Slightly earlier than I had incorrectly calculated, the crowd funder for the Vintage Shetland Project closed in the early hours of Monday morning. I set my alarm for 5am to see the final moments and sit in stunned amazement at the incredible response to the campaign.
We raised an incredible £31,954 with 855 wonderful knitters supporting the campaign. In addition to this I received a further £685 of pre-orders in the 24 hours that followed - when the campaign should still have been running.
After processing fees of around 8% and a 2% contribution to literacy charities I will receive £29,258.65 via pubslush once the monies are forwarded to me. This is the agonizing part really, knowing you have raised the funds but not yet having them in the bank!
The money will go a long way. It will pay for a bigger print run than originally planned, some photoshoot expenses, additional research expenses, tech editing and proof reading costs, image licencing fees, pr and marketing, the little extras such as project bags and lapel badges and much, much more, including additional samples. It will also help cover the costs of having a new batch of Fenella spun and dyed to ensure there is enough yarn to fulfill all the yarn rewards that were chosen and also for me to purchase stock of Jamieson & Smith 2 ply for the same purpose. There are packaging boxes and bags to be purchased in anticipation of December’s mail out and I will also have to employ someone part time to help with the despatching of so many orders in December to ensure all orders are despatched promptly. Signing around 900 books alone is going to take some time! I’m also still working out the best way to manage wholesale orders, so if you are waiting to order books for your yarn shop if you can just bear with me for a little while and then we can hopefully get a smooth system in place before the publication date.
With the number of emails still coming in, I’ve realised that many people are still just finding out about the Project and are disappointed at missing out on the chance to pre-order a book. Due to the amount of time its takes responding to each email, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will have to set up ‘standard’ pre orders on the website sooner rather than later. So I should hopefully have this done by the end of the week. As previously mentioned however these orders will only be despatched once the crowder funder contributions have all been met - and most likely, after Christmas. I also won’t be able to offer signed books on the standard pre orders on this occasion as it really would just become an all-consuming operation. I feel quite bad about this but I really do have to get to grips with my own limitations!!
So what next? I will be spending every moment I can on the book - obviously I still need to run the rest of my business and the farm, but please bear with me if emails and the like take a little longer than usual to be replied to, as I will need to spend time really focussed on the book to ensure it is everything I want it to be. There have been moments during the campaign when the weight of expectation has felt heavy and the best way I can deal with that is allowing myself the space to dedicate myself to the book as much as possible. I will keep in touch with all contributors via email but there is a chance that things might go quiet here on the blog and on social media!
And now, there are so many people I need to thank for their involvement and also for their wholehearted support of the campaign.
First of all every one who took part in the blog tour who not only took the time to write a post for the tour but really got stuck in and made the blog tour fascinating for so many people to read and enjoy. You are all stars every single one of you.
To everyone who tweeted, retweeted, shared on facebook and other social media, who wrote their own blog posts, regrammed, talked to friends, read each and every post on the blog tour. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You got the message about the campaign out far and wide.
To so many friends who really went that extra mile sharing the campaign again and again, including Tasha, Woolly, Jo, the ladies of Edinburgh Yarn Festival, Sweater Spotter, Kate Atherley, Rachel Atkinson, Adrienne of Williams Wools, Ella at Jamieson & Smith who wrote TWO blog posts, to Clara Parkes for mentioning the campaign on the Knitter’s Review - WOW! and made my professional career by tweeting this:
“If you were to fund just one knitting project this year, let it be the Vintage Shetland Project”
To my good friends at The Knitter and Kate Heppell at Knit Now. To my friend Tess who has helped me in a million ways, to Karie for everything but in particular, ‘that’ sentence, to Felicity Ford who not only supported the campaign but gave me such great advice before and throughout, to Donna Druchunas who also shared her experiences with Pubslush and encouraged me to take the plunge, to Jen Arnall-Culliford who gave me a bloody good talking to when I needed it most, to Gavin who turned my clumpy video presentation for the pubslush page into something rather wonderful and wrote the most amazing post as part of the blog tour, to Ysolda who spent an entire afternoon filming our interview about the project and then spent two days and also two very late nights editing and battling the internet to get the video uploaded and to Louise Scollay who literally made this all happen. Louise has been the most supportive friend imaginable, pushing me when needed, supporting and bolstering me when confidence was low, checking my words again and again, and basically being the best right-hand woman ever! I couldn’t have done it without her.
To all the people who gave me support when our barn caught fire during the campaign and in particular to Caroline and Freyalyn who are going to try and save some of the fleece for me.
And finally to all the wonderful, wonderful people who have supported the campaign, who have sent me so many amazing messages, letting me know they believe in what I’m doing and really, really want to see the book in print. I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by so many folks who get what I do. To paraphrase one of those incredibly supportive knitters it is “wonderful that the knitting community has responded and confirmed that in this world of disposable fashion and superficial books there is not only a place but a genuine longing for books like the Vintage Shetland Project”.
Thank you for making my dream come true.