Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ALMOST WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Kaweco Stonewashed (Blue) Kaweco AL-Sport

I recently reviewed the Kaweco AL-Sport. Here's a link to that review. This pen is exactly like that - except the look is way cool. Right?  (Not that the other isn't, but wow.)

I've been calling this the Kaweco Stonewashed AL-Sport and have seen others refer to it as the Kaweco Raw AL-Sport.

On to the wordless portion of this Wordless Wednesday . . . 


Monday, July 28, 2014

PAPER REVIEW: Field Notes - Arts & Sciences Edition


Over and over again, I buy Field Notes brand Memo Books. I’m not sure why . . . the paper quality of most editions I’ve seen is Just Not That Good and not very suitable for fountain pen use.

(Un)fortunately, they get it just right sometimes. And that’s enough to keep me coming back for more.  You know what I’m saying? It’s like pizza delivery – they get the order right just often enough to make me try again another day.

And that brings us to the 64-Page Note Book from Field Notes. The Arts & Sciences limited edition. The big one.

Some things about the  note book. . .

measures 4.75” x 7.5”
110 lb cover stock
50 lb bright white paper paper with silver ink
printed with light gray lines on right side of book – blank on left
staple bound (also called saddle stitching)
rounded corners
made in the US

Two more things about this note book . . .

  1. It’s not fountain pen friendly
  2. I’m going to use the hello out of this book

Annnnnd this is why I keep coming back to Field Notes: despite the fact that this book is comprised of average components with a standard design, I adore it.

Field Notes: they’re easy.

Enough pages to fill with good information, not so many that the book is even a little bulky. The front covers are iconic in their simplistic design. (This one has a deeply debossed logo on the front cover.) The inside covers are filled with interesting little tidbits, and at the end of the day, It Just Works.

So. Like so many before it, I won’t be using my fountain pens with this edition of Field Notes, but I will be carrying it with me for list making and planning purposes.  And by the time I’m finished filling the note book, it will probably be a bit tattered and worn (thank goodness for those rounded corners), and it may even be stained with pizza.

There are other great little notebooks out there. I've been loving Curnow Bookbinding & Leatherwork and Yellow Paper House (a new shop on Etsy), and they are definitely fountain pen friendly.

And what about you, dear reader? Which little notebooks do you love? Or love to hate ;)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

INK REVIEW: J Herbin Lie de The

I don't like brown inks. It's been documented right here on this blog.  

Delta Brown, what's the flower you have on? It's brown.

Chocolat from Private Reserve? I said I liked it, but I don't. I never bought a bottle like I said I might.

I don't like brown inks. Really, I don't!! 

J Herbin Lie de The

Why try again? Well, I have just about every other color group represented in my currently-inked pens and the Kaweco Sport I wanted to use is blue.  I've always thought brown and blue look great together. Leather and denim, right? Can't just be me.

Anyway . . .

Best. Brown. Ever. 

I'm a convert. I have seen the light brown and I like it. I love it.  My gosh, look at that shading.

The color is wonderful. Not too dark, not too light. I'm not seeing any of that red that turned me away from some of the other browns I've tried. There's definitely some yellow in there, though.

It writes fantastically. No flow issues (consider that I was using a BB nib). Dry time was a little long (that nib was laying down some serious ink). 

There was no feathering, bleeding, or ghosting with Clairefontaine paper. There was all of the above when I touched the nib to some cheapie cheap-o paper.  I don't know if that's more because of the paper or the ink, but there you go.

I'm adding Lie de The to my inky wish list.

Here's the full review. Click here to see the full-size image (it's big).  

OK...speak up....brown ink. Are you in or out? Do you like browns that lean toward the yellow or more toward red?


P.S. I rarely look at other reviews before I write my own, but will sometimes check them out after. There are lots of reviews on Fountain Pen Network that talk about how green Lie de The is. I don't see that. I don't see that so much that I wonder if the formulation has changed. When I look at the swabs on both Goulet Pens and Zeller Writing, I don't see green.  Do you?

Monday, July 21, 2014

PEN REVIEW: Kaweco AL Sport Grey

Kaweco AL Sport Grey Fountain Pen Review

I'm usually not into the weights and measures of my fountain pens, but I can't help it this time. Capped, this great-looking pen measures right around four inches - the perfect size for pockets or smaller bags. When posted, the Kaweco gains over an inch to just about 5.25 inches.  Perfect.

The AL Sport weighs in at a solid 22g. For comparison, the Kaweco Ice Sport weighs just 10g.

I love the look of this pen - classic Kaweco design, sleek, simple, smart.

The color of is simply called grey. It's a very warm grey - leaning well into red. Lot of depth of color for what is basically a flat finish. I can't help but think that if you wanted to match this pen to an ink, you should try Pilot Iroshizuku's Kiri-same.

Unfortunately, this pen only accepts short international cartridges. Fortunately, some short international converters may work with the pen. Unfortunately, I don't know which those are - I am hoping someone will post with suggestions.

A great solid pen.

But how does it write?

I loaded up my medium-nibbed AL Sport with a Private Reserve Spearmint cartridge and got to writing . . . .

My early (and only) concern was that the section (grip area) is quite short and my thumb was hitting  (and rubbing against) it oddly. Honestly, I wasn't sure it was going to work out.

After writing with it for awhile, putting it down for a day or two, and then going back to it, there were no issues with the section/grip. Whew.  Perfectly comfortable, but something to be aware of because that section does seem short.

My bottom line . . . At around $80 (I got mine from Goulet Pens with my own saved pennies), it's a bit more expensive than some of the other Kaweco fountain pens, but the quality is there. Definitely recommended. In fact, I'm already looking for the Stonewashed version of this same pen - stay tuned!