Tag Archives: vintage

Been playing with the sewing machine…


Hello!  I know, I know, again I have been a terrible blogger and have not blogged for far too long, but life, work and workshops got in the way!  Here’s an update on what I have been doing: starting my christmas knitting.  Obviously I’m not going to post photos or details of that on here!  And I got my beloved sewing machine out again for a little girl’s birthday and made this:

It’s a washbag with a tissue packet and cover inside it (tissue packet idea taken from sewing.about.com), and it cost pennies to make.  The total cost of materials was about £3 and I have most of them left – some cotton and some waterproof material, plus a cord, so I think everyone might get shower caps for their birthdays!  Or I might must make a raincoat!  All from Abakhan in the Northern Quarter, for you Mancunians out there.  The washbag was made to go with the pink spotty suitcase my boyfriends bought for her, which he then had to use as his hand-luggage on the plane to give it to her.  Which would have been fine, except he was travelling for a concert and has the misfortune to have a gold cello case…

I’m planning on doing more sewing in the next few days, want to make some nice summer clothes and accessories, I’ll post pics!

Back to the knitting and a new book


Well, I’m back in Manchester after having a lovely week in Ireland.  I’m going back to Belfast in a week for two days (work though, not a holiday this time!) so any crochet pattern recommendations would be much appreciated!  It’s lovely being back with my knitting, though!  I’ve been slaving away at the Frilly Jumper since getting back, and am over halfway there.  It’s not much to look at at the moment though, so I’m going to post a picture of  my latest purchase instead:

The background is the Frilly Jumper.  I got this brooch in St George’s Market in Belfast.  It’s a bit chipped, but I think that adds to its charm, and it was only £3!  However, I now really want another one, so I hope this doesn’t start to turn into some kind of collection!  I think it will go with my jumper, though, when it’s eventually finished!

I also bought a book which I thought I’d tell you about.  It’s The Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe.  It’s great!  I’ve been flicking through it, and it has so many tips and tricks for beginning and more experienced knitters.  I’ve even learnt a new casting-on technique (I never, somehow, learnt the loop cast-on), and I recommend it to every knitter and aspiring knitter!  I’m certainly going to be referring to the Finishing section when I’m sewing up my jumper.  The sections are: Casting On, The Basics, Binding Off, Tools, Yarn, Reading Patterns, Pattern Stitches, Circular Knitting, Colo(u)r, Shaping, Fitting, Finishing and Embellishments.  So it really does seem to cover everything!  I’ll be back later this week with some pics of the jumper, hopefully.

What’s your craft and why do you like it? Comments here please…


Well, you can see from my quasi-manifesto in my ‘about’ page the reasons why I love knitting.  You can also see I dabble in other crafts, but knitting is my main one.  What is your craft and why do you like it?

Yet more sock stories


Hmm, maybe I should rename this blog the sock blog.  Just thought I’d post a little pic of another ‘sock rescue’ I did for Christmas.

The centre flower was a purple sock made into a fabric yo-yo.  And then there is a layer of scrap lace, a layer of fabric I had left over from a ‘trouser rescue’, then scrap felt and finally more lace.  This one is a brooch I made for my housemate.  but I liked it so much I think I might have to make myself one!

Frilly jumper update:  I have started the sleeve shaping!  It’s a jumper that is knit in one piece, from the back up to the sleeves and then back down to the bottom of the front.  More pics in the next few days!

Frilly Jumper


I’m in the process of making the Frilly Jumper from Jane Waller and Susam Crawford’s A Stitch in Time and I love how it’s coming out.  It’s a simple knit, and I think the effect is very pretty.  Here it is reclining on the sofa:

And here is a close-up of some of the stitch-work.  It’s from recycled yarn so I’m  glad it’s turning out so well.

Sewing Machine Repairs


My Grandparents gave me my Great-Grandmother’s sewing machine a couple of years ago.  After a handful of disastrous sewing machine lessons at school I wanted, with some trepidation, to try again.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity… except it didn’t work.  Knowing nothing about sewing machines AT ALL, I scoured the internet looking for a manual, and how to solve the problem I was having, which was that a) it wasn’t sewing and b) when it was sewing the top looked really pretty but when you looked underneath the fabric it looked the sewing-thread-eater-of-doom had come along and mangled all the top threads, and the bobbin thread was nowhere to be seen.  Experienced machinists will know that I was experiencing tension problems, and after several weeks of not being able to sort it out the tension problem was by no means just in the machine anymore.  Anyway, it turned out that the thread on the tension disk screw had gone, and so the discs were no longer being pulled against the side of the machine, instead stopping just short of it.  So after much deep thought and a repair job later we came up with this: (we being me, my boyfriend, Dad, flatmate and just about everybody else who was fed up with hearing about how my sewing machine didn’t work)

Apologies for the poor photo quality, I took these ones on my iPod today and it turns out the grainy quality isn’t just due to the anti-glare thing I have on the screen.  As you can see there is now a piece of cardboard in place to essentially extend the side of the machine.  Tada, it works perfectly again!  Here is another picture of my pride and joy:

I don’t know that much about it apart from that it is a Frister and Rossmann (obviously), and is a K model with red lily decals, so hails from about the 1920s.  It also takes needles that went obsolete about 50 years ago, which are now very hard to come by and very expensive.  So I have bought myself a new machine.  New being a slightly questionable word as it is a 1902 Singer.  But it takes modern needles.  And it was only £15, so a bargain!  I will take photos of that when I have set it up – I need to get more bobbins for it and a new bobbin-winding -rubber-wheel-thingy.

Anyway, so why am I posting about this today?  I had to do repairs on my Frister again.  Somehow in the course of my Christmas sewing I knocked a nut off it that helps to hold the bar in place that holds the handle in place when the machine is in use.  I have looked high and low for this nut and can’t find it anywhere, I’m afraid it might have gone up the hoover.  So, today I decided to remedy the situation with some superglue and a bone bead a friend gave me.

It doesn’t look quite the same but I think it goes with the porcelain handle quite well, don’t you?

New Yarn


Here is a picture off some pretty yarn I rescued from an ugly jumper, it is lovely and sparkly.  I got quite a lot – 1300 m of 4-ply, so I think I am going to make it into one of the jumpers from Jane Waller and Susan Crawford’s A Stitch In Time, a book I am madly in love with and insist that you all go out and buy now.  And possibly its sequel, volume two, which is also marvelous.  Rescuing yarn from ugly jumpers in a very cheap way to find yarn – this lot only cost me £6, whereas even for the cheapest of 4-ply in that quantity you would have to pay at least £15 for new yarn from a yarn shop.

Get me with my thrifty knitting!  How many of you out there have rescued yarn?  Let me know!