Rae Blackledge author of 25 Stylish Knitted Slippers

Rae Blackledge, Author of 25 Stylish Knitted Slippers was the guest on this morning’s Rae BlackledgeYarn Thing with Marly Bird episode.

You may know Rae Blackledge for the work she has done for Willow Yarns. Really, that has been immense, if you peek at her designs listed in Ravelry many of the 285 designs currently listed are for Willow Yarns.

Rae says she came from a long line of women on her mother’s side who made a living sewing. Her mom and aunts did crafts shows with Cabbage Patch Dolls and Barbies. Her Grandmother on her father’s side came to visit and got her knitting. That first project was intended to be a potholder but she didn’t learn to bind off so it became a scarf… In college, she picked up knitting again. She was working in technical theater: costume designs, lighting, set design and knitting fit with her life really well.

Rae and her mom were having lunch when the idea to open a yarn store. Rae’s Yarn Boutique in Lansing, Michigan became a thing four months later. Rae said she began designing, yarn dying among other things.

Now, Rae is in Charlotte, North Carolina, and really rockin’ Willow Yarns. Marly has recently designed for Willow Yarns, take a look at Butterfly Top  and Holly Spring Shawl (both are crochet patterns). Rae’s title is Design Coordinator, which is huge as you can see as you stroll through the catalog, a lot of it is featuring designs that work well with the yarns.25 Knitted Slippers book

Marly wondered to Rae how she found time to do this book, 25 Stylish Knitted Slippers, and Rae admits it was a lot of evenings and weekends. She wanted them to be more than just slipper socks, she wanted them to be many different methods of construction and fit well. Each of them began as a blank slate. The book came about because Stackpole Books had asked Rae’s friend Amy Gunderson about a slipper book, who recommended Rae. Rae began with shopping trends in fashion and added her favorite ideas, like Foxes, classic Bunny Slippers. She was also concerned that any experience knitter, beginner or more technical could do something from the book. Rae was pretty smart about them too, in that she would knit the first one and the second one was knitted by someone in her knitting circle, which avoided ‘Second-Sock-itis’ but also accomplished a bit of tech editing.

Willow Yarns website is www.WillowYarns.com and you can follow them on Facebook and Pinterest.  Rae Blackledge’s designs can be found in Ravelry. I’m sure she’s lurking in other social media as she continues her work for Willow Yarns.

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  1. Thekla says:

    Amazing! I just had a friend show me a copy of the Willow catalog just last night! Who knew there would be so many ideas for slippers and the Boardwalk pattern is great. I really like the Spiral Clogs as well Thank you for, once again, broadening our horizons, Marly…

  2. Laura Griesmer says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Rae and Willow Yarns. Thanks for introducing me to both. I’d love to knit a pair of Boardwalk slippers – and foxes and,…

  3. Suzanne says:

    I don’t know how I missed willow yarns in the past. Rae is quite prolific with her patterns and I’ll be watching for more of her work in the future. There are so many clever designs in the slipper book. I can see why she is so fond of the boardwalk slippers. Wow!

  4. Anita says:

    One of my favorite things about your podcast is being introduced to people that I haven’t heard about yet. Listening to Rae talk about her new book and how she found the ideas for so many slippers was great. Nice to know that Boardwalk is one of her favorites.

  5. Susan says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Rae and Willow Yarns. I can’t wait to see the Boardwalk slippers featured in Rae’s book as well as the other 24 types of slippers. I will be checking out Rae’s designs on Revelry.

  6. Mary L. says:

    I am so excited about this slipper book. They are all so unique, especially the Boardwalk slipper. Great podcast as usual!

  7. Lauren P. says:

    What an informative podcast. I loved learning about the new slipper book by Rae and the Willow yarn line. I look forward to checking out her patterns, especially the Boardwalk slippers.

  8. Sheryl says:

    I’m so happy to meet Rae and her great slippers book,
    Can’t wait to get a pair of Boardwalk slippers made up .

    Love the Willow Yarns and designs.
    Keep up the great works of love.

  9. Lori Biamonte says:

    I am in cold New York dreaming of sitting on a boardwalk in the warm sun and knitting some slippers as Christmas gifts.

  10. Vicki Lynch says:

    I liked your suggestion of adding a leather sole to the Boardwalk slippers and wearing them as regular shoes. Great idea. I checked out the other designs as long as I was scoping out Boardwalk. First on my list will be the Moccasins and then Caramel Twist or Primrose Evening Slippers. Marly was right about all your designs too. I kept looking. You have many I’d like to knit. Thanks Marly and Tammy for getting Rae on the show.

  11. Heather says:

    A whole book of slippers! Oh, I definitely need that. Our house is so cold in the mornings. The Boardwalk ones are nice, but I can definitely see me making the Fox ones, the Steggy ones, and the Moccasin ones. Thanks for a great episode!

  12. Mary Kay says:

    This is why I listen to the Yarnthing podcast – because I learn about designs, yarns, and fiber companies that I never heard of. Thank you! I am always looking for new slipper patterns, so I can’t wait to check out Rae’s new book and the Boardwalk pattern!

  13. Audrey Abbott says:

    I always learn something new and laugh during your podcast. Now I’m off to find a pic of those Boardwalk slippers!

  14. Shannon Notestine says:

    I loved this interview! I think slippers don’t get enough recognition and they are kind of unsung heroes. I would definitely make all these slippers including the boardwalk slippers. I think these designs would be fun to make and also be great gifts.

  15. hepkara says:

    I have never knit with linen yarn so am not so sure about the boardwalk pattern. There are lots of slippers I’d love to make and wear there though!
    (And nice to learn about Willow Yarns. The color options for some of them are great!)

  16. Kayleigh M says:

    I like that the designs in Rae’s book are so different. She has shown quite a range from boardwalk to foxes, I love them all!

  17. Amy L. says:

    I love Rae’s Boardwalk Loafers/Slippers! So many unique designs – I haven’t been interested in knitting slippers until now! I also just requested a Willow Yarns catalog. I’ve never heard of this resource and am excited to try these yarns that Marly loves. Thanks to Rae, Marly and Tammy for a standout episode!

  18. savannagal says:

    I went on Rav right away to check out all the patterns. They really are very different. What a collection. The Boardwalk Loafers are cute, but I need something that slips on quickly – no trying up. My favs are the Mocassins. They are all super cute though.

  19. Pam Bjerke says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book. I’ve made some felted slippers in the past but I’m looking forward to making the Boardwalk Slippers and some of the others.

  20. Rachel says:

    Loved learning about Rae, and Willow yarns. I love their sample packs, and want to try one soon. Boardwalk is nice, and I love many of the other patterns in the book too.

  21. Rachel Catherine says:

    I just wore a hole in my pair of slippers last week. Maybe I will make the Boardwalk pattern to be my next pair!

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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