Kaweco Cartridges: Simply the Best?

Kaweco Skyline Sport Metallic Violet with Kaweco Summer Purple ink

I got that really cute pen, the Kaweco Skyline Sport in Metallic Violet in early February, and I immediately popped in a Kaweco Summer Purple ink cartridge. It’s seven months later — seven months of intermittent neglect — and that same ink cartridge is still in there. Still going.

Kaweco Summer Purple is an attractive purple ink. And I really intended to do a post about it. But life got busy. I forgot the pen was still inked.

Months went by. Then I’d find it and use it briefly. Then weeks would go by. But every single time I guiltily rediscovered this pen, all I had to do was pick it up and turn it over, for the ink to immediately start flowing. And by flowing, I mean flowing perfectly, without hesitation, skipping or blobbing.

Kaweco Summer Purple ink writing sample

Some of my pen-ink combinations have balked if left for just a few days unused. So this is meritorious service. Shout-out to Kaweco.

I’ve mentioned that Kaweco inks are nicely lubricated. And that Kaweco cartridges contain a little plastic ball for better ink flow.

Kaweco ink converter plastic ball

Clearly, it all works. What a well-made pen, what a great ink cartridge, what a great ink brand.

And Summer Purple ink is a nice color, too.

Kaweco Summer Purple ink writing sample


Comparing Sailor Souten with Sailor Sky High

Sailor Souten and Sailor Sky High

I plan to do a more in-depth look at Sailor Souten, but we were talking yesterday about how it compares to Sailor Jentle Sky High, and here’s a quick look at just that.

Sky High is my favorite Sailor ink, and one of my all-around favorite blue inks. It’s just a nice, cheery blue, with great shading, and uncomplicated behavior. It even has nice red sheen for sheen fans.

But when Sailor discontinued Sky High, that was fine with me. I had a bottle, and I have a lot of blue inks. If I ever used up my Sky High, I’d be left with only 943 other blue inks. Not a tragedy.

But Sailor did bring out Sailor Jentle Four Seasons Souten, and I was given a sample, and eventually bought a bottle. I’ve been using both together for the past few weeks, to evaluate Souten and compare the two.

Sailor Souten and Sailor Sky High

I don’t think they are identical. I think Souten may be very slightly darker than Sky High. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I am certain that any differences are slight. (I’ve also done paper towel chromatography.) To me, Souten is essentially the same as Sky High.

Here’s a writing sample. Souten is the first ink and Sky High the second in each pair

Sailor Souten and Sailor Sky High writing sample comparisons

I’ve mostly been writing with both inks in Lamy Safaris with broad nibs. Those are dry pens. Here’s a closeup.

Sailor Souten and Sailor Sky High writing sample comparisons

I also tried the two inks in Edison pens with identical 14k medium nibs. Those are wet writers.

Sailor Souten and Sailor Sky High writing sample comparisons

Sky High still looks just a bit lighter to me, after using them for weeks in the same pens on many different papers. But the two inks share the same hue, the same degree of shading and sheen and the same excellent behavior.

I was happy to buy a bottle of Souten. Sky High is a favorite, and I’m pretty sure I won’t even notice the difference.

Comparing Parker Penman Sapphire and Bung Box (First Love) Sapphire

Parker Penman Sapphire compared to Bungbox First Love Sapphire

When I got my new bottle of Parker Penman Sapphire (not actually new, but new-to-me), I hemmed and hawed about what pen I should use.

Part of me wanted to put it in a gorgeous Azure Blue Parker Vacumatic, because PPS is a gorgeous blue Parker ink. Another part of me thought, this is a job for my Pelikan M205 blue demonstrator: PPS is an ink that should be appreciated in a demonstrator. While all the votes on Instagram were for the Vac.

But I ended up choosing the beautiful new Kaweco AL-Sport Light Blue with extra-fine nib instead. I’ve got that pen for review, and it deserves a special ink.

Parker Penman Sapphire ink

After a few days of using PPS in the Light Blue AL-Sport, a light bulb went on: I also have Kaweco AL-Sport in raw aluminum with an extra-fine nib. The same pen, the same nib. So I grabbed the second AL-Sport and filled that with what remains of my sample of Bung Box First Love Sapphire, which is often compared to PPS.

You can see the results at the top, and I’ll put some closeup photos on the next page.

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Blast from the Past: Parker Penman Sapphire

Parker Penman Sapphire ink

A very nice friend found a partially full bottle of Parker Penman Sapphire for me, and it arrived on Friday.

I don’t chase vintage inks, so this will be my first and last bottle of this one, but it’s great to have more to use.  PPS is a great blue color, very deep, with nice shading. This ink is saturated, is not easy to clean, and it has red sheen out the wazoo. I like less saturated inks; I like easy-to-clean inks; and I’m neutral on sheen. And I still adore PPS. It is special.

I put it in a Kaweco AL-Sport with extra-fine nib this time.

Parker Penman Sapphire writing sample


Wheat Straw Paper: Yes, It Sheens

sheen of Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu on Step Forward wheat straw paper

When I blogged yesterday about my new Step Forward wheat straw paper, a reader asked whether it shows sheen. I wasn’t sure; I’d been seeing some, but not a huge amount. And part of that has been due to our cloudy, rainy weather. And part of that is I don’t have a sheening ink in a wet pen right now.

But I have good news. Yesterday afternoon, for a brief few minutes, the sun burst through. And so did the sheen. That first photo shows Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu, an evergreen ink with a lot of sheen, on the Step Forward wheat straw paper.

Here it is on the edge of the little notebook, where I fortuitously had wiped off a messy nib.

sheen of Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu on Step Forward wheat straw paper

I don’t think the wheat straw paper is necessarily a power sheener, like Tomoe River paper. But it’s good to know that if you put enough ink down, and it’s the right ink, there will be sheen.

More Inexpensive Fountain Pen-Friendly Paper: Wheat Straw Printer Paper

Step Forward Wheat Straw paper

Okay, I am not someone who delves deeply into the paper end of the fountain pen hobby, admittedly, but I was surprised by this one. Wheat straw paper?

Yes: wheat straw has been turned into paper.  Initially, this was puzzling. But my dad used to eat shredded wheat cereal for breakfast. That stuff definitely tasted like paper.

Thus, wheat straw paper. It works nicely with fountain pen inks, appears to be better for the environment than regular paper, and it’s inexpensive. So I’m going to give this a try.

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Pen Snippet: Platinum Classic Maki-e Fountain Pen

Platinum Classic Maki-e fountain pen

This is the Platinum Classic Maki-e Fountain Pen from Pen Chalet that I’ve been using recently. It’s such a pretty pen, with such a great nib.

Pen Chalet very nicely gave this to me so we can give it away to a blog reader. Before we do that, though, I’ve been putting it through its paces. And I wanted to highlight the pen a little, now that I’ve been using it for a month.

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Date, Marry, Kill: My Least Eligible Ink Bottles

ink bottles

Ink bottles were on my mind last month. Two bottles came into my possession that were extra attractive: a Graf von Faber-Castell and a J. Herbin 1670. At the same time I got three new Sailor inks, reminding me that Sailor bottles could make a saint curse. I needed no reminding that I am not a saint.

I’ve never been one to prioritize the aesthetics of an ink bottle. For me the main point is the ink inside. However, I try to use up my inks, so I do care how useful and practical a bottle is.

So, I’m going to play “date, marry or kill” with a few ink bottles. The first is a bottle everyone hates, except me. The next two are bottles everyone loves, but I am on the fence about. The last is a bottle that I loathe.

Join me, then, as I play ink bottle bachelorette. But it’s just for fun. No ink bottle design seems to stop me from buying the ink. It just lets me perfect my cursing.

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Fountain Pen Favorites for August 2016

calendar image

Think of a middling movie franchise. The first movie does well, so they come up with a sequel, which isn’t exactly good, but sells enough tickets, so they can’t resist slapping together a third. Which is just chum. And that was my August — the Jurassic Park III of months.

But hey, Laura Dern and Sam Neill were in Jurassic Park III. Nothing is irredeemable. So let’s focus on the bright side of August.

1. Weather. It did not rain every minute of every day. Okay, nearly. But there were a few minutes where you could see the sun still existed. Bonus points: no need to worry about a beach body. And I found some very water-resistant inks.

2. Pen Shows. Many people I know had fun at pen shows in August. Not me, but I lived vicariously. And I was lucky because a very sweet friend brought me back a present from DC. I hope you either went to a pen show in August, or got something nice.

3. Inks. I loved my August inks. There wasn’t a “meh” ink in the bunch for me. The new-to-me inks were simply wonderful: KWZ Thief’s Red, KWZ Rotten Green, Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue, Kaweco Sunrise Orange, Kaweco Smokey Grey, and J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre. I could be happy with just those. That was a real light in August.



Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.