Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Small enough for a House Elf.

So recently I got myself a very Reducio'd machien on ebay. Actually, I got two machines - the listing said one should be able to make one functioning machine out of the two and have lots of spare parts left over. Well, I had a feeling the first one was actually running, and I was right. Here is the photo. Note that the cup is a regular size cup, not a supersize one, and that the little bag was actually sewn with the machine.

Now in case that did not convince you that the machine is small, here is another shot, this one with a coin for reference.

Note that he is a bit dirty, and lacking a proper spindle for the thread to hang out on, and that he is there all by his lonesome, without the foot control that is almost as large as he is, or the little briefcase they come in, or any of the bunch of accessories they used to throw in with a machine.

{Now a days you are lucky if they throw in a presser foot and a few needles, but back in the day they came with hemming feet, quilting line guides, tuckers, rufflers, and various implements of construction that can baffle even the brightest of modern minds. This machine came with a decent, middle of the road set - we just did not put it in the pictures (which are, as usual, thanks to Lava. Thanks, Lava!)}

He weighs in at less than four pounds all by himself - with the case, accessories and foot thinger he has been clocked in by others at about 9.5 and I am willing to take their word for it. But he is a real sewing machine, not a toy, with very convincing innards and very credible moving parts. I sewed the little bag and in the future I will show more.

Does he have a downside, other than being smaller than some beetles? Well, there is a marked smell of ozone with the motor running, the easiest way to pull up the thread is actually to just stick the bobbin thread through the needle plate before replacing it on the machine and the bobbins hold a very very small amount of thread. However, I can live with all that. His biggest limitation is that he only straight stitches. Then again, the Featherweight only straight stitches, and goes for easily ten times what I paid for the two of these together, and more frequently for 20 times as much. I'd still like a little Kenmore, but for now this one is small, and light, and fun, and I can use it on the desk, which was the idea, after all...

I will have to make a Reducio project for next round on this one.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lucius Malfoy's sewing machine

Ok, I know that Lucius Malfoy didn't do his own sewing. He was way too aristocratic. He had house elves for that sort of thing. House elves, and quite possibly sweatshops full of Muggles purchased on the black market who sew T-shirts and fetish gear to keep The vault at Gringotts full and the powers that be quivering in anticipation of their payoffs.

But what if Lucius Malfoy's secret, dirty, passion is....


What if there is a secret room at Malfoy Manor full of fat quarters? What if there is a torture device down there which is actually a disguised quilting frame? What if Lucius Malfoy's boggart is Voldemort finding him with a needle in one hand?

So maybe, maybe this is Lucius's machine.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to use the row counter....

This would be SOOOO much better with piccies, but as I pointed out, I am notoriously bad with getting pictures up, especially since the camera with the easy software had a bad accident...

Anyway, so here is what you got, and how it works.

There is a long chain. It has a bird at one end, (your namesake), a lobster claw at the other end (No relation that I know of) and in between a little flock of small flying things.

If you lay it out on the table, you will see that there are plain rings between the birds. They are not huge, because this was made for sock knitting.

What you do is put your needle, on your first pattern round, through the first circle (jump ring), the one closest to the bigger bird, and then knit around till you come to it again. When you do, take the needle on the right, insert it in the next jump ring down, the one after that next bird, and drop the first jump ring of the left needle.

You have now counted one row.

There are at least 12 jump rings there, and depending how you count possibly 13 or 14. You don't have to count a dozen every time. Let us say you have a 6 row pattern. Take that lobster claw and bring it up to attach in the SEVENTH jump ring. Now use the row counter, and when you get to the jump ring with the lobster claw attached, you know you go back to round one. Just stick the right needle back in that very first jump ring.

Now if you have to do something spiffy, like cross cables, on one of the rows, you can attach a crochet stitch marker/earingtype stitch marker in the appropriate jump ring, so when you get to it you can say "Oh! Time to cable!"

And if none of this makes any sense you can just use it as a bracelet or attach it to your waistcoat with the lobster claw and stick the bird in your watch pocket...

As I said, I made it for socks, so the jump rings are small. If that is a problem you can get bigger jump rings, or mail it back and I will replace them with larger.

And if this still makes no sense, let me know and I will get Kim to take pictures...