Friday 16 December 2016

#GAL2016: Meet Sloane Rosenthal

The Indie Design GAL* is continuing over on Ravelry until the end of the year. The giant craftalong features the works of 335 designers, so there's plenty for everyone! Here's my interview with Sloane Rosenthal, a fellow GAL designer.


Sloane Rosenthal is new to knitwear design, but has so far created a collection of beautifully curated designs in a wonderful palette of jewel tones. In addition to designing knitwear, Sloane is a lawyer, mum and power lifter, based in North California, and describes herself as an ‘all-around-professional-tired-person’.

Hurricane Ridge Cowl by Sloane Rosenthal. Image copyright David Rosenthal
Jenny Lake by Sloane Rosenthal. Image copyright David Rosenthal

When did you learn to knit? 

I learned to knit after my older daughter, who is now five, was born. Both my mom and my mother-in-law are knitters, and my grandmother crochets, but I didn’t learn until I was an adult.

How did you getting into designing and pattern writing? 

I think I was drawn to designing for the same reason many designers have been: I saw a lot of beautiful patterns out there that were close-but-not-quite what I really wanted to be making and wearing. After a lot of varyingly successful modification projects, I decided to take the leap into designing my own garments and accessories. These days, I really appreciate the tangible, physical, math-driven nature of knitwear design as a counterpoint to my day job as a lawyer, where my work is very abstract and subjective.

What designs do you have in the pipeline? 

I just released my first sweater pattern, the Stinson Beach Cardigan, which is a cabled cardigan knit in Quince’s Osprey and Piper held together. It was my Rhinebeck sweater this year, and I confess I have barely taken the sample off since we photographed it. I have three secret sweater projects in the pipeline for release this winter and next fall, and I’m working on a second collection of accessory patterns in small-batch yarns for release next fall.

Stinson Beach Cardigan by Sloane Rosenthal. Image copyright David Rosenthal

What’s your favourite knitting technique?

Apparently, I have a thing for cables! I also really love stranded colourwork, although I’ve yet to publish any stranded designs. My favorite knits are in that sweet spot between “challenging enough that it stays interesting” and “not too fussy to work,” so I love to knit cables, texture, and colorwork patterns that feel rhythmic in your hands and have you wanting to knit “just one more row!” to see where the pattern is going.

What knitting techniques would you like to try in 2017?

I’d like to design more with lace, and some shawls in the next year. I’d also like to experiment more with sweater construction, although I admit I find it hard to argue with bottom-up, seamed sweaters, which have a lot of advantages in fit and durability.

Which other GAL designers have caught your eye? 

I’m a big fan of Jennifer Dassau and Amy van de Laar. I think Amy’s cables are fascinating, and I love her photography style!

Refracted by Jennifer Dassau. Image copyright Jennifer Dassau
Paper crown by Amy van de Laar. Image copyright Amy van de Laar

Do you knit Christmas gifts? What are your favourite gift knits? 

I have for the past few years, but this year I have some early February sample deadlines, so I’m doing less gift knitting than usual. For gifts, I’m a big fan of hats and cowls, which are always needed and can fit a wide range of wearers. For hats, I tend towards designs that have more inherent stretch, like ribbing or certain cable-based designs, that fit a wider range of wearers.

Sloane can be found on Ravelry and Instagram as skrosenthal, and her website is


*Note that you will have to signed in to Ravelry for this link to work. Joining Ravelry is free and Ravelry is an excellent resource for knitters and crocheters.

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