I am so pleased to be a teacher at Melissa Leapman’s Professional Development Summit (PD Summit) August 28 & 29. It is always great to be invited, an invitation made even better because I know I am a great teacher, and I have an incredible amount of valuable information to share. With you! Each of the instructors will probably say something that will make a difference in your professional development. None of us know what that something will be, so you have to be at the PD Summit to receive it!
Being a Student at the PD Summit
Being a teacher is a responsibility. It is important to know what I have to share, and how to share it so that you can maximize your experience at the PD Summit. Being a student requires that you be receptive to a variety of information and wisdom, and stay focused on each session (no phone, no surfing) so you walk away with as much valuable information and insight as you can.
It may be hard to spend the money to go all in, and even harder maybe to think about giving up your weekend to do it. Please do spend a moment, though, to consider all that you give to others in your life, and on balance these are likely a small ask. There is the option of taking classes a la carte, so if that works better, go for it. Sure you will miss stuff, but there is a lot to be gained. Choose wisely!
What I’m Teaching at the PD Summit
Here is a link to my CV so you can see more about me and what my development as a knitwear designer and teacher has been. My development as a designer began when I was a child. All these years later I still get up almost every day and work on my craft: design, pattern-making, garment construction, writing instructions, teaching others what I know, or thinking about knitting and aspects of designing.
In order of class appearance, here is what I’m teaching:
- Sizing: Once and for All with Jill Wolcott August 28, 12-2 PM Eastern
- Collaborations: Making It Work with Jill Wolcott August 28, 3-4 PM Eastern
- Creating Balance: Find Your Designing Equilibrium with Jill Wolcott August 29 11-Noon Eastern
- To Knit (Or Not) with Jill Wolcott August 29 1-2 PM Eastern
- Color Theory/Color Brilliance with Jill Wolcott August 29 5-6 PM Eastern
Sizing is a generalization or averaging of data. We have standard body measurements that we use, even though it isn’t hard to understand that none of us are average or standard. Few consumers can afford one-off (custom) sizing which requires custom measuring, many fittings, and hours of making. Most of us buy off-the-rack, or in the case of our knitting, make something from a pattern, making minor adjustments to accommodate our individual body. We all have our own preferences on the amount of ease (how much extra fabric beyond the actual body), type of styling, lengths, and other details, which we bring to choosing our garments.
Knowing how you can meet your customer’s needs is the first step in choosing a set of sizing numbers. As in all things, it is impossible to be all things to all people. You need to focus on what you can do, then do it right! PD Summit will be an introduction into my System of Grading.
More and more studies are proving that the lone genius is a fallacy. Most of us work in collaborative ways to produce products, ideas, and to create our lives. Collaborations work best when everyone knows what the expectations are for each participant, and clear parameters for the collaboration are established. Despite this, we usually fail to do the work to create successful collaborations. Sometimes it goes well. Sometimes not so well. Although it requires a bit of organization and thought, it is not difficult to make collaborations meaningful and fulfilling (even profitable!). I do a lot of collaborating, although I am primarily a solo business. At PD Summit you will get ideas, sample documentation, frameworks for working, and discuss ways to follow-up and keep everyone moving forward to the goal.
How does a small business person keep all the plates spinning and balls rolling, while making time for a personal life, and keeping up with your self-care? It isn’t easy!
I will share what I have learned, how I stay on track, tricks I deploy when needed, and how to find what will work for you. I have tried everything! You can benefit from my years of experimentation and why I am passionate about this in my life. Start where you are at the PD Summit.
Sample Knitters and Test Knits
Sample knitters create sample garments from a design (and hopefully a pattern!) and test knitters test the pattern for clarity and usability. Many designers are their own sample knitter. Some designers do not do test knits. What to do? What to do?
In this PD Summit hour I’ll share what I know about using a sample knitter (I started doing so about 2003) and how to conduct test knits that are great for you and the test knitters. It takes energy and effort, but these two outsources can be very helpful to refining your products and giving you time for other things.
I love color. It is both a great means of expression and a great way to connect to your audience. Creating color stories, telling a color story, developing color palettes, and using color to enhance your product development. You can still wear black and use color to your advantage! An hour at PD Summit could kick-start your ongoing color study.
I hope you will join me for this incredibly valuable weekend.