Why, thank you for all your lovely birthday messages! I had a most wonderful day, a fantastic evening and lots of lovely birthday bootie. I probably should share photos of said bootie but I've been a bit of a slacker on that front. Since we've now mostly recovered from the gastric flu I've had my head down, catching up on work (except of course for my birthday) and doing anything other than layout/admin working, looking after Aran and attempting to sleep just hasn't happened.
And honestly? It really wasn't the big deal I was all worried about. If I try and get my head round the whole 'you've survived to the age of 40' thing my head gets rather messy, so it's best not to think about that and just get on with what needs to be done. Just don't call me middle aged, K?
And now to tell you about one of the big projects that's been taking up an awful lot of time - the 3rd edition of Going Straight.
And now it's done! The files have gone off to ArbourHouse so those waiting for the print edition won't have to wait much longer. There will need to be a slight price increase I'm afraid, as the cost of printing has gone up and my publisher needs to cover their costs, and maintain a manageable wholesale price for those shops waiting to stock the book. To keep things in perspective, there will be a slight increase on the cost of the PDF too, and you've a couple of weeks heads up on that.
Most of the changes are quite subtle, really. A lot of time was spent tidying up the spacing and the proportions of the page, and these sorts of changes often go unnoticed. One thing I wanted to do was to provide more details on the main photo pages, and I had fun working on ways of keeping the extra info in style with the book:
The biggest change though has been to the charts.
When I first started this book, I knew little of creating charts, and bought myself a software to do the job. Since then, I've learnt much, much more and have developed my own style for presenting them. There have been many discussions over the last few years on this blog and with fellow designers and with tech editors about style and layout, and all this knowledge has now been put to good use inside Going Straight.
Those of you familiar with the charts in Twisted Woolly Toppers or my single patterns will recognise the charting style. The lines and symbols are much more crisp and therefore easier to read because they've been produced as scalable vectors, rather than imported as image files. This also makes for a smaller overall document file size too, so the download time on the PDF has improved.
Most importantly though, the chart style is one that shows the front of the knitting. The old style GS charts were of the European format where each line is an independent set of instructions (and although many may not agree with this method of charting, it's a style very much in use - the newly published Italian stitch dictionary I picked up the other day uses this exact style of charting)
The symbols used are now consistent with my other books and patterns, creating a more uniform feel to my work. Repeats have been used to help save on space which was always an issue with this book, and many of the charts are now bigger than they were before.
One of the things I wanted to do with this edition was to save some space, knowing that the cost of printing had gone up. I have shaved a few pages off the total count from the previous edition but not enough to make a difference to the unit cost I'm afraid. I could have made the charts much smaller to save even further on space which would have meant a cheaper book, or even just chart the stitch pattern repeats rather than the full charts each pattern and size, but I didn't want to compromise any more than I had to on chart readability and accessability. It's always hard trying to balance space to content, especially with a book this size, and although I haven't achieved a cheaper book, I have achieved a much improved one, and I think you will agree it is worth it.
On top of all that, there have been some minor improvements to a few patterns, and the whole lot has been thoroughly tech edited again. Heather Murray did the editing this time, and I felt it was important for someone who hasn't worked on the book before to review it. A fresh perspective and pair of eyes are often needed on an older, familiar work. Also, I felt her style of editing would help me reconnect with the patterns, to get to understand them all over again, which worked a treat. I now feel more in touch with this book than I have for a long time!
I will of course let you know when the print edition is ready, and those wanting the digital version can now grab yourself the 3rd edition! If you purchased the digital book previously through Ravelry, I've prepared some tutorials that help with the retrieval of pattern/book updates, and they can be found on the new PDF help page. And if you purchased an older version of the digital book, pre-Ravelry, and would like an updated digital copy then please forward your purchase/PayPal details on to me and I can gift you a link through Ravelry.
I hope you like the new edition!
Oh, and what perfect timing! Did you see my article published in this months edition of The Knitter? A comprehensive guide to Kitchener stitch, the core technique in Going Straight! It is my first item published with them, and I have to say, I've really enjoyed working with them (and yes, there are things planned for the future)
ETA/ An update notice has gone out to anyone who has purchased the digital book since I switched the service to Ravelry. Initially I wasn't going to send an update as it isn't essential, and the update notice emails can cause confusion, and in turn they create more work. Unfortunately I've heard from customers to say the update tabs aren't working (I'm not sure, maybe it's a Ravelry glitch?) so sending out a generic notice should save further headaches. You only now need to contact me for a fresh link if you haven't already received the update notice email. Thanks!