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July 18, 2010

The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design

I added a new book to my collection recently. The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design by Shannon Oakey. The book wasn’t entirely what I was expecting but that is a good thing. I was expecting another book that dealt mainly with designing patterns but this book deals largely with the business end of designing. This is fantastic as I don’t know of another book on the market that handles these subjects.

There is a chapter on the technical aspects of writing pattern but Shannon also discusses things like social media, lawyers, advertising, publishing and the business side of things. There are also a collection of interview with some of the best known designers in the business. I think Elizabeth Zimmermann may be the only designer missing and she wasn’t available to be interviewed.

One of the coolest things is that the book is available in print and electronic formats. Want a copy for your Kindle? Shannon has you covered. Prefer the sound of rustling pages? Shannon can do that too. Can’t decide between print and PDF? You can buy the bundle with both. This book is available in every format you could possibly want. Me, I went for the Print and PDF option so I could enjoy the instant gratification of the PDF file but still relish the smell of paper.

This book is going to be something that refer to again and again. I liked it so much I even signed up for Shannon’s Designer 101 class in her virtual studio. Which remind me, I have homework to do so I probably need to quit blogging and get to it. So if you are thinking about selling patterns or even hand-dyed yarns or finished knitting pieces, check the book out. There is probably something there to help you. It is available from or the Knitgrrl website. Your local library may even have it.

Before I go, I do have one little business matter to handle. I need to announce the contest winners for my Vacation Contest.
First, the correct answers.

The trolley in downtown Memphis, TN

Pyramid Arena in Memphis, TN
The building is really cool with its golden pharaoh statue but the mirrored surface will blind you certain times of the day.  It has not been the financial success that the city had hoped.

Bridge over the Mississippi River from Memphis side. The bridge is M-shaped and was one of my favorite things about Memphis.

My lovely feet showing off my black hi-tops and my ankle brace from the Spring Sprain incident.  And one of the socks I knitted while traveling.  The highway behind my feet is Interstate 40 somewhere in central Arkansas.  Couldn’t tell you exactly where because it all looks alike – flat and boring –  until you get to Little Rock.

Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
This is one of the prettiest parks I have visited.  The mill is the last remaining structure from the movie Gone with the Wind (it supposedly appears in the opening scenes though I don’t remember seeing it).  It made a great photo location for the wedding shawl.

Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, AR.
This museum was a fun little discovery.  We had a reciprocal membership so we got in for free.  Made a nice break from the boring drive.

Rock Island Bridge over the Arkansas River near downtown Little Rock.  This is an abandoned rail bridge that is  really cool because it has a drawbridge (though that might not be the correct term since the entire span lifts).  The arched span on the right raises to allow boating traffic to pass underneath and then lowers for rail traffic.  Too bad it is no longer in use.

Another sock posing in front of a plaque at the Arkansas Welcome Center in West Memphis, AR.

Titanic Museum in Branson, MO
This was the coolest part of the trip.  The museum was shaped like a scale model of the bow of the Titanic complete with iceberg.  You received a boarding pass bearing the name of an actual passenger or crew member from the Titanic.  As you went through you could look for information about your person and at then end you found out if your person survived or not.

A lovely butterfly from the Butterfly Palace in Branson, MO.
I have never seen such huge butterflies in my life.  It was funny to watch everyone staring at the ceiling with their mouths open.  If you were still enough, the butterflies would land on you.  It was really a lovely place.  My son got me lost in the mirror maze though.

The sock monkey, Donnie and Marie and Mr Spock were all from the World’s Largest Toy Museum in Branson, MO.
I decided to spare you have to look at the sock monkey and Donnie and Marie again.  Every inch of that place was jam packed with every imaginable kind of toy.  It was an interesting walk down memory lane.  Until I got to the kewpie dolls, that is.  Bleck!

The McDonald’s Party Caboose in Harrison, AR.
Who knew McDonald’s actually has lots of these.  I never did understand the connection between McDonald’s and the caboose but if it makes them happy…

And yet another sock on yet another unknown stretch of highway in Arkansas.  I-40 is really a boring highway.

The lucky winner is Mary.  We were close to you.  Next time we pass through that part of the world we will be sure to wave.  Email me or PM me through Ravelry so I can make arrangements to send your patterns.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate Sanderson permalink
    July 18, 2010 7:52 pm

    How much of the book is only applicable to the US? I’m just wondering if the law and business sections are the majority of the book (if they are, it probably isn’t a good buy for me).

  2. July 18, 2010 8:24 pm

    I haven’t really looked at the book from a non-US angle. Some of the business stuff is going to relate mainly to the US but I think a lot of it would apply to any designing professional. I’d have to look at it again to see what percentage. Give me a few days to look it over and I will email you my estimation.

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