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Sewing Machine Resurrection

My normal practice with e-mail newsletters is to edit aggressively. Although I am not a quilter, I left A Crafted Cottage in Suwanee in my whitelist. It is a sweet little shop catering to quilters by offering quilt fabric, quilting supplies such as templates and thread, and long-arm quilting services. Once a week on Wednesdays, Frank comes to the shop to drop off repaired sewing machines and pick up machines that need repairs. For a long time, I have wondered about the sewing machines that belonged to my grandmothers. The one from my maternal grandmother is a Singer 66-6, serial number AC741270 (shown above). It is still in its much-used cabinet. And it still has its user manual and attachments. It has been in my possession for about 25 years. I had never attempted to plug it in or turn it on. I didn't even know if it was safe to do so. The other machine is a Singer 401A, serial number NB700931, that belonged to my paternal grandmother. She was an accomplished
Recent posts

Book Review — Short Row Colorwork

I don't always buy a new knitting book in time to get a book review written up. In this case, I managed to pre-order Short-Row Colorwork Knitting by Woolly Wormhead. Sixth & Spring Books are the publisher, meaning the book was available for pre-order from the Vogue Knitting website . I ordered this book for a specific reason. I had tried designing with the "eye" or "leaf" shape in short rows a few years ago, but had trouble with the fabric not lying flat. I suspected it was because I was turning the short rows too close together — only one stitch difference horizontally. Woolly Wormhead does not address that concern specifically. However, when I look at the eye-shaped patterns, I can see they typically turn the short row with one stitch separation. In German short rows, this either means creating the new double-stitch two stitches before the last turn, or working the double-stitch from the last row, working a stitch, and then creating a

Not Always Pretty

The satisfaction of making things is much connected to the beauty of the thing made. When you yourself craft something beautiful and of high-quality, the personal satisfaction is what encourages/compels you to do more. Climbing the skill ladder, however, sometimes means you make things that are ugly. Behold! obverse reverse What is this? This is the obverse and reverse of my swatch from Harry Wells' "Colorwork the Easy Way: Mosaic Knitting" class at The Knitting Guild Association Next Level Knitting Conference a couple weekends ago. I either attended in real time or watched the replay of eight of those conference classes. While I had done mosaic knitting a long time ago, I thought a refresher from an excellent teacher might be good. The pattern at the bottom of the swatch is the pattern worked in class. Of course, I then decided I wanted to work it reversibly. My first attempt was not entirely successful. But above it, you can see t

Whimsical

I've continued my march through the embroidery stash. This set of projects did not come from my mother. Rather, I found these in my own stash a couple years ago. I do not remember how they were acquired. Had I bought them? Did my mother gift them to me? Did they come from the stash of one of my mother's friends who had died? I do not recall. Again, for a reason I do not recall, I decided to work on these in maybe 2021 or 2022? There were three of them in my stash. As I got close to finishing the third one in late 2022, I noticed the kit numbers were almost sequential. That sent me on an internet search to see if there were other kits. There were! Some of them were holiday-themed, some not. Not all of them appealed to me, but I did like the snowman, so I bought it for a modest fee. I remember starting the snowman and thinking, "I won't have it done for 2022, but I'll have these finished for Yule 2023." Well, that was before my moth

Some Things Take Time

I've been in a recent period of yo-yo crafting. By that, I mean I move forward on something, only to discover I need to move backward to move forward again. While this is part of knitting, some days I'd like success to stick! To that end, I am creeping up on completion of a very long spinning project. This project goes all the way back to my first spinning fleece purchase at the Knit and Crochet Fall Show September 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. I made the mistake(?) of touching a particularly soft black alpaca fleece. In autumn of 2020, I decided this fleece had aged long enough in stash. It was time to spin it. The slowness in getting around to spinning this fleece came from multiple directions. Partly, the fleece was "precious." I wanted to do it justice. Part of it was the material. Spinning alpaca is not the same as spinning wool. I've had a surprisingly difficult time finding resources about how to spin alpaca. Even PLY Magazine , my first-choice source

Always More To Learn

Lately I've been enjoying some knitting history online! The Knitting History Forum Conference is an annual conference. It is now online, but was previously in-person in the United Kingdom. Of course, the great thing about having it online is that people from all over the world can enjoy the presentations. I attended the 2024 conference on Saturday 3 February 2024. The topics were fascinating, including research on the famous silk shirt possibly worn by Charles I to his execution . Other topics included liturgical gloves , Frances Lambert (author of one of the earliest knitting books ), Korsnäs sweaters in Finland, the effect of yarn twist and ply on knit fabric, and Fair Isle fishermans' keps (hats). The conference started at 11:15 Greenwich Mean Time, which meant 06:15 Eastern Standard Time. It was well worth the getting up early on a Saturday. If you missed the conference, no worries! You can purchase access to the recording of the 2024

Retreat

Well, we are almost at the end of month #1 of 2024. I got off to a start that was both busy and slow. Busy enough to keep me from getting after things I wanted to get to, thus making it feel slow because I wasn't crossing things off the To Do list. It was the third week of the new year before I got the holiday decorations put away. So that was only 18 days behind schedule. I haven't blogged much about shows after the fact. I thought this month I'd write a little about Kanuga Knitting and Quilting Retreat. My dear friend Varian Brandon organizes this retreat. Kanuga is an Episcopal conference center and campground in the mountains in North Carolina. Their mailing address is Hendersonville, which is where my friends and I usually find a rental house for Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. If you are driving up from Atlanta, it is about half an hour before you get to Asheville. The center was founded in 1928, so is creeping up on its centennial.