Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

This bookbinding post is about sewing over snakes tapes.
First, there was the black hemp paper. I love hemp paper because it is so nice to stitch on, and so when I found a sheet of black hemp, I bought it, thinking black hemp...metallic thread...maybe a little iridescent paint... This is how hare-brained schemes are hatched. I would make a little black book using painted fusible webbing and metallic and silk thread and it would be great. And it was great.

...until I began poking the holes to stitch the signatures. Hemp is very fibrous paper, and in the best of situations, the little holes one pokes have a tendency to close back up. Add the black color to the mix, and the holes for the sewing stations simply disappeared. That was problem number one.

Problem number two began when my friend Roberta put this ball of recycled sari yarn on sale, 50% off. I don't knit, but I bought it anyway. This leads directly to problem number three, in which I decide to use this gorgeous yarn as the tapes (or more correctly raised cords) over which I sewed. Oy vey. This yarn might be fine to knit with, but when you cut it into short lengths it has a mind of its own. The yarn came alive, snaking and curling every which way, no matter how I tried to tame it. I gave up trying to find the holes I had carefully punched in the signatures, opting to get the first signature sewn fairly evenly and then just line the others up and hope for the best. I unsnarled giant knots about once every 3 minutes. Little pieces of sari silk fuzzed off and caused further snarling, both vocal and threadly.

I realized, to my horror and amusement, that the catchy tune I had begun humming was I Will Survive, by Gloria Gaynor. Where the heck did that come from?

And finally, somehow, I had tied the last knot. I have no cover yet, but that adventure couldn't possibly be as -ummmm- eventful as today's, could it?
Stay tuned...


  1. LOVE that. And is that the sari yarn? woo hoo.

  2. It is the sari yarn. It's lovely to look at, but problematic. A friend saw many comments on Ravelry with the same complaints. Mostly I think it is a bit overspun, and letting strands "relax" a bit will probably help.