Author combines knitting, kids’ stories |

Author combines knitting, kids’ stories

Joanna Johnson lives in Loveland and works with her husband, Eric, to create heirloom picture books for children. Saturday, the pair will sign their books, “Freddie’s Blanket” and “Phoebe’s Sweater,” at What’s Needling U in Frisco.

Their most recent book follows Freddie, a young platypus, as he learns about growing up. While it shows how sleeping in a big bed is best, it also includes a set of photographs and knitting patterns for a blanket, a platypus, Freddie’s coveralls and the Baby Envelope swaddling blanket.

Joanna Johnson’s son inspired her to write the book as he was adjusting to sleeping in his own bed.

“Each night after we tucked him in, he would slip out of bed and curl up somewhere else in the house and fall asleep,” she said. “We thought this would be a fun story for children to hear, but also one that could help them through the time of growing up and into their own ‘big kid’ beds.”

She holds a degree in literature and published her first book, “Phoebe’s Sweater,” by her company, Slate Falls Press. Her husband worked in commercial design for 20 years as a muralist, sign writer and graphic artist and “has enjoyed returning to his childhood love of drawing and nature by illustrating children’s books,” according to a press release. The books carry a theme of family love and knitting creation.

“I am really spoiled in that I am able to have a lot of input into the tiny details of the artwork, and, in a similar way, Eric has a lot of influence on the way the stories develop, too,” she said. “We both have really different strengths and always approach our work with a common vision … That is probably the best thing we have, is each other.”

Staff at What’s Needling U met the couple at a trade show and thought it made sense to host a book signing, since the book is half knitting instruction on making dolls and toys and half children’s stories, said staff member Miranda Harp.


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