Check ‘Em Out!

I’ve been doing a bit of research into the business end of knitwear design and have a few exciting finds to share that I think are fantastic and wonderful ideas! (None of these thoughts/reviews were solicited in any way, they are all just my own opinions.)

(1) First and foremost is the Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design by Shannon Okey. The book is an easy and engaging read, with a lot of information about how best to get yourself established as a pattern designer. This is not a step-by-step how-to-write-patterns guide, but it includes tons of insight into the process as a whole, highlighting things like copyright, marketing, establishing a brand/presence, and different avenues for publishing. At the end of the book is a series of interviews with successful designers of all types, which I’ve found to be really interesting. You get to read about how they started out, why they’ve made the choices they’ve made, and what they think about how the industry is going. I think it’s fantastic. The author is an established designer and teacher, even offering online courses in knitwear design which I hope to be able to take soon.

(2) Blogs are wonderful because they introduce you to all sorts of interesting new ventures. I was reading a blog post by one of my favorite sock designers, Hunter Hammersen (Violently Domestic), which inspired this whole post. (If you haven’t checked out her patterns on Ravelry, you should, they are varied and impressive and lovely.) She linked to The Sock Report, a new online magazine (sort of like Twist Collective) dedicated entirely to sock yarn and patterns that use it. It is put together by Janel Laidman, another fantastic sock designer. I only got a few pages into it before I became so inspired that I had to stop browsing and start blogging about it! This is the pattern that stopped me in my tracks:

Photos from The Sock Report.

The pattern is Marigold by Susanna IC and you can purchase it individually or as part of the whole e-book. I love the simple leaf/flame design that makes up the central portion of the shawl, which is similar to something I’ve knit before, but then how it grows and expands into the larger lace detail and then the pretty beaded lace edging! So much prettiness inspired an instantaneous, greedy, I want reaction on my part, which I seem to experience with many of Susanna’s shawl patterns. So, this is officially going to be the next shawl on the needles… someday. Many of the other patterns in the magazine are lovely as well, including the sock that Hunter designed:

Photo from Ravelry pattern page.

as well as this one by Laura Kanemori, which is knit toe-up but is so pretty I might forgive it for that and try it someday anyway:

Photo from Ravelry pattern page.

Beyond the gorgeousness, the price is excellent: $16 for 16 patterns! Plus the magazine utilizes a different royalty system that allows the designers to be compensated for their work more fairly than in the past. I’m all about that.

(3) Finally, also found within the pages of The Sock Report, is a book/collection of patterns by Chrissy Gardiner called Indie Socks. It includes 24 sock patterns designed specifically for use with indpendent yarn dyers like my beloved BMFA Socks that Rock and SG/VG/CY Bugga. Sometimes such uniquely-dyed yarns can be difficult to work with and shine only in certain stitch patterns due to their complexity. This book makes an effort to match those colorways with designs that showcase their beauty while not losing anything in the mix. I particularly like Pachinko, which is knit with (surprise, surprise) STR Mediumweight:

Photo from Ravelry pattern page.

What I think is extra-awesome about this book is that even though at first glance it seems pricey at just under $29.00, you are receiving 24 beautiful and interesting sock patterns for that price. When the average price for a single sock pattern is around $5.00 these days, that’s quite a steal.

So yeah, that’s how I spent my Saturday morning. Have fun clicking, and I hope you find something you like! Please share anything you’ve come across lately that you particularly love, I’d like to hear about it.

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4 thoughts on “Check ‘Em Out!

  1. Glad to hear you liked it! Marigold is a stunning pattern (also, look at Susanna ICs original project, this shawl also looks amazing in laceweight!) Laura's socks are totally worth going to toe-up for. They are reaaaaally pretty.
    SinisterSpinster

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  2. It's funny you wrote this, because I spent my morning thinking of ideas for worsted weight sock patterns I want to write and publish 😛 Go figure. Anyways, thanks for the links and the beautiful photos, I'll have to read through them when I have more time.

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