Monthly Archives: April 2011

lace vs. lace

My sewing and knitting work has been fairly one-tracked lately: the collection. I even had to postpone several projects while the needles were in use elsewhere! Now that I am finished with the lace top I’ve been working intensely on for the past month, I can return the needles and attention to my other lacy work, the Elvish leaves scarf (ravelry link).

It might be a bit hard to get a good perspective with these close up pictures, but I was so surprised to find that the scarf project I left as the softest, cushiest, laciest, and most delicate project in my collection of projects, was none of these when I returned to it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still soft, using a thin lace-weight yarn, and lovely and drapey – but in comparison to the impossibly thin Malabrigo lace yarn I’ve been using for my pale pink top, the scarf feels dense, firm, and sturdy.

So at the start of this rainy weekend – just a little observation, a project in the works I wanted to show of, a finished project I am looking forward to showing off really soon, and a couple of pretty pictures.

I ♥ bookbinding class: spineless

A screwpost album, with holes drilled through the paper for the screwposts. The paper has been dubbed “elephant-paper”, or “moon-paper”, and I added a sheet of colored paper on either end to liven it up a bit. This is a single-sheet binding, since none of the pages were folded into folios.

Why yes, books can be spineless! As far as I understand, based on this article, the spine is the bookboard-part of the book that is facing you when it’s on a shelf. The backbone of the book is the edge of the papers all collected and bound together.

I guess it’s impossible for a book to not have a backbone, but they can be without a spine! This is the next batch of books I’ve made in my class, and they are definitely a step up from the first round we did. The sewing is a little more advanced, and we’ve started using bookboard and covering them with decorative paper.

Japanese stab-binding – though the traditional method has a lot of rules that I’m sure we broke! The covers are bookboard, but the front has a little gap in it to allow for the cover to open.


A double pamphlet. It uses the simple pamphlet stitch, but with two pamphlets sandwiched between this little flap of the cover paper, which I think looks so lovely from the outside. It reminds me of a Moleskin!


A hardback pamphlet – with bookboard covers, but just a soft bookcloth spine. It looks a lot like a “real” book though!

I’ve built up quite a paperstash in the last few years, and with my upcoming move, it’s been great to be able to use some of that stash to make books. For some reason it feels more acceptable, and worth it, to lug around things you’ve made, compared to the materials it takes to make them! It’s not too strange I guess – we add a lot of value to the raw materials when we bring them together into a made object. It’s no longer just paper, or just fabric, or just yarn – it’s a book, a dress, a sweater that I made.

Another thing I’ve enjoyed with the bookmaking, is the color-combinations. I strive for a nice end-result in all of these books, so I try to choose my colors carefully. I’m certainly seeing quite a consistent color-scheme in the books, and so in line with colors I’ve been choosing in other areas lately as well; rich green-golds, dull turquoises, and greyish sea-foam. It is fun to show my books to other people, only for them to tell me that the colors are “so me”!

The longstitch binding. Originating in the medieval times, the paper is sewn directly on to the cover, and each other, all at once. I’m finding that I’m loving the sewing aspect of bookbinding, which makes sense with my love of sewing period! I’d really like to make a longstitch book with a leather cover – I think that would look spectacular!  

An album with stab-binding, and folded covers. The cover is one long strip of paper, which is a bit unusual – most books have two separate covers. And I couldn’t help myself – I had to add some decorative paper to liven up the inside a bit!

*       *       *

And finally, for some eyecandy, tipinfold books.

“Art Wandawega book construction, 2009”

The lady behind tipinfold books is Julia Stotz, and my goodness…. her work is gorgeous. It looks like she does a lot of custom work, and it all looks stunning – the complete range from wedding albums to portfolios and lookbooks, to art objects and installations touching on paper and books. It’s work like hers that gives me something to really aspire towards.

little things

I’m hard at work on my senior collection, which explains the silence around here lately – I’ve simply been at my sewing machine all the time!

Sometimes however, it’s nice, and necessary, to do something else. Something just for me – something simple. It’s the little things like soft cotton handkerchiefs in a bold, but sweet, flower print from my stash-pile.

Handkerchiefs hold a place in my childhood memories – my mom pulling them out of her purse to wipe chocolate and ice cream of my face; of burying my head into a pile of hot, freshly tumble-dried towels and handkerchiefs; of being allowed to iron and fold the cotton squares (which I’m sure was more so something to occupy me with, than me being helpful!).

I guess handkerchiefs aren’t all that fashionable anymore – even frowned upon as unsanitary. I’m not in that camp, so I will unfashionably keep these on hand and enjoy their utter simpleness.

(Made roughly following this tutorial by Tasia)