Most Interesting People 2013: Shannon Okey

Shannon Okey

knitwear designer, 38

On the edge There are more than just patterns in Knit Edge. The digital publication focuses on in-depth, inspirational articles as well. "In issue one, we featured a photographic tour of Shetland, a source of many traditional knitting patterns and techniques. [We] showed how the landscape, flora and fauna of Shetland influenced pattern development."

Weaving through the waves Okey was once asked to teach classes with one of the biggest names in the fiber arts business. "I was hired by Debbie Stoller, the author of the Stitch 'n Bitch series, to teach on a Caribbean cruise ship out of New York. That was a little complex, because when you're teaching spinning or some kind of physical motion, it's a little hard to do when you're going back and forth."

needling new technology Okey runs Cooperative Press and Knitgrrl Studio out of Lakewood's Screw Factory building among a community of working artists. "Unlike larger publishers, we have embraced digital technology," she says. "When you buy a book from Cooperative Press, you also always get the digital edition."

Bizarre news For almost a decade, Okey has been running the Cleveland edition of Bazaar Bizarre, an independent and not-so-average craft show that originated in Boston. "We're now the longest-running indie craft show in Cleveland."

Pattern pleasers Her all-time best selling pattern is a cabled peplum sweater called Rivulet, which uses cables to shape the garment. "I design complex garments for a wide range of sizes. I believe that you should design for a very large range of sizes given the current market today."

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