Sunday, April 30, 2006

Elsie and Joe get things done

Here's a recent project, now almost completed:

We got a bunch of free wool sweaters on our local freecycle, washed them in hot water and dried them (in a friend's dryer) on high. Then cut them apart in rectangles, and put them in a box for almost a year, where they collected dust and irked me. Then, one day, while vacuuming, it came to me, as if from beyond: USE THE EVEN FEED ATTACHMENT. We have old sewing machines, more than a few of them (a subject for another post) and one of our zig zag machines, an early 60s Singer, has a vintage even feed attachment, which serves the same purpose as a modern walking foot.

So I zigzagged them together with the edges butted up against each other. Used many many spools of thread from my stash (yes, I collect thread) so the colors vary over the course of the piece. I started using two different colors of thread, one on top and one on bottom, so the colors would blend.

You know how sometimes you imagine a project, and you have images in your mind about how it's going to turn out? And then sometimes, maybe even often, it turns out not as well as you were hoping? Well, this one came out much better than I was expecting. I love this blanket, just love it. Maybe even enough to finish it all the way sometime soon.

We're starting this blog so we can stop playing show and tell with our friends every time they come over. We want to keep a record of our many projects in various categories. Between the two of us, we knit, cook, sew, restore our old house, and garden, and most of the projects we plan to chronicle here will be from these categories. We also work and raise kids, but we'll try not to bore you with that.

What makes us different? We rarely buy new. We don't use a clothes dryer, and we don't use paper towels. We will spend more time (sometimes a lot more time) on a project if it means we can avoid spending money. A recent example: the tile in our shower needed to be regrouted, so we started pulling the tile off the wall, only to find that the wall behind it was rotten and also needed to be replaced. Got that done, but the old tiles are now caked with hard-to-remove adhesive. Rather than replace the tile, Joe is laboriously removing the gunk, tile by tile. It's been eight months since we took a shower in our bathroom. Good thing we like baths!