A Little Book

It has been a long time since I have written a blog post about something other than the Chinese thread book, so you are probably ready for a change! This week David and I put the finishing touches on the text of a little book. Entitled How To Run A Mexican Bicycle Race, it actually began life as a letter David wrote to me from Mexico in 1980. As well as writing the text, David drew a cover illustration

and two custom dingbats. The bicycle goes between the two main sections of the piece,

and the bent wheel goes at the end.

Most of what we worked on this week was fiddling the layout so that there were no widows or orphans and ensuring that page breaks and paragraph breaks made sense.

We also did proof-reading to catch things like the accent over the ‘i’ in the Spanish spelling of ‘police’.

I printed, stitched, and trimmed one copy to make sure everything looked OK,

then printed twenty copies. They are resting under weight at the moment. (Encyclopedias are so useful!)

I will start folding later today,  and then do the sewing. On Tuesday we will purchase the cover paper.

In knitting news:

The knitting news this week is mostly about spinning, or to be more accurate, plying. After knitting the test samples in the silk noil singles yarn, then washing and blocking them to see how the finished fabric would behave,

I preferred the swatch knit with two strands. The singles sample had a nice airy feel but tended to rack to one side because of the high twist in the thread. (We’ve all had T-shirts that did that. I find it annoying.) The problem with knitting something with two strands of yarn held together is that it is extremely easy to miss one of the strands while working, leaving little half-dropped stitches behind. Since I have the technology, I decided to ply the yarn. This meant winding two balls at a time, then plying the two strands together with a reverse twist. Reversing the twist takes some of the twist out of the singles yarn while keeping the two threads together, resulting in a softer but still strong yarn. Our lovely assistant Kemuri decided to help. Fortunately, that took the form of sleeping on the bed behind me as I sat at the spinning wheel.

Just to make it clear that the black lump on the bed is actually a cat, here’s a close-up.

In other news:

Now that we are heading into autumn (yellow leaves are beginning to fall from some of the trees), my porch garden is in its prime.

We should be able to enjoy the geraniums for a while longer, as long as we don’t get the five letter F word at night.



About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, bookbinding, Design, typography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Little Book

  1. Hilke says:

    It looks like this will be a fun litte (?) book, and kudos to David for making the illustrations (and coming out as an artist). You wrote: “it actually began life as a letter David wrote to me from Mexico in 1980”. – It is funny how long some things brew and then find such a clean and in retrospect simple resolution, isn’t it?


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