The cost of this Design Intensive seems expensive, but with 35+ seminar hours (and lots of handouts), it provides a pretty incredible value for the money spent. Literally, the cost is $35 per hour.
What is J–Squared Knitwear Design Intensive?
A knitwear design intensive is five days of workshops/seminars guiding you through various aspects of design, crunching numbers, pattern writing, and fit. Led by Jeane deCoster and Jill Wolcott, two trained fashion designers, we will be focused on a small number of attendees. Jeane and I love engaging together and sharing very different thinking on some topics — we usually end up similarly situated, but our journeys are different!, but more importantly, with with you, on a variety of related topics.
The goals include:
- creating spreadsheet(s) to work out the numbers on a specific design
- working out design-related issues to accommodate numbers and fit
- finding what you want to say about your work as you engage in the design and grading process
- making micro-decisions in your spreadsheet
- addressing sleeves and armhole fit
- style-sheet specifics for pattern writing
- testing your work in a half-size toille
- refining your work to create a pattern and spreadsheet for checking your work
- how to make this work in related designs or a collection
- how to reach your customer.
Who Are J–Squared?
Jeane deCoster likes to focus on how you should do things, and I tends to to focus on how you should do things. In addition to spreadsheets, design decisions, and pattern writing, Jeane brings her wealth of yarn and fiber knowledge.
My passions are design and communicating, and I like to incorporate the concepts of good design into a designing good design life too. You will learn about math, design, and fit, and also leave having a better idea of how to approach your individual designs and design goals, and communicate that to your customers.
The “Magic Spreadsheet” was designed by Jeane. She then taught me how to create and use it (a challenge in and of itself). We have taught classes on how to use it, and I have taught ASOG online, but now we will be incorporating grading and the magic spreadsheet into the entire design process. Since the initial class we taught together at TNNA, we have each made refinements to our own use, and expanded ways to use these “Magic Spreadsheets”.
The spreadsheets always have two parts: The design/styling section and the crunching the numbers section. Using these two sections together, you can get consistency across five sizes, make adjustments to fit your stitch and row gauge, and check your numbers and outcomes.
Reconciling Design and Numbers
I like to work out all the numbers before embarking on having a single sample size knit so that all that remains is working out how to present the pattern itself. This avoids discovering after knitting that perfect sample that it doesn’t translate as you thought it would. Jill sends almost all her sample knitting to a knitter, so that pattern has to be workable before the knitting starts! Because of the medium we use, we always have to accommodate numbers within our designs, and numbers have to support our design. Having methods of documents and checking can help create the designs in your head as real things.
How Do You Communicate Your Work
As we have entered the world of social media, how we communicate our work (visually and otherwise) becomes a critical part of the puzzle in addition to how we write and present our patterns or otherwise present our work. The big question is always what does my customer need and how can I get that information/product to them. I have ideas about how to do that (which I am currently working on implementing that), and it requires a lot of energy and time. Let’s figure out how to make it part of our design process!
Design & Creativity is Your Work
Building on the above, how do we continue to build our creative design work and use it to build the life we want to be living. What do you need to do to make your days the best possible, and your designs match? How can you achieve that and still grind out work?
J–Squared Knitwear Designer Mentoring
We’re still working on this. It will involve creating a plan to achieve your goals, and ongoing hand-holding.
J–Squared Knitwear Design Intensive
This is one of a few opportunities outside of formal education setting to access some of the knowledge Jeane and I have accumulated over the years. This is an opportunity to immerse yourself, and soak in what we have to share!
I am passionate about sharing all the things I’ve learned and used since I became engaged in this world, and before. Likewise, Jeane has a depth of knowledge you will rarely find in one person. Join us!
Questions and Other Thoughts
Hotels will run about $100 to $150/per person, per night, and sometimes it is difficult to find rooms to share where there are two beds. I completely understand wanting to economize on this end of this Intensive. I have looked at VRBO, and it appears there are homes that could be rented (and there may be Airbnb too) that would accommodate four to six of us. Doing this would allow people to better accommodate dietary quirks, but would require more work! The downside is it would likely require driving (less than 4 miles).