Friday 24 March 2023

Introduction To Bookbinding - Week Five


This week on the Introduction to Bookbinding course we made a button hole binding.

This is a really interesting design allowing you to see the inside of the book while it's closed.  And while it looks quite impressive, it's actually quite simple to make.


I was a little disappointed with the video for this one.  It felt like part of it was missing, especially round how to create the cover.  It didn't stop me from making one, but having made it I can see my spine should have been thinner.  I'll know for next time.

I did however love the idea of including an envelope in one of the signatures, giving you a little pocket to put things in, making this a good one for a journal or travel diary. 

Only one more week to complete and the one I've been really looking forward to - the clam shell box.

Sunday 19 March 2023

Serpent Trail - Part 4


 This week I completed the Serpent Trail, running the last 13 miles from Midhurst to Petersfield.

I had been aiming to do this last week, but my grumpy knee stopped me as I rested it after a visit to the chiropractor.  It had absolutely nothing to do with the cold and snow! 

Today was a nice spring day.  I got rid of my wooly hat and wore my cap for the first time this year, and even ran a few miles without my jumper, although I did have to put it back on once it clouded over a bit and the wind got up.

However, it was very very wet and muddy underfoot.  I hate mud.  I hate how it makes a mess and you slide around on it and can't get a firm grip.  And I hate the possiblity of falling over in it.  While I did get wet and muddy up to my knees, I did manage to stay upright which was good, but my feet did get very wet.  

Just one example of the mess I had to run through today

I did find it weird that, just like the beginning, there was nothing to mark the end of the trail.  Just the green badge which takes you back the other way. (Purple badges take you from Haslemear to Petersfield, while green badges take you back the other way.)

 All in all I really enjoyed running this trail. We've got some beautiful landscapes in this area and it was really nice to explore them and see how they fit together.  I also really enjoyed how quiet they were.  There were bits with dog walkers, but mostly it was just me and the trees and gorse.

I think my only negative would be the fact that running at this time of year, it is muddy and the trees are all asleep.  I'd really like to do it again later in the year when hopefully it would be drier underfoot and the trees would be in full leaf. 

But for now I'm thinking about which trail to run next week as my training for July progresses.

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Introduction To Bookbinding - Week Four


This weeks bookbinding projects included a bojagi scroll book and a Chinese thread book.

With limited time I decided to focus on the Chinese thead book and had a lot of fun folding each of the sections.  


Apparently it was originally design to hold small sewing notions, but could hold anything really.  She has a different project on her site which uses them to create a Christmas advent calendar with each one for a different day and holding a chocolate.

I love this project as it includes a couple of hidden sections too!


I just used plain paper for this one as I wasn't sure how it would come out, but it could look really nice using a printed paper design.


I'd like to try this again, but including a closer to hold it closed when its full of goodies.

It was a fun little project to spend an afternoon on.  I think they could make some nice gifts to give friends and family.

Sunday 12 March 2023

Kiss Of North


 I've been trying to stash bust my yarn.  It's harder than you might think.  You might have a nice pattern, but then you need the right yarn.  And enough yarn.  So many of my patterns need more than one or two balls.

However as I was looking through my patterns I came across one that seemed to be a match with some yarn I had left over from the Carbeth Cardigan I made a couple of years ago.


The Kiss of North pattern is for a seamless vest that looks perfect for taking the dog for a walk on a fresh morning, when you don't quite need a jumper but you don't want to just go in just a t-shirt.


It uses a stitch I've never used before to make the bottom and edges; looking on YouTube it might have been a Rosette Stitch?  Whatever it was, once my head/fingers had got the idea it was pretty quick to knit and actually makes a very pretty pattern.


It's maybe not quite as long as it could be, but I only had 4 balls of Paintbox Simply Chunky to work with, and only had a small amount left over.

I then finished it off with wooden buttons from the local wool shop.


I'm very pleased with the finished item.  It was an easy quick knit and looks great.  Also no seams which has to be a bonus.  And it used up 4 balls of yarn, 'im outdoors will be pleased.

All I need now is some warmer weather to try it out in.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Introduction To Bookbinding - Week Three


This week we were making stab bound books.  So instead of sewing our pages together then adding a cover we bound the whole lot together.

First we made a soft bound list book.  This was very quick to make, but makes a nice little book.


Next we made a hard covered book.  I love this so much!  Each cover is made of two parts to give a flexible spine.

I used some gold paper from my stash and was going to use a pretty yellow paper for the end papers but then realised I hadn't quite cut the boards square.  But the gold paper was on by then so I used a white and silver stripy paper bag instead.  (didn't want to waste that yellow paper on a not quite right book.)


Even though it's not quite right I do really love the gold book.  I want to try it again and maybe use some of the more decorative sewing techniques that she showed us.  

Another interesting week adding to my knowledge of bookbinding.

Sunday 5 March 2023

Serpent Trail - Part 3

The only sort of Serpent I'm likely to see

 This weeks run was much better than last weeks.  Less mud, less hills and less getting lost.

I was running from Petworth to Midhurst.  If I was to drive it like a normal sane person it would be about 6.5 miles and take about 12 minutes (even running this distance would only take just over an hour).  Instead I ran the next part of the Serpent Trail which covered 20 miles and took about 4 hours 30 minutes.

It was a cold grey, uninspiring kinda day, but that didn't make it any less good as a run.  I imagine when I'm running my race in a heat wave in July, I'll be thinking back to these long cold runs, where I never remove my gloves and my water stays cold, with wistful nostalgia. 

I've got a grumpy knee at the moment, so used a knee support which can be kinda uncomfortable in its own way but better than my knee imploading.

A different style way marker - maybe a replacement for a missing one?

And there was one delibeate detour where I found the path flooded and decided I had no intention of getting wet feet this run.

There was also a lot of gorse.  Running gear is no defence against gorse.

The signage was better on this section except for Tripp Hill were it disappeared completely and a few points with new sign postes without badges attached yet, where a quick check of the map sorted me out.  I was far less trusting this week!

So that's the Serpent Trail nearly finished.  Just one more, shortish run next week should complete it and I'll have to decide where to go next. 


You can read what happened in part 4 here.

Thursday 2 March 2023

Mindful Making Kit


 Last November I got asked to help with the team away day.  As a thank you for the work I put in, instead of chocolates or a bottle of wine, I was given a Mindful Making Kit.  (someone knows me well!)

So this year I have been putting it to use.


It's very simple, including 2 balls of wool, a pair of knitting needles and some instructions.  The instructions suggest using one ball of wool at a time to create a scaf of two colours, but I like stripes, so I switched every 4th row instead.

I love the colours and think they sit so well together.  And it used a lovely chunky wool, so knitted up quite quickly.  And I think there are still plenty of cold days to come to make good use of it.


Was I mindful while knitting?  I'm not sure, but I do find knitting to be very soothing, letting my mind wander and letting the stress fall away so maybe it was.

It was a nice project, and lovely to know I work in a team who would bother to get a gift that was personal to me.