Friday

TNNA Summer 2015!

Skacel knitted swatch tipi

Lovely dinner with Ravelry, Kniterella, Tot Toppers, and French Press Knits!

New swag from Slate Falls Press! 

a peek! protoype sweater for our new book 

meeting baby Fresh Stitches in the Brown Sheep Co booth!

For those of you who have attended TNNA, you might understand this blog post: two weeks after the event you have a small collection of blurry instagram photos, a big stack of business cards on your desk and your luggage is still not put away. Right?

It was another exciting show for me, this was my fourth show in Columbus and it is always a great experience to step outside of "normal" life for a few days and submerge myself in the yarn world. We are launching a new storybook this winter, so I was able to share some sneak peeks with our favorite people in the business and get some inspiration for future projects that are yet-to-be-revealed.

There is a lot of conversation out there about the future of the industry and the future of this show in particular. I will include here a list of TNNA wrap-up blog posts that are much better at analyzing this than I am!


Stay tuned this summer for some new patterns, storybook sneak peeks, and updates to our Etsy shop!

Monday

Eric's Adjustable Drawing Board~ Pattern available on Craftsy


Since the time Eric's Craftsy Class (Picture Book Illustration) launched this past fall, he has had multiple requests from his students about his custom drawing board, which he designed and built himself.


Over the last few weeks Eric has been working on written instructions for this clever stand, and we are happy to announce that the PDF is now available for purchase!



Sunday

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!

Friday

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!!

Monday

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:






Wednesday

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.
                                                                Sincerely,
                                                                        Joanna


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!!

 Forte

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.

Osci

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.

Silve

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.

Tensity

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.

Setto

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.

Trume

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