Friday, August 29, 2008

Big news! And a contest! And another contest!

Ready for the big new? Are you sure your ready?

Maybe I'll just wait till tomorrow...

Just kidding! I think you've waited long enough.

The big news is that Patrick and I have just signed a contract to write a book! Our publisher, Chelsea Green, has published some really amazing books. In fact, at our first meeting with Margo Baldwin, the president of Chelsea Green, I started telling her about this great book I had just finished called Mad Sheep (which I highly recommend, BTW) and she laughed and told me that she had published it. Turns out I had read lots of their books, including all of Joel Salatin's books. 

Chelsea Green is such a great fit for us. Obviously we are just over the moon about the book although I am going to be really, really, really busy for the next two months because the manuscript is due on October 31st. Why? Because the book is coming out in the Spring and there is ever-so-much that has to happen between my turning it in and seeing it in print. (Quirkles, my dear friend and shareholder knows all about this!)

The first thing we have to so is get the title and subtitle to our editor ASAP so they can start working on a cover for the Spring catalog. Here's where you come it. 

As you know, this summer has been stupid-crazy-busy and I had planned to use my vacation week to knock this title out. But know I have a cold and my brain is addled from all the cold medicine I'm taking. Help me out here, friends! Leave a comment on this blog with your suggestion for title and subtitle. I'm not guaranteeing that we will chose from your suggestions but if we use your title and/or subtitle WE WILL SHOWER YOU WITH MVFF GOODNESS!

The winner(s) will receive one of our brand spanking new MVFF tote bags, (which you haven't seen because I haven't gotten around to taking a picture of them yet), a MVFF logo hat and t-shirt, a set of our photo postcards AND six skeins of our 100% Cormo yarn in your choice of weight and color. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL.
You will also win an advance, autographed first edition copy of the book and a thank you in the book.

So, put your hand knit thinking caps on and let us hear your ideas.

Now for contest number two. To celebrate the publication of the book, Chelsea Green and MV Fiber Farm will be publishing an exclusive pattern. And that pattern could be yours! Would-be pattern designers (or pros for that matter) can submit as many original patterns as you like between now and October 31st.  All patterns must include a photograph of the finished objected and must be completely original. Patterns can be for sweaters, scarves, hats, toy, whatever. Go crazy! Let your imagination run wild!

We will narrow the submitted entries down to five and let ya'll vote on the winner. I'll post more details here as things developed. Email me any questions at susangibbs1 [at] mac [dot] com.



--Deb said...

Of course, it would help to know what the book is ABOUT... (grin)


Let's see ...

-Flocking to Martha's Vineyard: It's Not Just for Tourists Anymore

-Sheep on the Internet: How a Shepherd and Her Flock Found Their Virtual Home

-Community Supported Flock: How the Internet and the Knitting Community Raised Sheep and Goats

-It Takes a Virtual Community to Raise a Flock: One Shepherd's Adventure on the Internet

-Fleece to Ferry: Martha's Vineyard Wool Takes over the World

-Fleecing the Tourists: Raising Sheep and Goats on Martha's Vineyard

-Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm: Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back to the Island

-Angora and Cormo: The Faces of a Dream

-Where's My Internet Connection? The Trials and Tribulations of a Modern Day Shepherd

-Fleeced! Raising a Flock on Martha's Vineyard

-Do Your Sheep Have a Ferry Reservation?

(And yes, of course, some of these are MEANT to be ridiculously silly!)

(Okay, maybe a little TOO silly?)

Oh--and I WANT a copy of this book to review over at (Knitting Scholar!! I insist!

mydogpetey said...

Holy cow! (or should that be Holy goat?)
Great news!

Thinking cap is on.....

caracolina said...

That's wonderful, congratulations, Susan and Patrick!

Maggie said...

Susan, I have enough to do without designing patterns, dangit! I'm guessing it will help if they're designed with your yarn in mind? Or does that matter?

misplacedpom said...

Communal Critters: The country's first fiber CSA.

Yup, I'll stick to the knitting in future...

NSF said...

—A Vineyard Yarn

—Rosemary, Truman, and Ike: Tales of Shepherding

—A Vineyard Farm: True Tales of An Unlikely Shepherd

—Island Tails

—Island Shepherd

woolkitty said...

That's great news!!! I hope your book has lots of pictures.
-Sharing the Sheep on Martha's Vineyard

Jenna S said...

Outstanding news!

think think think think think think

Jenny said...

This is such exciting news!!! I totally want a crack at the pattern, but I broke my fool hand on vacation this week! I think I might have enough time once it has healed, though, so designing I will go! Or at least attempting I will go!

Good lord, I thought you were gonna say you were pregnant, though! ;)

I miss you guys, I have to try to come down again.

Jean said...

Deb's are great, but here are a couple more:

Shear Adventures: It Takes a Community to Support Agriculture

(or the subtitle could be It Takes a Virtual Community to Support Agriculture)

Share Adventures: Community-Supported Fiber Farming

Maybe I'll think of more while I'm working out...

mira said...

Yay for you! That is just fabulous news.

How about:

Sweet and Spicy: a modern day wool tale

Out of the Woolworks: the world's first fiber CSA

Surrounded by Fleece

Fleeced: my life as a shepherdess

mmmmmmm.....have to think some more....must win cormo (and book).

Sending virtual boosts of energy to keep you going.

mira said...

duh! Sorry about that, just realized Fleeced was already taken....but it's a new subtitle, does that count?

SeDress said...

Shear Madness: One woman's path from yarn to flock.

SeDress said...

Or I suppose it could be: One couple's path from yarn to flock (sorry, Patrick, for leaving you out at first)

--Deb said...

And, you know, after I climbed into bed last night it occurred to me that I DO have a pattern I could write up. A pair of socks that I think you're familiar with!

A couple more title ideas (because this is fun!):

-Shear Fun: Raising Sheep and Goats in the Middle of a Crowd of Tourists

-Sheep by the Beach: The Story of the Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm

-Fiber Fantasy: Living My Dream of Raising a Flock

-Vineyard Heaven: Why Martha's Vineyard is the Perfect Place to Raise Sheep and Goats

(Hmm, I think the first batch were better--apparently I'm more creative when I'm half asleep. And, really, some of the subtitles would probably be better with other titles, but I think you said you were going to mix and match anyway!)

Maggie said...

Another thought--on the patterns, perhaps it would be best to judge them blindly; that is, no names or faces attached. We all have friends out here, and it wouldn't be any good to feel you have to vote for your friend even though they have a crap pattern, or some other sticky situation. Just an idea...

Carole said...

Wow! I can't wait to get a copy of your book! Congratulations!

How about "Woolsome Goods: Tales From a Shared Sheep Community"

elwalker said...

How about:
Wooly Headed: How I traded the city for the world's first CSA fiber farm.

JC said...

Spinning a Tail

That's the only one I can think of right now.

Quirkles said...

Congrats Susan and Patrick! I can't wait to see the book. I know it will be a success! I wish I could be creative with a title, but I think you have some good stuff in the comments you already have. I can't compete. :(
I'll have to work on designing that pattern now!Oh, and I miss you guys!

Jean said...

Sort of thinking out loud here...

Shear Lunacy: Shepherding the First Fiber CSA

Yarn on the Hoof

From Follicle to Fiber

From Broadway to Bo Peep

e.marie said...

I don't have a title or a pattern, just wanted to say CONGRATS! That's wonderful news, and I'm already adding the as-yet-untitled MVFF tome to my "To Read" list : )

Rebecca said...

My husband and I came up with two titles for you:

Little Lambs Eat Ivy: What I didn't know about shepherding.

Buck Fifty: How I made my fiber farm work.

:) Congratulations!

Brat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann (yet another) said...

I'm bad at the titles. The best I could come up with was
Sheep on the Shore:Tales from the Fiber Farm - except I think it sounds too much like the Sheep in a Jeep series of kids books (which, BTW, are adorable!)

So, I will turn my mind to a pattern or two, and that of course will require a visit to your store, as I'm currently out of your yarn! A situation we will have to rectify!

Katharine Martinez said...

I'm thinking about making it easy for people to find your book on Amazon. I'm always sortof remembering part of a title and having the darndest time trying to find it with just a word or two in my head. So I recommend you include MVFF in your title somewhere. How about this:
Island Shepherd: Days and Nights at the Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm

Take care!

Brat said...

How about:

Sheep to Shore : Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm and America's First Fiber CSA


deleted and re-posted to fix a spelling error

Anonymous said...

Sheep and Goats at home on the Beach : Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm and America's First Fiber CSA
Happy sheep and goats roam on the beach: Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm and America's First Fiber CSA

This sounds like a lot of the other comments but I love the picture of the goats and the beach in the background!

Anonymous said...

The follow-up book should be about West chop and his adventures.

Christy said...


Tails of Yarn: Fiber Feasts for the Senses

Some really corny: Martha's Vine Yarn

Susan in Maryland said...

Tending the Flock; Living a Life of Creativity and Purpose

Katom Burke said...

Congrats! I look forward to reading the book when it's available. I didn't have any good title ideas, but tonight while making dinner, this came to me:
"What I Herd in My Heart: A Shepherdess Following Her Dream."
or something like that. I like the "Herd in My Heart" part best.
Anyway, best of luck to you two as always. Looking forward to seeing you in September!
Kate B.

Zoe said...

-- Two Shakes of a Lamb's Tail: The Rapid Success of the First Fiber CSA

Congrats on the Book Deal and all you've achieved!


Turtle said...

Huge congrats! I just read that book a month or two ago....loved it! Being a native vermonter i so would love to have a small farm, how the heck did i marry such a city boy??!

I have never tried to write a pattern but have a small idea, may have to try it.

Of course "Holy Sheep, adventures on an atlantic island fiber farm" comes to mind.

or "freaky Fiber" or "fiber freaks" "roaming fiber" "grazing fiber" dorky i know, but i can't wait (for you and us!!) and do also hope the book has lots of pics!

Crista said...

What the Sheep Don't Know:
Their Farm Is a Community-Supported First

From Cyber to Fiber:
Internet Lifecycle of the First CSA (Community-Supported) Fiber Farm

High fiber on Martha's Vineyard:
Modern-Day Shepherds Count Sheep and Shareholders

woolies said...

Holy Cow! (I mean Sheep! I mean Goat!)

That is awesome!
JC said Spinning a Tail - what about Spinning a Tale - the first flock of Martha's Vineyard
The Life and Times of a Shepherd in the Modern World
Salty Sheepies, the Martha's Vineyard Tale
How to succeed in shepherding without really trying (NOT)
(that's a take off on an old title, How to succeed in business...)
Panic on the Vineyard
The Sheep have escaped again
Bad Goats!
oh my gosh I could go on and on

and yes, I might have three patterns, one I just started writing for a lion stuffed animal..maybe...

Francesca said...

Sheep on the Beach

along with a photo of the sheep with the sand and water behind them like the photo that you have on the far left of the web site

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

From Shear to Shore: The story of Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farms, The Country's First FIber CSA

The Ferry, The Flock, The Friends and The Fun: Starting America's First Fiber CSA on Marth'a Vineyard

Flocking to a Good Idea: How the First Fiber CSA became a reality

Congrats and I look forward to the book.

Lizardknits said...

Here's mine...Sand, Sun & Sheep...fiber amongst the dunes.

Valerie said...


Am really excited for you! After looking at Chelsea Green's website and reading their book guidelines, titles of other books they have published, and reading your archived blog about the day you collapsed in the tub still wearing your bra and panties, with the subsequent discovery of your "fan" club, I really think your title ought to say something about involving others in your project. Here's some suggestions - my favorite is the one about the shepherd's crook -

Engaging People in Shepherding -

A new twist on Community Supported Agriculture

Widening the Reach of the Shepherd’s Crook –
“Tails” from the First CSA Fiber Farm

Shepherding –
Knitting a new Fiber Farm Approach with CSA

“Tails” from the First CSA Fiber Farm
Knitting together a community of support

A Day in the Life of the First CSA Shepherd
Blogging to Worming
(don't know if you could do an A - Z thing - but having read your blog over the past months, you definitley have a lot of variety in your activities)

Hope your cold has relented and you are feeling better.


Anonymous said...

OMG! The entries are so good!

Here are two I came up with in the shower and one is eerily similar to another one that someone came up with.

From Sheep to Shore: The Story of Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm and More

From Sheep to Skein

Here is another one.

From High Hair to Mohair: How I went from TV Reporter to Goat Sorter

Of course, you can only appreciate the High Hair if you are from TX.

Dawn, TX

Valerie said...


Do you think Susan is old enough to really appreciate the High Hair part? :o) As a native Texan now displaced to Missouri, I think I know what you mean. Growing up in Texas in the 60s I managed to miss out on what I would call "High Hair" if for no other reason than mine is so fine and fairly thin that it wouldn't work for me. Or maybe it's "Big Hair" and you mean something else by "High Hair"?

Valerie, Texas, now MO


ouch, my head hurts too much to think straight but there are some really good ideas here so i am not worried! and i have no patterns either...but sounds covered there too! congratulations!


Kristen said...

How about "Counting Sheep on Martha's Vineyard- the country's first fiber CSA" (or just Counting Sheep- the country's first fiber CSA)

Meg said...

here is mine:

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm: from corporate america to sheep farmer

5elementknitr said...

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm:
Feeding That Other Addiction

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm:
All wool, no whine

Hey - I received a shopping bag with your logo on it awhile back. Got it as part of a yarn swap - I use it all the time!

Congrats on your book!

Cheryl in VA said...

How about:
From CBS to CSA - A Journalist's Journey to Shepherding.

Hope the cold is improving. It happens when it is least convenient.

danielle said...

Hmmmm....not creative enough to think of a title. Subtitle could be From The Other Martha (Vineyard, Of Course).....Congrats and good luck!

thomrj said...

Just one more ounce, please : The exctasy of spinning and knitting are beckoning.

From the sheep to the needles: the transformtion & journey that the fleece undergo

So much fleece so little time.

Nothing like Firber Goodness to warm the heart of knitters and spinners.

jordiw said...

SheepWise - How to lose your mind and find your heart with sheep.
or words to that effect (Big Fat Grin)

trek said...

Sheep in the Vineyard: A Shepherd's Tale


Julie Roads said...

Here's my idea:
Farm 2.0 -
A flock, 2 shepherds and an internet community that revolutionized the small farm.

JSchwa said...

It is a book about how you got to where you are? It seems like it started with an idea and grew to something that involved others to help you help them? (shares, etc)

Sheep, Share, Shear: The 3 S's of Fiber Farming (preferably, subtitles are so lengthy but I guess you need them if it's this kind of book?)

Maybe you could write your take on it all as a children's book? How fun would that be with illustrations, etc? It could still tell the story, but in a more fun way.

evergreenknits said...

Here's a few more ideas to throw into the mix:

-Sheep Sharing
-A Yarn to Share
-Yarn Farmer
-Wool on the Web
-Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm (simple, but sweet!)

I guess it depends on where you want your book's emphasis to be: your own personal path, life on the farm, the intersection of the internet and agriculture ...

KimS said...

Herd Mentality: Gathering a Flock of Supporters to Help Shepherd Our Dream.

(you've had to think at least as much about gathering your Online Herd of supporters as you do about caring for your Offline Herd of fiber-makers!)