Glasgow is experiencing unusually hot weather, so I am hiding indoors with work. I recently cast on a very chunky, woolly jumper so I am sure I'm to blame for the extraordinary weather. The jumper is working up really well but sadly it is a commission, so I cannot share any pictures of it. I was allowed to work the sample in my size, so when I get it back (18 months from now?) I shall enjoy wearing it.
Good news: we are going to have a book launch party in Scotland! I continue to be overwhelmed - within a day of announcing my not-a-stretch-goal, we reached that magic number! I have a couple of suitable Central Scotland locations in mind - once I know when the book will launch, I will start to arrange things and issue invites to those of you who have pledged £30 or more. I will keep you posted regarding the potential London book launch party.
My dear friend Jacqui interviewed me for her blog & I spill a few beans about the designs in the book! I also appear briefly on the KnitBritish podcast with one of my favourite humans, Louise Scollay.
One of the really exciting aspects of This Thing of Paper is definitely which yarns I am using. The book is implicitly about how things feel in our hands and how we have moved from handmade to machine-made items. For this book I am collaborating with one yarn company and a very small number of carefully selected hand-dyers.
So, I can exclusively reveal that Blacker Yarns is collaborating with me on key pieces in my book.
Blacker Yarns are situated in Cornwall and is part of the Natural Fibre Company. They specialise in wool sourced from The British Isles and the Falkland Islands including rare sheep breeds.
I felt their yarns embodied so many of the ideas within my book: Blacker Yarns take a keen interest in sourcing the raw materials for their yarns in an ethical, sustainable way; they are open about the making and manufacturing process; and their yarns are beautiful (and occasionally rare) objects in themselves. I have admired their yarns for many years and have previously collaborated with them on a magazine commission. It is a huge thrill to have them onboard.
As for the hand-dyers, I shall be revealing them shortly. Again, I have chosen these yarns carefully and given much thought to colours and textures.
Anyway, I said I was going to post an updated budget. Before starting my crowdfunding ventures, I read a lot about how to run a campaign and there are some excellent resources out there. One of the recurrent pieces of advice was that projects can easily become more complex than you anticipate. If you think about it, it makes sense. Doing something for three people is easy; doing something for 30 people requires a bit more planning; doing something for 30,000 people requires staff.
I've had to revise my budget as a result of the overwhelming support.
Feel free to skip the next bit if your eyes glaze over - I just feel full transparency is the way forward!
The original budget of £9,700 looked like this:
The material costs include physical rewards, postage, packaging and printing. They come in at £3575.
Intangible costs include hiring a professional graphic designer, a proof-reader and a technical editor. I will also pay myself a small amount each month to offset time to work on the book. Combined these costs come in at £5250.
The remaining £875 go towards various fees.
The revised budget is now £15,760.
The material costs now come in at £6150.
Intangible costs now come in at £8180 .
The remaining £1430 go towards various fees.
Why the difference? Everything has been scaled that little bit larger. The print run is larger and operational costs are higher (i.e. I need to hire helping hands to do stuff like data entry & filling envelopes).
I am going to be teaching at Leeds Wool Festival this weekend (all my classes are fully booked, sorry). The following weekend is the very exciting Indieburgh Yarn Crawl - I'll probably be popping up somewhere, although I'm not sure about the details yet (I'm taking one day at a time, at the moment!). Then towards the end I'm back at my local yarn shop, The Queen of Purls, before heading out west for Jinty's in Dunoon. Just heads up that I will be teaching less going forward (because I have a book to write, among other things!), so do grab a ticket for a workshop if I'm in your vicinity.