Shannon Okey on the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird has become the new knitting fan girl experience, I think.
She says she didn’t learn to knit like the rest of us, as a pre-schooler at the knee of a parent or grandparent. (That didn’t happen to me either…) The family is artistic and she learned other things. As an adult and moving to Boston, in boredom went to a yarn store in Cambridge and stated she wanted to knit a cardigan. While she’s working on it ‘got REALLY into knitting’, she started blogging about it as that was the new cool thing to do at that time. Debbie Stoller’s ‘Stitch N Bitch’ book was really taking off at that time and publishers were desperate for the next one, and she wrote a book for ‘tweens (which I think was ‘Knitgrrl: Learn to Knit with 15 Fun and Funky Projects’ published in 2005) and in a short period of time she wrote about a dozen books for many different publishers. What a learning experience that was!
COOPERATIVE PRESS came about after she started looking at the math of a book publication and thought she could do it on her own. She began with The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwar Design and has 40 publications in it’s repertoire including the recent ‘Kung Fu Knits’ by Elizabeth Green Musselman that we heard about recently when Elizabeth was on during on Podcaster November. (They were mentioned in the chatroom but not by Marly & Shannon, the popular Madame DeFarge books are in that list…. Just check out the list on the Cooperative Press website, the list has some incredibly popular titles you may have heard of lately!)
Shannon says she finds that fiber people are the earlier adopters of technology, in downloading patterns and books, and it’s really driven small business. (She shared the current VAT tax issue that has been a hot topic lately. This blog post by Ysolda Teague was discussed.) Cooperative Press has kept track of digital verses print publications, and looking for ways that customers can save money on purchases, especially the shipping costs, the benefits of ‘Print On-Demand’ ~ especially when a mistake is discovered (‘It happens…’), fixing errata. She sees it as a good thing that the book is available to everyone every where as digital, immediately. Instant gratification is powerful!
She understands that is why pattern sales in Ravelry works. That is also why her magazine Knit Edge is solely digital and she’s considering a craft magazine, knitwear designer trade magazine and on and on. The possibilities are infinite for Shannon Okey and Cooperative Press.
As a side note and JUST FOR FUN! Shannon still does some designing, check out her list in Ravelry. What’s currently ‘On Her Needles’ is her ‘Frozen’ project, of Icelandic Inspired Patterns. She has put out a FREE pattern, and a challenge to DO WHAT YOU WANT with it. This will conclude with voting and prize money.
Another project coming up is Wool Mercantile will offer limited edition runs of specialty fiber things. You can subscribed to that and stay tuned for what’s happening in that.
This has been a lot of links, but I want to include Shannon’s previous visit (link from iTunes): https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/knitgrrl-shannon-okey/id313541727?i=325128680&mt=2
If you missed hearing the show live, this link in the archive is available: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2014/12/16/shannon-okey-on-the-yarn-thing-podcast-with-marly-bird and the iTunes link is also up: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing.rss