There was no post planned for today but I couldn't wait to share this news with you because I am SO excited for my dear friend Dedri Uys. I've mentioned her here many times since we first met a couple of years ago, she is a constant source of inspiration to me - and many others - and gives so much back to her (real-life and virtual) community. Since our recent trip together, I've been waiting to tell you about her new book (find her others here*) and the story behind it.
Let me tell you up front that this post is a great big HOORAH for Dedri who stood by her principles to achieve her dream of getting this book published while staying true to herself and her followers.
The Sophie's Universe pattern was originally published in parts, as a Crochet-along, on Dedri's website in 2015. Despite repeated requests for a printed version of the pattern from many followers who have made, or are making, the stunning heirloom blanket (there are the FOUR AND A HALF THOUSAND PROJECTS on Ravelry alone!), she had trouble getting it published because she wanted to keep the pattern available for free on her blog too. That was very important to her.
|Sign of a good friend - they will pose for you to take a photo of a picture in your |
favourite colours on a restaurant wall ... while holding a matching ball of yarn!
Publishers wouldn't entertain the idea. They wanted her to remove the free instalments so people could only make Sophie's Universe by buying the book. But that wasn't what Dedri wanted - publishing a book was about giving people an additional option, not taking away something she had already given freely, and that she'd put her heart and soul into. People asked for a physical pattern which they could carry around with their project, or as a keepsake accompaniment to finished blankets, and she wanted to make it available.
Luckily Scheepjes stepped in just over a year ago. They understood that she was committed to keeping the free version online too, and agreed to publish the book on these terms. They have been working on it ever since. With such a long and detailed pattern - including extensive supporting photos and tips - the result is a beautiful book with over 200 pages. It guides you through every single step of this advanced crochet pattern so that pretty much anyone can do it.
The book is a paperback and stitch-bound so it lays flat when you're working, and it's printed on really nice paper (Dedri is a stationery addict, so she's happy!) and the layout and styling have all been handled by a great team including Jane Toft, former Editor-in-chief of Mollie Makes and Simple Things magazines, which might give you an idea of the production standards.
|When I first 'met' Sophie, it was love! Look at those details!!! (This is the Stone Washed XL version)|
I couldn't be more delighted for Dedri and for Scheepjes, especially when I heard that the initial stock of books listed on her Wool Warehouse shopfront sold out within a couple of hours. She trusted her instinct and it was right - people want to buy the book, even though the pattern is available for free. I suspect many crocheters who have enjoyed her design and finished the blanket will want to buy it to show their gratitude and respect for the huge amount of work that went into the pattern and original CAL. Plus lots of other people who like a printed pattern and haven't made it yet will want it too. Of course, I have placed my order already and have a copy on the way - not that I have time to even think about making 'Sophie' myself!
If you want to get your hands on a copy, you can order the Sophie's Universe book from Wool Warehouse (for £16.95), where you will also find kits to complete the project in various different Scheepjes yarns. Instructions for Cotton 8, Softfun and Stone Washed XL are included in the book, and there is now also a Colour Crafter version of the kit which includes information on which colours to use/substitute. (Select from the 'Main Pack' options listed here.) It will be available from other stockists soon.
NOTE: If the book is showing as sold out when you read this, you can sign up to be notified by email when they are re-listed - from what I understand, that won't be long!
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