Thursday, June 22, 2017

Another Singer!

Yes, I am ready for the Zombie apocalypse...I am the proud owner of a handcrank Singer.  I did not get the manual but I believe that she is a Singer 99k, a 3/4 size model.  The friend who I bought her from bought her from a Canadian woman.  

She has a beautiful bentwood case

My new hobby is looking up numbers on the Singer sewing machines that I meet to learn where they were built. (Everything has a footprint. I am a romantic...I believe in the elusive footprint....).  Here is the number on my new Singer

According to this serial number, my machine was built or completed on July 12, 1932.   Apparently, she was built in Clydebank, Scotland. So perhaps...the original owner or her daughter was Scottish and moved to Canada? 

In the meantime, I have enthusiastically sewn this skirt has a lovely selection of Singer sewing machine themed fabrics.

I have been cutting up tee shirts. I'm a wee big larger than I once was.  But my extremely small Frida Kahlo tee shirts need preserving.  A cutup with the rotary cutter and some slow stitching onto a slightly larger black tee shirt seemed to be the answer.  Of course, using Grandma Helen's thimble.

If you meet me on the street, I will be wearing a glittery Singer skirt with a Frida tee shirt

Sunday, May 28, 2017

FO: Ridge and Furrow Shawl

I am interested in supporting sheep breeds that are on the brink of nonexistence...the American Livestock  Breeds Conservancy keeps track of which animal breeds are threatened. While I was at SAFF several years ago, I found some lovely yarn from Ross Farms. The breed is Leicester Longwool. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had Leicester Longwool sheep.

I was almost shocked at how soft the resulting shawl is. 

The pattern is Ridge and Furrow; I was so happy to find this pattern…I wanted something kind of earthy for this wool and this pattern delivered. However, I found it difficult to follow with a mix of knits and purls in the same row. I finally gave up on the purls, even after regraphing the pattern on my knitting software.
So once done, I set off to do the border. I just could not do the knit-onto-live-stitches border well. I tried and tried. After it sat on the shelf for nine months, I had a talk with myself. Convinced myself to do a simple edge treatment (k2tog yo) till the yarn was almost gone and then use a simple Evelyn A Clark edging. I love brown and turquoise, and added some flat-ish turquoise beads on the points. Took two weeks to finish is after it languished for nine months!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Spring 2017! Bunny, Baby Chicks, and Knitted Easter Eggs

Busy week here. Yesterday I was picking up baby chicks for my sister...I would have chickens myself but my neighborhood is wrong for that...on the way home I stopped at an antique store in Hardeeville SC and look what I found:

 It is a 1952 Singer Featherweight Model 221. I have been desiring one for a while so I treated myself for my birthday.  She runs like a top.

The original owner, the guy from "Damn Yankees" Antiques (a Yankee himself I belief) thought it came from either Beaufort or Hilton Head.   It was serviced in Princeton NJ in 1978:

And here is the first output from her:  working on a Kaffe Fassett Squares quilt

I purchased the machine quickly as there were chicks in the car, 6 in all here are photos of a couple. I am just chicksitting overnight

Here is this year's egg tree. it looks unfocused but it isn't

Two new eggs this year,  the Koigu egg was loosely based on this pattern: I love my koigu and will do more. I bought wooden eggs to insert inside

And this lace egg, here is a link to the pattern After making Russian Pysanki at a class some years ago, I realized that eggs will just dry. So, inside is one of my sister's chicken's eggs...a beautiful orange speckly thing...

I found wisteria in the yard last week, I had been trying to grow it from seed but this just popped up in another location, looks like it's been there for a while, always good to leave some wild space in the yard. This is a lovely spring find

And of course here are some Easter bunny photos of Blanca and Rosa

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Oatland Sheep Sheering 2017

Fun fun last weekend at Oatland Island Wildlife Center outside Savannah...for the annual sheep shearing and spring festival.  This year the Wildlife Center acquired two mohair goats so there were four animals to shear! Members of the guild "trained" to wield the shears.  Here are some photos:

"Storm" in front, and "Cloud"

A bad photo of a clever idea...this downed tree has been warped for kids to weave on

Shearing one of "our" goats


Shearings are sent to the mill and come back as roving, we then spin and weave and raffle or sell the results to benefit Oatland Island Wildlife Center

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Natural dyeing...

Well,  this natural dyeing is a favorite sport of mine in the last several are some recent photos: osage orange, no premordant I believe...

Cochineal (which I unfortunately overdyed and it turned muddy, oh well...), the above photo'd osage orange, osage orange overdyed with indigo...and them!

Results from a madder workshop I lead together with my guild:  premordanted with alum, no mordant, and premordanted with iron.  The latter is a lovely purple that you can't really see...results are very different from the workshop at SAFF I attended...  

these lovely muted shades were from the end of the almost exhausted dyepots...madder and iron...but the fibers hand't been premordanted, just dipped in the dedicated dyepots so obviously there was mordant materials in the water

 I just love this....

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My Triloom

Long ago, I went to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.  There, I spotted my first triloom at HillCreek Fiber Studios Booth. I have wanted one ever since.

I have a friend from college who is a fabulous woodworker.  He actually made me a tri-loom.

Here is my first effort, a 7' triangle.  Made of some  very inexpensive lightweight yarn purchased at a mill in Ireland, supplemented with some very expensive kidsilk haze!  Not pictured:  if I pin the three ends together, it makes a decent shrug...

Friday, February 17, 2017

My 19th Century Double Drive Spinning Wheel

I was very lucky to have a friend named Ruth  from Fiber Guild of the Savannahs help me to "rehab' my old wheel, while at the Oatland Island Harvest Festival outside Savannah last year.

Ruth taught me a whole lot and I thank her!

She believes that it is a "Pennsylvania" style wheel, and dated it to 1860 to 1890. The man I bought it from three years ago said that he and his wife bought it  at an antique store in New Hampshire in the 1960's, they were antique collectors.  I'm sure he told me that she was not a spinner. It has a treadle sewing machine band on it which broke easily so someone at some point tried to get her going.  (It was stapled together). We removed the band, which was old enough that it could be broken by hand.

We had to clean the spindle and get some gunk off.  There was also some old wool separating the bobbin from the flyer (what's pictured is actually the drive band, below is the wool which Ruth thought looked like Shetland) , and we got them moving freely.

She told me that often women would use chicken fat to oil their wheels and then little animals would chew on the wood or leather parts. Mine has some teeth marks (hard to see) around this old repair. The string from the repair would have absorbed the lubricating oil or fat and darkened the wood in this area

She thinks that the footman and the treadle are newer than the rest of the wheel especially as the footman has a more contemporary type of manufacture.  The tie up  between the footman and the treadle is loose and I will need to retie it

Ruth was very taken with the detail that the maker did to adorn this wheel which we think is mostly oak

If I get it running well enough, she will need some new bobbins