sides together.
Using crochet hook, seam the front of the sweater to the back of the sweater using a single crochet stitch, starting from the top of the cuff to the top of the shoulder, then working from the bottom of the cuff to the underarm then down the side to the waist. Work a single crochet trim around the neckline, sleeve cuff, and bottom edge of sweater to finish the edges.
Weave in ends carefully and trim.
Lightly block using a damp linen towel and a light steam iron.


Teaching the Timber Mittens at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

by Joanna

I recently had the pleasure of teaching a Buff Knitting class at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. This was done as a part of their Stitches in Time Series. If you are local to the area and interested in fiber arts, I encourage you to look into this great series. Earlier this summer I took a class on natural dyeing and it was incredible! The teaching space is beautiful, the instructors were a wealth of knowledge, all materials were included, and at $25 per class you simply can't go wrong!

Here you see the materials table for my knitting class. I first became interested in Buff Knitting about three years ago. While visiting family on the east coast, my mother and sister and I started looking through an old issue of Adirondack Life magazine that had an in-depth article on this unique regional technique. After some time of reading, research and swatching, I was asked to write an article for Knitting Traditions magazine about Buff Knitting in the Adirondack High Peaks Country. 

The Fort Collins Museum reached out to Interweave this winter to set up a historic knitting class for their stitches series, which is how I was invited to teach. After working with a variety of yarns, needles, and stitches, I developed my interpretation of the Buff Mitten into the sample you see above, called the Timber Mitten. In this pattern, I combine a respect for the traditional natural or "buff" colored wooly mitten, along with a more modern stitching style that requires working with just one strand of yarn at a time. The Timber Mitten pattern is now available for sale in my Ravlery shop in case you are interested in trying your hand at it. The pattern includes written instructions, a colorwork chart and an instructional video on working the loop stitch.

To create a buff mitten, you knit a loopy stitch mitten and then cut the loops. The cut loops are then "shagged" to create a thick and warm carpet like mitten, which was perfect for the loggers and teamsters of the north country to wear while working long hours outdoors in the winter. I am looking forward to wearing my mittens this winter on my long walks around the lake!