… I received my contributor’s copy of Shannon Okey’s new book today. It is called The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design. And it is 250 pages of invaluable practical advice to anyone thinking of trying to make money from anything in the knitting and crocheting fields.
I say ‘contributor’s copy’ as a good chunk of the book is made up of interviews with 32 designers, teachers, editors etc, including me!
I always say that the difference between a professional and a dabbler is that the professional THINKS. The first part of the book goes through the sort of thing you need to think about, from ‘house style’ to copyright, from paperwork to submissions. There are loads of useful websites mentioned, and concrete examples given. There is info from both sides of the Pond throughout the book, along with pointers to think about when working in different cultures. (The US and the UK have Very Different Ways!) There is info on courses you might want to consider and professional bodies you might consider joining, along with their entry requirements. Advertising, making sales, social media, pattern writing and standing out from the crowd are given a chapter each.
The second part of the book, and the most pages, is given over to the interviews. Here there are loads and loads and loads of useful info, tips, stories etc from a wide variety of designers, both (dare I use the phrase?) large and small. All the interviews are fascinating – everyone has a slightly different take on life, but there are underlying themes – all of which come back to the word professionalism.
The book ends with a sample book proposal, resource list, bibliography etc.
Whether you are thinking of perhaps sending one design to a mag, or whether you are thinking of taking up knitwear design full time, there is something in this book for you. It can be read as a text book, or dipped in to as the need arises.
And even if you aren’t thinking of either, you need a copy to read the stories and the gossip….