Sunday, February 05, 2017

Habits of a Crafter

Only ten more sleeps until the Scheepjes Hygge Cal begins and I'm so excited for it to start. I even purchased some new scissors and two new hooks. A Tulip Etimo Rose hook and a Tulip Etimo Gold Softgrip hook. I just couldn't decide which one to buy, so, I bought both. Eeekkk!

Last week I showed off the Pastel Scheepjes Hygge box. I have to confess that I bought this box because I couldn't get my hands on the Rainbow one,  and I so desperately wanted to start when everyone else did. Well, someone put a post up on Facebook that Deramores were selling the kit and look what jumped into my shopping cart. Yip the Rainbow kit. Ooopps! But, just look at the lovely squishy colours. I know! I know! There is just no hope for me.  It is beautiful, though!

Anyway, let's move swiftly along.

Last week I announced that I was going to open the second box of sewing bits.  This is the second vintage box purchase I've made since January 2017 (see the previous post). This tin isn't as varied as the last one, but the contents are still good. The overall condition of the tin is good, the metal has no rust, but it does feel flimsier than the last tin.  Let's do the Amelie thing, shall we?

So what did I find inside? The inside of the tin lid shows that it was originally used for shortbread before being turned into a sewing box. On opening the box and viewing the contents, I was faced with some Newey (great piece of history within the link) rust proof snap fasteners which had a handwritten price of 32 pence.

Underneath the snap fasteners are various spools of the thread. My favourites are the Swan tacking threads in green, blue, black and red.  I can't get enough of this thread (I have red, black and white in my own kit) being taught how to sew at school in the 1970's,  we always used to tack (baste) hems or seams in place using this thread before sewing the garment on the machine. This is something that I still do today, especially if a material is proving difficult to handle and pins are just complicating it more.

There is also one reel of elastic; Paul says "they use that in the top of your wool socks!!!!" I've never used it in a pair of socks I've made. Lol!

The other spools of thread are Sylko, Trylko and another called Molnlycke Goliath.

In keeping with the Vintage theme, I have one more box to show you next week, and this one is a biggie.

 Bye for now 

xoxo xoxo

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Getting Smart with a Vintage Singer

Thursday 26th January 2017

I came home from work on Thursday and trudged upstairs to shower, change into comfy clothes and relax but my O/H Paul followed me and managed to direct me into the front bedroom which is now my craft room. He was so busy talking that it took me about 5 minutes to realise there was a huge box and a couple of smaller packages lying in the middle of the floor. Yes, you guessed it the Vintage Singer had arrived. I was super excited but also exhausted from work that all I managed to do was open the outer box to have a peek inside. I think Paul was more excited than me as he lifted the machine out of its packaging to have a better look.  I knew I wanted to study the machine and that it was going to take nearly a whole day to do so, so I instructed him to put it to one side. He was completely deflated, but I am a creature of habit, and I knew that if I just looked at the machine, it would lead to me taking it apart.

Saturday 28th January 2017

Took one look at the Vintage Singer and look what happened.  Didn't I tell you I was a creature of habit and what I would do?

Armed with car cleaning products (I figured if it's safe for a car's bodywork then it's safe for my Singer) bowls of water, cloths, various screwdrivers and sewing machine tools borrowed from my Brother machines (they've been taught to share lol!) I was raring to go.  Three hours I sat taking photographs, removing screws, brushing out what looked like 50-year-old dust and lint, washing, oiling, and polishing.

Was I scared? Why hell yeah!  I've never taken a machine apart before. But do you know?  I reckon I sell myself short sometimes, and I don't give myself enough credit, because not only did I take the machine apart I also gave it a very thorough clean and then set about seeing if she would work.

Sadly the first half hour was fraught with thread breakage, bobbin mishaps and threads not looping to form stitches (see needle tracks in the photo above).   I scratched my head, walked off poured myself a drink, and then had a brainwave- bobbin tension, top tension, needle change and a quick prayer to Paul's Grandmother, who was a Vintage Singer sewer and seamstress. And look, look what happened! She produced real stitches, beautiful real stitches, stitches that looped with the bobbin thread underneath. I hate to say it, but I sat and cried, smiled and cried; I'm a sentimental soul.

You see, this machine was very much wanted. I've yearned for a Vintage Singer since being taught to use a treadle wheel one as a five-year-old at Primary School. I knew I would never have the room for one of those and loved the fact that the hand crank is well, driven by hand. So when I found this machine in Wales, I purchased it and brought it back home, not knowing its history.

This model that I now own, well, she was made at the Kilbowie Singer Factory in Clydebank, Scotland  (1867-1980) on the 24th January 1956. She's just turned 61, and she will enjoy her retirement being loved, looked after and allowed to take part in an occasional sewing project. I've also named her Killy because I can't keep calling her it or she anymore. Isn't she a lucky old girl?

Friday 27th January 2017

Hygge Scheepjes CAL 2017- I just couldn't resist.  I saw all the posts on Facebook and on Ravelry, and then I saw the pictures, and I was sucker-punched into making a purchase.

This isn't the colourway (pastel) I wanted. I wanted Rainbow (it was sold out) but hey-ho the colours in this box are gorgeous, and I can't wait to cast on; Wednesday 15th February 2017.

One of the other surprise packages that arrived on the same day as the sewing machine. This beautiful package from Fabric Yard this was an Instagram competition that I entered. I enter quite a few comps online, but I never expect to win anything so imagine my surprise when I got a pm to say that this would be winging its way to me; a half meter of Ditsy Flower by Sevenberry Fabrics.

I haven't  a clue what I will make with it but I do know...

It's my favourite colour; reds and pinks, very lush.

Yes, I succumbed to the Hobbycraft sale, and all these beauties jumped into my cart without me protesting. Not sure when I hit the shiny thread button, though (turquoise one).

The Amelie moment 

I opened this box today Sunday 29th of January 2017. I wasn't sure what to expect I knew there were some letters but other than that I was pretty much in the dark.

The tin is in a beautiful condition not much wear and tear and the base and inside look free from rust.

On opening, I'm faced with a folded empty paper bag!

Underneath this is a piece of material with a leaf pattern inked on it and to the side one single needle.

Rummage, rummage. I'm faced with another paper bag, which is also empty!

Next, a letter. On further reading, it looks like the instructions are written on a homework jotter page. Why do I think this? As on the other side, someone has written their class work.

Some embroidery thread, needles and pins and a glimpse of an envelope.

Not a letter at all (boo!) but an envelope being used as a needle holder.

The date; around 1954 by the look of the stamps and after searching online it appears I'm right (I used to collect stamps as a youngster).

More thread, snap fasteners and some crewel needles.

Some stitch instructions and carbon paper

This tin looks to have belonged to someone who loved embroidery and had a passion for dabbling in different stitch patterns. I love how they have written their notes down with their colour choices. The other letter was more seamstress based as it had skirt length and fabric measurements written down.

A New Tin to Explore

A bit flimsier than the floral one. I've not checked inside this one yet, and I'm not going to because I'm mean and want to leave the Amelie moment until next week. Lol!

xoxo xoxo

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Vintage Sewing and Everything You Should Own

I seriously think I was born in the wrong era!  And, I think I may be getting in tune with my hidden hygge, because this weekend I've been finding comfort in old things.

And, feeling a bit like Amelie when she finds the hidden box behind the tile in her bathroom. Although I didn't find this hidden in a secret place, it would've been cool if I had.

 No, this wasn't as romantic as Amelie's find this was purchased on Ebay I'm afraid and what makes it even better? I haggled the price down, way down, quite a lot. Now, I would like to show you what is in the box but I'm going to be mean and save it for another post. All I will say is, yes it is a craft tin and yes it's full and just as an added teaser, it contains postal letters with a 1d stamp. The Queen's head is present on the stamp, so I guess the letters are from around the 1950's, 54 perhaps.

My second haggle of the day was....this!

A beautiful Singer 99k Hand Crank Machine. Isn't she just beautiful?  I've longed for a Vintage Singer Machine for an extremely long time, and when I saw this baby, I knew she had to be mine. Any sewer will tell you that their world is not complete until they have at least one or a couple of vintage machines in their possession. So, now that I have mine I can safely say no more machine purchases will be made by this little squirrel in the future.  I'm quite content with my lot, for now, thank you.

Well, what a weekend. I just feel like my little hygge world is starting to blossom with these Vintage pieces, not the purchases but the history these items hold and who they belonged to before me.  If only they could talk. I wonder what they would say?

xoxo xoxo

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hygge Trends for 2017

Being resourceful or too lazy to use a cable needle

Last weekend I got a copy of  The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, which explains the Danish concept of 'hygge'. Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world and they say that's down to one thing: 'hygge'. You see since going back to work I've been thinking 'Oh, I blinked, and Christmas was gone. Where did the day go? It just wasn't looooooong enough'.

It took me four days to properly unwind from work and for my brain to realise I was on holiday and during this time sleep eluded me. By Christmas Eve I was like a walking zombie...sigh! I just wish I could go back and celebrate it all over again (without the insomnia) but I can't. Therefore 2017 is going to be entirely different; stress about my mum's health and my own, fretting about work and endless worrying about Paul's unemployment are being given the heave-ho for hygge (pronounced hue-gah).

So what is 'hygge?' The Danes describe it as a word that is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or unique. How do the Danes create hygge and what makes them happy? The author Wiking mentions many factors, such as cosy homes, togetherness, board games, inviting friends over to enjoy food and drink. Candles are imperative - 85% Danes connect candles and the correct lighting with hygge.  For days and days, I've been poring over this book and talking the ears off Paul about how I would like 2017 to go. Now, this isn't me making New Year Resolutions, this is my attempt at surrounding myself with safeness, comfort and taking care of my mental health; to put it bluntly giving my mind and body a break.   So, what will mine look like?
  • Sofa slumping when I get home from work. Change: 20 minutes of yoga.
  • I watch way too much T.V. Change: Listen to more music, read a book or complete a jigsaw.✔
  • I always take showers for quickness. Change: Take more relaxing baths with candlelight.
  • Minimalist beauty routine. Change: Pamper sessions a couple of times a week, even if it's just a face mask or manicure.
  • Always in a hurry and go for the quick snack option which is usually loaded with nasties. Change: To eat more fruit and vegetables, drink more water every day. ✔
  • I hibernate in the winter months. Change: Take more exercise outside; walks with the dog.  
  • I focus too much on the negative things around me. Change: Start keeping an active thought jar. 
  • To make time for more crafting. ✔
  • To join more swaps online (current one: Mad About Bags) ✔
These are just a few of the changes I want to make at the moment.  I'm not going to stress out if I don't achieve them all each week, even one or two would be enough. The tick marks mean I've completed four this week...yeah! 

Recently I managed to resurrect some old WIP's (work in progress). The ancient WIP is a pair of mittens called Birchwood by Eskimimi. I bought this pattern way back in 2003 no 2013, and I made the first mitt then put the project away. I don't know why because at the time of making the left mitt I was enjoying the pattern and the wool; Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in Basil colour wave. So it's partner was completed last weekend. 

Another finish was my Opal Advent Calendar V-Stitch Blanket* I set myself the target of New Years Day for completing it, but I didn't meet that deadline. I think it was completed four days after this, which is cool. It felt special making it, and I didn't want to rush it or make a mistake, the border gave me the biggest headache because I knew it had to be just right.  I even used maths to ensure the border finished evenly,  and it worked!  The last blanket photo shows my thumb near the starting stitch and my index finger with the last stitch. It was just meant to be, it was fate!  Yes, out of all the crochet projects I've taken on board, this one is my favourite. It was just the best, best, best project ever. I don't know if it was the yarn colour changes or the excitement of making something beautiful just for me, I just don't know.  But do you know what? I think it could be described as a hyggeligt moment (cosy moment) for me to enjoy and enjoy I will!

xoxo xoxo


* Yarn used Opal (advent calendar yarn) and Adriafil Dolcezza Merino Baby.