This Thing of Paper is a knitting book with ten patterns and accompanying essays. I have chosen to do this book as a Kickstarter because I want to produce a quality book; a book that is as beautiful to hold and read as the patterns will be to knit and wear.
The book takes its inspiration from Johannes Gutenberg and the invention of the printing press.
I have long been fascinated by how one invention could change the course of history. Printing using moveable type meant that books changed from being rare objects reserved for the elite to something ordinary people could access. Knowledge and information could spread much faster to far more people than previously. The move from hand-made to machine-made holds so many stories.
Manuscripts and early printed books also hold great visual appeal. I have worked extensively with primary sources ranging from 14th century illuminated manuscripts to 16th century embroidery manuals. This Thing of Paper has a defined colour palette and design vocabulary derived from my research. The whole book is steeped in one woman's love of vellum, marginalia, and woodcuts.
All the patterns inside This Thing of Paper form parts of a book, both figuratively and literally. They are divided into three distinct stories:
Story 1: Manuscript. The story of handmade manuscripts and the people who worked on making them. This story features one garment and two accessories.
Story 2: Invention. The story of the period in which Johannes Gutenberg transformed book production. This story features one garment and three accessories.
Story 3: Printed. The story of when printed matter became more commonplace and helped spread information across Europe. This story features one garment and two accessories.
The three garments will come in seven sizes, whilst the accessories will come in two or more. All patterns cater to a range of difficulties. Unfamiliar techniques will be explained. All patterns (bar one lace project) will be both charted and written out.
The book will also contain essays, hand-drawn schematics and illustrations.
I am a big fan of transparency, so here is the breakdown of numbers.
This Thing of Paper has been costed at £9,700. This number includes everything from hiring professional graphic designers and proof-readers to high-quality printing, rewards and postage.
The material costs include physical rewards, postage, packaging and printing. They come in at £3575.
Intangible costs include professional graphic design, proof-reading and tech-editing. I will pay myself a small amount each month to offset time to work on the book. Combined these costs come in at £5250.
The remaining £875 go towards fees associated with the project.
Crowdfunding enables me to make This Thing of Paper the way I want it to be made. When I first costed the book I thought it would have to become one of those projects I’d work on when I had small pockets of time and maybe, just maybe, it’d see the light sometime next decade.
However, crowdfunding means more than just financing a book project; it is also about feeling part of a loving, supportive and cheerleading knitting/book community.
Pledges mean I will be working with the knowledge that I am not alone – indeed, I would have people backing me and supporting me all throughout the journey. That means a lot to me.
Don't Call This a Stretch Goal, But ..
The initial goal was reached within 25(!) hours. In light of the response, I have had to adjust my budget: the print run will be larger and some things will be a bit more complex – most of the extra funds already raised will be put towards the making and distribution of my book less complicated.
While I am not going to add any extra content to This Thing of Paper (it is a complete work as it stands), there are still things that would be really awesome.
The first stretch goal was £15,500 and was met!
The second stretch goal was 16,500 and was met!
I love that with your help and enthusiasm we are now throwing two book launch parties – one in Central Scotland and one in London. If you are a £30+ pledger, you will receive an invitation to either (and if you cannot make it, we are hosting a Periscope video feed).
With the first two stretch goals achieved I am now able to:
- shoot photos on location
- improve the quality of the paper
- get sample knitters onboard to help me make the items in the book
Thank you so, so much!
.. The Final Stretch Goal - one week to go!
So, the final stretch goal is £19,400 – or reaching 200% of initial target, if you like. The extra funds will enable me to do the following:
- apply to be a vendor at UK knitting shows (come & meet me! see the samples in real life!)
- get a second photographer onboard
- do a slightly larger print run
In return, I am going to add two This Thing of Paper book plates to each £30+ pledge – they will feature artwork designed especially for This Thing of Paper. I will also be doing a trunk show/Q&A in Manchester, UK – again with a Periscope video feed. This trunk show/Q&A will be slightly different from a book launch party, but still totally awesome.
Can we make this happen? I hope so!
Risks and challenges
The book is scheduled for publication in April 2017 – I know from experience working both on my own and on many collaborations how long knitting publications take to make. Instead of making rash promises, I am working to a realistic timeline – especially considering I will still be teaching throughout the period.
My previous experiences within the knitting industry have also taught me that I cannot do a project like that on my own. I need a team to support me, so I have time to create the content that is so central to my project. I have chosen to assemble a small team of professionals to help me out with layout/graphic design, proof-reading, technical editing, and photography. I need your help to pay these wonderful people, so the book can become a beautiful reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)