Query letters and sample prep

I’ve been pretty quiet the last few days, but much has been happening behind the scenes! The biggest news is that I finally finished my query letter for Creating Craft, and sent it out into the world! So far I’ve contacted three publishers and two agents, all referrals from people I know. I’ve gotten one rejection already – Make Media‘s book editor loved the idea, but they’re not accepting craft submissions anymore – and one request (by one of the agents) to see the full proposal. That may well peter out, of course – but it’s an auspicious start.

So now it becomes a waiting game. My goal is to have ten queries out at any given time – mostly to agents, I’m not approaching publishers unless I have a direct contact at the publisher. As each query “ages out” (most agents don’t bother to reply to a query unless they’re interested), I’ll send out a new one. However, at the start, I’m going to wait two weeks to see if any of my referrals bear fruit. Meanwhile, I’ll work on catching up my to-do list on Creating Craft, which has been sadly neglected while I worked on the proposal and query letter.

Meanwhile, I have not been idle on the Phoenix Rising front, though I have perhaps not been exceptionally active, either. (The sprained ankle, while better, makes me reluctant to stand for long periods.) I have wound and dyed the yarn for the skirt sample:

dyed yarns for Phoenix Rising sample

dyed yarns for Phoenix Rising sample

Doesn’t look like much, does it? But it’s about 24,000 yards of yarn, best estimate. On the left is the insanely fine silk I bought from John Marshall. It was a real beast to skein, because it comes on big heavy spools (almost eight ounces). That means I had to find an axle for the spools, figure out how to keep the spools from moving along the axle, and start the skeinwinder verrrry slowly so I could get the spool going without without snapping the thread. Each skein is about thirty grams, so a total of sixty grams (about two ounces). At an estimated 60,000 yards per pound, that’s about 8000 yards of yarn over there on the left.

The three skeins on the right are a far more moderate 140/2 silk (I never thought I’d find myself describing 140/2 silk as “moderate”!), 210 grams at 35,000 yards per pound = 16,000 yards total on the right.

Fortunately, the dyeing went smoothly, and I have already wound two of the three skeins of 140/2 silk onto bobbins (which is gentler on the silk than winding directly onto cones). I have not decided yet whether to re-wind them onto cones before winding the warp – I have the feeling that cones will be easier to work from, but I’d rather avoid all that rewinding time if I can. Still, if it saves time later, it’s worth it. Decisions, decisions.

Still to do: wind the remaining skein of 140/2 silk onto a bobbin, and (gulp) wind the two skeins of superfine silk. I’m worried about that, but if I’ve wound the skein well and treated it gently enough during dyeing, it should behave itself. I hope.

I have a four-day weekend coming up, as Thursday is July 4, Independence Day in the U.S., and I’m taking the following day off. Hopefully by then the ankle will be almost 100% (it’s “mostly better” now), and I can start winding the warp for the skirt sample. It will be either 15″ x 10 yards or 24″ x 7 yards. Yes, that is suspiciously long and wide for a sample (many people might describe it as “yardage”), but I want to try a variety of wefts and a variety of drafts, and want large (18″) swatches so I can use them in draping. So that is not excessive – in fact, it may be too short. We’ll see.

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One Comment

  1. Alfred
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Yeah…’moderate’ is the word that comes to mind when thinking of 140/2!! ;-)

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