19 February 2008

Not Knitting

My room has nearly as much sewing stuff in it as knitting stuff, though I've never been a sewer. When my granny died I inherited not only her vast haystack of knitting needles and the family button collection but two large wooden sewing boxes, full of things that are bound to come in handy at some point and things whose original meanings are too mysterious for me to ever get rid of them. The way unexpected objects (like a dried flower, a tiny photo of a round tower, a retirement card and rosary beads, to give a small sample) are scattered through all the zips and lace and spools of thread, as well as the dangerous-looking cigarette burns which adorn everything, are too characteristic of their original owner to be appreciated by anyone else, and there is no way I could chuck them out. They do take up quite a lot of precious space, though, which is annoying in something I never use. So...I started getting an unfamiliar urge to sew. I found myself amassing material, with no idea what to do with it. I think the thought of fabric you don't have to construct from scratch gains a certain appeal for knitters and spinners after a while. And with no-one else in the house, there is plenty of space for me to play with my favourite charity shop purchase ever, my Vickers hand-operated sewing machine. I do have Granny's modern one, but I can't find the cable, and it's just so much more fun working with this.

Isn't it gorgeous? It's in far from perfect condition, with lots of wear and tear to the case, but it works perfectly. These were produced in the inter-war years in Britain (copying a German firm's design, apparently) by the company better known for making the Spitfire.

It's got a draper's label on it, so it must have been used pretty heavily. I'm really impressed with how smooth and easy it is to use. I'm making a reversible tote bag from a tutorial I found on craftster. It's taking ages, partly because as a knitter I'm not used to making irreversible decisions and I have to do a lot of checking and pondering between stages. I've just got the straps and bottom to sew up. I say 'just'...yes, I will be up all night. And the 'using the sewing stuff' plan seems to have turned into an 'acquire more sewing stuff' mission. Oh well.


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