Time flies

I hadn’t forgotten about this little blog-ette, however it hasn’t exactly been top of my to do list, or even anywhere near it. Time has passed since I first wrote about my sewing machine. Things have changed a little. I’ve moved to a new house with more space and a lovely room that the sewing machine can live in. I’ve established that it’s definitely a 66k that I have. I know that I can’t lower the feed dogs or sew backwards but apart from that all things are possible. I’ve bought an awful lot of fabric. Seriously. For someone who thinks they don’t shop I managed to shop a fair amount. With wonderful intentions of course, but still. I also have recycled/reused some fabric, so it’s not all bad.

After wrestling with the tensions for a while I lost heart and gave up. Moving house doesn’t exactly leave time for hobbies anyway.

I managed to find a local guy who used to work for Singer years ago, he came round and has serviced it for me. The tensions are now spot on and it runs like a dream. His name is Mike and he can be found in Slough in case anyone else has need of a Singer-Wizard. We had a lovely chat about the Singer sales model and history of the company. He said that he’d been around the private collection somewhere in Dorset/Somerset(?), I was fairly green at that point. It was wonderful to chat to someone who properly understood the machine and the company. He’s got a couple of other family sewing machines now too that he’s going to try and put back into action for me. He understands that I’d rather pay to repair than pay to buy a new one. An old fashioned attitude perhaps but I won’t apologise for it. What could you buy these days that would still be working as well in fifty or a hundred year’s time?

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Hurtling towards the end of the year

Christmas has come round rather too quickly for my liking. I’m not quite ready for it. Give me another month, we could have it at the end of Jan instead. That would be quite nice. I had all sorts of good intentions around home made gifts, which hinged on the sewing machine being functional by now. It’s not, so there are no handmade gifts. The only sewing I’ve done recently was making a very rudimentary bag to go with the childs game I bought from ebay. I did watch Kirstie’s homemade show – I alternated between fascination and shouting at the tv. I think entering something you made with an expert’s help for a competition is cheating. And I think the fact that she won was a crying shame for the other crafters who’d made their projects alone, unaided.

The worst thing about this Christmas being here again so soon is that I’m still sick, my delightful usual symptoms have been augmented by a cold/sinus infection which has left me green and exhausted, also feeling guilty for all the work I’ve not done recently. Somehow in the next week I need to get healthy, catch up on proper work, house work, OU work and general festive preparations. I fear I won’t manage all those things in one little week.

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Mmm coffee

Espresso roast this morning. Wish I’d picked up a bag of decaf so I could have a 2nd cup without getting jittery. It was delicious.

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Another weekend…..

This week’s been so long and horrible I can hardly remember being so relieved that the weekend’s finally here. Have done a little more research into my thread bunching issue, but haven’t yet done anything about it. Am frantically trying to squeeze enough studying into my week so that I don’t feel like a complete wastrel. Luckily my journey each day forces me to sit and concentrate on something, chemistry is just as absorbing as knitting — which is now reserved for evenings at home whilst chatting or watching tv. Was just reading the blog of someone I know who’s running the marathon. I so nearly went for a run this morning, but a split second of indecision was my undoing. Tomorrow. First thing. That’ll help the general feeling of having ‘done’ things. Somehow housework and mundane things like shopping seem to eat too many hours and constantly need doing. Wow. That’s quite a dull post I wrote there. My apologies if you read this far. Go do something productive. It’s what I’m about to do.

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The Gate

Had dinner at The Gate next to the Hammersmith Apollo on Saturday. Had gone to see Seasick Steve but a flood had forced a postponement. Dinner was lovely, had a sort of bean chilli, then Apple Charlotte for dessert. We were lucky to get a table, it was crammed full, yet wasn’t uncomfortable.

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Free Knitting Patterns – Farrow Rib Scarf.

Picked up a bargain at the knit and stitch show – am using Farrow rib to construct a scarf for dear friend who bought me the Singer. It keeps me busy on the train/bus. But I’ve spent more time kniting than playing with sewing machine in the last couple of weeks. Partly because I’m still under the weather and knitting’s more sedate than trying to coax the sewing machine to sew, partly because I’ve been getting back late so am wary of disturbing neighbours with too much noise.

I’ve installed the treadle belt – it wasn’t too hard. I undid the staple on the old one, used a small bulldog clip to link the new and old belts, then guided the new through the mechanism and pulled the old out gradually. I used a large bulldog clip on the other end of the new belt to stop it being pulled into the machine, finally joined them with the staple. Had to hammer a needle through the leather to make a hole through which I could feed the staple, before closing it with pliers. Not too technical at all.

I also oiled it, put in a new needle and bobbin and gave it another polish. Threaded it up and had an experimental sew. Had to change both tensions a few times to stop the thread snapping, but still have problems. I think it’s related to the tension. What happens is – I can sew ok for a bit, the stitches on top look fine. But the underneath isn’t – it’s a mess of bunched threads which can be pulled apart quite easily. I’ve read a fair few diagnoses online, I suspect it’s a tension issue, or the fact that I wound the bobbin by hand (uneven). I’ll try machine winding a bobbin, if that doesn’t solve it then some logical tension testing (I can feel a lab style notebook may be required….will try to resist more moleskins…) and failing that, it’ll be a complete breakdown and strip clean. Which I know I’ll need to do sometime anyway, was just hoping it wouldn’t have to be immediately.

Will have another play over the weekend and see if I can’t get it going properly. Have things to sew. Getting impatient about it again.

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Invasion of mice

So. Parcel should arrive in the morning. New parts to install. Should be fun.

Have entertained myself (procrastinated, as I should have been doing something else…)by knitting mice for Battersea rescue cats. I made a few up as a test in the beginning – gave them to my cats to see if they were interested in them – also to test durability. I’ve been knitting outsides for a fair few weeks now on my way to and from work. Sometimes in the evenings. They’re really easy, quick, and fit in my handbag easily. I don’t know how many I’ve done but the box holding them is looking quite stripy. I’m going to ask a couple of friends to help make them up – add eyes, whiskers, stuffing, a seam and a tail. But first I need the sewing machine to be able to make the little catnip pouches easily. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

The Fluff didn’t seem too bothered by them…


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