Monday, April 28, 2014

As Expected, the Weekend Was . . .

Yes, this busy-weekend thing is getting predictable.

I previewed the weekend on Thursday by stabbing my left index finger with my lacing fid (a tool for opening up holes/slots, not for stabbing holes in your finger). 

I had some use-it-or-lose-it comp time to deal with, so I took Friday off. I started sewing swivels onto tails, and got 5 out of 10 done before stabbing my right index finger. I forget if I did that with the point or the eye of the needle. I decided to be done sewing for the day after that tail was done. I also decided not to do any hand-sewing on Saturday, to let my fingers heal. I did a little on Sunday, but decided that my right index finger, which also has some other light damage, was still insufficiently healed to make sewing a good idea. 

On Wednesday or Thursday I made a to-do list, with which things I thought Ron could do (yes, his hand is still bothering him) noted. That's been much more effective than occasionally mentioning things we need to do. It also made me think about which things I usually do, but Ron is just as capable as I am of doing. 

Saturday morning we went to Leather Factory for a punch for putting a row of 4 small round holes in something. I wanted it to use with the purple suede lace (which arrived Friday), as the suede lace is a lot thicker than the smooth lace I usually use. A couple other hole punches followed us home, as well as . . . more leather. Oops.

Saturday Ron worked on figuring out what to do with small bottles. Here's the finished prototype, using one of Robin's (emptied) model cement bottles, which is the same size as the cobalt blue ones I'd bought.

It looks better in person, and not in a fairly tight close-up - it's a small bottle, 2 oz. The straps are 1/2" wide. The bottom is molded. The trick was final assembly, since the neck on these bottles is too short to sew a collar around like the other bottles, and you can't really set a rivet against the bottle. The solution is a flat washer/collar, and use of snaps.

It came out so well that I ordered more bottles, more cobalt blue, amber (beer bottle brown, really), and clear. Stupid amounts of bottles, but it wasn't that much more expensive to get a dozen than a half-dozen of each color (plus an extra cobalt, since I only ordered 5 initially, and I was in a multiples-of-six mindset). I don't expect to get them all done by ACen, but we can get some done.

Which means that we need more leather to mold the bottom cups. So I ordered that last night. And today I ordered more swivels for tails (down to 2, after I sew the second half of the batch in progress), and dees to go on the backs of pouches so they can be used as sporrans (down to 2 or 3 pairs). Plus a half-inch end punch for making bottle parts and on other narrow straps (Ron faked the bottle prototype with a 3/4" punch). 

Yesterday and Saturday we worked on a batch of 8 more hard pouches, and 5 soft-ish pouches. Now they're all ready to lace/sew up. I screwed up, and fixed, two of them. One soft-ish pouch I punched the holes on the front way too far down, so now it has a shield-shaped piece of leather on the front hiding the wrong holes and also putting the latch in the right place. And somehow I got the latch on the flap for one of the hard pouches off-center. That one couldn't be completely fixed, but I think I have it compensated for well enough. 

One of the hard pouches is nominally Pouch #1000. The "real" pouch #1000 is probably already done and packed in Max, but this one will get the official title. In honor of that, I'm doing something special to/with it that I've been thinking of for a while. Pictures when we finish.

We didn't actually cross many things off the to-do list as completely done, but we made progress on a bunch - tails, getting all the pouches I've cut out ready to lace, the little bottles, and poking at inventory and working on price increase-related things. I'm satisfied.

Today we've been looking at/for more Otter Necessities shirts and vests and things, so we can all be logo-ized by ACen. 

I laced up one of the fuscia (which I've been calling Barbie-purple) pouches last night, using the purple lace on the flap:

It was declared a success.

There were purple fuzzies from the suede lace everywhere. And the suede lace is a lot more bulky, as mentioned above. It definitely needed the larger holes. I used smooth black lace on the bottom and up the sides, I wouldn't want to use the suede for those. The suede lace wasn't too bad to work with, other than the fuzzies and making my fingers purple. But the cheap leather I backed the thin fuscia leather up with is really stiff, so the pouch was a pain to do because of that. 

And black dye over purple dye on my fingers made it look like they were bruised. Soap and water fixed that, though.

1 comment:

  1. I know that the worship pastor at my church would have some sympathy for your finger holes. Yesterday he had to play with a burst blister on an inconvenient part of his left (fretting) hand, and a bandaid left him with too little feeling instead of too much.