Tag Archives: needles

Snowed in… AGAIN

I’m done with this winter.

snowy trees*

Last week we lost power for a few days.  My brain became more fogged than usual and I started shifting to the left.  I guessed I was getting hypothermia in my own apartment so I laid under a couple of down duvets until clearer thoughts came back… if you could call them that.

N keeps getting snow days from work; I don’t since I work from home.

We’re also sick and I’ve been feeling too crappy to make stuff.

I used to be used to being snowed in from time to time.

I’d take it as an opportunity to do wonderful things like take a bunch of random knitting needles I’ve gathered from thrift shops and yard sales –

needles-pile**

And pair them up.

needles-paired

And of course put them back in the old pasta tin I keep them in and they jumble themselves up once more.

I almost never use straight needles anymore, at least the long ones, but I like them as artifacts.

My red Formica table is in storage and I miss it.

I made a little heat-able pillow filled with cherry pits a few years ago.

cherry-pit-bag

I love cherries and eat pounds of them each June and early July.

It’s about 6″ x 8″ and filled with nearly a pound of pits.  It’s great for warming knitting-sore wrists or cold hands.

I’d like another, but I don’t think I want to go through boiling and scrubbing and scouring and sanding pits again.

It’s useless when the power goes out too.

*That picture isn’t even the most recent snow – I’ve given up, I can’t be bothered, I don’t want to have any documentation of this sh*t anymore…

**This doesn’t look right, seems like it should be the other way around, but that didn’t look right either and this is the direction I took it – deleting and re-attaching the variously oriented pics was the high point of the day.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under collecting, knitting, recycling, sewing, thrifting

Tin, tin, tins…

I love old tins.

I love finding them and I love storing things in them and I especially love finding them with things already in them.

Old tings-zippers

This one is from my childhood home – it looks old timey, but was from the 1970s or ’80s… which sadly, might in fact be old timey to some.

I don’t remember the marshmallows, but I like marshmallows.

It is perfect for the storage of zippers and various purse/bag hardware.

Old things-needles

This was a lucky thrift store find of a tin with something in it – mostly needles and a lovely bent-to-fit sterling thimble.  I use the needles from time to time but get pissed when I don’t realize I have a rusty one until it leaves a mark in my fabric.

Old things-needles close

Also inside are some nice bone tapestry needles – I think?  And a “Tyton” tool at the bottom.  Anybody know what that is?  All I get is a Polish football (soccer) player.

Old things-spools

This tin came from a thrift store and was probably $ .50 or less.  I think I bought it when I only had $ .50 in my pocket.  It previously held fruitcake from New Orleans.  I thought you got sh*tfaced in New Orleans, not hang around and eat hard cake.  But I guess you have to “feed” fruitcake with brandy or rum or something…. that could explain it.

Old things-spools-close

But the loveliness inside is my collection of vintage thread.  I got the thread way back when at my old favorite thrift store in a dusty old bag (perhaps once actually belonging to a dusty old bag of another sort).  One day I may frame some of these in a shadow box of some sort, but I do use a teensy bit of them from time to time since the colors are wonderful and often match my clothing in need of repair.  And good god, I love wooden spools.  I know it’s a waste of a tree but they serve so many purposes after their intended one and just look finely aged and patinated on their own.

Old things-floss

This is an estate sale find of a tin with something in it.  I was excited to find this small stash of embroidery floss until its horrid camphor odor assaulted my sniffer.  I got it anyway, cleaned and aired the tin, aired the floss, and thought it was good to go.  I added a few odds and ends of my own floss too.

Sadly, it still smells.

Tins - bon bons whole

And finally, the loveliest tin of them all, and the one I uncharacteristically paid the most for – I believe it was a whopping $12.

But $12 is no longer an insignificant amount of money to me, and I feel pressure to put something priceless and special inside of it instead of the tiny yarn balls and clippings currently in there.

Tins - bon bons

Maybe I should have a candy while I think about it.

2 Comments

Filed under home decor, recycling, sewing, thrifting

Needle in a scrapstack

I’ve been having a run of good bad luck lately.  Not luck that is at first bad, but then allows for something awesome to come in,* but good in terms of a good dose of it.  Don’t get me wrong, it could be much, much worse, but it is annoying as all get out.

I’ve barely spent any money lately, but my last two online orders involved a bottle of shampoo ending up all over a book, and an item of clothing needed in a timely manner arriving with a giant slash – and I did not cause it myself by opening the box with an evil box cutter or anything so keen.

I’ve been trying to set up a new doctor here and ended up with a $558.00 bill for a physical that should have been free.  For the last month, I have been calmly and persistently contacting the doctor/billing office/lab/main office/insurance company to resolve it.  All say they can’t but the other guy can.  One kind soul read back to me the transcript of the call log at the doctor’s office – I sound like a f*cking obnoxious demanding crazy bitch.  In this instance though, I am not – I have been perfectly professional with them, and only cry with rage and shake a little about the potential of having to part with the money that I don’t actually owe when I’m off the phone.

But with bad, sometimes good shows up a tiny bit.

Needle in a scrapstack

I dropped one of my current favorite sewing needles into a big box of scraps.  Bad, but not too bad, but then I sometimes use my scraps to stuff things and what if someone bought something made with them and then gave it to a toddler (though I specifically say my things aren’t meant for kids) and then the toddler sucks it down his slobbery germ-hole and requires a dramatic surgery and then my precious needle ends up accessioned with the other surgically removed swallowed things at the  Mutter Museum.  Bad (although I like that museum).  But after shaking and scrounging and hoping to find it when it penetrated my own digits, I finally located it without bloodshed.  Good.

Hair thread

I stitched up a little piece with my own white hairs.  Bad?  Well, I’ll give you kinda gross, but it is what it is.  The bad part was the haircut I got a few weeks ago that was supposed to be an inch and ended up three and more in various hideous feathery layers.  And the annoying routine I go through with every hair cutter when she/he tries to convince me to color my hair.  I rarely get a haircut, you think I can keep up with roots?  And hello, money?  And hello again, chemicals?  And ciao bitch, I’m aging, that’s what happens!  But the biggest bad is that my greys are coming in at an alarming rate and falling out at the same pace.  I figure they’re my newest strands so they should be sticking around longer…  Needless to say I had more than enough to finish the piece and now I don’t know what to do with the leftovers – I don’t think I want to use hair-thread again though.  (And not to worry, I’m not saving boogers, ear wax, and toenail clippings… well, maybe a few fingernails, but they’re for art purposes too.)  Sounds scarier than it is.

Blue scraps

And the last is a bad me for not finishing the epic summer-long quilt yet.  I’m terrified to do the quilting part (and my machines are getting tensiony), so I’m considering my options of finishing the top off and calling it a coverlet.  I don’t intend to use it anyway.

And the good?

I found my rotary cutter!

* And speaking of rotary cutters and needles, if one more person/media outlet/memoir tells me that loosing their job was the best thing that ever happened to them, well I just might get slicey and pokey.

Leave a comment

Filed under collecting, home decor, quilts, recycling, sewing, unemployment

Meet (some of) my sewing machines…

I learned to sew (or rather I learned how to use a sewing machine) on my mother’s 1960s era Singer.  I made some shapeless elastic waist skirts, “Jams” style shorts, and a few odds and ends in my youth.  During college, I borrowed the machine to make hats to sell at raves.  You heard me, raves – and the real kind back in the day, illegal and last minute and fun as a bucket of monkeys.  I loved her machine – it was metal and solid and felt like well, a machine in the masculine sense.  A few years later I acquired my first vintage machine at my favorite thrift store for something like $6.99.

machines1I’ve had it for nearly 20 years and it is the machine I use most often, however I just had to put it on a time-out due to a tension issue that springs up after an unpredictable amount of time (sometimes after 3 days of use, sometimes after year or so) and it seems to always fix itself as long as I don’t use it for a month or so.

machines1-det

A partial repair tag still clings to the handle – perhaps this tension issue gave the previous owner troubles as well…  After finding this machine, I was on the lookout for more.  Why?  I think I figured it would be nice to have the same one to use for parts if need be, I wanted one with zigzag and other stitch functions, and I just really fell in love with solid things made of metal that could last lifetimes – yes, the plural form.  I hate everything about the objects of our disposable society these days, but then again, obsolete, near-obsolete, and old timey things weigh a ton and are a pain in the ass to move.  But after a few years, I had amassed a collection of around 15 sewing machines, not to mention several typewriters and boxes of cameras and film equipment.  I didn’t move much then and used much of the equipment as furniture in my cramped apartment, but eventually most of it had to go.  Since I used the sewing machines on a fairly regular basis, I kept a half dozen of them or so.

machines4This is the back-up machine for when the pink Atlas is being temperamental.  It too came from a thrift store and I gasped when I opened the box – I’d never seen one that looked so like an automobile of the same era and I loved the deep green.  It sews strongly and steadily but the needle needs to be coaxed into the fabric in just the right way each time that I tend to get a little impatient with it.  Its best use is for sewing long seams or quilting.

machines2

This is the prettiest and the oldest of my current machines and it works just fine.  The bobbin is a little fiddly to work with so I don’t like to change it as often.  When I had more space (and when I will hopefully have more space again) I’d leave it set up with thread in the opposite color of what I was using in the other machine if I needed to hop on it for something else.  I believe this was originally a treadle machine and motorized later, so I have intentions of trying to turn this back into a manual machine, but I’d rather find a treadle machine for a reasonable price (and I could fit in my car or have delivered) instead.  It is also in a re-purposed Morse case that is annoyingly without a lid, so at the very least, I need a new lid/container for it.

machines3

machines3-det

My brother found this lovely Singer for me, but it’s probably been a decade ago…  I have it nearby because I intend to try to find a couple of missing parts for it, but haven’t done much searching around for them yet.  Ironically, it also came with the manual and a few extra tools, so someone was meticulous about keeping it all together only up to a certain point.  This one is also a more compact “portable” model, so it would be convenient to get it up and running as soon as possible.  I’m also slightly afraid to plug in anything old, so the first time I like to be prepared in case of an inferno.

And then I have perhaps two more?  I’m a little nervous that I can’t find them at the moment, but I believe that they could be in storage along with the other third of our stuff.  Hopefully I didn’t get rid of them in the frustration of the move.  One of them is another Atlas similar to my old stand-by that I found left in the trash on the curb in my old neighborhood.  Its cord was cut, perhaps indicating that the motor was blown or that it needs to be re-wired so I can use it for parts, or get it up and running again.  I believe the other machine is another Singer with a bad motor?

The machines I had but sold years ago included a couple of really old ones that had been motorized but weren’t very functional, I believe yet another Atlas, a less attractive 70s machine, and a blue White that I still can’t understand to this day why I got rid of it – it had a zigzag stitch, WTF?  But I think I thought I’d find another…

Some days I’m a little envious of others with the fancy-schmancy machines that will practically stitch up a cup of coffee or an offspring  but mostly I love my hunky metal beasts and will continue to do so…

Leave a comment

Filed under sewing, thrifting