CraftSanity Episode 54
A Conversation with children's book author,
artist and maker Julie Jersild Roth
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Julie Jersild Roth is a soft spoken woman with big talent. Like Nell, the lovable character she created for her book "Knitting Nell," Roth has a quiet voice. But listen up, folks, because Julie, 48, of Minneapolis, Minn., has a wonderful story to share.

This week Julie is going to tell us what it's like to be a children's book author and illustrator and even read her book to us. And in the usual CraftSanity fashion, we talk about a bunch of other stuff, too. Take a little audio stroll with us and get inspired for your next creative project. (And find out how you can win a copy of "Knitting Nell.")

Help Nell, the main character of Julie's book, grow this virtual scarf as long as possible. Read up on how you can knit for something good and get involved.

Find the sweet, fabric doll version of Knitting Nell over at Hop Skip Jump. I love it! Julie asked the talented Fiona, of Adelaide, Australia, to make her a Nell doll and she did a great job. Check it out.

I taped my interview with Julie in late 2006, and she's been very busy since we talked. She writes:

"We staged the first production of the KNITTING NELL play in March - with fourteen kindergarten through second graders. We had an absolute riot of a time and, we even had enough boys for the boy roles. We all pitched in and made props, including a tree whose canopy of leaves was made from sculpted thick gauge wire completely covered with multicolored strands and loops of yarn."

Julie is also working on a second book she expects will be out sometime in 2009. On this page you'll find some of her latest illustrations of "wise, angelic children - sort of folky and romanticized. The one with the child and the large flower is loosely associated with the latest story I wrote, called 'To Talk to a Flower.'" She's working with milk-based casein paint that behaves like a combination of gouache and oil. Casein has been around since the early Egyptians, and can now be bought by the tube. If all continues to goes well, Julie says she has plans to try to may her own.


Win a copy of Julie's darling book! This week I'm giving away a copy of Julie's book "Knitting Nell" to one lucky CraftSantiy listener. In the spirit of Julie's Good Scarf project, post a comment on the blog describing what "good" you knit for. (If you don't knit, it's okay. Just tell me what you craft for.) Dedicate your latest project to someone or something and tell me about it. Please e-mail me a copy of your blog post to along with your mailing address and I'll get you entered in the drawing. The deadline is Friday, June 15. Good luck everyone! (A special thanks to the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Company, for sponsoring the giveaway.)

And the winner is... Congrats to Anna of West Palm Beach, Fla. who was randomly selected by Abby, CraftSanity's Vice Presidet of Fun, to win the inspiring "Craft in America" PBS documentary series DVD. Thanks to everyone who posted all those thoughtful comments about art vs. craft on the blog. I enjoyed reading them all and wish I had more copies of the DVD to give away.

Julie Roth fingerknit
This week's project is going to knock your socks off. I'm very excited about this one because it involves a lovely story and a giant fabric hand. Julie uses this fabric hand to teach children how to finger knit. How great is that?! I'm telling you Julie really knows how to whip up a great tutorial. Download the pdf of Julie's beautifully illustrated "Wandering Henry" finger knitting instructions. It's very cute and kid-friendly so please do check it out. I absolutely love it and bet you will to. Thank you Julie!

Thanks a Million! A special thanks to Phoebe, of San Rafael, Calif., and Kari, of Spokane, Wash., for supporting the podcast and encouraging me to continue to do my crafty thing. I really appreciate it ladies. Your support means a lot. Thank you!

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