Posted by: L | August 10, 2006

Retreat acceptance and an extraordinary day

Hi Leslie-

Congratulations- you have been accepted into the Visionary Retreat for January,
2007. Attached is a letter giving more details . . . please read carefully.

I like your book idea, which seems to fill a
missing niche, and believe that you have the skills to be very successful . . .
I look forward to meeting you and being present as the book unfurls itself
during our week together.



How’s that for a closing
day email! It truly has been an extraordinary day. A day marked by
two positive pieces of news (the above being one) and one heartbreaking one. It
traveled in three’s today and each was a reminder in it’s own way that life
really is a gift and one shouldn’t take it for granted. Enough on the

The Q&A. I’ve held back the bulk of answer #1 for creative

1. Describe your book idea,
and identify those elements which will earn your book a home on serious
knitters’ bookshelves for years to come. If there are similar books on the
market, explain how yours will distinguish it. 

Taking the Next Step: The genesis of this book is
to empower and inspire intermediate to advanced knitters that are ready to
tackle designing their own projects or for those intermediate/advanced
knitters/designers with a basic understanding of knitwear design. 

2. What is likely to be your greatest challenge in
self-publishing (writing, editing, pattern-writing, self-discipline, computer
skills, book design, time, money, delegating, etc.) and how might you manage

It’s always easier to list
one’s strengths vs. challenges isn’t it? So I’ll start with what I know I’m
comfortable with. Budget/finance, writing, editing, pattern-writing,
creativity, dealing with computers and a healthy does of self discipline. What are my weaknesses/challenges?

  • Demystifying and understanding the environment of the self-publishing/publishing  business
  • Layout and design
  • Commitment of time
  • Knitting final garments for photo layout
  • Keeping myself open to new ideas, suggestions and criticisms to improve the book contents and ideas

How do I anticipate solving
these challenges? The practical, organized side of me realizes I will need to
be more disciplined and commit a block of time each week to focus on the book.
How do I anticipate the challenges of the design, layout and publishing of the
book?  I honestly, don’t know. My area of expertise does not extend or
include the business of publishing. It’s a whole new world.

My expectation upon
acceptance to this workshop is to look to you and the other attendees to assist
me in understanding self-publishing, layout and design. I would anticipate that
the workshop would also support my endeavor with input and guidance on how to
organize my ideas and skills into realizing my book idea. It is my intent to
honor the other attendees and contribute any of my own thoughts and knowledge
to any discussions. 

For me this book is the
beginning of a journey that will go beyond this workshop. This is something
that I can do.

3. This workshop has two
goals. One is to teach promising knitting authors how to successfully and gracefully
navigate the self-publishing process and thereby give the knitting world the
sort of unique, spirited, and one-of-a-kind books that rarely come from large
publishing houses. The second goal is for all of us (8 new participants, and as
many as 8 returning) to benefit from the extraordinary synergy of spending five
days together, sharing knowledge, listening deeply, and giving our full
attention to nourishing, inspiring, and clarifying each other’s book projects.
My question: If you and I had a few days to spend together, what would I come
to realize about you and your work that would make me choose you as one of the
8 new participants?

Of the three questions,
this has been the most difficult question for me. Upon reflection, I believe
this is due to the fact that I tend to perceive myself as I would like to be
seen, rather than how I may actually present myself and be seen by others. I
have approached the answer to this question from this last point of view and
will endeavor to answer the second half about my work separately. 

For the 1st part
of the question – what would I come to realize about you – I consulted family,
friends, knitting colleagues and students whom I respect and trust to give me
their opinion of me both personally and professionally regarding my life and my

Joyful, passionate,
committed, loyal, funny, and at times intimidating. That I endeavor to explore
and be inspired by all that surrounds me and am a woman that lives and shares
her life. 

For the second portion –
what would I come to realize about you and your work
– Knitting is a journey. A
journey of self exploration through fiber. It’s an eclectic union of touch,
imagination, vision, emotion and feeling. It’s the ‘oh my god’ I have to have
it, how do I get it, and what can I do with it. It’s the ability to weave all
of these things together that inspires me to design for myself and others. 

My love of knitting has not
always been a passion. My journey has been an evolution, starting at the age of
eight and has progressed as a true passion. I have actively pursued knitting in
a concentrated effort to learn and grow and be able to contribute to the
knitting community I know. I’ve taken design classes from leading hand knit
designers in the UK and US, and attended select courses at the Academy of Art,
Fashion Design – Knitwear, San Francisco. I have also begun teaching and have
implemented my own small knitwear design company.

If given the
opportunity to participate in your workshop, this will be the beginning of
bringing my ideas to fruition with your and the attendees help.

Thank you,
Leslie C

Knitting accomplished: Nada

Packing solution for move:
hired out the labor. Decadent, but worth it!



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