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What is the Independent Designer Partnership?
The Knit Picks Independent Designer Partnership (IDP) program was created in an effort to give our customers easy access to patterns by independent designers, and to help designers gain exposure throughout the knitting community.
We've done our best to create a fair and equitable program for independent designers. Designers receive 100% of the pattern sale price and retain full rights to their designs. Also, there is no exclusivity agreement, so designers are free to sell their pattern on their own website or on Ravelry. Patterns range in price from $1.99 - $7.99 and the designer has the final say in the price point. We're excited to work with independent designers to promote their patterns to our ever growing customer base.
The program was started in December of 2009 and since, has grown to include over 600 designers and more than 2,700 patterns. In four years, the program has shown to be very popular amongst our customers, selling over a half million patterns. We have now expanded to books and eBook collections, all featuring independent designers.
What kind of marketing does Knit Picks do for IDP?
We promote our IDP patterns in a few different ways. Some patterns are chosen to be featured in our catalog, some are chosen to be featured in our weekly emails, and some designers have been interviewed on our podcast. We put up new IDP patterns every week and heavily promote them through our social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Ravelry. Our staff also promotes the program on our blog, where staff members talk about the IDP patterns that they have knit or crocheted. All of these advertising efforts have had a significant increase in sales for patterns featured and continue to grow awareness for the program. In addition to the pattern promotion we provide, we also encourage designers to link to their patterns from their blogs and social media sites.
We often use our photography department to photograph IDP designs for our website & the catalog at no charge to the designer. We realize that not everyone has access to the photography we require for our website and catalog, and we do our best to accommodate the needs of those who don’t. Ultimately, patterns with nice photography always sell the best and designers are welcome to use our photographs in their own promotions.
I am interested in submitting. What is the submission process like?
We are looking for well written, professional submissions. We do not accept patterns that are very similar to another pattern being offered either on our site, or other sites. We are looking for garments and accessories that are fashion forward, interesting and unique. Please note that we will only accept patterns in Knit Picks yarns.
Every week, our Review Board (which includes members of the art, marketing & yarn teams) meets to discuss new submissions and make the decision as to which patterns will be a good fit for our yarn and customer base. Once decided, we contact the designer within 30 days of the submission to let them know whether or not their pattern has been accepted.
The submission is our first impression (like a resume for a job) so we encourage designers to show off the best work - clear photographs of the sample or swatch, detailed descriptions of the idea or project, which of our yarns would work best for the project, color suggestions and contact information - even a mini bio would be great. We also recommend laying out the submission as you would a pattern so that we can get a good idea of what the finished pattern will look like. While linking to blogs or Ravelry pattern/project page can be helpful, we need to have any relevant details in the one page submission, as this is what our Review Board will ultimately see. An example of the type submission we require can be viewed here.
Also helpful is reading through the entire FAQs before submitting - while we are happy to answer any questions, we get behind & many of the answers can be found here.
My pattern was turned down. What kind of patterns are you looking for?
We are looking for a wide range of knitting & crochet patterns – from garments and accessories to home décor and toys. Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to take all of them. Often the reason is simply having too many similar submissions in the same category of patterns. Another reason may be that we feel the pattern will not work with our yarn or will not sell our yarn well. Please feel free to take a look at our current patterns for an idea of where we may have a need. We also take seasonality and the buying habits of our customers into consideration before accepting a pattern. For instance, we will be more likely to accept heavy bulky sweaters closer to fall and winter and light cotton and lace items closer to spring and summer. We also require garments be in at least 3 sizes (S, M, L) and preferably at least 5 sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL).
Do you have deadlines?
IDP patterns do not have deadlines. We put approved patterns online as soon as we can - normally within 3 weeks - so the speed at which a pattern will be available to the public primarily depends on how quickly the designer can get the completed pattern back to us. Occasionally we offer special projects to IDP designers (such as designing with new yarn lines) where we will need to have projects back by a certain date, but in most cases there is not a firm deadline for patterns like there would be for magazine.
What about free patterns?
We love having free patterns from our IDP designers! It's a great marketing tool for the designers to get their name out in front of a lot of people to promote interest in their other patterns - we run promotions on our blog and other social media sites which results in an average of 1000 downloads per pattern per month. The requirements are slightly different from IDP however. The pattern already needs to be current Knit Picks yarn and colors, as we are not able to provide yarn support.. The photos also need to work for our site and be approved by our Review Board. We do not require a sample sent in but we do require an email address included in the pattern for pattern support questions. If you have a free pattern you would like to submit, please email it to email@example.com with the subject "Free Pattern Submission".
Due to other free pattern promotions we do, often it does take several weeks for patterns to appear on the site.
What about eBooks?
We have recently started offering eBooks to our customers. When we started, it was only our inhouse designs; with that success & interest from customers, we have opened it up to other independent designers.
This is totally separate from the IDP program– the requirements are completely different. If you would like more details on it, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we have published books by independent designers, we are not accepting applications for this particular program any longer. Any eBooks submitted for sale on the Knit Picks site will need to be completed by the designer - including layout, photography and designs.
How do I submit a proposal?
Please upload your pattern proposals here. All required information should be included in on one document in .pdf or .doc forms. Please do not submit full patterns for the initial submission.
Please include in the document:
- Description, sketch, and/or photographed swatch of the design
- Knit Picks yarns & colors you feel would be the best fit for the pattern and if you require yarn support.
- Your name and contact information (Ravelry name if you have one). A designer bio with other examples of your work is appreciated as well.
- Suggested selling price (should be $1.99, $2.99, $3.99 $4.99, $5.99, $6.99 or $7.99)
- You can see an example of a submission here: One Page Submission Example.
While linking to your website, Ravelry page or photos can be helpful, please make sure this information is in your proposal as well. This will only be what the Review Board sees. Clear layout, photos & descriptions will give us the best idea of if your pattern is good fit for the program.
How long does it take to hear back about my submission?
You should receive an email confirming your initial submission within a week. Our Review Board meets periodically to go over submissions (both initial & final) and decide which would be a good fit for the IDP program. Due to overwhelming submissions, the response time for your patterns could be up to 6-8 weeks, though most responses are within 30 days.
Can I submit patterns that have been turned down by other publishers/websites?
You can, as long as there is no existing exclusivity agreement with the company to which you already submitted. As long as you are the sole owner of the pattern, you are free to submit to Knit Picks for review.
I live outside of the US & Canada. Can I still submit a pattern?
At this time, we require a US or Canada address for yarn support. If you are an international designer, we can send yarn support to a friend or relative in North America to send on to you, but we would be unable to ship yarn directly. All payments for designers outside of the US are made electronically, which for designers outside of the US, may include fees. Although some fees may apply, we do our best to keep them as low as possible. If this works for you, please feel free to submit a pattern!
Do you have a requirement for the pattern layout?
You may format your pattern any way you like as long as it is clear & easy to read and you are welcome to include anything else, such as your website/blog information, your Ravelry name, logo, or any other information you feel is important. We encourage designers to layout their patterns however they like; we do not have a required look. We want designers to be able to have a pattern layout that strengthens their individual brand and matches any other patterns they have developed. Please make sure to double check that your abbreviations and terms match the Knit Picks standard abbreviations.
Patterns must include:
- Pattern schematic and/or sizes included in the pattern. The schematic is a diagram showing the dimensions of the final knitted item. If it is a simple design, such as a hat, the measurements listed will be fine.
- The "Downloaded from Knit Picks" logo –( JPG, PDF, AI)
- List of abbreviations used in the pattern
- Text of commonly used techniques
- Copyright text for the designer submitting the pattern ("Copyright 2013, Designer's Name, All Rights Reserved")
- Designer's email address for pattern support ("For pattern support, contact email@example.com")
- Properly formatted computer-generated charts (if applicable).
- Photograph of the finished project.
You are responsible for having the pattern tech edited and tested prior to final submission to Knit Picks, and you must include your contact email address so you can answer any questions about the pattern. All PDFs downloaded by the customer will include a copyright watermark (printed along the bottom of each page) to discourage unauthorized distribution. This watermark is a 1/2 inch high (30 pixels) box, so please leave room for it so it doesn't cover any important information!
What size sample should I make?
If you are doing your own photography, then make the sample size that will best fit your model. (please see the photography section below). If we need to do the photography, the samples must be in the following sizes to fit our models.
- Women's garments - 34"-36" bust
- Women's accesories - small
- Women's socks - prefer medium to large
- Men's garments - 38"-40" chest
- Child/baby - changes, please check with IDP coordinator for the best sizes.
Recently we’ve received samples of garments where the photos will not work on our site and that are in a size that does not fit our models. Unfortunately, when that happens, we will either have to turn down the pattern or require the sample to be redone.
How do I find a tech editor to review my pattern?
We have a list of IDP designers who are also tech editors, please feel free to contact the IDP coordinator for the list. Another good resource for finding a tech editor is the Indy Pattern Designers' Resources group on Ravelry.com. Many tech editors have listed their qualifications, rates, and availability.
Do you have requirements for the number of test knitters? Can you provide yarn support for them as well?
We don't have a requirement on how many test knitters each pattern needs - you want enough to make sure the pattern is free from errors and you will be getting enough feedback on your pattern before putting it up for sale. If you need a test knitter, a good resource is the The Testing Pool group on Ravelry. We apologize; we are unable to provide yarn support for the test knitters.
How do I make a PDF?
The easiest way to make a document into a PDF is to use Adobe Acrobat. Adobe also has an online service for converting documents into PDFs.
Also, here is a good tutorial on how to create PDFs.
How do I make a computer-generated chart, and what does "properly formatted" mean?
Our in-house designers use a program called Knit Visualizer to create their charts. Other software programs you could use include StitchMastery Knitting Chart Editor, Aran Paint, Stitch & Motif Maker, Stitch Painter, and Virtual Swatch. Some designers use Microsoft Excel for their charts, and there are a number of knitting chart fonts available from places such as StitchMastery Fonts.
"Properly formatted" means that the chart must be easy to read with clean lines, include a legend of the symbols used, has properly numbered rows, and the pattern repeats (if any) are clearly marked.
What do you need for the final submission?
There are three pieces that you will need to submit to our review panel:
- Submit your final pattern in PDF format (pattern must be 1 document) to Final Submissions. You will also be able to upload photos, needle and yarn requirements and suggested price there.
- Mail a sample in Knit Picks yarn to
c/o Pattern Sample Manager
13118 NE 4th Street
Vancouver, WA 98684
- Mail a signed Knit Picks Terms and Conditions contract to the address listed above. You can also upload the signed Terms & Conditions form at the Submit Final Pattern link above.
Once we receive all three pieces from you, we will review your pattern within 30 days .
Should I take my own photos?
Yes. We would prefer if you would photograph your sample & lay it out in the pattern. If these photos are up to our technical and artistic standards, you can use them in your final pattern. If designer-submitted photos are used, Knit Picks will request digital copies of the photos used in the pattern for the "Additional Images" section on www.knitpicks.com. Digital photos for the "Additional Images" section should be at least 72dpi and 600 pixels wide.
When possible, we would prefer modeled shots of the finished object rather than flat shots. Your patterns will sell better if you can show it in action!
What if my photos are not acceptable?
If they are not up to our internal standards, we will use our in-house photographers for your items. However, this may result in a delay to getting your pattern on the website, depending on our photography schedule.
If I am doing my own photography, do I still need to send in my sample?
Yes. This is requirement for various reasons – we need to check the technical aspects of the finished item & the pattern before final approval. We also require the sample if we decide to use it in our catalog or advertisements. Samples should be error-free, clean, and blocked to appropriate final measurements. We will mail your samples back to you within 90 days of the pattern being posted for sale.
Do you have suggestions for photography?
Good lighting is key - natural not overly bright lighting. If you are able to take your photos outside, it's best to do it in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn't as bright. If you are taking them inside, try to make sure you have good light source & don't use your flash. Most digital cameras have online product guides & hints on different settings so check out your camera's guide. Designs look best worn (if applicable) and take plenty of detail shots so your customer can see the entire final product. Backgrounds are important too - make sure there isn't anything that will distract from your sample - you want your sample to be front & center. You’ll also want to make sure your sample isn't blending into the background either!
Please do not photograph your sample on dummies, dress forms or mannequins (including heads). We feel they do not show the samples to the best advantage and will not use the photos on the site.
Also make sure your model is wearing appropriate garments that do not clash or distract from the sample. And, it probably goes without saying, but make sure the model is wearing appropriate undergarments.
When do I receive my sales payments?
The designer will earn a full amount of the purchased pattern - Knit Picks takes no commission or upload fee. Payments to designers are made quarterly (January, April, July, and October) within 15 days of the end of the quarter. All payments are through direct deposit for US designers and electronic payment for Canadian designers.
Can I track my sales?
Yes. After the pattern is listed on the website designer will receive a login & password to log in on a special section of the Knit Picks website and check the number of patterns sold.
Can I still sell the pattern on my website or on Ravelry?
You are more than welcome to sell you pattern anywhere else. However, sales that are not through the Knit Picks website will not count towards your payments.
What if I want to remove my pattern from the Knit Picks website?
If you decide to remove your pattern from the Knit Picks website, we need 30 days notice. Also, the pattern cannot be removed if the designer was issued an advance & it has not been met yet. If the designer would like to remove the pattern before the advance is met, the designer must return the balance of the advance first. Knit Picks can choose to remove your pattern for any reason. If the pattern is removed from the site, any remaining payments owed to the designer will be sent in the next quarterly payment schedule
Will Knit Picks provide pattern support?
Customer service for patterns in the Independent Designer Partnership program will be provided by the designer, not by Knit Picks. This will allow you to receive feedback directly from customers who purchased your pattern and provide them with help or corrections. We require a valid email address listed in the pattern and you must check your email regularly and respond to customer questions and concerns. Our customer service department will direct all questions about the pattern directly to the designer.
We are committed to excellent customer service, so if we hear customers complaining that they are not receiving timely and helpful responses to their questions about a designer's patterns, we may choose to remove these patterns from our website (after notifying the designer). Please make sure you are responding to your customer's emails within a week - at the very least, acknowledging you received it & are investigating their questions.
I found an error in my pattern! What do I do?
Send a corrected pdf to the IDP Coordinator so we can upload it to our site. We will add a note to the pattern page, informing customers that here is an update to the pattern & a new version of the pattern will be in the customer's pattern library . If your pattern has a Ravelry page, please add to correction there as well.
Indy Pattern Designers’ Resources group on Ravelry.com
KP standard abbreviations
Standard text for commonly-used knitting techniques
Terms and Conditions form
Several times a year, Knit Picks looks for specialized designs around a certain theme or a certain yarn for upcoming collections. Below are the current calls for submissions - please read the details of the collections carefully. All designers are welcome to submit.
Fall 2015 Accessories. Submissions due 1/30/2015
Still have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to help!