Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thread the needle - followup

So based on that poll I had here last week, most people with a clear opinion, said that the needle should be threaded using the end that was just cut from the spool. Although a clear majority of all respondents seem to be sure that either end of the thread is fine!

But I had a comment from Suzanne, which seems to resolve the issue for me. She said:

Which end you thread from has to do with which direction the twist is in the thread. You want the thread to travel in the direction of twist. BUT you don't have to get all technical and microscopic about it - there's an easy test.

Holding on to one end of the thread, take it between the nails of the thumb and forefinger of the other hand and quickly run down the thread - sort of "stripping" it. If it bunches up - thread from the bottom end, if the thread stays straight, thread from the end you are holding. If you observed which was the spool end - so much the better.

Thank you Suzanne!

Actual poll results:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thread the needle

I have conflicting information about how to thread a needle. I mean, which end of the thread to put through the eye. To reduce tangles and knotting, of course. For a long time I followed the advice that I should thread my needle using the end that I just cut from the spool. Then I got entirely opposite advice from a knowledgeable individual. But neither of my sources had a very good explanation for their preference. If you have a preference, you can cast a vote in this little poll (edit: poll now closed). If you have insight or explanations, please leave me a comment!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Folding Tools a la Randy Arnold

My bone folder collection is not extensive in comparison to many bookbinders. I have a few rather ordinary bone folders (I think they are all cow bones) and I have one Teflon folder. Thanks to this Christmas present from my mother, I recently expanded my collection to include an ebony folding tool, made by Randy Arnold. So here's my new folder:
(Photos by Randy Arnold)
Of course, Randy also makes unique boxes for the folders to live in, so my new folder arrived in this: I have already been using it and it is a wonderful tool. It is lightweight but very solid, since ebony is a very dense wood (apparently one of the few kinds of wood that will sink in water, just fyi). Its density also allows ebony to be highly polished and resistant to scratches and such. I took it to a recent dinner with a group of other local bookbinders to show it off and they were all understandably jealous. I'm looking forward to using it in a variety of ways; the reverse side has a thinner end that will be handy for some poking and shaping. Thanks Randy, for making such beautiful and functional tools!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happy New Year

Somehow it has become 2010 already. The last few weeks have blown by in such haste that I hardly noticed the passage of time. In spite of my near silence here in blogworld and my little hiatus from Etsy over the holidays, I was working on a few things. So until I get some new projects underway, I'll share some books that I did in the Autumn and leading up to the holidays, for customers and friends, which didn't get mentioned here previously.

This custom steampunk journal was made for a writer who wanted a special journal in which to write her own steampunk-style fiction.

A model Nag Hammadi blank book, with exposed papyrus in the covers (although I used some Old Masters paper from Saint-Armand for the pages, rather than papyrus).

Two hardcover autograph books for my niece and nephew who are planning a trip to Disney World.

A red leather journal featuring the High School Musical cast on the inside, a hardcover chain-stitch journal with a soccer motif, a tan leather journal with a bead closure, and a set of box-board notebooks made from a Don Julio Tequila box.

I have big plans for the new year... well, I resolve to finish some of the projects that I started last year, and the year before...