Like many designers, my business began accidentally. A pattern on the front cover of Knitty back in 2005 led to requests for more designs, and a career began. Since then I’ve published six books, and many popular individual patterns, a curated range of which is available for wholesale only in print. Local yarn stores are a crucial part of our industry and I love working with stores to find models that work well with the changing industry and needs of consumers. That’s why all of my print copies come with download codes and everything is available via Ravelry in-store sales — you won’t be cut out of the sale if a customer wants a pdf.
I knit to keep my hands busy and stop my attention wandering while doing other things so many of my designs are relatively mindless, but with enough interesting details to prevent them being tedious — the experience of knitting a design is as important to me as the finished project. It’s very important to me that everyone who wants to wear one of my garments is able to choose a size that will fit them and my book Little Red in the City focusses on helping knitters to fit garments to their body. Including many sizes is also an excuse to delve into complicated spreadsheets, I’m really a complete maths geek. I’m always interested in playing with construction methods or manipulating existing stitch patterns and unventing new ones.
My childhood dream was to work at a long table with other people making things. I don’t quite get to spend all day crafting but my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland does have a long desk and is full of inspiring yarns and a wonderful creative team. My employees, Rebecca and Sarah, keep everything organised, pack up orders and help knitters with their projects.
PDF downloads included: both books and patterns include individual download codes for customers who wish to save a digital back up. I find this makes a significant difference to sales without affecting customers who only want a printed copy.
Ravelry in-store sales program: the full line of around 100 patterns is also available in Ravelry’s in-store sales program which is ideal for customers who only want a digital copy or who are looking for a pattern I don’t offer in print. I also find many stores use this to ensure they never run out of copies of a pattern that they have a sample of.
Translations: patterns are currently only available in English but look out for French, German and Dutch translations of my most popular ones coming soon. If there is a specific pattern that you’d like to see translated let me know! In real-life: there is nothing as effective at selling a pattern and yarn as a display sample — ask us about arranging a trunk show or for advice on matching a design with a yarn that you stock. If you’d like a free pdf of a pattern so that you can make a sample just ask. Book signings and a range of classes can also be arranged.
Keep up to date: I have a specific email newsletter for yarn stores — sign up at http://ysolda.com/subscribe
American distributors: please contact Stitch Sprouts (www.stitchsprouts.com) for pattern orders and
Little Red in the City and The Rhinebeck Sweater are available for wholesale customers in the US through our distributor R&M West Coast Enterprises.