Saturday, February 04, 2012

Are we there yet?

Its Sunday, blog post day, and part of me wants to blog tomorrow. For tomorrow I would be there, there being at the end of the lace edge on Rosebuddie. But I'm not there yet, and in fact as parents we have both banned the question 'Are we there yet'. Any cub who asks 'Are we there yet?'is themselves asked if they would like us to stop and they can get out and walk there. We allow 'how far to' questions within certain limits, after the first question we expect them to notice and make note of the distance on road signs. So no ... I'm not there yet, but I'm very very close. I've also got a new sock on the needles to introduce, and its a long weekend here in New Zealand so with an extra day I felt I had the time to finish  some half made books.
Heading into the last corner of Rosebuddie

So this is where I'm at, less than 10 repeats to work and I'll be done. About now I really should check that the remaining stitch count is neatly divided by the number of stitches I need to complete a whole number of repeats. I checked at the beginning but that was some 600+ stitches ago and sometime little things happen to change the stitch count. Little things like when two stitches cuddle up together and act like one, or two plies separate and make one stitch look like two stitches Best to check now while I still have a few repeats to adjust things in should adjustments be needed.;

First sock of 2012
This is the first sock of of 2012, and I think my 53rd pair of socks since 2006 when I discovered sock knitting. This particular beauty is Teosinte, by Anne Hanson aka Knitspot, and I'm knitting it in a Vintage Purls yarn, Archimedes. The toe on this sock is a provisional cast on toe, and is short rowed to create the shape. I haven't done a toe like that in a long time so it was fun to see the toe shape appear out of the short rows as the wrapped stitches were collected and knit. The lace is lovely, and easy to remember and seems to suit a more stripy yarn like Archimedes. I knit most of this at a Staff-development session Thursday of last week, where the Management gathered up the entire teaching and admin staff into one huge space and greeted us for the new year. The institution in which I work has a tradition of greeting the academic year with a whole day meeting and associated planning sessions. After some 11 years I've worked out that the morning whole institution meeting makes for very good knitting time. 
Four more books
And this sunny yarn arrived durring the week, the first installment of Vintage Purls Summer sock yarn club in light lemon yellow with a shawl pattern - Demelza. There was also fudge - but that is long gone, and look little knitterly sticky notes. This is not a colour I would have ever chosen but it is so bright and yellow that I am wondering why I'd never considered this colour before. Defiantly on my to knit list. 

With the extra day this weekend I was able to spend some time finishing the books I had part made. Here are the last four of the six I have mostly done. One or two of these are earmarked for particular friends, one is for me and one is for the birthday stash. You know the birthday stash?  A small collection of things one has put aside knowing that there are birthdays and similar events going to happen. The birthday stash prevents last minute panic buying of weird gifts. Rosebuddie is headed for the 'so you are having a baby' stash, but I'm going to have to add a non-pink blanket as well as not all babies are girls, and some parents really don't like their wee boys in pink or pinky purple.
Some assembly required

Of course these are not totally finished yet, the book blocks (pages) are assembled, and the covers assembled and covered but the two have not yet been attached to each other. That is the next step, but I've found that letting the books dry out completely after each glue step makes the process neater and easier. I'm also playing with different weights of card for the covers. I have not found book-board available locally, but I've not really looked beyond art supply shops and larger stationery stores.  I do want to try Michael O'Brian in Oamaru,  as I have heard that he does sell some book making materials. Problem is that that most times I've been there, its been after hours or he has been just locking up to to go to lunch. There is a Youtube video explaining more about his work here, where he mentions apprenticeships,  part of me wants to inquire about learning bookbinding from him ... but right now there just isn't the time. 

What I have found out is that thicker card is less likely to curve when glued and dried, but is much more difficult to cut to size, thinner car dries into wave and curl shapes when glued .. unless I press it flat until dry. I can press it flat easily, but do wonder if the curl will return if the book is ever in a high humidity area or subject to some sort of mishap involving liquid. These are made with a ply-card, not the thickest I've used, and not the thinnest. I'm still exploring the materials available here and thought the ply - card, made of layers might be a little like ply wood, stronger and stiffer because of the layers. 
Surprise! - these are for Ngaire

There were two that I made and covered yesterday, with brown paper, and the last of the thicker card that I had on hand. I had a request for 'more' of the brown paper covered journals, so here are two more. One has plain paper and one has a knit grid. What I have found out is that books can be made in hundreds of different ways, and right now I'm liking the quite square spine with the french-groove hinge, and the inner book-block coptic bound so the pages open and lie flat easily.

I think I'll head off and work on the last of the edge, and then see if the book covers are ready to have their inners inserted.

na Stella


Suzanne said...

I swoon! There is a book bound with that fascinating owl paper that I so love! Periodically, I pull the sheet you used to wrap my book from the gift paper drawer and just stare at it. As I mentioned, I think I'd like to use it for decoupage. First, I need to learn decoupage.

Your adventures in bookbinding are most enticing - very hard to resist the pull...

Knitting Linguist said...

So close on that blanket! It's looking beautiful. And I love the books - each is more lovely than the last (you almost have me tempted to take up another hobby).

Love the Vintage Purls kit - waiting for mine to come in the mail (a little treat for myself) :)