Archive for June, 2009

A Book About the Books
June 21st, 2009 | Link

Moving from a production mindset to an experiential mindset in bookbinding has inspired me to record more information about the books while making them. Previously, I photographed a book when I completed it, and perhaps blogged or posted the picture to my Bookbinding set on Flickr along with few notes about the size and number of pages, and then moved on. If it was a book I was likely to make multiples of and didn’t change much from one to the next—such as a photo album or journal from a purchased book block—I might record the sizes to cut for the boards, cover paper and book cloth in the (purchased!) notebook I stick in the box with my binding tools, but that was it. So I’ve started to catalog the books as I work on them.

I bought a wire-bound sketch book for this project, because I wanted the freedom to rip out pages if needed, and to be able to paste in photographs of the book and samples of paper and book cloth. The format for each entry is something like this:

  • Catalog number and title
  • Finished size and number of pages
  • Description
  • Cover: board or cover stock, thickness or weight, measurements of cover and spine pieces, samples of decorative paper, book cloth, paste-down, etc., and place of purchase
  • Pages: paper used, weight, full-sheet size, place of purchase, folio size, number of folios per section, number of sections, and a sample
  • Sewing: thread used, location of sewing stations, method, and a sample
  • Notes on construction: information I found useful in the construction of the book, such as reference books/pages for instruction; any details such as the size of the bit I used to drill holes; what I think went well or poorly; what I’m happy with or not happy with; etc.
  • Date completed
  • Name of the recipient, if I didn’t keep it
  • Sketches and/or photographs

So far there are four entries in my Book About the Books, and I already wish I’d done this two years ago.

What about you other bookbinders out there? Do you keep a catalog or journal of your books as you work on them? What other information do you find helpful when you’re looking back over your works? What do you do?

Duck, Duck, Duck
June 9th, 2009 | Link

Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks neck warmer - stitch and button detail

I realized recently that I no longer have the patience for large knitting projects. My Chicknits Ribby Cardi has been languishing unfinished for months now—it’s nearly done, I just need to pick up the neck stitches and sew in the ends and the zipper, but I haven’t been able to face it. Instead, I’ve turned to small projects with minimal finishing and quick gratification. Like neck warmers.

I’m in love with this whole concept of neck warmers. I’m always cold, and it seems like part of that is if my neck gets cold the rest of me follows. Neck warmers don’t hang in the way or get caught in the office chair like scarves can. And since they don’t usually flop around to expose the back side of the knitting, you can play with a lot of different stitches.

This piece is based on the Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks pattern from A Time to Knit blog; I found it through my network on Ravelry. Like the Herringbone Cowl I finished a couple of weeks ago, this one is Malabrigo Silky Merino yarn. The mother-of-pearl buttons came from Britex. (Kudos to the clerk who was able to decipher my vague description of the buttons I’d purchased for the Luna Capelet and pull up the same box!)

Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks neck warmer

You can see how easy it would be to pick a favorite stitch from the Barbara Walker Treasury of Knitting Patterns and throw one of these together in a day or two.

Long Stitch and Link Stitch Sketch Book
June 8th, 2009 | Link

Sketchbook - front view

This is a sketch book for my friend Grant. 11-3/4″ wide by 9″ high and 1-1/4″ thick; 96 pages of Mohawk Bristol Drawing (eight sections each containing three folios). It’s a tad wider at the spine, so it’s got room to swell if he decides to do collage or tip in a few photos.

Japanese paper detail

This is my second-favorite Japanese paper of all time, only surpassed by the same pattern in a different colorway that I have not been able to find since I bought a sheet of it five or so years ago (sigh). I ordered this version from The Paper Place.

Japanese paper detail

The spine is a standard long stitch and link stitch binding from Keith Smith’s Non-Adhesive Bindings Volume 1. I’m really happy with the tension on this sewing.

Giveaway Winners
June 1st, 2009 | Link

With the help of I have picked two winners from the comments on my giveaway post. And the winners of the two journals are…

Todd and Simon!

Thanks to everyone who entered, and to everyone who’s reading!



My name is Shannon Hale. This blog is on indefinite hiatus, but it contains archives of the last 10 years of posts about bookbinding, knitting, sewing. and other random things in my life.


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