Fresh Designs Crochet call for submissions

This post is a long one! Please click below to access all the information you could ever possibly want about the Fresh Designs Crochet call for submissions, including a link to the submission form itself.


Cooperative Press is publishing a new series called Fresh Designs Crochet with series editor MK Carroll. We are seeking pattern submissions from designers of all experience levels for books on the following topics: shawls, scarves, hats, mittens and gloves, kids, sweaters, home, designs for men, toys and bags. Each book will consist of 10 patterns, except the 11th book in the series, Best Of, which will contain 30 patterns (or more) taken from the previous books. These books will be published in multiple formats, both print and digital.

In the spirit of our overall operating philosophy (single-book authors share directly in the proceeds of their books at a percentage level that can be 4-6x the typical publisher royalty rate), all book contributors will be awarded a share in the total earnings of the title after costs, payable every two months instead of the usual twice per year. Cooperative Press will also provide you with help in organizing various promotions, whether blog tours, crochet-alongs or anything else that you’d like to do.

Designers of all experience levels are invited to submit. We are seeking designers who are enthusiastic about taking a very DIY, hands-on approach, ready to learn and try new things. Designers must be willing and able to read and follow specific instructions. For example: learning to use a freeware illustration program to draft a symbol chart, following the series-specific format. Creativity is encouraged and celebrated for the design concepts; however, formatting your pattern according to the provided style sheet should be done exactly as instructed. Part of the Fresh Designs concept is the establishment of new standards for craft publishing, helping designers and the craft progress, and working together to promote creative and professional behavior.

Designers will be responsible for producing and delivering finished samples for photography. Cooperative Press will handle the final technical editing, schematics, and charts as needed. Cooperative Press will assist with yarn support and we will create needed graphics that you are unable to supply in our preferred format.

Designers will get to keep the finished items (though we may ask to borrow them for initial promotion and trunkshows), and they will retain their own copyright. Rights on single patterns will revert 1 year after the initial publication date. However, we will retain the right to continue selling the whole book/collection, and you may also opt to continue selling your pattern through our various sales outlets, including a new technology we are currently developing.

Designers outside the United States are welcome to submit; please keep in mind that finished pieces must be mailed to the United States for photography and the costs and time required will vary by location.


Fresh Designs Crochet is about fresh, contemporary crochet. There is no room for filler in these books! We are looking for:

• eye-catching pieces
• interesting construction and techniques (including Tunisian and hairpin crochet)
• “gateway” crochet projects to grab the attention of non-crocheters (get them eager to pick up a hook and start learning!)
• doily-making skills for non-doily items
• use of fine gauge yarns (lace, fingering, sock, DK)
• use of hand-dyed yarns, especially variegated and self-striping
• wide range of garment sizes, including plus sizes for women
• …and more – please don’t limit yourself to this list!

Inspiration boards for the book topics are available (shawls and scarves, hats, mittens and gloves, kids, sweaters, home, designs for men, toys, bags); please keep in mind that the images and links provided are intended to provoke thoughtful creativity. Any reproduction/imitation designs submitted will be rejected immediately.


We also believe in supporting small, independent yarn companies. Please see the list at the bottom for a partial list of possibilities. We will help coordinate yarn requests: choose up to five yarn possibilities for your project and be prepared to give us the yarn company name, yarn name, color name and number of skeins/yardage needed in your submission.


Submissions are online only, using the form provided by Cooperative Press. Links to sketch/swatch pics may be provided via online photo hosting services such as Flickr, with privacy settings such as Flickr’s Guest Pass. Submissions must be designs that have not been previously shown in public.

• Submission date deadline: Saturday 11 June 2011, noon, Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time: Honolulu.
• An email confirming that your submission(s) are/have been received for consideration will be sent within 5 working days of your submission. If that form letter does not appear in your inbox within that time, please check your junk/spam mail folder before inquiring.
• Acceptance notification deadline: Monday 20 June 2011
• Finished items deadline: Friday 7 October 2011
• finished written pattern submission to be made via email or online submission
• finished project to be received by Cooperative Press in Lakewood, Ohio, USA

Submitting earlier is better than waiting until the last minute; in addition to allowing for “submission received” notification, submissions must follow a specific format to be considered for acceptance and allowing at least a few days to make any necessary corrections could be crucial.

Designers may submit multiple design proposals; please submit each pattern for consideration separately.


Cooperative Press has been in operation since 2007. Owned and managed by Shannon Okey, the former editor of Yarn Forward magazine, we have published books by Jonelle Raffino of South West Trading Company Yarns, Hunter Hammersen, Heather Ordover of the CraftLit podcast, and of course the Knitgrrl Book of Professional Knitwear Design. We currently have many titles by other independent authors underway as well, and we are always looking for more good designer-partners.

Our philosophy is different from the standard publishing company — we are pro-digital as well as print-friendly, we believe in designers’ rights and in treating our authors and contributors as we ourselves would want to be treated, and in fairness and honesty above all else. Cooperative Press prides itself on being designer-owned and operated.


I’m really excited about working with Cooperative Press to put out a series of crochet books featuring emerging designers! This isn’t just about getting great crochet patterns out there for crocheters to use, this is also about working to establish new standards for crochet publishing and creating opportunities for crochet designers to learn and grow in ways that can benefit the entire industry.

I’ve worked with online magazines (Knitty, CrochetMe), big publishers (Interweave Press), tiny independent publishers (Take Back the Knit ‘zine), and self-published my own work. Along the way, I’ve gotten to meet and work with incredible people in the industry, appeared on TV (Knitty Gritty), been interviewed by the local paper (the late Honolulu Advertiser), and I’m still blogging, tweeting, and keeping my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the yarncrafting world. If you know me and know my work, you already know I’m a proud polycraftual who has been championing crochet for years. Working with Cooperative Press to help bring you the crochet books we know you want to have on your bookshelves (or e-reader) has got me all fired up, and I can’t wait to see your submissions!

Ravelry: mkcarroll
Twitter: mk_carroll


If you have any questions that have not been answered in the above or in the comments to this Cooperative Press blog post, please feel free to use the comments form. If you would prefer to ask privately, you may contact MK at


These yarn companies responded to the initial call for yarn during the first Fresh Designs series. You are not restricted to using these specific yarns, but we encourage you to choose small, independent yarn companies for your designs where appropriate. We ask for more than one yarn choice when you submit to keep from overwhelming one or two companies, but if your design requires a certain yarn for a pattern-specific reason, please indicate this in the comments.

A Verb for Keeping Warm, Anzula, Babylonglegs, Biscotte & Cie Inc, Black Bunny Fibers, Blonde Chicken Boutique, Brooklyn Handspun, Curious Creek Fibers, Custer’s Alpacas, Flamboyance Yarns, Fluffenstuff, Green Eyed Monsters, Green Ray Productions, Grinning Gargoyle, hands and notions, Happy Hands Yarn & Fiber, Holiday Yarns, Homestead Wool & Gift Farm, Indigodragonfly, Kangaroo Dyer, Kitchen Sink Dyeworks, Knitterly Things, Liberty’s Yarn, Lisa Souza Dyeworks, Little Red Bicycle, Lofty Fibres, LylianMae Fiber Artistry, Needle Food, Hand Dyed Yarn, Odd-ish Creations, ontheround, Pigeonroof Studios, Serenknitty, spinup yarns, Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Spunky Eclectic, Squoosh Fiberarts, Stitchjones Hand Dyed Yarn & Fiber, Tactile: A Fiber Arts Studio, Teresa Ruch Designs, The Counting Sheep Farm/ My8kidsmom Hand Dyed, The Little Knitting Company, The Natural Dye Studio, The Sanguine Gryphon, The Spun Monkey, The Sweet Sheep, thechickswithsticks & colourplay fibres, Three Irish Girls, V Yarn, Waterloo Wools, Whorled Peace, Wool Candy, Yarn Hollow, Yarn Love, YarnArtSerious, yarnscape, Zen Yarn Garden


You’ve read everything above, yes? Interested? Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch!

22 thoughts on “Fresh Designs Crochet call for submissions

  1. Pingback: mk carroll » Fresh Designs Crochet: Call for submissions OPEN!

  2. I am very interested in seeing and reading ALL of the info mentioned in your above outline. Especially the reference to “freeware illustration program” and “formatting a pattern” in a “series specific format”. I understand basic digital/computer information. . . BUT I am, unfortunately, not a digital guru. So, I am concerned about using anything that is technologically above my head. However, all that aside, your entire concept for creating a fresh approach to crochet book design is fabulous. I have also just started my own publishing company that will publish ONLY crochet books. BUT – I am also interested in participating in your publishing efforts. I am an absolute crochet fanatic and advocate. . . I have been for years! I wish you much success with this venture and look forward to receiving a submission “packet” that explains all of my requirements as a crochet designer. Thank You.

  3. Your submission form looks like it is for “single” pattern submissions only. How does one send a proposal as an entire “single book author”? I have so many patterns rattling around in my head. . . as well as many book concepts. . . Do you have a separate submission form for an entire book concept? Or a separate address for a book proposal?

  4. Mary, here’s more detail:

    “freeware illustration program” – this is a possibility we’ve been discussing, which would be to use existing freeware to generate crochet charts/schematics/graphics. The important thing for designers to keep in mind is that, as stated above, Cooperative Press can and will create the final charts, schematics, and graphics as needed; getting clean drafts in the same format from all designers involved would help streamline the publishing process. The sooner we publish, the sooner royalties can be paid to the designers. The most important part of this is for designers to be prepared to try new approaches and to be willing to experiment and learn. Please keep in mind that learning to use a software program isn’t a definite – I’m learning how to use the programs myself right now. You don’t need to be a technical genius; it’s being open to trying new things that matters most for this.

    That said, “formatting a pattern in series-specific format” means that the style sheet for Fresh Designs Crochet has to be followed. For example, if the style sheet says that ‘double crochet’ is to be abbreviated as ‘dc’ – every time the written pattern has an abbreviation for ‘double crochet’, it’s ‘dc’ and nothing else. If the style sheet says that the first line of the written pattern will be the pattern name, then the first line of the pattern is the pattern name, no exceptions. Again, this streamlines the process of getting the books published. A professional technical editor will be going through it all, and the easier we can make that editors job, the better.

    The call for submissions, submission form, and inspiration boards are the current submission packet. If you can put together a submission using these tools, you have the basic necessary skills needed. The style sheet has not yet been finalized; we can update the above post when it is.

  5. Pingback: Call for Pattern Submissions to Fresh Designs Crochet – Crochet Hooks You

  6. Answering a couple more questions:

    Socks are included! Sock designs can be submitted to Kids and Designs for Men.

    Short deadline for submissions: it’s not an unusual amount of time in my experience. This is for design proposals, swatches, and sketches, not finished patterns.

  7. Pingback: mk carroll » Fresh Designs Crochet behind the scenes: inspiration boards

  8. Pingback: mk carroll » Fresh Designs Crochet: inspiration board (Home)

  9. Pingback: mk carroll » Fresh Designs Crochet: inspiration board (Mittens & Gloves)

  10. Pingback: mk carroll » Fresh Designs Crochet: inspiration boards (Shawls & Scarves)

  11. One other question One of the patterns I would like to submit I have done in three different weights by using different hooks and adding or subtracting inital chains. Is there a preference one way or the other for projects?

  12. so are commercially produced yarns completely out or just discouraged? Because of the amount of stranding I think that one of the designs I want to submit is better suited for an inexpensive acrylic

  13. Update: notifications for all submissions (accepted and not accepted) have gone out. I did hit a glitch and find that some emails did not get sent until today; if you submitted and have not heard back, please hit “reply” on the submission received email and let me know.


  14. NiYa, apologies, your comments got stuck in a filter. Commercially produced yarns may be used; preference is for natural fibers. If price-point is a concern, include that in the comments and we can discuss it if the submission is accepted. Shawls do include cowls (please note, though, that the Shawls book call for submissions is closed).

  15. Hey MK! Just wondering when the first books in the series are going to be published?? Can’t wait to see all crochet awesomeness!

  16. Don’t forget all the back-end stuff that goes into making an awesome book — the crochet, the photography, the layout… it’ll be a while, but not forever, I promise! :)

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