attached. tied. bound.
all such words appropriate for a post on valentines gifting! ha!
to sit alongside a new wrist wrap which i macrame’d out of coated cotton cord and the large dark chocolate Haigh’s frog (yum), i thought to replace T’s grossly deteriorating rubber grips on his bike, with new leather ones.
these would be the 3rd set i have made. the lessons i learnt from the previous sets were:
– measure the width of leather needed to wrap around the handlebar, then less 0.5cm to accommodate for the thickness of the leather (especially if you’re measuring with a tape rather than the leather itself) and the stretch. a snug fit is better than a loose fit, or even just a fit (i’ve learnt this by losing grips by having them fly off mid-pedal. no grip happening there).
– leather to metal does not grip as well as one would think. this also contributed to the flying lost grip incident above. a fellow cyclist commented on how cool those previous grips looked when i was stopped at the traffic lights (obviously before i lost them). i mentioned how they weren’t as grippy as they should be and he suggested i use cut up inner-tube as an underlay. genius!
– you need a sturdy lacing. even doubled leather sewing waxed cotton is not enough. i’ve gone for coated cotton cord, strong and actually looks good too.
so after working out the exact size of rectangle i needed for each grip, i ruled lines to ensure that my punched holes would line up. (tip: one of those plastic chopping boards is good to have under your leather when using a punch, resistant enough to make a clean hole while safe for the tool) make sure that your holes are a generous size for whichever lacing you are using, particularly if some fraying might occur on the ends (otherwise you can tape up the ends and trim after). after a good half hour of malleting (sorry downstairs neighbour!), i was ready to pre-lace. of course, you can lace them directly onto the handle bars, but for gifting, it needed to look a bit pretty so i threaded through the lace leaving a substantial amount of length at the ends to allow for loosening when the time came to put them on.
now i need to make a set for me!
tools. and the return of leather.
after my first post on leather, i had a bit more of a play, but was pretty much limited to using v-tools. the other carving tools weren’t quite the right shapes to cut into the leather enough to make defined lines. nice curves require a steadier hand and more patience. things i’m not always in supply of. anyway, this is one of my funny pieces.
one morning a month or so ago, coming down the stairs for breakfast, T surprised me with a whole set of leather stamping tools which he picked up from Birdsall. SO SO exciting! we didn’t have any appropriate tapping object in our house – besides heels of shoes (aplenty!) or a very rusty hammer which had been living under the sink for a while. i had to wait to actually tool anything, but wasted no time in making a cosy home for all the bits using some fun geo print fabric and linen that i had in my fabric scrap bag.
the mallet eventually came a few weeks later, so finally i got to have a proper go at stamping… yaaay!