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#001 - Where we are today

(end of Jan 2017)

Hello friends, and welcome to our first ever making stories blog post! We - that is Verena and Hanna Lisa - decided it was time that we share a little bit more about the work that goes into our newest book, WOODS, and give you a few glimpses behind the scenes.

We are going to do updates every few weeks around what we worked on, where we currently are with the book, and what you can expect from us in the coming weeks.

We hope you find these progress updates interesting, informative, entertaining maybe even - and please, do let us know if you have questions or are curious to learn about specific topics or steps of the book making process. We love getting and answering your questions!

Today’s blog post chronicles what we’ve done until now - now is end of January 2017 - with a bit more detail on what went down in the making stories headquarters this month, January. We’ll also share what you can expect from us in February. Spoiler alert: It’s going to be exciting!

From the birth of WOODS - making stories to … roughly beginning of January.

We don’t want to bore you with tons and tons of details of our starting months, but we thought it might be useful to share a quick overview of what we did in the first few weeks of working on WOODS.

We…

  • … wrote the concept for the book and decided for a focus on local, sustainable yarns from Europe paired with awesome designers and makers.

  • … put together the moodboard and guidelines for our Call for Submissions and published the CFS.

  • … researched and reached out to European yarn companies to see if they’d be interested in partnering with us.

  • … wrote contracts, guidelines and stylesheets for the designs.

  • … selected the yarn companies for the books, decided on bases and colourways.

  • … selected the final designs to appear in the book and crowdfunding campaign and matched them with the yarn companies.

  • … got tons of yarn mail, yayyyyy!!! And sent it off to the designers with a little Christmas care package so that they could get started on writing up the designs.

  • … selected a photographer - Jill, a wonderful Berlin-based female-run photography agency. You can find out more about Jill on her website: http://www.jill-marie.com/

  • … selected a graphic designer - Vivian, a one woman kickass show who’s doing all the good stuff with regards to book layout, design and branding. You can find out more about Vivian on her website: http://thegoodviv.com/

  • … selected a videography team - Mimi and Dan, a phenomenal wife-and-husband-duo without whom we’d never ever been able to do a crowdfunding video.

  • … started our Instagram with two hashtags that keep inspiring us: #storiesofmakers and #mymakingstory.

  • … published the Call for Test Knitters and got tons of wonderful applications.

Phew. Quite a lot. And we’re pretty sure we forgot the one or other thing!

Let’s move on to January 2017 - because this month was high life in the making stories headquarters:

Test knitting of bonus patterns

We have two bonus patterns for the crowdfunding campaign - a beautiful hat that is going to be shared with everyone who backs us, and a gorgeous scarf design that is part of a few special reward packages.

These patterns were written in December, and test knit during January. You can see glimpses of them on our Instagram - simply search for the hashtags #picosdeeuropahat and #gascognescarf!

Photo by @juliaarlt.

Photo by @thewoolclub.

Photo by @aliinperth.

Printer research

We are making a book. A real book. As in - not an ebook, not a PDF version, but a real, you-can-touch-it book. Which means - we needed a printer to make the book. As it is super important for us to keep everything as local and therefore with as little impact on the environment as possible, we were out searching for a Berlin-based printer with 1) great business ethics and 2) great eco-friendly printing processes.

This meant researching Berlin-based printing companies, understanding what they need for a quote (huge thanks to Hanna Lisa’s dad for helping with this!) and reaching out to them to see if they’d be interested in our project.

Once we’d been in touch with a few, a clear favourite stood out which meant we went on to the fun part - trying out different paper types, bindings, formats, what have you. We think we have found a winner and can’t wait to finalize everything with them once the crowdfunding is over and we know how many books we need to order.

Designing progress

Our designers are hard at work currently as their deadline for the alpha version of the final designs is January 31. We can’t wait to hold the patterns in our hands!

Branding & book design

As mentioned above, we’ve partnered with an amazing graphic designer, Vivian Kvitka, with whom we started the incredibly fun process of defining the visual branding guidelines and the design for the book and a few crowdfunding goodies.

The first step of this was to get grilled by Vivian on the ethos, ethics, vision, ideas behind making stories and the first book WOODS. We already had a pretty good understanding of what we wanted, but Vivian always manages to push you to that extra bit that really makes everything sing.

Next up was looking at two different style guides she came up with - and boy, did she deliver. Right now we’re waiting for the final iteration after our feedback session on the first guides and we can’t wait to see it!

Content concept & outreach

As you probably know by now, a huge part of the book are our 11 beautiful knitting patterns and the accompanying designer and yarn company profiles. In addition to that, we wanted to create something that keeps on inspiring, shares our deep love for learning new knitting techniques and our amazing making stories community.

In the middle of January we sat down and put that into words - more specifically, into deciding which additional tutorials, interviews and articles we’d include in the book. We are SO thrilled with the entire concept and super excited because we have some truly wonderful makers sharing their stories and knowledge!

More details coming soon :)

Crowdfunding video & preparation

Eeeeek, February 9 is coming closer and closer! That’s the start date of our Indiegogo campaign - and for that, we needed a video.

We spent a wonderful day in snowy Grunewald filming it with Mimi and Dan, our kick-ass videography team, and can’t wait to see the final result and share it with you all! Be prepared for lots of knitwear and forest shots!

We also finalized our reward structure for the crowdfunding and decided on suppliers for parts of our rewards, keeping in line with our ethos of staying local and environmentally friendly.

Outlook on February

Yes, January was busy - and SO MUCH FUN! - but February is going to get even better we think!

This is what you can expect from us in February:

  • The crowdfunding starts!! Mark your calendars, friends - February 9 it is and we need you all to help us spread the love!

  • More branding goodness - we’re going to have our final logo ready in February and probably a few more design elements we can share!

  • Tech editing - numbers, numbers, numbers. Feb 1 to 15 we are going to spend in front of all the patterns, making sure that the math works out, that they are readable and ready to share with the test knitters.

  • Test knitting!! Feb 15 is the start of our test knitting - follow us on Instagram and look through the hashtags #woodsmakingstories and #makingstories to discover sneak peeks of the designs to be included in the book.

We hope you liked this glimpse behind the scenes of making stories - and we’d love to hear your feedback! Did you like the post, did you hate it, what were you missing, what would you like to know from us? Hit us up in the comments below!

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