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Everything posted by Egzandra

  1. This is an update on my last post, which was telling everyone I had inherited my mother's Singer Treadle. I have got it now, and someone is coming this Thursday to give the machine an overhaul. I don't think there is much wrong with it, hopefully just needs a good clean and oiling. But the woodwork which is oak, looks a bit worse for wear, people have put hot mugs on it and there are white rings and marks which need sorting out, also the wood has got a mildly ridged feel to it. Has anyone got any tips for restoring wood, or should I get it french polished by a professional? Thank you, in advance. Egzandra
  2. I have used a lovely knitted dishcloth which was fairly loosely knitted, but I did not like my attempts at crocheting dishcloths (which I did as practice pieces). For some reason they were difficult to wring out and wiping down the counter top left too much water on it. Must have been the texture of the crocheted fabric, and I used dishcloth cotton for them.
  3. Thank you, yes I will let you know how I get on with my "new" treadle, I will post a picture or two when the machine has been cleaned and overhauled. Jools, yes the old machines are prized possessions, maybe you could get yours going and they are not difficult to use once you get the belt on and get the balance wheel going first, like Kate said.
  4. Thank you for your replies, everyone. Kate, my Mum's machine is a lot like yours with the two drawers and the bit in between that opens up to store your threads in. It has a bit more wrought ironwork in the frame and treadle, though. I will have a look to see what year it was built but the instructions are already there! I used it as a teenager as well to complete a school project of making a dress, and made several more as well. I remember having to turn the wheel by hand to start and sitting there happily treadling, which was quite relaxing. I will also e-mail the Singer website to see if they can recommend anyone in the area to give the machine an overhaul before I try to use it again.
  5. I have just inherited my mother's Singer Treadle sewing machine, so I'm sad at losing my Mum, but happy to be giving a home to her Singer. It has not been used for about 30 years and I shall have to get it "seen to" before I use it. Has anyone else got one and use it? Egzandra
  6. I have made some less complicated looking beaded bracelets etc - that was fun. The miyuki jewellery does look lovely and Maybe they are actually not as complicated as they look - it's difficult to see when the photographs are so small. You could e-mail the shop andsee if they can recommend any of the kits for beginners, if they want to sell a kit they might give you some guidance.
  7. I feel tempted to try, but am not sure if I could knit socks. My way of knitting consists of the right hand needle stuck in my midriff. It's easier with medium to long needles, and the short pointy ones might prove to be a bit awkward! and painful. All of those knitted socks look lovely. I really fancy having some .......
  8. I have never tried knitting with any of the bamboo yarns, although to squeeze them in the shop they feel lovely and soft and inviting. At a guess it would make the fabric shrink if you tumble dried it, or go all stretchy and lose its texture. Instead of tumbling the blanket, you could perhaps wash it inside a pillow case, and then roll it up in a dry towel to absorb most of the moisture and then hang it somewhere to dry, like over the banisters where it will not get pulled out of shape. Let us know how the blanket turns out That was a good price for the 3 balls!
  9. This weekend I finished a project that's been on the go for the last eighteen months, a throw made of hexagons. It's for my daughter and she is very excited at it being finished. There should have been just under 300 hex but I decided to do another couple of rows of hexagons. So it's turned out bigger. Very nice. So what should I crochet next? Do not suggest another throw.
  10. If you can do what you have already done, you are probably better than you think and could embark on something more adventurous. In the meantime I have found some free knitting patterns for beginners for you, http://home.howstuffworks.com/free-knitting-patterns-for-beginners.htm but you could also find a knitting pattern for a jumper for yourself that is knitted on big needles in a fluffy yarn that covers a multitude of uneven stitches, if you still do them! It should come out lovely. You'll be everso proud. Enjoy!!!
  11. I have made soap like this using sodium hydroxide and various oils, and like TheGirlsMum says it is important to be well prepared and also read up well first. Use safety goggles and rubber gloves when using the sodium hydroxide and when mixing the raw soap, and don't leave it unattended. Really, it's easy and not dangerous if you take care. The other important thing is a good set of scales, so that you can measure things accurately, so that the soap turns out nice and mild. You can go onto a website called soapcalc which will calculate the amount of sodium hydroxide you need for the oils you want to use. I have got a book by Melinda Coss called The Hand Made Soap book, which has been invaluable for basic skills and recipes. Try these websites: http://www.millersoap.com/ and also the soapmaking forum, which is mainly based in the USA but there are loads of friendly people on there who will answer all sorts of queries. The thing I have found is that you DON'T have to spend a lot of money on different oils, and you can make lovely soap out of things you would find in the supermarket or Asian shop, ie coconut oil, olive oil, beef fat, lard, vegetable shortening. I adore my home made soaps because they are so creamy and have such a lovely lather. Trouble is, I have to stop making them for a while as I have already made so much.
  12. I have a Husqvarna which my dealer recommended when I went in asking for a Bernina and found they were too expensive, this also was quite expensive, about 4 years ago. It sews beautifully and copes with everything, the only thing I would quibble about is because I'm left handed I would like the reverse button and the stitch finishing button to be on the left, but it's on the right of the machine. I bought my daughter one of these a couple of years ago: http://www.sewingmachines.co.uk/Janome22_info.htm She has been delighted. It is a robust machine and they use these models at our local college as well. Everyone seems to like a Janome.
  13. Yes, I love Thorne's as well. The chickens always look very well kept.
  14. If you feel like a trip down the A1 you could try Thorne's Garden Nursery, Stotfold Road, Letchworth Garden City, Herts, SG6 4JR. I have not bought chickens from them but on looking around their chickens are clean and well kept and they appear to have a variety of chickens. (Haven't been lately, though). Ring first on 01462 675767 or e-mail karllaming@hotmail.com to see what they have got.
  15. My son works in a bookshop and bought it for me for Mother's Day! He probably chose it from what was available in the shop - they don't have a great selection of craft books. However, this book has pride of place as it's a gift from him - but next time he looks as if he is thinking of buying me a book, I will direct him to my wishlist on Amazon for inspiration!
  16. That sounds like a gorgeous idea! My fingers have started itching to have a go.
  17. I have also seen a pattern for crocheting a bag out of carrier bags. http://www.marloscrochetcorner.com/Plastic%20Bag%20tote.html Gives you pictures, pattern and how to make the plastic yarn. The instructions are American so the names of the stitches are different. Also it seems to need more bags per crocheted bag than a knitted bag would need, so probably the crocheted bag is thicker. There is another website where it tells you how to make a garden kneeler out of plastic bags as well as other things.
  18. I have never tried adding petals to soap (have just started making it) but from what I have heard you are right, it's very common for them to turn brown. I don't think there is any way of avoiding this. Melinda Coss says you can infuse the oils with petals to give the oil a scent, but I just wonder how much of the scent is left. I put rosewater (already made, out of a bottle) into one batch of soap and it did not make any difference to the scent. I am quite pleased with what I have made so far though. Have you got any favourite recipes?
  19. August 15/126 suits me as well! How exciting! I'll put it in my diary. Thank you Omletina
  20. I have seen Silkies at Thorne's in Letchworth, Herts if that's not too far from you. Their number is 01462 675767.
  21. Egluntine, we tried that cheese and leek pud yesterday evening and it went down a treat. It was a bit like a deep home made quiche but without the pastry. I used half fat creme fraiche though because it was all they had. However I increased the fat content by using up some left over double cream to make it up to 300ml. Egzandra
  22. Have you looked on the Habithat website? There are some patterns for trousers and rompers on there. Here is a link: http://www.habithat.co.uk/index.php/cPath/100_104/sort/3a/page/1 I have used them before, they sent the patterns very promptly. Your lady who is going to do the sewing might have some ideas. Hope you find something you like. I bet Howard will look gorgeous! I hope you will post some pictures and also that you'll have a lovely Christening day.
  23. How old is Howard? And how big, and is he walking yet/still in nappies? Just to get some idea of the type of thing you might like. Have you had any ideas of what you would like?
  24. We were on our way home from a cottage holiday in Essex and saw a sign for chickens and ducks in what I thought was Bocking but it was (my husband says) a place called High Garrett near a Tesco at Mark's Farm. Has anyone had chickens from there? I was very tempted to go in and see them. My hubby didn't want to though.
  25. It's not as if it was straight from the fridge. My daughter had driven from Leicester and the eggs were not fridge cold. And, I couldn't understand why the egg floated, having burst, but nothing had come out of it, I said to my daughter "I hope it's not a bad one", but it smelt and tasted fine. Very strange. A mystery, I think.

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