The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design by Shannon Okey, Cooperative Press, 2010, 247 pp, $22.95.  Available as a book and/or a PDF.

This book, the only one specific to the business of knitwear design, is already being touted as the book current designers wish had been around when they started designing knitwear patterns.

The first 11 chapters, about half the book,  include discussions of social media, contracts, design software, tech editing, wholesaling, proposals & publishing, and more.  Shannon’s writing style is breezy and friendly but not wordy.  She often includes links to pertinent sources of additional information (thus also emphasizing her viewpoint that the internet cannot be ignored if you want to be successful).

Another reviewer commented on the lack of illustrations or photos.  I hadn’t noticed.  To me, it’s not the sort of book in which I expected images.  I will admit that I have been perusing the PDF, not the print version, which may have made a difference.  Possible illustrations could include images of actual proposals, sketches and swatch photos included, or a sample pattern layout;  but I don’t think these are necessary, and I hadn’t missed them til I started trying to think of what illustrations could’ve been included.

The second half of the book is devoted to interviews with various people in the industry:  designers, editors and other professionals.  Interviewees include relatively newer designers such as Ysolda, as well as those people who’ve been working in the industry for many years, such as Janet Szabo.  Some of the interviewees are very blunt (Adina Klein, current Creative Director at Tahki Stacy Charles & former editor in chief of Vogue Knitting, in particular), which is very welcome.

Shannon also offers an online Designer 101 class;  this book compliments that class quite well.  In the class you get feedback from Shannon as well as the other students on your website, sample proposals, etc.

I purchased the book & PDF in conjunction with the Designer 101 class;  you can purchase the book from Amazon by clicking here or on the book cover above.