It’s been quiet around here in terms of blog posts, but not because it’s been quiet around here in terms of activity.
- Knitting in the Old Way, by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, is just coming off press again in the paperback edition (there are plenty of hardcovers in stock, but in paper it’s 42 copies backordered).
- Ethnic Knitting Discovery, by Donna Druchunas, is just going back on press (322 copies in stock, which is about three weeks’ supply and there’s a knit-along starting in January that already has almost 300 participants, and I’m not sure they all have their books yet . . . I don’t want anyone to miss out!).
- I’m closely watching the stock numbers for Priscilla’s Spinning in the Old Way, which will need to go back on press shortly after the first of the year (309 copies in stock, which might be okay until spring shearing season starts, or we might need books just before then).
Because we print in North America, there’s about a four-week turnaround on new print runs.
Because publishing is not a get-rich-quick business, we have to plan our print runs to match our cash flow: half the cost of book A’s run one month, the second half of A plus the first half of book B’s run the next month, and so on, hoping that we can alternate between books that are more and less expensive (check the cover prices: lower price = we can print less expensively; higher price = costs us more to print) and that we can cover other expenses at the same time that we’re paying printers.
Print bills require major planning. They have taught me about cash flow and about my tolerance for risk, which is higher than I would have suspected . . . at least when I’m doing something I believe in.
Anyway, I’ve been juggling all that.
Editing and layout and planning
And I’ve been working on the first major pass of editing and layout for next fall’s book, which is coming along really well. I have a deadline coming for it on January 9: I need to have the cover design, page count, price, and marketing copy done. I’m headed toward getting the page count settled. That job’s going well, but has required No Blog-Writing Distractions disciplined effort.
Reading and knitting
I’m also reading and knitting some.
That’s the annual print edition of Black Purl Magazine, a publication that is usually available online. It’s slim (28 pages plus covers), nicely designed and produced, and interesting. There’s a great article on crochet artist Xenobia Bailey, several projects (including some crochet and some felting), a piece on pricing and selling your work, and one on charity knitting.
If you haven’t yet discovered Black Purl, "the online magazine for needlecrafters featuring ethnic-inspired stitches and stories," I suggest that you do, either as a survival technique for the holidays or a recovery technique for just after them. Here’s what editor L’Tanya Durante says: "Although the word purl is a
knitting term, Black Purl is not just for knitters nor is it just for
people of color. If you share our passion, it’s for you! In fact, black
pearls are not really black, but multi-colored—diverse like our
community; diverse like our magazine."
One of the things I like best about Black Purl is that it’s got different voices, and they haven’t been homogenized out, as so often happens. Black Purl is seasoned with with sass and a bit of magic. These components aren’t overwhelming, but they’re there.
Behind the copy of Black Purl is the sweater I’m knitting as a trade for acupuncture treatments. It’s Crystal Palace cotton chenille. It’s mostly stockinette (a V-neck cardigan is in the offing) that I’m making more interesting for myself by working Korsnas-style crochet bands at the edges. (There’s info on Korsnas-style garments in Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ Knitting in the Old Way new edition, and Carol Rhoades has written articles and teaches classes on Korsnas techniques, one of which I took at the Nordic Heritage Museum in October. . . . For the chenille sweater, I’m working only with the structure ideas, not the color traditions.) The sleeves are done and that’s the body (front, back, front) all curlicued on one long circular needle in the foreground of the photo.
I’ve also read a book that I like enormously: Here If You Need Me, by Kate Braestrup. It’s exceptionally well written and thought out. I had to return the library’s copy before I got its snapshot. Here’s an excerpt. As soon as it’s out in paper (next year, likely), I plan to have my own copy.
And I’ve read a couple of young adult novels: The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau (read on the recommendation of a friend I haven’t met in person yet—thanks!), and Larklight, by Philip Reeve, which takes a Victorian approach to fantasy. It’s impossible, but it works. (Larklight has a fancy flash site that I didn’t link to. Although it’s probably very cool, I don’t have much patience for fancy flash sites.)
Here’s what our recently re-painted house looks like in the snow . . . it’s nice not to worry about the siding suffering serious damage this winter due to a lack of paint, which has been a risk for several years:
We chose the colors in part so they’d look cheerful in the snow. Based on this recent test, I think they do.
And here’s what our 20.5-year-old cat looks like on a winter day (the afghan, a gift from a high school friend, is even older than the cat . . . obvious to knitters, this is the back side of it . . . obvious to most people, this is the back side of the cat, too):
Stay warm. . . . Knitting helps. . . .