Kickstart History on Two Needles

Well, it’s live.  I’m committed.  I’m asking folks for money, and that means I WILL have a book to produce for them!

I’m KICKSTARTING History on Two Needles!


It’s certain taken me long enough!

When I think that I produced 3 knitting books in 2 years (Twist & Loop, Romantic Hand Knits & Men Who Knit) and that it’s taken me 4 years to get this one to the point it’s at now – well, it’s worthy of consideration.

But first, a word from my favorite online astrologer, Rick Levine, which sort of sums up how I’m feeling today.

Virgo’s Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

Saturday, May 26, 2012 – Perhaps a practical idea starts as a flash in a dream or even as a persistent daydream. Maybe something catches in the diaphanous web of your imagination, making you feel as if you are recovering a lost treasure from unknown realms.

Normally, you are very logical, yet now it’s wise to set aside your need for rationality. Keep open to any messages that come from your subconscious, even if they aren’t understandable right away.

History on Two Needles began long ago, as a class assignment in grad school.  The object was to take a period painting and design a piece of modern dress off of it. It was great fun, and something I’d kicked around once I moved back to hand knit design as a career in 2000.

But I didn’t actually start putting together research for the book until late 2006, when we were in the process of moving to Minnesota.

We all know what happened that first year in St. Paul – just getting by, just getting my current assignments and teaching engagements fulfilled (without bursting into tears) was my goal, and I set HoTN aside for a bit.

Each time I returned to it (and I never really let it go) it was with a sense of guilt that I was taking so long.

One of the great lessons of this process has been that guilt is, indeed, a useless emotion.  Or, rather, holding ONTO guilt is useless.

Guilt can be used like a shove out of a snowbank, but it’s as useless to cling to guilt as it is to try to push a car down a highway.

I’ve spent a lot of time pushing this car.  Obviously what was needed was a mechanic with a tow truck to help me fix what was holding me up.  Enter Cooperative Press (run by my good friend Shannon Okey, a force of nature)  CP will be publishing History on Two Needles, and as an author it’s an exciting proposition because it’s as close to self-publishing as I can get with the hand-holding that only a publisher can provide.

A book like this can be expensive to produce, which was one of the things holding me back.  Some museums have been gracious enough to allow the use of their work for a credit line or a very small fee.  I’ve also found a number of the images I want to use on pay-for-image sites, taken at a gallery (with permission) by gifted amateurs who are willing to license their work for a small fee.

I, myself, have been fortunate enough to have been able to visit some sites where I was able to photograph statues & carvings.

But some museums and galleries charge heftier fees to use research materials, and of course these happen to be among the most important images in the book.

Then there’s color printing (which is expensive) and advertising (also pricey) which has to be considered.  The entire financial burden can’t fall to CP – they’re a startup, too!

Which is why I’m KICKSTARTING the project!

With most excellent tech editor Kate Atherley (Wise Hilda) I’m making sense of the computerized chicken scratchings that make up most of the patterns and worksheets.  Thankfully I’ve kept pretty good records of every step I’ve taken, but I’ve also gone through several computer upgrades in the past 4 years.

It’s astounding how many hours I spend opening files that are in the ‘wrong format’.  I’ve gone through three separate writing/book layout software applications in the course of this – not because I didn’t like any of them, but because it’s taken so long that my apps keep going obsolete!  This is one of the unanticipated consequences of taking so danged long to get this book finished!

This is going to be a hard few months, pushing through and getting this thing published in time to get into stores (and hands, and onto ipads & kindles & onto knitting needles!) before Christmas!  But I work well under a deadline, and I’m motivated to get this thing done!

After all, I already have so many ideas for HoTN II…

2 thoughts on “Kickstart History on Two Needles

  1. I’m so excited to see HTN on Kickstarter! I hope this is just the kickstart you need to get this done this year – I’d love to be educated and cover some holiday gift needs all at the same time.

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