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Kyle Mitchell

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About Kyle Mitchell

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    New Member

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  • Location
    Oakland, California, USA
  • Interests
    bootmaking, shoe repair, stationery cases

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    enthusiastic incompetence
  • Interested in learning about
    boot construction methods, decorative hand stitches
  1. Here's the post on twist directions I teased: https://craft.kemitchell.com/three-saddle-stitches/
  2. I received Nigel Armitage's book today. There are a couple sentences on casting mentioning that it changes thread twist, which in turn changes the slant of the stitches. Nothing on any effects beyond changing twist.
  3. Ddat, that's certainly how the Stohlmans' book taught it: There's a whole lot of good (and bad) information out there about how to saddle stitch. In the end, the threads end up either running one always over the other or twisted. If they're twisted, they twist left or right. Casting and needle placement get the same results, in terms of twist and twist direction. I'm wondering if there's some other difference between them. I've seen good stuff stitched both ways!
  4. Thanks, GatoGordo. I had seen Nigel's new videos, albeit sped up to 1.5. They're part of what got me thinking about all this in depth again. I understood Nigel as advocating always crossing the second needle behind the first, pulling the first thread in the hole forward, and placing the second second thread high in the hole. That means casting to reverse the direction the threads twist, and he covers that. He also warns against taking up slack at angles as a valid technique on heartier leathers like bridle, but unnecessary or unhelpful on the tannages more often used for wallets and the like. I'm not sure why he picked second-needle-high as the method to teach. Perhaps for assurance against tying overhand knots, especially for beginners. Perhaps also because there's some extra benefit to casting over needle placement. I don't know. I have his book on order. If it's mentioned there, I'll be sure to follow up.
  5. When shooting for the falling-dominoes effect on the back as well as front side of a saddle stitch, is there any extra benefit to casting to change which thread crosses on top, as compared to placing the second needle through the hole in position so they cross that way? Put another way: Do you other folks here get better looking slanted stitches on the back side when casting versus putting the front-side needle low in the hole? It's dazzling---in both "wow!" and "gah, my eyes!" senses---how much information there is to be found on this stuff now. It seems pretty broadly understood, at least practically, that when saddle stitching in slanted holes, changing the direction the threads twist---corkscrew or candy cane, S or Z, standard or reverse thread, right over left or left over right---changes which side gets the shorter, steeper-slanted stitches. Got that. But as I've been revisiting old notes and doing some experiments on scrap for a new project, I'm seeing what looks like a pattern of better results on the back side with the casting technique. I'm also noticing a preference for casting in the videos and tutorials I've found online, mostly folks focused on wallets, belts, handbag bags, and other small goods, punching pretty wide holes with irons. Coming up on the Stohlmans' book as I did, I'd always just put my "B" needle on one side or the other of the "A" thread in the hole to set the twist. There wasn't a pretty line drawing of throwing any loop over, so I didn't. I suspect, perhaps naively, that putting needles through the holes to twist one way, casting so they twist the other, and having the thread ride up and over as I pull slack might be slightly reaming the rougher exit side of the holes a tad wider. That might help a bit like how pulling threads taught at an angle can. That's pure speculation on my part. When I pull slack really slow, to try and see what's going on, results change. I've also tried watching some YouTube videos that show stitching from the back in slow motion, but what I'm looking for is either too small to see or not really there. Much appreciate any folks taking time to share wisdom or experience! If I can get to feeling like I've got my head around this last bit, I'll have a nice blog post on twist directions, casting, needle placement, and other tricks, with pictures and tables. Maybe clear the path for those coming behind.
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