Scavenger Hunt

Monday, 9 September 2019

A Few Finished Things

Hello there!

It seems to be a while since I posted finished projects, but I am pleased to report that I actually have some, so here goes.

This is Climb Every Mountain by Heidi Kirrmaier.  Made in Drops Delight ~ blue stripes and Drops Alpaca ~ grey.  Light, but cosy warm. 
It's a baggy, poncho-y, pop over the top sort of thing.  

It is a top down pattern, the shaping given by yarn over increases, and increases at the sides.  After the splitting for the sleeves, the sides are decreased giving the curved shape.  The pattern finishes off with an i-cord bind off, which I did, but as it was rolling an awful lot and I didn't think blocking was going to sort it, I took it off and knit a 1x1 rib instead.

I can see this having lots of wear.

I crocheted a bathroom basket out of twine, to stop all those toiletries being scattered every time you try a pick something up.  Not particularly exciting but useful all the same.

Mr Clicky and me popped into our local Joanns and I bought four fat quarters so I could have a play with my new machine.  I have learnt so much from this project, how to properly press seams ~ which I haven't on this piece, strip piecing 

and maybe most importantly, how to get the corners square, something I am rubbish at.  Turns out the answer (for me) is to use pins.  Who knew?  No more random hoping they'll line up.

I'm not sure what to do with this piece, it is about cot sized but Baby Needles has two quilts already.  She is growing so much; three months now and we have regular WhatsApp video calls and get her smiling at us through the ether.

My Craftpod embroidery is coming along too.  I do it first thing in the morning with a cup of tea before I have put my contact lenses in.  I was a bit meh about it, but now I'm on the greenery it seems to be moving on.  It'll never make The Royal College of Needlework standard but I'm happy enough.
That's me for now.  Mr Clicky has gone back to the UK for a week on business, so I am having a 'quilting retreat' in our apartment. 

 My itinerary is as follows; embroidery, breakfast, if the weather is good - pool time, if the weather is bad - sewing time.  Watch Pinterest for tips, hints and inspiration.  Evening meal, box set binge with crochet in hand.  By the end of the week you will have produced a quilt to take home with you.

I have a Hobby Lobby within 5 minutes walking distance so if I run out of fabric........I hope to show the fruits of my labours soon.

Have fun, see you soon............Clicky Needles

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

So What Did I Do?

Hello folks!

So, did I go for new or vintage sewing machine to use whilst I am in Chicagoland?  Vintage, of course!  Actually I got 2.  They were both on Facebook Marketplace, there is a good selection in this area it seems.  I saw one, sent a message and while I was waiting for a reply another one in really good condition came up and I messaged about that too. Hehe.

The one in good condition was about an hour and quarter north of here, just into Wisconsin.  The lady I picked her up from sews quilts for her church; but she decided that as she wasn't using three of her vintage machines they should go.   

Well here she is.  I have named her Bertie and she is a 1927  Singer 99 a 3/4 version of a Singer 66.  She runs by that new fangled electricity stuff and comes with a knee lever instead of a foot pedal.  She is lovely and shiny and of course, sews beautifully.  

The knee lever sticks out of the front of the case.  I have never come across this before.

When it's not in use it fits neatly into the bentwood case.

Incidentally you'll notice rag rugs on our balcony, they are there so I don't shower the apartments below with pins, knitting needles and what I was most concerned about, my phone.

She came with an assortment of feet which I'm trying soon, happily they'll fit both machines.

The second machine was only 40 minutes west of us.  I was lucky to get this one as she had been in a garage sale the week before but no-one had taken her.  She is a Singer 66, the full size version of Bertie, made in 1915 she would have been a treadle when she started off in life.  At some point she was put into a different cabinet and a motor and a knee lever was added.  The motor was made between 1913 and 1929 by the Electric Motor Corporation in Wisconsin, so I guess it was added around those dates.   

She has Red Eye Decals and I have named her Rosie.  She needs quite a lot of work to get her going again.  Although the seller plugged her in to show me she was working, it didn't take a genius to know that it was dangerous.  As Mr Clicky is an electrical engineer we're doing the re-wire ourselves.

We've rewired the knee lever and at the moment are trying to sort the wires going to the motor.  The screws into it are at a funny angle and won't move.  It might be a new motor.

I have cleaned her with sewing machine oil and removed 104 years of accumulated dirt, lint and oil. 

It was particularly nasty around the bobbin case and I found some rusty pins behind the face plate.

I have shined up the faceplate with some chrome cleaner.  It was really nice that neither of the machines had any rust unlike my hand cranks.

Here she is after I cleaned her up minus the motor on the back.
Rosie is definitely a project but I can't wait to use her, not least because she is a 66 just like my Mum's treadle below, the machine I learnt to sew on.  Mum is still using her now, it was her Mum's before her, and I think I am right in saying my Mum has never used an electric machine.   This one dates to 1930 when my grandmother, Joyce bought it new, with a payment plan.  Mum can remember seeing the payment book but that has long gone now.  I used to love sitting, treadling away in my teens.
I've had Bertie set up on our balcony and I've been playing with a 2 1/2" jelly roll.  I am not used to working in inches but centimetre cutting mats and quilting rulers are rarer than hen's teeth this side of the pond so I am embracing the inches.

I've decided to go for 6 1/2" 3 x3 blocks.  Mistake #1, I cut the strips to 7 1/2" thinking I would need seam allowances along the length.   You live and learn.  Anyhoo, I laid the blocks along the kitchen bar to check I didn't repeat any patterns.

And had a very pleasant afternoon sewing them up on the balcony.  How lovely also to be able to sew with a Singer seam guide, those magnetic ones don't work that well for me.

Thanks for your lovely comments on my last post, with them we discovered that both Teresa and Gracie have Singer Featherweights, you lucky girls,  Meredith has her mother's toy machine in the back of a cupboard somewhere although I'm sure she's more concerned about Dorian right now, stay safe Meredith, Christine is 'thinking' that she might like a vintage machine, or might even nab her Mum's 1960s Jones machine, don't think Christine, do! Jo has a treadle which I am sure, is crying out for some love but she's lacking in time, VeggieMummy's machine is called Genevieve and Gill is a little concerned on how I am getting these machines home.   The answer to that is Mr Clicky's company will ship anything we want to bring back to the UK so that's ok.

I think I have waffled on enough for now, but if you do have a vintage sewing machine lurking at the back of a cupboard somewhere, get it out, oil it up, use it and show me!

Bye for now................Clicky Needles.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

A New Collection

It all started like this.......

One May day I was idly browsing through Facebook and came across an advert on my local free site.  It was a very sad looking sewing machine.  I carried on past but it was still there later on in the day and my interest was piqued.  I thought it looked pretty old because it was small, it was calling to me, and it would look good all cleaned up in my craft room.  I messaged the lady and picked it up the next day.  It was extremely heavy, covered in dust, and came with a few spiders in the case.
When I got it home I put it in the garden and (if you know anything about Vintage Sewing Machines put your fingers in your ears at this point) and washed it down with some mild washing up liquid and hot water.  I left it in the sun to dry and did a quick google, and learnt some things, mainly that you should NEVER put water near something that is made cast iron, it will make it rust and the paint work drop off.  I am pleased to say that neither happened to my machine.  The crank handle was only just moving so Master Clicky gave me a hand and we oiled and cleaned the innards.  Over several days it began to move more freely.   According to websites there was a serial number that I could look up, which I duly did.  I was astonished to learn that this Singer 12K dated from 1883.  People were still wearing bustles, long skirts and hats then!  It was 136 years old.

It has a boat shuttle, rather than a round bobbin, which I have never come across before and I began to wonder whether I could actually sew with it.

I joined a Singer group on Facebook and was met with comments like 'you lucky thing' and 'whoa'.  They explained how to clean it  her with sewing machine oil on the main body and chrome cleaner for the metal parts and she was soon sparkling again.  They also told me that all sewing machines had to have names so I have named her Janet after my (long dead) aunt; a bit stroppy but likes sewing.  She is a bit temperamental but does sew, with a lovely neat stitch.  Some of the decals are worn off but that just shows how much she has been used over her 136 years.

I had had the best time getting this piece of history working again so kept a lazy eye on Facebook Marketplace to see what else was around.  

A week or so later, this popped up.  It was £22 and, happily, fairly close to a very dear friend of mine.  I dropped her a message and she said of course she'd pick it up.
After the same cleaning and oiling she was looking pretty, this one had mother of pearl inlay.  Records for this machine we harder to find.  I thought she was European because she had a centimetre ruler inlayed in the base.  It turns out it is a German machine probably dating to 1900 or a bit a later.  On the shuttle cover it says 'American Sewing Machine Company'.  Relationships with Germany around that time were getting frosty so these machines were made to look anything but German.
She is called Gladys after the seller's Aunt who owned her.  I was about to getting sewing on her when.........

I found this Singer, round the corner from my brother and sister in law's house, for £5.00.  Had to be done.  This is a Singer 28k dated to 1892.  It was left in a house that the seller bought and he just wanted rid of it.  By now I was getting good at cleaning and lubricating.  She's been called Ivy and even more well used than Janet.

I've actually used her to sew a quilt too.  I used Mr Clicky's old shirts, which I've been amassing for a while.  This is a massive learning curve for me, not having done much quilting.   The machine is lovely to use, she makes little hiccups every few stitches and has the added quirk of the end of the crank handle falling off if you're not careful.

Lastly I bought an Essex toy sewing machine.  This is tiny and sews a chain stitch with a single thread.  Called Dot she belonged to the mother of the lady I bought it from.  It has the original receipt dated 1953.  She owned a knitting shop although she preferred sewing; apparently all the wool for the shop was stored in her daughter's bedroom.

I used Dot to make some new felt spool covers.

And Miss Clicky's wedding card.

Here they all are together.

They are all back in the UK of course.  What should I do for a sewing machine in America?  Buy a new one with plastic gears that will only last a few years or buy something with metal gears and that will carry on sewing for ever? mmmmmm

That's me for now, see you soon........Clicky Needles.

P.S.  I have my new laptop and still couldn't comment on either my own or other people's blogs.  With some Googling I have discovered that this is an Apple v Google issue.  I am now using Chrome rather than Safari as my browser and all is resolved.

Friday, 23 August 2019

A Trip To Grand Haven

Hello folks!

I had a lovely road trip to Grand Haven.  Mr Clicky and me were driven the 5 hours by his colleague, from the West Coast of Lake Michigan to the East.  We travelled through Indiana and into Michigan, effectively following the lake around, had a night in an hotel so Mr Clicky and colleague could go and be busy and important the next morning in a business meeting which lasted 2 hours and then came home again.

They dropped me off in downtown Grand Haven.  I had a quick wander round but as the shops weren’t yet open ~ 9 am ~ I opted for the 15 minute walk to the beach.

I followed the yachts.

I meandered along the boardwalk 

until I got to the, well I want to say sea here, but it’s not!  I still can’t get my head around ‘it’s a lake’.  You can see the lighthouse in this picture, what a stunning summer scene.

Grand Haven is a beautiful summer resort, the winter however, is a different story.  As it is freshwater, the lake, and the lighthouse freeze.  Apparently this area is not for wimps in the winter.  

Image from Pinterest.

Anyhoo, back to the beach.  I found myself a quiet spot, sat down and got out my knitting.

I was soon surrounded by curious gulls, keeping a lazy eye on me just to see if I dropped anything they might like.

This one found the sandcastle next to me.

I sat for awhile and then walked back to town,  stopping for a sweet black cherry ice cream in the way.  Yum.

The shops were now open, and I bought myself a hoodie.

Mr Clicky’s meeting was now over and they picked me up again.  
Of course, whilst in the car I knitted, and got loads done on my Climb Every Mountain jumper.  

Just a bit of ribbing and it will be finished.

So, the blogging from an iPad is working with this app.  It’s called blogtouch if anyone is interested.  There were a few glitches but I think I have sorted those now.  I am still unable to comment on other blogs though, although I am logged in, the iPad thinks I’m not and this is hugely frustrating.   A new laptop is on it’s way to me, so this should be remedied in the next few days.

Looks like today will be another pool day, the temperature has dropped a bit down to about 25 C, 77 F, cooler, but still very pleasant.  August is here for sure, there is dew on the cars in the morning and summer is leaving us.

That’s me for now, see you soon............Clicky Needles.

P.S.  Forgot to add, I did look for yarn shops and indeed found one........but as it was Wednesday it was shut.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

A Bit of Needlework

Hello there!

I am writing this Stateside my home for the next few months.  There was the usual faff at O’Hare immigration which doesn’t get any easier, even with a visa.  I have settled into life at the apartment in Chicagoland well.  Mr Clicky goes off to work and I get up to whatever I fancy.  There are days by the pool, which I have mostly to myself especially now the kids have gone back to school, I read, knit, crochet and sometimes just sit.  It has been very hot, which also means thunderstorms so on those days I craft and watch box sets.

Back in in the UK I completed this little embroidery which was free in the May edition of Molly Makes.  I hadn’t done embroidery for quite some time and found that I really enjoyed it.  It’s less than perfect, I found cutting the felt tricky but I’m pleased, all the same.

I thought I would have a try at a Craftpod, a quarterly creative subscription box.  Details here.

I was very excited to see what it contained when it dropped through the letter box. 

It was beautifully packaged.

It was bee themed.  Inside it contained; DMC embroidery threads, fabric and hoop for a bee embroidery, such a cute bee pin, a notebook, a recipe for honey and ricotta cheesecake and a fruit teabag.

I put it away what with having a wedding to organise and packed it into my suitcase.  It was apparent that the stunning stitching in this kit was going to stretch me.

I need to do this with no contact lenses in, as the stitches are very tiny and my lenses are no good for really close work, so I do it in the evening or first thing in the morning before my lenses go in.  Here is my progress so far.  I have learnt that you need to stitch over the pencil lines not up to them as they will show, so I might be going over the outlines of the flowers at the end.  Progress is slow, but I am enjoying it, I listen to podcasts and before I know it, an hour will have passed.

Tomorrow Mr Clicky has a one night business trip to Grand Haven, in Michigan which is 5 hours away by car, so I am going along for the ride.  It will be my first time in Michigan, I am planning on heading to the beach.

See you soon........Clicky Needles.

P.S.  I think I have, at last, found an app to allow you the blog from an iPad, so this is a bit of a test.  Let’s hope it works!