Well, around here these things qualify as exciting! (in a quiet way)

1. Arctic Lace: Knitting Projects and Stories Inspired by Alaska’s Native Knitters by Donna Druchunas is not only on press again (fifth printing) but has just been named a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards. Entries for these awards are limited to books that have a connection to Colorado: author, subject, publisher. The other finalists in the General Nonfiction group have been published by much bigger presses—Westcliffe (independent, also in Colorado), Harvard University Press, and Andrews McMeel Publishing. Interesting mix of topics! (Nomad Press’s Knitting in the Old Way, by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, was a finalist in 2005.)

2. Ethnic Knitting Discovery by Donna Druchunas (she keeps busy): advance reading copies will be here about August 25, and the real print run goes to press early next week, due off-press in mid-September for an October 1 release date. This morning the cover designer sent me her first idea for the spine and back cover: nice! The author photo is a kick. Except for minor tweaking, the first version is the final.

3. Through interlibrary loan, I’ve got temporary access to a book I briefly caught sight of on my friend Deborah Pulliam’s bookshelves when I was visiting her in Maine a few months ago. It’s apparently only available from the U.K. (and, fortunately, through interlibrary loan).

The book has me thinking yet again about Saint Kilda, an island in the Atlantic Ocean that Deb P. and I had talked about visiting some day (there’s a rare-breed sheep connection). Even if I never get
there, it’s fun to learn about the place and the logistics. Sometimes
the weather’s bad and you can get close but not ashore. . . . It would be an interesting mental shift to make a success out of a trip you’d spent years planning where that happened. That’s when it’s time to remember the journey matters more than the arrival.

4. On the left are the Print-A-Grid sheets on which I’ve been doing yet another testing runthrough on one of the worksheets for Ethnic Knitting Discovery.

The book will probably not be perfect (I don’t know of a book that is), but that won’t be because we didn’t check and re-check (and re-check and re-check) everything.

5. Courtesy of a browsing trip to a yarn shop and several mail deliveries, I have a handful of new knitting books to enjoy. A number have been released by publishers as independent as I am, and they are inspiringly well done. As I catch up with the deadline-driven book-publishing aspects of my life, I’ll see if I can get more detailed comments on these books posted. "Enjoy" in this case means not only reading  but pulling out needles to try things. Sometimes when the rest of my life gets to be just too much, like yesterday, it’s nice to just mess with learning to do something with yarn that I haven’t done before.

6. The printer I thought would be printing Ethnic Knitting Discovery turned out not to have the right kind of paper. We need paper that meets the criteria set by the Green Press Initiative. Nomad Press is a member of the initiative and a signatory of the Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use. (There’s a Word file of signatories on the Green Press Initiative site.)

Making sure that a book is printed on the right kind of paper requires a bit of extra attention. Although the printer we planned to use has paper with recycled content, when we asked specific questions we learned that it’s only 15% recycled and it wasn’t clear what the other 85% was.

The Green Press Initiative standards are high. For uncoated paper (not shiny), there has to be a minimum of 30% recycled content and that has to be post-consumer waste (PCW). In addition, the remaining components need to be of specific types.

So the book’s being printed somewhere else. Ah, last-minute shifts.

The second printer’s a smidge more expensive . . . putting a second color on the interior is a lot more expensive than printing it in one color . . . the extra sixteen pages needed to accommodate the material we wanted to include is somewhat more expensive . . . and the cover price was set before all these things happened.

Never a dull moment for the independent publisher’s calculator and supply of optimism.

Green Press Initiative

</p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p>The Impacts of Paper and Solutions for Publishers [2 pages]</p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p> <p>

Participants in the Green Press Initiative make their best efforts to:

  • Eliminate the use of papers that contain fibers from Endangered Forests
  • Maximize the use of paper produced with recycled fiber and paper that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Maximize production efficiency and reduce waste

3 thoughts on “Well, around here these things qualify as exciting! (in a quiet way)”

  1. We talk about St. Kilda’s nearly every year–there’s a biology research project done there, and they look for people willing to live out there! Sounds rough to me, if interesting… I have spun a Hebridean fleece and have the yarn waiting for me to figure out what to do with it! Congrats to you and Donna about the award, and as usual, I wish you all good things with the new book. 🙂

  2. It’s interesting to discover which (rare) people know and talk about Saint Kilda–! Yes, it would be an exceptional place for biology research. Also Shetland. I have a lovely book called A Naturalist’s Shetland. People used to live on Saint Kilda (4000 years of traces); final community members evacuated in 1930. It’s now National Trust of Scotland, with a rocket tracking station (and army detachment, thus electricity and the like). It’s 50 miles from the Outer Hebrides, and a few people have windsurfed and canoed to get there. It’s 8 hours by boat from the Outer Isles, or 22 to 48 hours, depending on route and weather, from Oban. This all according to my Colin Baxter Island Guide to Saint Kilda. I like to canoe, but I like river canoeing. When paddling, I like to see the shore, preferably on both sides. Same source: “It is unusual to reach St Kilda after a completely smooth crossing; practically unique to accomplish both outward and return journeys without hitting a rough spell.” I think I’ll practice with shorter jaunts to somewhere!

  3. Yes, after reading about the relatively primitive accommodations on-island, the trip to get there, the isolation and the kind of research one is collecting, I get a little less enthusiastic about St. Kilda’s each year. The biologist husband is still game enough to keep forwarding me the advertisement, and we still talk about it. It sounds fabulously wild, beautiful, and a little scary!

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