Friday, August 11, 2017
Hah! It goes just fine with red chestnuts and bays too (even if my camera gets washed out a little):
The tack-wearing debut of my Kaalee, known as Jezail here in the herd:
My Perlino's story is told in my BreyerFest Goodies.
He did indeed enter my life with a bang. I'd always wanted one but never figured I could afford one. When I saw this unique finish, as glossy a matte as I'd ever seen, I decided to plump. I named him Shahzada, a name from M. M. Kaye's The Far Pavilions, which means Prince.
And what happens after this??
Can you believe: Snowshoes --?!
The answer was to cut a notch. This tiny cut made room where there wasn't any. It had to be done with a sharp X-Acto, one edge at a time, by eye. In hindsight I should've put in a core wrapping, to help shaping, but the notch worked out anyway.
A whole lot of pulling takes place during these steps. In particular the white core will get pulled, and inevitably it gets longer. In hindsight (again) I should've allowed for this lengthening, and hung it a little shorter to start with.
Below, you can see the checkered strands held to the side (the clips), the completed white/green/white, and the blue in mid-spin.
I ran out of one of the checkered strands first, so that determined how long it was! The last part of any mecate is the tassel knot. Here I've started the core of the tassel knot: a 4-part Undercrown, with the white core strand as a center.
My attention went to the popper end. I needed another knot to tighten up the rope and disguise some ends. While full-scale mecates don't have buttons here, I frequently need them for construction purposes! At least it will match.
And this one did.
It's been 4 years since I made a mecate like this. 2015 saw the replication of Fancy's lost Hackamore, but that one copied 10-years-old techniques. My last spun mecate was made in 2013 (Moisan's).
The green color is another reason this one was slow. I didn't have a nice emerald green thread of the gauge I normally use for these mecates. (Heck, no green of any shade!) With what can only be perfectionism, I chose to make every inch of green thread handspun from Gutermann's very small gauge. As it happened the ratio of Gutermann's to what I was after was 9 to 1. Sound familiar...?
Where to begin?
With a written battle plan.
I started with the longest-thread strands, the 'fleck' or checkered ones: 80 inches of tiny hand-quilting brown and white. As it happened 80 inches was too long; it should have been 75 or so.
Spinning the checkered strand took so long that I stopped in the middle and did other colors and other parts, like the popper. Seen below, the blue is done, the green nearly so and the white not at all. The tiny blue clip is holding my place in the checkered strand.