Saturday, September 10, 2011

We found one!

So like any 'normal' crafter, I have trouble keeping to one path. Already there is knitting, spinning, dying, fibre prep (less of that although my carder is getting more use these days), sewing things, finding-restoring- and using fountain pens, and recently bookbinding. I say normal because most of the people I know are like that, a strange blend of monkey-see-monkey-want-to-do and intelligent curiosity about how something other people can do works. I do understand that there are people in the world who don't want to make things, or modify things or even customize things - but those people scare me. They do, I find it rather freaky when people don't have interests or hobbies or something in their lives other than making money and keeping the house tidy and the lawns mowed - where is the fun in that? So, when I found out you could make your own books, journals with nice paper and that stay open and have lovely colorful covers I wanted to see if I would like doing that. Seems I do like doing that, so after a few trials with the internet as a resource I hunted out the bookbinding section at the library and learned more.

Dangerous stuff - learning, makes me want more, makes me want to try other things, other ways of binding, makes me want to explore other methods and other materials. From the moment I understood that if you press something under a heavy weight while glue is drying it will dry flat ... I wanted a book press. So for the past month or so, whenever I have been in a the kind of shop that sells old things, surprisingly often, I have looked for a bookbinding press. I've asked and been told that 'you don't see many of those these days, bookbinders snap them up - I've not seen one in ---- oh 10 years or so'. This weekend Bear suggested we drive up to Hampden to check out the old equipment shop there, perhaps stop for coffee and lunch ... and look! A bookbinding press, this thing was investigated, found to be working, paid for and in the car before any one else could even get a look in - we were the only ones in the store at the time. Look it is pretty much identical to the one the cover of a library books I have borrowed. I can't wait to clean it up and make the pressing boards and put it to use ...

I have been knitting, and this does at time purport to be a knit blog, so here is my recent knitting progress. I finished the wash cloth, using 34g of luxury Rowan organic cotton. That left 14 g of luxury Rowan organic cotton over. Now 14 is enough to want to use, and not enough to plan something to use it all up.

I was inspired by Frankie Brown's Ten Stitch Twist to start a spiral and knit until I ran out of yarn. I modified the center somewhat, using a made up and not recorded mix of increases and short rows to increase from 4 stitches to 8 stitches around the first complete circle, then Frankie's method to shape the spiral, and blend it to nothing when there was nearly no yarn left. I ssk'd the last stitch to one of the edge loops to join the spiral to itself. On the reverse side the spiral appears as a chain.

Bears Bunker socks are growing, as fast as twisted stitch pattern socks will ever grow. I am loving the signature points on the dpns that I have to knit these on, they make twisting and traveling stitches easier than blunt needles.

And - I've been spinning, fine singles that is destined for 2 ply - with any luck approaching lace weight - an ongoing goal of mine. This is an amazing blend from Matt at Wabi sabi fibres, Merino, Alpaca, Angora, and Silk in a colour way called River stones. This was spun very predictably in a semi worsted, short forward draw. Next up is some Cashmere blend from Vintage Purls, that I am thinking will be spun from the fold. I did a little bit of pre drafting last night and considered the short cashmere fibres and how best to spin them .. and I wonder if from the fold might give me a more consistent fibre supply. This week I discovered that my SpinOff subscription has lapsed, and I had not had the last two issues - so I promptly ordered back issues and re-subscribed for the next two years. In doing all of that I went thru my Spinoffs and rediscovered several articles about spinning - fancy that!

take care - Stella


Amy said...

I now want/need/have to have a book press. I blame you.

My next big purchase is a knitting machine - not that I don't love to handknit but I have SO MANY IDEAS! It is good to use the creative side of you - no repression!!!

adriene said...

That press is SO COOL! Congratulations on finding one! And I am the same as you when it comes to watching people who don't want to make things. I guess it takes all kinds, but I'm glad I'm not that kind!

skeindalous said...

The points on the signatures are just great. But, I found I needed to get a nice little callus raised on the left index finger! Else, the points were almost TOO pointy! Do love them, though. Good equipment does spoil one for the same old. As you mentioned a while back, I have tried the Lamy Safari pen. It is a keeper. Cheap (relatively!)yet elegant. Thanks for the tip.

Knitting Linguist said...

I know what you mean about the "no hobbies" thing. It's weird to me to think of it - there's always something more that I want to learn to do!

Your spinning in that last photo is just gorgeous - what an amazing blend, and so finely spun. I can't wait to see what it becomes.