Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More Hooks

I am still working on my sewing room, and my afghan, but the afghan only gets worked on when its too hot to do anything else (just the small squares, I won't put them together till this winter). I do the house work in the morning and then crochet in the afternoon, its supposed to be a 94 or so today, I tend to wilt in the heat, but I dread putting the air conditioner in the window this summer. I postpone this until I must, air conditioning aggravates my arthritis something awful. I can't move in the mornings all summer without a pain pill. Sometimes the pain is just too much.

On a brighter note, there are always those brighter notes! I've acquired some more crochet hooks. I hate bidding on ebay, but it seems to be the only way to get things like this. I am not sure what the top ones are, they were labeled crochet or tambour hooks, I am uncertain which they really are. They don't really look like tambour hooks, but they are so tiny that I can only use really fine thread like 60 or 80 with them. There is a tiny handle in the wooden holder that fits over the end of them to make them longer. They came from France.

 The ones on the bottom, I am trying to find out about, right now. They look like the Ross hooks, but they have a patent applied for printed on them instead of an actual patent number. If they are prior to that, they are over a hundred and thirty years old. There are only two or three sizes, but there are two or three of each one. They came in the pretty lacquer box. They came from right here in Missouri.

I love learning about the history of crochet almost as much as doing it, I suppose eventually I will get tired of looking for hooks and settle down to use what I have, I always do, I like to use the old hooks for things, but I'll be honest, some of the older hooks are much harder to work with than our modern hooks, its hard to believe some of the beautiful things women used to make with the older ones, they are hard to hold, but look very pretty and dainty in the hand. It could be that we are just plain spoiled today because what we have to work with is just so easy to use. Here is another photo of some of the newer hooks, these were acquired before this last group was.

I believe the tiny silver one is a tatting hook but can't be sure on that either, it goes through fabric easily so it could be a hook made to crochet an edging directly on fabric. The others are bone and steel and the pretty brass handled hook and one celluloid handled hook. I managed to get one Evelyne hook, they work very well, wish I could find some more of them. I managed to get one of the triplex hooks too. Only three or four of these hooks came from the states, the rest came from England. They seem to have many more of this kind of thing there than we do.

I do think I am about collected out though, I didn't want a lot of each, just one tow representatives of each kind of hook. I did enjoy getting them and cleaning and repairing some of them so they are now usable. The last photo of hooks I'm going to post is some of the ones I've had for a while. If anyone knows anything about some of these hooks leave a comment, information on some of these is very hard to come by, and I've been working on it for weeks. These are the ones for the most part I posted before.
I always hope that someone will know something and leave a hint for me. I use my scanner, to take the pictures because I have a rather crappy older camera, and the scanner gives really good detail.

Other than the hooks, my time has been spent making an Etui for sewing, I looked at all the ones on Ebay and the antique shops and wound up making my own, I wanted a place to store my vintage brass sewing tools and now I have one. It is also large enough and has a compartment for my antique crochet hooks. I still need to tweak it a bit to make it right but that won't take a lot of work. Anyway, maybe if I get a chance I'll post a picture of it later.

Have a nice week.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Still working!!

I'm still working on my crafts room, almost done, bought some shelves and some of the plastic storage drawers, have to buy one more set, then I'll have enough storage for almost everything. I am still stumped about what to do with all that yarn, still, after getting rid of many piles an bags of junk, I still have more yarn than I know what to do with. I finally got my craft paper almost organized, but still have to find a spot for my origami paper. Most of my art supplies are in the shelves, though two very tall shelves are full of fabric. It's mostly for clothes, but some is for quilting, though not much. You might wonder how a person accumulates so much stuff. I think it has to do with working a job for years and buying things you never have time to use, when you do finally have time you don't know where to start.
With three sewing machines and four looms, even after stripping the finish off one loom and getting it ready to set up, there is no room for it, unless I have a specific project in mind. There was room to put out one small 20 inch rigid heddle loom, and I have my tiny looms in a couple of baskets. There was also only room for two of the sewing machines. I couldn't help myself, I bought another sewing machine two weeks ago. It's only an antique reproduction of a singer 15 NL with the Sphinx decals on it, it sews so well. I've been learning to use the attachments, collected for the Singer 99 over the years, they seem to work better with the 15NL, I think its because I can adjust the bobbin tension. I can't figure out how to do this on the 99, of course I haven't really tried that hard. It was just so much easier to do on the 15. It's larger and I set it in a table made for it from an old set of treadle machine irons, they are broken a bit and some parts are missing, but since it's electric it doesn't matter, and it looks nice in there. I recovered and padded my old singer bench, I've had for years,as well as an antique dressing table bench with the same fabric, its only a slipcover though, I wanted it to be removable, so as not to damage the bench. The benches still need sanded and re-finished  but I can remove the covers for that. It's so nice to be able to use this stuff again, am already sorting through patterns to make clothes from. It's been so long since I sewed anything, that choosing the simplest patterns seems the wisest thing to do. I won't get to start anything until I'm completely finished with everything.

Right now, I can't take pictures until it completely finished. It's still a bit messy, what with getting sidetracked with the hunt for more attachments. I tried to get a zig zagger off  Ebay, but lost the bidding, someone slipped in at the very last second and got it, I wanted it so bad that I was down for two days. Its all right now, I learned how to use the Griest decorative Zig Zagger, now it works pretty well and the stitches are quite nice, then I got a singer automatic Zig Zagger on Ebay and eight stitch disks and it works well too. I would never have learned without loosing out on the one I wanted, so something very good came of it after all. With a new mechanical button hole maker and some other attachments I can do anything on the old singer machines I can on my Pfaff, just not so fancy.

There was also room for a small drawing desk, so now I can start drawing again too. It makes me so happy to be able to go back to doing things. I'll try for pictures next post.

Monday, March 04, 2013

I've been busy

I have, I have really been busy. I started getting ready to organize my crafts room, in January, now I am finally doing it. I have three more sets of shelves to assemble and then all that junk has to be organized in drawers and shelves. There is a lot of stuff. Paper, yarn, thread, fabric, and notions along with all the stuff that goes with it. There is also quite a lot of jewelry making stuff, that has to be put away. I've also gotten out three of my rigid heddle looms and have refinished one of them to make it look and work better. I repaired a cheap one I bought at the flea market, it should work pretty well, the third one is a very small loom that I'm going to use to make scarves or narrow bands, for handles, belts and that type of thing. The larger rigid heddle loom has been refinished and I plan on warping it for some light rugs.

I finally found an old treadle machine stand, just the bottom and will put a new top on it to put my old singer 99 on it. I have been buying all the accessories for it I can find. I cleaned and oiled it, and would like to put a hand crank on it, maybe later. I have been getting some good deals on the accessories to go with it or I wouldn't be buying them.

I'll write more later when I've got it nearly finished.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day Before New Years Eve

It's Sunday Afternoon, we are both a bit bored. The DH is watching a martial Arts movie on youtube and I am just sitting here reading blogs and trying to get some crochet inspiration. I am still working on my afghan, I have estimated that it will take around 400 or more blocks to make it. I am not even worried about colors strictly yet. If it will work in my bedroom, it will be used. I bought some more pretty papers at Joanns fabrics, I love all the pretty papers they have for scrap booking, even though I don't do scrap booking. I use them for quilling and jewelry and other things. I like to make my own calendars and piece them together and am thinking of making a set of tarot cards from my own designs. I hate trying to read tarot from a standard deck, I can never remember the meanings of the cards. I have tried to memorize them, but no matter how I work at it, I still forget, so if I make up own deck, I should be able to remember them a lot better. I plan on collaging the cards together one by one. I may scan the deck then and print them off. We'll see.

I thought I'd show you some more flea market finds just one photo of them this time. I got a book or two the first one is a three volume George Carlin book. I loved Carlin and am sorry he's gone. The second book is the The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. I'd wanted a copy after seeing the pictures on another blog, her drawings are really lovely, I used to do that sort of things when I was a kid, always drawing, then my first marriage sort of killed any aspirations to do art. (My first marriage was not a good one, art fell by the way side just trying to keep my sanity). The other little thing was a kitty tin. I just love tins with pictures of kitty on them and this one was shaped like a cat so it had to come home with me.

Since we are talking about cats, This is what passes for one of the christmas decorations round here.

 I have to put a light in it, I just love the little cats and their tree and fireplace. It is not quite finished, I need to add some glitter on the roof and put a hole in the back to add a light. I made the little house out of a cereal box. It wasn't to hard to do. I've been saving cereal boxes to make fans out of. I have an old Victorian fan that has a hole in it for a tassel, it doesn't fold but it works quite well and the shape is pretty, that's what I am making with some of the pretty papers. I have scaled down a small version to put on here as a free pattern one day. It is small but still makes a good fan for a hot day outside. I suppose that you could scale it up and make it larger, I wanted it to fit in a purse. I also wanted it small enough to be made out of one piece of card stock. I'll add more on this subject later. Right now the DH is hungry and I am too a bit, and he can't cook, though he is good with instant coffee. I can't make instant coffee properly to save my life, but I make the best mocha cappuccinos we've  had. I also make a mean vanilla latte, needless to say we rarely go out for coffee, though I am looking for a new espresso pot, since I like the manual pot better than a machine. The handle on mine is finally wearing out. I'll go for now and try to post again after new years.

A little note on progress on my afghan, I have said I will need over 400 blocks, I've only completed a little over 60, I've got a long ways to go!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Yule or Christmas to some

A post after Christmas, We had a pretty good one, we don't really celebrate Christmas here, it's just not one of the important holidays for us. We are much more apt to celebrate each other's birthdays. I love a birthday present, just don't care much for the all out commercialization of Christmas. My hubby and I took some fresh made fudge over to his Mom's house and got out of there as soon as the smoke got to us, we don't smoke and they do, and it nearly kills us to breathe it, baths were all that saved us when we got home. We just couldn't stand the smell of cigarettes.

We had a nice dinner, just the three of us, including the cat and kicked back for the rest of the day, surfing the net and eating fudge and watching televison, I crocheted on my large afghan that will be for the bed this time. I saw these little squares on a french blog and decided to redo the larger ones I was working on.

The color is not really true, the purple ones are much deeper in color, it's my camera and the tan looking ones are really called pistachio. I am using burgundy, purple and greens and golds in it, with enough odd colors thrown in to add variety, The hubbs asked how many I will need, and it turns out I will probably need about 400 give or take, probably take another hundred. I want the afghan to be big enough and heavy enough to last for years.

I'm using an "E" hook with worsted weight simply soft, It will have a tight gauge. I really like the way that the squares look, I know it will be a pain to put them together, but I'm weaving the tails as I go so there won't be so many when It's done.

I've been to the flea market a few times, actually they call themselves antique malls here now, but they are still flea markets, to me anyway. I picked up some yarn at one stall, Six skeins of various shads of pink from knit picks lace weight yarns. It was $12 for six skeins, which is a really good price. It's enough to make at least two large shawls. I never thought of myself as a pink person, but I really like this yarn.

The small wound ball is mostly silk, it is so soft.
The others are mostly alpaca and merino.  I added it to what I already have in my stash, though I don't plan on it staying there.

Earlier in the  year we had a fiber fair out at Crowder college, I managed to cough up for two skeins of pure Alpaca in a finger weight yarn. One is a skein of brown painted and the other in purple of course.

I am not sure I can wear it next to my skin, so I got enough to make a couple of scarves or mini shawls to test it out, The brown is colored with all the shades of chocolate and the purple is a lot prettier than my monitor shows. I also managed to buy about 20 Crochet Today and Crochet with three Interweave Crochet magazines thrown in, for about $4. They were 25 cents a piece and I just couldn't pass it up. Two or three weeks later I got another 30 or so Magic Crochet on sale for about 20 cents a piece. I felt really lucky, some are getting given a way. They are in really good shape, almost new, and were in still in the mailing wrappers. I was going to add even more to this post but think I will break it up and do another one. Can you tell I love Yarn and Crochet magazines? When I get done with this post, I'll probably go back to work on the aforementioned afghan. Any way, back to work.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I don't know what to say

Sometimes I don't know what to say. I really don't have a plan or an idea of what to post, There are many things I could say about what happened in Sandyhook, but none would change anything. Most of the people in the US have already made up their minds and there is little to change them. Personally I think the young man who committed this atrocity was mad. Something set him off, though he may have been planning it for a long time. I suspect mental illness. No one gives the mentally ill much help anymore, we have thousands upon thousands living in the streets and no one cares. I know our government certainly doesn't, or the mental hospitals would still be operating at full strength.
When dear old President Reagan cut funding for mental institutions, he doomed many to lives of misery. He condemned not just the mentally ill to it, but also their victims. I believe that as the population grows in numbers we will see more and more of this type of thing. People who have no one to notice what is wrong will go berserk and kill or hurt more people. There are too many of us on this planet, it is too crowded.  There are too many weapons in circulation. Right now if they confiscated all weapons in circulation in the US today, it would do nothing. Honest people would let theirs be taken, but the criminal element would still have theirs and still get access to ammunition one way or another.
That will not bring back 20 dear little girls and boys or their teachers. It will not bring back a misguided mother who feared the end of the world. For her the end has already come. I've wondered if perhaps this young man had played too many video games and thought that each person would get a new life when he restarted the level. I dislike any but the most mild video games, I think of them as a form of brainwashing, after hundreds of hours of playing them, what is the impact? What I have written here is just my own rambling wonderings about these random massacres that we are experiencing here in America and around the world. I found it strange, that the same day this happened in the states that the same number of people were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
There is no  courage or honor in taking a life, if only the misguided would see that. It does not take courage to kill, It is not honorable to kill those that disagree with your religion, opinion or way of life. It shows a lack of character and fortitude, as well as patience and love and tolerance. It takes courage to let people live their lives their way, and then go your own way, having left them in peace.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Nothing new yet

Nothing new has happened yet, unless you consider that I am no longer sick. It took a while to get over whatever it was. I am now out and about the house and working in the yard. I am letting the house go, so I can get the yard done. Once the yard is done, I have to catch up on the housework. Then I must finish the repairs I started last year in time for the winter. I got about half of it done. Once I finish the repairs, the house needs to be painted and the roof sealed. I want to put up a new skirting, but frankly the cheap plastic stuff does not thrill me. I would rather use metal or put rock around it.

For now back to the yard, I am taking out some old beds, the blocks used in them will build me more beds, I never throw that stuff away. I gave some away a couple of years ago and now sort of regret it, even though they were too heavy for me to use. I am raking and cleaning out the old beds and will drag all the rocks out and this weekend, hopefully we will build and fill two more  keyhole beds and some lower square beds for tomatoes and squash, I feel the keyhole beds can be better used for other things. They worked quite well, though I am taking the top layer off the first one because it's too high for me to bend over and reach all of it. Next spring I will make plastic covers for them so I can water them and spray them less and maybe it will keep the squash bugs and little green caterpillars off things. I hate to spray and maybe starting earlier will help too. My plants will be well started by the time it gets hot and maybe they'll produce more.

As for the old beds, they are being raked out and leveled, any herbs I find growing there are getting transplanted and the rocks are being piled up to fill the blocks, once the blocks are arranged, then I am taking out some trees and forsythias and planting grass. I'll be moving my sitting area over there and building an awning over it.

My dear husband saved my bacon last week, I was raking and tearing out things and going at it really well, until my husband told me to stop that he saw a wasp that I didn't see. I looked and looked and couldn't find it. He said that he thought there was a nest, so I got the can of wasp spray and stood there while he knocked over the block that I was getting ready to move. It was full of, probably around 30 of the big red wasps and a large nest, I hit them with the spray and got nearly the whole nest. It was a little cool and they were slow, sort of, but if he hadn't made me wait and warned me I would probably have been stung badly. I have been stung before by a nest of yellow jackets. It was so awful, about ten stings that time. I am not allergic or anything, but I am not sure what that many red wasps would do. It has made me slow down a lot.

Yesterday I did a little bit and found a cute little, okay, cute to me, little ring necked snake, about a foot long. I've found three of them this year, two so tiny they were just finger length. Once of our neighbors killed the black snake that lived under our house, which bothers me some, it kept the chipmunks out from under the house, chipmunks are cute, but they will chew your electrical wiring to bits, and cause fire hazards. I would rather have had the snake.

Well that's all, I am going to go out and paint for a bit, some of my flowers. I will try to take some pictures of the progress before next post.