ETA: At this time, we have sold out of all grad packages. All sessions are still available ala carte.
Are you interested in starting a rewarding career in knit or crochet design? Would you like to build on an existing business? Are you simply curious about how the industry works? Do you want to have a behind-the-scenes look at how experts approach their specialties?
Join me January 21-23, 2022, as I gather the best of the best in the fiber business who will show you the secrets to their success.
Come learn about book publishing, best marketing practices, powerful social media strategies, useful color theory, how to track fashion and crafting trends, pattern grading, and more, all from the professionals who do it day after day!
Participants can choose between a full schedule (the Grad School Package) or a la carte sessions (the Continuing Ed option):
The Grad School Package includes the choice of up to 12 hours of workshops taught by top industry experts, access to author/designer/influencer Vickie Howell's special Keynote Address, The Survival of the Knit-ist, on Friday evening with the opportunity to win exciting prizes (one lucky winner will score a brand new iPad!), and a world-famous goody box specially-curated for designers and makers sent to your door. This package offers a nearly 40% discount over buying the sessions a la carte!
The Continuing Ed Option allows participants to pick and choose sessions according to their interests, needs, and schedule.
Color trends come and go, and designers and knitters often base their color choices on personal preference. However, there are a few fundamental principles of color theory that you can apply to your design process to ensure that your colorwork designs (whether stranded, intarsia, mosaic, brioche, or striped) grab knitters' attention. Color Genius Ann Weaver will chat about those with examples from fine art, design, knitting, and everyday life, and you can immediately put them to use.
Let's jumpstart our weekend with color!
Working in the needlearts industry can sometimes feel like swimming in quicksand. Between the ever-changing demands of online marketing, the rampant availability of free content, the economic and social effects of fast-merchandising, and the lack of value placed on crafts, it's hard to not sometimes feel defeated. The truth is that the technological age, while wonderful for many reasons, is causing growing pains across many industries.
Like those running businesses during the dawn of the industrial age, we’re a part of a historical time of ebb and flow. It’s our responsibility as creative professionals to be agile enough to ride the wave of change and D.I.Y. our own success.
Tonight, let's chat about the things that make your creative biz unique, and how to lean into it to create a niche that you can truly own (and capitalize) on.
Topics covered will be:
In an ideal world, designers could have an idea for a project, type a few details into an app, and then have it spit out perfect pattern instructions. Add a few photos, and this magical app would have the pattern ready for market.
It's a nice dream, but reality is different. Many workflow steps must be remembered and managed. It takes multiple programs--for spreadsheets, word processing, photo editing, charting, and layout-- to create a professional-looking pattern.
In this session, learn about free and paid apps that each do a piece of the hard work, from visualization and sketches to tidy layouts, from scribbled numbers on scrap paper to heavy-duty number crunching., etc. We'll discuss everything from the bare basics (word processing) to industrial-strength graphics programs (Adobe Creative Suite), and everything in between.
Creating multiple sizes for a pattern can be a challenge on a number of levels.
This session goes beyond customary tutorials about mathematical calculations and instead dives into the whats, the hows and the whys of grading.
We’ll define the crucial elements of the task and discuss strategies for tackling them.
Along the way, we’ll talk about resources for body sizing information, and discuss how to determine an appropriate size range for your design to make it marketable to a wider audience.
Designers lead busy lives (right?!?!) with very little free time, and even less time to really explore new ideas. Ironically, creativity requires time for your brain to have time to wander and explore, and free time for your hands to build on new ideas and expand them into new, exciting projects.
Join creative force Kim McBrien Evans and learn ways to find small pockets of time, and how to use them effectively. Bring your sketchbook, needles, and yarn and learn how to build a bank of creative ideas to invigorate your design biz.
Beginning with Pantone colors and fashion trend palettes, Trisha Malcolm, the editor in chief of Vogue Knitting Magazine for nearly two decades, will walk us through the colors and fashion trends that shaped the global Fashion Week shows for 2022, with a particular emphasis on knitwear.
Let the absolute expert in the industry take you on a journey through trends in general, silhouettes, colorwork, interesting stitchery and texture, and crochet.
Knitter and blogger Gaye Glasspie, the iconic orange lady behind her popular @ggmadeit accounts, shares her thoughts about social media in this session.
Discover the top 3 things she says you must do to be social: show up, respond, and share.
Learn how to make your "social life" fun, interesting, and effective with a master!
Success is even more fun with friends!
Working with other creative people is always fun! So why not also make it about growth and profit too?
In this session, we'll explore the following:
Pattern launches can be stressful, and what makes them tricky is not knowing what to do, what to say, or where to post.
In this workshop, entrepreneur Francoise Danoy of Aroha Knits will guide you through her streamlined process for preparing for a pattern release.
From learning what type of copy to write, to mapping out your launch campaign, and what to do when the mind gremlins start crawling in, you'll be prepared (and even excited!) to launch your next design.
And best of all, your audience will be receptive to what you have to sell!
Before you can grab a knitter's attention, you must get the publisher's attention.
This one-hour presentation will demystify the entire process, from query to proposals.
Learn how to write a persuasive marketing comparison, a powerful bio, and push-pull to get what you want in the negotiation process from a bestselling craft book author.
Psssst. Have you looked at your income and expenses lately? Have you thought about what success really looks like for a creative?
Is a good cash flow and large income (lucky you!) proof that your business is thriving? What does it really cost to produce a pattern? Are you counting all your expenses? Do you need a business license? Are you paying estimated taxes? Are your receivables current? What about VAT and GST? (And what in the world are they, anyway?) What is passive income and why is it awesome?
If you can't easily answer these questions off the top of your head, you need to think more about the "business" side of your business. It's probably not your favorite topic—it's not mine, either—but keeping track of your money is crucial to the ongoing viability of your career. Spend an hour with Edie, a successful author/designer/teacher/thinker talking about money. No math required.
Your website is your public face to the rest of the world and the one marketing tool you can truly control 100%.
In this class, we will learn terminology and basic concepts for getting yourself online as we take a dive deep into what content you need to be successful and maximize your results.
You probably already have a website. Learn how to use it to help accomplish your goals!
Would you like to see your byline in print? Do you dream of getting paid to do freelance designs for national crafts publications?
In this session, Trisha Malcolm, the amazing former editor-in-chief of Vogue Knitting Magazine, discusses how to submit your ideas to attract the editor's attention and get published.
You can make money doing what you love.
Testers and sample makers are incredibly important tools to have in your toolbox as a knit or crochet designer.
In this class, we will discuss the difference between sample making and testing; how to find the best testers and sample makers; the importance of contracts (don't ask); tips for developing a great (and reliable) go-to group of testers and so much more.
Trust us, adding these important makers to your team will not only make you more efficient, they'll improve the quality of your patterns (not to mention your quality of life) in the process!
It’s all in the quality of your followers!
Learn how color queen Kim McBrien Evans built a successful, sustainable yarn dyeing and design business marketing solely through social media.
In this hour-long session, she will talk about:
Yikes. There are so many ways to trip up when you're a knitting designer: trademark disputes, unintelligible contracts, the dreaded C word (c*py*rig*t), social media brouhahas, and more. We'll talk about the biggest gaffes and mistakes that can unravel your hard work as a crafting professional. Bring your questions (keeping in mind that, although an attorney, your brilliant teacher can't give legal advice).
Ready-to-wear designers use design details in beautiful and often unexpected ways to set their products apart from others. (Think visible seams or yarn floats intentionally placed on the public side of the fabric.)
Let Trisha Malcolm, Vogue Knitting Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, show you how to create fresh and exciting designs following the lead of smart fashion experts on Seventh Avenue, in Paris, Milan, and beyond.