There are surprisingly few resources for would-be knitwear designers to rely on, when it comes to education in the field. If you don’t happen to live in New York or Los Angeles (or more specifically, near FIDM or FIT), you’ll be hard-pressed to find any classes on pattern writing, drape or knitwear design. (As a self-taught designer, I’ve personally begged Carla Scott [Executive editor of Vogue Knitting and master of all that is knitwear design] to put together Tech Editing, Sizing and Shaping courses. I’ve had to settle though, for educating myself over the years through the dissection of other designers’ patterns and by reading great books like, Vogue Knitting’s The Ultimate Guide to Knitwear and Shirley Paden’s Knitwear Design Workshop.)
Of equal importance, what about the non-stitchy, must-knows to becoming a successful, professional knitter? Things like: how to write patterns, market yourself, sell designs, and legally protect intellectual property. Alas, you’ve been on your own; until now. Enter fiber-world-force Shannon Okey’s latest book, The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design; a comprehensive guide to making a living as a professional knitter.
Shannon has compiled years’ worth of experience as an editor, entrepreneur and designer to create a self-published book that will likely become a bible to those with yarn-career aspirations. The Knitgrrl Guide includes scoop on:
- Fashion Illustration & Schematics
- Marketing Via Social Networking
- Submitting to Magazines
- Pattern Writing
- Selling Patterns
…and much more!
After you’ve soaked in the how-tos of crossing your Purls & Q’s, read informative interviews with 36 industry experts including, myself and:
- Karin Stom (Yarn Market News)
- Lily Chin
- Brett Bara (Knit & Crochet Now)
- Debbie Stoller
- Trisha Malcolm (Vogue Knitting)
- Stefanie Japel (Glampyre Knits)
- Amy Singer (Knitty.com)
- Nicky Epstein
- Annie Modesitt
- Joan McGowan-Michael
- Melanie Falick
What it lacks in “big publishing house” bells-and-whistles (pretty pictures, example charts, impeccable editing), The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design more than makes up for in eye-opening insight, invaluable information and witty delivery. I’ve been in this industry for the better part of a decade, and I still busted out the highlighter several times to make note of new (to me) information within the guide’s pages. If you’re even thinking about venturing into the knit world–as a full-time designer, test knitter, or supplemental income pattern writer–Shannon’s book is a must-have mainstay for your library! I know I’ll be keeping my copy in mine.
Buy the book here and post a comment by Friday, August 6th to be entered to win a signed copy of the book. Winner will be chosen at random.
Read more about Shannon in her chapter of my book, Craft Corps; on shelves now!