I'm so absolutely excited to tell you that my very first, self-published pattern book is here!!!!! Yayyyyy!!!!
Title- Sleepy Eyes Knits: Dreamscape
Type- Pattern book containing 12 patterns (6 classics, 6 brand new)
Pages- 60 pages
Binding- Spiral bound (wire-o)
Titles of the new patterns:
Spellbound (a knitted choker in which to add vintage jewelry to)
Immortal (an oversized, lace, rectangular stole in worsted weight)
Persephone (a very feminine lace beret)
Chimera (a flower accent to add to your knitted items)
Soleil (a lace shoulder wrap)
Lena (a lacy beanie hat)
I've tried to keep my style similar to the designs I've already created - mostly accessories, simple lace, with each project using (usually) one 1 skein or so of yarn for the project and taking advantage of high quality, luxury yarns. I love being able to knit items that are not only interesting and relatively quick to knit, but that I enjoy wearing and feeling against my skin. That is what I keep in mind when I am designing something new.
There are several wonderful features to this book that I'd like to share and think you will enjoy, too.
1. Theme - The idea of the book is this: I fall asleep one night reading one of my victorian/gothic novels (think Victoria Holt or Wilkie Collins) and dream about knitwear. I find myself wandering gardens and cemeteries in a ghostly form, later bringing to life the designs I've seen in my dreams.
2. Size and Spiral Binding - I decided to make this a small book (5.5" x 8.5") so that a knitter can easily stick it in her/his bag and take it along, without it taking up too much room or being too heavy. The spiral binding is really nice because it will keep the book open to the exact page that you want. I originally planned on having it in perfect-bound form, but you just couldn't see the very inside parts of the pages without cracking the spine. Though this binding may make the book look less "professional", it is infinitely more practical.
3. Photos - The photos were all taken my husband or I (half and half, I think), but the photos were all altered by my husband, Ian, who is amazing. He took each of the photos and transformed them into an "antique" looking picture, with the knitting object in FULL COLOR and the rest of the picture in black and white or sepia. The effect is amazing and I love how each of the photos turned out. All of the photos of me have me in "ghost form" because I am the one dreaming - and the rest of the pictures of the other models are just antiqued. The pages of the book that do not have photos on them are on a parchment-looking paper, designed to look very old and worn (See above sample page). This is my favorite aspect of the book. (I collect antique books).
(You may notice that the picture above features the beautiful Jackie of the Hello Jackie blog. This is my favorite photo in the book.)
4. Spinner-Friendly - Since this book is designed to be "spinner friendly", I've included ply, fiber content, weight and also wraps per inch (wpi). This way, you are able to find something similar in your handspun stash or regular yarn stash if you didn't want to use the particular yarn that I did.
5. Pricing - I had an savvy idea about pricing for this book. I'm planning on having it available as a pdf, as well as a hard copy. (Working on that at the moment). So, there will be 4 prices:
-Book only ($14.00)
-Book and PDF ($20.00)
-PDF only ($7.00)
-PDF for self & gift for a friend ($10.00)
The 4th option (PDF for self & gift for a friend) is something that I've been thinking about for a while. I've always felt that, when buying a pdf as a gift for someone, that it's very, very tempting to also print out that pdf for yourself (or keep a copy of it) before sending it to a friend. Has anyone else felt that way? But, it seems like paying double the price for a pdf is a bit too much if only one person is buying it. Does this make sense? (Maybe I'm just crazy). So, what I'm going to do is to make a special price if you are buying a pdf for a gift and one for yourself at the same time. It will be less than 2 pdfs and only a little more than 1. That way, the person buying the pdf won't be tempted to just buy 1 and take it for herself and THEN give the same one to a friend. Less temptation, Less guilt, Better for me.
At this point, I'm not totally set on the prices, but this is a guideline for now.
There are a few factors that some knitters might have an issue with and I'm going to go over them here so that people can try to understand why I organized the book the way I did.
1. Charts - there are charts for almost every pattern, but some of the patterns were only 2 rows of actual "pattern" and the rest was simply knitting or purling, so those charts weren't included. I wanted to put the charts on their individual pattern pages, but it made the book much, much longer and I had to keep my printing cost down. Instead of having an extra 12 pages, I was able to put all the charts on only 3 pages, which made the cost of printing much more manageable for me. If I do another edition of the book and I have more funds at that time, I will add the charts to the pattern pages.
2. Yarns - again, another factor that I was influenced by cost. I listed the general yarn details in the pattern itself and then all of the details in the back under "Yarn Information". This way, I could make the patterns smaller and use only 1 page for the specific yarn information.
3. How to Knit - this book isn't a "how to knit" book. I figure that there are many wonderful books out there that explain this information much better than I can. This is a just collection of patterns that I designed- one that I hope knitters will enjoy and find interesting.
I'm also thrilled to announce 4 (so far) Gina House/Sleepy Eyes Knits trunk shows/book signings in the New England area. (I will update these as the dates get closer)
December 5th and 6th, 2009
Sat (10-4 pm, 1:30-3:00 pm Amanda Hat Class) and Sun (11-3 pm)
January 16th, 2010
Sat 12- 4 pm
The Knitting Studio
January 23rd, 2010
Saturday 1- 4 pm
The Yarn Sellar
February 6th, 2010
Saturday (time to be announced soon)
At each of the shows, I will be showing samples of each of my knitted designs, selling/signing copies of my new book, signing copies of "The Joy of Sox" and also giving out "I Knit and Amanda Hat!" pencils to each knitter who shows me the Amanda Hat they knit. (Picture is fine, too) I'm hoping to spend time sitting and knitting with everyone who comes to visit the store, too. And, most definitely, shopping!! ; )
If you're on Ravelry, check out the SleepyHeads group and click on the events that you'll be able to come to. Right now, only the Fresh Purls event is up, but I'll be adding more very soon.
I hope you will be able to join me at one (or more!) of these events - I'd love to meet you!! If you can spread the word about the trunk shows and my book, I'd be very, very grateful ; )
Would love to know what you think about this book preview...
P.S. I'm trying to work out the details for selling the book at this point. It will either be available on my blog, Ravelry or my etsy shop (talking to them now about if that's something I can do) or a combination of these.