Sunday, April 13, 2014

Want to Kick Your Knit Design Career Up to the Next Level?

I am pleased as punch to announce something I've been plugging away at in the background for some time now, ever since publishing my ebook for knitting designers -

Designer Brain-Sesh!

What is a Designer Brain-Sesh? 
A Designer Brain-Sesh is a one-on-one session for knit and crochet pattern designers, customized to address your specific concerns. We’ll take a long, hard look at your business and figure out how best to reach your goals – or, we can focus on a specific issue that’s bugging you. Mentorship, consulting, masterminding, a jam session- call it whatever you like, and we’ll make it be whatever you need!

How does it work? 
When you purchase a session, you’ll receive a questionnaire to fill out and send back so that I can learn all about your business, your long term and immediate goals, and your areas of concern. I’ll review your questionnaire, get to know your business, your designs, your social media- all of it. I'll come up with a preliminary “plan of attack,” and will send you an extensive report detailing my thoughts as well as relevant links and resources. Then, we’ll schedule a 40-minute chat session at a time that’s convenient for you to discuss, clarify, and refine- leaving you with some clear "next steps" and a wealth of ideas for your business!

Chat session? What kind of chat session? 
The chat session can take place on any sort of text-based chat client you prefer (I’m partial to Google Hangouts but I’m flexible.) I prefer text-based chat over video or phone for several reasons:
  • Text-based gives us a written record, which is very useful to look back on. 
  • I type much faster than I speak and read much better than I hear (I have somewhat poor auditory comprehension – I don't want to waste any of your time asking you to repeat something!) 
  • I live on a loud street and have two dogs who love to interrupt things ;-) 

Who the heck are you and why should I take any of your advice anyway? 
I’ve been designing knitting patterns since 2007 and it is currently my full-time, food-on-the-table gig. In addition to having patterns published in webzines, books, and paper magazines, I’ve also curated a book of patterns featuring multiple designers, worked with a yarn company as their designer liaison and project coordinator (read: I process the submissions and yarn support requests), have done photo styling for several collections/book projects and worked at an LYS doing all sorts of crazy things. I self-publish extensively and am a social media junkie.

Basically: I’ve been around the industry in a lot of capacities for some time now, and I want to save you time by sharing my experiences.

Areas I can help you with: 

  • Getting started as a knit designer 
  • The basics of pattern writing and formatting
  • Self-publishing and selling your patterns (online, wholesaling, and working with distributors)
  • Pattern photography
  • Sourcing and working with tech editors and test or sample knitters
  • Putting together submissions
  • Working with publishers
  • Contract review (NOT from a legal standpoint- see below- but from a “is this a good deal that they are offering me?” standpoint)
  • Branding, marketing, and social media (including Ravelry!) 
  • Blogging and websites
  • Industry etiquette and customer service
  • Navigating trade shows
  • Working with yarn companies and yarn support
  • Crisis management
  • Copywriting (including “romance text” and pattern naming- not to be confused with “copyrighting”- see below)
  • An extra set of eyes and objective bystander feedback (on designs, layouts, websites, photos- anything, really!) 
  • Got something else in mind? Shoot me an email and I’ll tell you if I think I can help! My address is keepittoadullroar {at}

Areas I won’t be as helpful with:  

  • I am not a lawyer, which means I can’t give you any legal advice. I can help you figure out if legal advice is warranted in a particular situation and help you find some resources to seek it out, but I can’t give it. This includes the particulars of business set-up legalities and tax laws, which vary from state to state and country to country – you’re better off finding local consult for that. 
  • While I do have some skills with graphics programs, I’m not a professional graphic designer or web designer. So while I can definitely help you brainstorm things like visual branding or logo ideas (and loooove doing that stuff!) you will probably need to hire a professional to make the final images. 
  • I do not teach knitting classes at shows or LYSs, so that is an area where I don’t have much experience. I was briefly a class coordinator at an LYS, working with teachers to set up and advertise their classes (and I can definitely write copy for them!) but I don’t have much advice on the actual conducting of classes. (If you’re an aspiring teacher, there is a great class called “How to Teach It” available on Craftsy that is a good place to start!) 

Ready to party? Sweet! 

Many similar consults in other businesses go from anywhere from $200 - $1000, but I know how tough it is to make money as a knitting designer and I want to help you move forward, not set you back! For now, I am offering these sessions - which include about 3-4 hours of intense focus on your business and nothin' but your business (that's 40 minutes of chat + several hours of research/feedback/idea generation) - for just $75.

Click here to book:
Add to Cart

(Expect to schedule your chat session for a week or two after you’ve returned the Questionnaire, in order to give me time to research and prepare.  I only schedule a few sessions a week, to make sure I’m able to devote my full attention to each person in turn.)

It’s important to me that you feel happy with these sessions, so if you aren’t satisfied, let me know and I will make it right, even if that means a full refund.

Not so sure yet? 

If you feel like you’d like some guidance but don’t need a one-on-one, or you just want to get a feel for my style, you might be interested in checking out my ebook instead- So You Want to be a Knitting Designer. And of course if you have any questions, you can contact me at keepittoadullroar {at}

To celebrate the release, I will be giving away one Brain-Sesh to a reader! 

Just post in the comments, telling me what your biggest business challenge is right now, and I will randomly select someone in a week's time. Good luck!!

(Um, obviously to enter you should probably be a current or aspiring knit or crochet designer. I don't know if I can help you much with, say,  your fledgling cupcake business, though I'd be happy to taste test.) 


  1. I have limited time right now but in two years will be going almost full time with my knitwear business. I struggle to know what to focus on now to help build a great business for then.

  2. My biggest designer challenge is developing my designer persona (my goals, working toward my strengths, etc.) and remaining true to that persona. Great business idea, Alex! Kudos!

  3. I'm not a designer so don't count me in, I am commenting to tell you I think this is a super cool idea!

  4. I am a compulsive knitter but also a graphic and web designer. My first pattern is finally done. It was a challenging experience, but I truly enjoyed it. The pattern itself and the graphic design of the PDF. You can see it here:

    I would love to help you with your graphic needs and layouts for your patterns.


  5. I believe I have three major issues: 1. developing a consistent collection style; 2. keeping records and writing down my designs; 3. I'm shy about self-promotion.
    Thank you!

  6. What a brilliant idea! My issues: 1. Defining my brand identity, 2. Raising profile and growing my business, 3. Social media/blogging

  7. Cool idea! I'd need help with submissions, knowing which idea to develop, and someone to tell me specifically where my sketches are dorky.

  8. I have a handful of self-published patterns, and my biggest challenge is helping people to find my work. I definitely need help with promoting and marketing my business.

  9. I have a handful of self-published patterns, and my biggest challenge is helping people to find my work. I definitely need help with promoting and marketing my business.

  10. I definitely need help marketing my patterns. I feel like I'm constantly working on improving my business yet my bank account does not reflect the hard work I've been putting into it at all. :/ I'm open to any and all tips. This is a great idea by the way. :)

  11. I'm not sure what direction I want to go in! I'm with Melissa on work vs returns.

  12. I feel like I'm having the most trouble trusting my own pattern writing skills. I need to find a good tech editor and test knitters I can trust. I have yet to do either.

  13. I seem to get stuck one step from the end, whether that's pattern writing/publishing or any number of other things. Also, how many options to include in one pattern/collection vs. just making them separate patterns.

  14. My biggest challenge is definitely navigating the social media world and getting it to work at its potential for me. That and actually publishing my half-ready designs!

    It's a big excuse of mine to say I need more patterns published before I work on social media as I feel I'm not interesting enough with what I already have. And I also feel I limit my audience with only kids designs - but that's changing this year as I'm currently swatching for an adult garment!

  15. I always get stuck in between finishing my test knit and actually writing/formatting the pattern. That's a huge challenge for me -- getting past that mental block and the overwhelming blank space on my "page" when I go to write the pattern. I also struggle to know how to promote my patterns and get them seen.

    This is an awesome idea!

  16. What an awesome idea! My biggest challenge is maintaining focus. I get easily distracted by pretty colors and new design ideas and have trouble finishing what I've started. I have a half dozen swatches and even more sketches. I need to push myself to get them all the way to published patterns!

  17. Currently my biggest challenge is figuring out a good way to promote my designs. I love designing, but I feel like I'm putting in a lot more than I'm getting out.

  18. I take notes while knitting the sample, but let time go by before getting to the writing up job. By then I need to knit another sample to check my notes. Help for starting the pattern writing at the sample knitting time (the first) would be appreciated. How to do this the most effectively?

  19. I'm an aspiring designer, but would love help with the process of self-publishing and marketing my patterns.

  20. This is awesome! I admire your work so much. My biggest problem is blogging and basic online presence.

  21. Yeah!! I totally need something like this, lol ;) My biggest frustration as a designer is production - how can I knit my designs and get my patterns out quicker...

  22. My biggest hurdles at the moment are expanding my online presence - social media, marketing, blogging, etc - and figuring out the next step for my design business.

  23. What a wonderful idea! I do a little knitwear designing and would like to do more, but if I bought a Brain-Sesh, I'd want to devote it to picking your brain about further developing our fledging e-LYS. The bricks and mortar lys has expanded to e-commerce. I'd like to get ideas on upping our exposure (already advertising on Ravelry), but I'd also like to develop an online community that is both a comfy place to land and a way to head up some community do-gooder projects embracing knitting. I purchased, read, and enjoyed your e-book about knit designing, and I think a session with you might help me with styling and concrete ideas. Thanks! -Lorelei

  24. What a great idea! I am struggling right now marketing myself, both online and in LYSs. I've started wholesaling my pattern and am working with just 1 store right now but would like to expand that this year.

  25. Ive recently spent a lot of time trying to professionalise my design work - getting a logo and having a plan and diversifying 'my reach' etc - would love some feedback about this, whether I am on the right track and how to improve any areas. And what the next steps should be now I've done these things? I think this is a fantastic idea Alex, good luck with it :)

  26. I have two concerns that are connected marketing my self published patterns and connecting with publishers, yarn companies and magazines to design for them.


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