Professional Knitwear Designer
Become a Certified Professional Knitwear Designer! The course prepares new designers for a career in knitwear design. It provides a well-rounded foundation of inspiration, technical skills, proper techniques, and business management to enable designers to professionally design truly unique garments, décor, and accessories. With a wide range of knowledge, it’s our belief that budding designers will not replicate what is already designed, but design from their heart and mind. With the knowledge and resources provided in the course, you will acquire the skills needed to remove any barriers from your knitwear design process. There is no limit to what you can achieve.
Instructor: This course is taught by Donna Estin, Certified Master Knitter, professional knitwear designer, and Vice President of Public Relations for TKGA.
Who should take this course? This comprehensive course is designed for aspiring knitwear designers within the hand-knit industry who wish to design professionally for publications and to self-publish. Graduates of the MHK program who intend to design professionally will find this course as a logical next step.
Course Structure: The focus of this course is on design. It is expected that the designer knows how to knit and finish properly. The course has three modules. Each module includes questions, exercises and design opportunities. Work at your own pace, tap into your own creativity, and submit required materials at the end of each module via email for Modules One and Two, and via email and mail for Module Three. Work for each module must be submitted within one year of the module’s purchase. If the deadline is missed, the course must be repurchased. The next module must be ordered within 6 months of completing the previous module. An important part of this program is time management.
Module One: Formulating an Idea begins with your creative inspiration, and covers the selection process of stitch patterns, yarn, color, graphics, sketching, creating schematics, finding design calls, and preparing submissions. All materials are emailed at the end of the module including: a book review, fiber report, questions/answers, and a design submission based on a provided design call. Samples do not need to be knit.
Module Two: Building a Design tackles the nitty gritty details of design like gauge, grading, calculating yardage, laying out the design, spreadsheets, shaping, allowances, formulas, set-sleeves, charting, writing patterns for publishers, and more. All materials are emailed at the end of the module including: a book review, exercises, questions/answers and two designs; one for an accessory or home décor item and one for an adult sweater. Designs are based on set design parameters and a style sheet is provided, similar to what you would find in a commissioned design. You will email the pattern including charts, schematic, and sketch with the rest of your materials. Samples do not need to be knit.
Module Three: The Business of Design turns your design abilities into a proper business including organizing yourself, yarn support, working with tech editors, running test knits, third-party sellers, pattern layout, pricing, working with publishers, resubmissions, setting up a business, business licenses, registering a domain, accounting, sales tax, VAT, money, credit card processing, contracts, rights, design fees, terms, royalties, when rights revert back to you, customer relations, policies, copyright, what to do when things go wrong, preparing for your next design, and more. Questions/answers, exercises and a ready-to-publish accessory pattern are emailed at the end of the module. A professional knitwear designer must demonstrate a proficiency in knitting and you will knit the sample that accompanies the pattern and mail it in for review.
Course Fee: Each module of this course costs $150. There is an additional $50 shipping fee in Module Three for international enrollments, to cover the higher cost of returning the submission.