…I think y’all know that I write a bi-weekly newsletter for Cast-on Cottage (my LYS). Bonny asked me to share a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes leading up to publication. Today was a Newsletter Thursday… so here you go (and if you don’t subscribe – here’s what you missed)!
|the pile of yarn on Tuesday morning|
I meet with Theresa, the shop owner, every couple of months to learn about new lines, new yarns, trunk shows, and the “big” things happening at the shop. Our last meeting was in early September and we mapped out newsletters through November. Thinking the new Swans Island All American Sport would be arriving in late October, we planned today’s newsletter to announce it.
I’ve been writing these newsletters since May 2014 (here’s the first one) and … things have evolved a bit! Sara helped me develop a style when she was here last June. Fonts and Colors make a huge difference. When we started, it was all about the “project”. Now, though, the “off week” letters (which the shop’s manager publishes) do most of that. My letters are focused around yarn, with just enough pattern thrown in to get people excited about that yarn. I still work with the same fonts and colors Sara helped me find, but now I spend most of my time on research…and photos.
When Swans Island announced the yarn and pattern collection (late Spring?) I immediately wanted to knit the Ingrid Pullover. I love pullovers and I really wanted to learn two-handed fair isle. I was delighted when Theresa decided to order the yarn…in all 36 colors. But when the yarn arrived last month, I was up to my eyeballs in Shibui and didn’t really look at it. Until Monday when I snapped this photo with my phone.
|the sport is on the right – 36 colors fill up the bins!|
I pulled a HUGE bag of yarn (not all 36 colors, but at least 24) and brought it home to photograph. Tuesday morning, I dumped the bag onto my bed – my bedroom gets pretty good light even when it’s not nice outside (and it’s been not nice outside for days here). and just looked at it. No sun on Tuesday (not to mention no time 🙂 so on Wednesday morning I was out front taking photos. Four of my photos made it to the newsletter; I took over 50.
|for the opening – love the focus on the label…the rest of the photos were quick once I got this one|
My “formula” is pretty photos + a quotation + a few words + a close-up closing. I sketch out the photos I want to go along with the project suggestions. I really wanted to include some suggested colorways for one of the projects, but I couldn’t get the photos just right. So in the end, I didn’t include that in the newsletter.
|from this morning’s (failed) attempt to photograph colorways…again in my bedroom|
I chose the best photos – opening, yarn (3) and closing – and started editing. I don’t really do much with the actual yarn photos, but grabbing pattern images, finding a good quotation, matching colors … it still takes an hour or two.
|my kitchen counter close to publication time|
Once I have the images done, I start the newsletter. If I’ve done the images well, the words come easily and the actual letter takes less than an hour to write and edit. When I’m pleased with the final draft, I send it to Theresa for a last review. When she says OK, I publish. That happened today at 1:45. Which gave me just enough time to clean up this mess before I left for the knitting club at the nursing home.
I’ve mentioned here before that one of the hazards of this whole newsletter gig is what it does to my queue! This week was no exception. My friend Pat has had her eye on the Fiona Coat. She was planning to buy the yarn and knit it for her “light winter coat” in December and January. I really wasn’t interested in knitting a “stockinette blanket with sleeves” … until I saw this coat
|yep, from Nordstrom…I don’t even know how much it costs|
and then I was obsessed. a flurry of texts and an in-person consultation yesterday…and I now have the yarn for my very next project.
Pat and another friend also bought their yarn yesterday. We’re going to have a knit-along! of course Pat has already swatched…me…not so much, but I have wound a ball of yarn.
|noting how weird lighting can be with yarn… this is the lightest color shown in the photo above|
If you’re here, thank you for reading! I hope you found this interesting…and I’d be happy to answer questions. especially if there are enough to prompt a follow-up blog post!