Rae Blackledge, Author of 25 Stylish Knitted Slippers was the guest on this morning’s Yarn 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. CLICK HERE to view the Spring 2016 Catalog. (You can sign up to receive it in the mail and promotions by e-mail.) 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.
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.
If you missed getting to hear this live it is still available as an archived episode where it aired originally https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/01/12/rae-blackledge-author-of-25-stylish-knitted-slippers or in your podcatcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio.