The Project has a face! (that is, a cover)

Finally, The Project's book aspect has a face—which is to say, a cover. There may be minor changes, but what you see here has run the primary gauntlet of approvals and revisions, and I've been given permission to share it:


The book is due out in May 2011. The stage it is currently at is called "first pages," which is a rough layout of the entire work. We're working on callouts and captions; on cutting bits of text (ideally without cutting any actual information) to fit some parts of the book within the design constraints; and on writing other pieces to fill in gaps (where there's open space tempting us to include supplementary information). Yes, we have been working on this relatively short phase of the project since October 22. Even this is not a small job.

We all—Carol and I and the folks at Storey—have a couple of major organizational issues to resolve to eliminate conflicts between the design concept (which is stunningly beautiful) and the way the information needs to be presented (i.e., between the book's visual and textual components). But we are getting very, very close to having a book.

It's scheduled to go to the printer in January.

Last night, I shipped pages i through 217 of this iteration back to the publisher. By the end of the evening, I had completed through page 328. Pages 218 through 328 felt almost ready to go before I had to make up the FedEx box, but I decided to lower my stress levels and not try to push through to 328 in time to get that piece into the shipment; there is plenty for everyone at Storey to work on for a while in the box I sent.

It was a good decision. I wasn't done with the "almost" parts until nearly 8 p.m. (The last FedEx pickup was at 5:15.) Sometimes age brings with it small amounts of wisdom ("been there, done that, maybe I'll skip the t-shirt this time").

Co-author Carol Ekarius and I are still processing pages 329 to the end, which is roughly page 438, although some of those final pages will hold the index and other back matter, and therefore we don't have to deal with them now.


On another topic, yesterday morning I received notification that the U.K. Knit Camp Tutors' Fund had transferred to my bank account enough money to cover the cost of my airfare to the U.K. in August. The expense has been sitting on my credit card, a situation I share with most of the other tutors.

What an amazing, generous, heart-warming set of actions on the parts of many people the fund represents. All of the tutors in the group will be having their travel costs covered. I am very grateful, and would like to thank everyone who has participated in helping with this effort, either by contributing directly or by sending good thoughts.

Many, many thanks.


And now I'm teaching in Michigan soon (not the same classes that I taught in Scotland) and I have so many ideas that my head is bursting with them, but they're not yet organized enough to present to the folks who will be attending. Plus the rest of the caption-writing will be back on my desk before I know it, undoubtedly before I leave, and again I'll need to get to that task so we don't hold up anyone else's work flow and prevent the book from going to press on time. So I'd better get back to work.

I just had to take a break and share the several types of good news.


30 thoughts on “The Project has a face! (that is, a cover)”

  1. I like the cover. They managed to cram a whole lot into it. Gives a good feel of what might be inside…I know, I hopelessly still judge books by their covers. At least initially.

  2. I can hear some of the tension release out of your shoulders from here. 🙂

    My two weeks at Ragdale (with excursions to Chicago) were great: a chance to knit uninterrupted, finishing my project early and creating some new work that I hadn’t even thought of before I got there.

    You could use a stretch like that at some point, I bet….

  3. What a beautiful cover!! Can’t wait ’til this book comes out. The little teasers of your blog reminds me of peeking at the ultrasounds before the baby is born.

    I’m one of the students in your Michigan class. WooHoo! Spent part of today over hauling my wheels for winter and deciding which one to bring for the workshop.

  4. Nice to have some good news – all the way round. Great looking cover. Nice to have a publication date to share with people. 🙂


  5. Covers are really important. They're like a mini-poster for the book. In many cases, that's all people see before they decide whether they want it or not; at the very least, it's what will make them pick it up and check out the insides (or the flap copy). 

    Valerie, thanks for letting me know that you'll be in the Michigan class. It's a WHOLE lot easier for me to prep for a class when I have a sense that there will be specific people there, instead of just a blur. We'll have fun. Bring questions. I might know the answer, and if I don't I probably know whether the answer can be found and where to start hunting for it. I love questions.

    Linda, you're right. I could use something like Ragdale after the book goes to press (and I'm "off duty"). I'm going to need to re-set my brain (while maintaining continuity as well).

  6. Great cover! It’s appealing and detailed without seeming crowded. As a mini-poster, it definitely works for me. And great news about your travel reimbursement from the knit camp tutors fund. That’s just such a relief. Now remember to breathe as you continue to go through those pages, and as you prepare for the Michigan excursion. Let those shoulders relax!

  7. What an accomplishment. The cover is lovely.

    I looked but couldn’t a schedule of your classes/workshops here. Maybe you could post one?

  8. I’m working on breathing, Susan, and relaxing my shoulders. I went and got a desperation shoulder massage last week. It was way overdue, and it helped.

    et, I don’t teach often enough to have made it useful to maintain a schedule of classes or workshops. For the past twenty years, I’ve taught about once every year or two–too busy making magazines and books (almost all written by other people). My teaching for 2010/2011 is at an all-time high!

    I’ll be at The Spinning Loft in Michigan this month; and at the Conference of Northern California Handweavers next May. There’s also been some rumbling about having me at SOAR in 2011, too, although nothing firm there yet.

    And I taught at UK Knit Camp this past August, and at Sock Summit in August 2009.

  9. Fred, sure, now’s a good time to tell me that there’s a spelling mistake. There’s always a spelling mistake. On the blog, they happen because I’m typing too fast and haven’t put my glasses on. In books, they happen because gremlins sneak in and add them after everything’s been proofread ten times.

  10. Hi, I am a weaver in the US Southeast. Ruth Elleson passed on a “tweet” about your book. I am “following” you and would love it if you’d “drop in” to my website. It is a tad under-tended at the moment since I have been recovering from FOUR back-surgeries, so mostly have been knitting Xmas gifts for the past three months!

  11. Oops, no, it was Laura Fry who re-tweeted! My friend Ruth “retweets” so often that I guess I associate them with her..not quite awake yet!!
    Great dogs! I have three little guys…a terrier mix, an elderly Chi and a mostly-Papillon mix. Frankly I think he’s NOT a mix, but, given his small size, it’s entirely possible that he has a little chihuahua in his DNA. All rescues.

  12. Knitting is definitely more portable than weaving, especially of the type you do, Nancy Lea! Lovely stuff. Hope you heal quickly. Looks like the dogs will help a lot.

    My loom (Glimakra) has been set up at a friend's house for a while. I'm so glad it's being used. All my available space is stuffed with boxes of fiber. Not to mention my time <wry grin>.

  13. HURRAY! WONDERFUL! GREAT! Love the cover color. The teaching sounds good, everything sounds great… and yes, you really really need a break when this is over. If you’re looking for a spot to visit for get away, I have a nice guestroom…with highspeed internet. 🙂 Direct flights from Denver to Winnipeg, I’ve heard. Just saying…

    Wow. All such good news!

  14. Mmm. Can’t wait. I have total confidence in your fiber anything. It will simply be the best and cause me to buy many stupid things I don’t need.

  15. I meant that I would succumb to more and different fleeces, of course. You do get foot in mouth disease from the fleeces as well.

  16. Anna, instead of "many stupid things I don't need," how about . . . many lovely things that will enhance your appreciation for life–! . . . 

    One at a time. Savor.

    That's what I'm looking forward to!

    I have cycled out of here the extra fiber, even though it's been extremely tempting to keep it. I know that I won't have time to process it all, and I have helpers on The Project who can use it now.

  17. How sensible of you! I don’t go to so many shows any more because I can’t resist temptation, so I concentrate on teaching more people to spin and felt.

  18. I’ve just seen inside this book on ISSUU, and I can’t believe we’re getting such a great book for the money! I’ve pre-ordered.

    I see that Gromark is in the contents … a group of us on Ravelry are trying to track down some Gromark fleece to try. Is there any chance that you could give us a contact? We’re getting nowhere with google etc.

    Many thanks,


  19. Yeah, Lou, I'm really pleased at the pricing for the book! It's going to be huge and reasonable. I'd love to see it in a lot of people's hands. It's actually going to be even prettier and even more full of cool information than the ISSUU sample indicates. Yes, those are real spreads. But they *don't* include any of the background information, nifty stories, really complex breeds that take multiple pages to talk about and show. . . .

    Gromark *is* in the contents, and thanks to a good friend we did have sample locks to photograph, but no, we didn't manage to obtain spinnable samples of that breed (a very rare case). We thought we had a line on a source, but the fiber never arrived. Let me know if *you* find some!

    The global marketplace has a tremendous impact on the populations of sheep, and breeds can vanish. We couldn't find evidence of flocks for several breeds that have been included in previous wool books; they appear to be extinct now. (Let us know, too, if you find Panama, Elliottdale, or Tukidale.)

    We did get our hands on a number of breeds that haven't been shown elsewhere, that we know of! 

    Because of shifts like these, the book won't be perfect (if we waited for that, it would never be done), but it's going to be a comprehensive snapshot of the wools reasonably available to English-speaking fiber folk at one point in time. We had to limit to "reasonably available" and "English-speaking" also because of time and space . . . we do get into a few breeds from Scandinavia, but only hint at what's in continental Europe, and definitely couldn't manage, say, China and India with any hope of finishing. 

    We do hope the book will help create awareness of, and markets for, some breeds with deep history and unusual, extremely valuable fibers . . . so we'll continue to have access to them!

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