Monthly Archives: November 2010

A Beautiful Machine

On Wednesday I spotted a beautiful vintage sewing machine on ebay. The colour was what first caught my attention, its truely gorgeous. Luckily, I won the auction and this arrived yesterday:

Teal blue metallic shininess

It’s a Cooper Sewing Machine and unfortunately I haven’t managed to find out anything about them the internet. I’ve found a company called Cooper Sewing Machines that was established in 1903 and I’m assuming they made it, but it doesn’t seem like they produce their own machines any more. Their website has barely anything about the history of the company so I might shoot an email off to them to see if they can shed any light. It seems to me that it might be 1950s or 1960s?

The seller was fantastic, it couldn’t have arrived quicker and was so carefully and expertly packed. It is in impeccable condition with very minimal wear and tear and have I mentioned the lovely colour already? Plus, it’s been serviced and is completely ready to go!

Shiny

Look how shiny everything is! It has a stitch regulator with dial system, reverse-sewing, drop-feed for embroidery and darning and a self-adjusting bobbin winder.

Bobbin

The underside of the machine is just as shiny. This is a very well looked after machine.

Tin of accessories and it's slot

The tin of accessories sits in the slide slot.

Accessories

Inside the tin I got several threads (which I wasn’t expecting!) and a few feet and bobbins. Took me a while to identify the adjustable seam guide as I hadn’t seen one of them before but the rest of them are in the handbook. I’m going enjoy using this machine so much! :)

A Royale Month

Some people write 50,000 words in November while others try and knit 50,000 stitches. I can’t remember where I first heard of this, probably somewhere on Ravelry. I think it originated from knitgrrl.com who declared November National Sweater Knitting Month back in 2006 (please correct me if I’m wrong!)

I decided Royale (Ravelry link) would be a good pattern to attempt this feat of knitting with, and happily I already had some yarn in my stash that would be perfect. I started November 1st and I’m now about halfway done with the body and 16,328 stitches into my 50,000.

Royale Cables

The knitting is very engaging and the twisted stitches and cables are lovely, I couldn’t wait to see the first patten repeat appear!

Unfortunately, I do have an issue with 2 extra stitches, I don’t know why I have them and I can’t figure out where I could have made a mistake or missed an instruction. It may be a mistake in the pattern but considering I’ve already had to rip out the cuff after doing all the cables in the same direction I’m not ruling out user error yet. At the moment I’m ignoring them and I’ll probably just do a couple fewer increases at the bust to line up with the pattern.

I’m enjoying the yarn (Rowan RYC Cashsoft Aran), it’s soft and a lovely deep purple that the picture doesn’t do justice to. I got it on sale and didn’t read the yarn page on Ravelry before I bought it, I’ve since found out that it tends to pill quite a bit but I’m hoping the tight cables and twisted stitches will help tame that. So far so good. My only complaint is that I’ve had 2 knots out of 4 balls which isn’t great, I expect better standards for the price of this yarn.

As it’s over halfway through the month and I’m no where near even half the stitches I probably won’t hit 50,000. I’m not even sure if the pattern has 50,000 stitches as I didn’t thoroughly check it before I started, but I’ll see what I get up to. I’m reasonably confident I should at least be able to finish the jumper by the end of the month.

Either way, there’ll always be next year and I’ll make a note to pick something with substantial amounts of stocking stitch!

16328 / 50000 stitches. 32% done!

Vintage Sewing Machine

Last weekend I popped into an antique and bric-a-brac shop and discovered this vintage sewing machine. I couldn’t resist buying it!

Front

I don’t know much about vintage sewing machines, I hadn’t heard of Frister and Rossmann but I liked the decals, it had bobbins and a case, the price seemed reasonable to me and that’s all that really mattered.

So I’ve been doing some research on Frister and Rossmann. O. Quitmann was the sole importer from the 1920’s, after 1937 the badge changed to being marked ‘Little Britain’ so I may be wrong but I’m reasonably confident was manufactured in 1937 as it’s a model D not E. The serial number is 25867. There are a couple of good pages here and here that go into a bit of detail about the company if anyone is interested. Also, if anyone knows any more than me and can correct or confirm the date I’d love to hear from you.

Badge

Inside the the case were a couple of surprises, the first was evidence of a little visitor:
Little visitor

I’m thinking I won’t clean these off! It adds character don’t you think?

There were also the remains of the handbook, it’s only 6 and a bit pages that are very delicate but it was a nice surprise to find these inside the case when I got home.
Remains of the handbook

There were quite a few accessories in the compartment too, I’m not sure what half of them do but I’ll do some research once I’ve cleaned them up.
Accessories

It’ll probably take a few weeks but I’ll post some more pictures once I’ve given it some TLC.

The only problem is that I’ve now been browsing the collectible sewing and textile section on ebay and lusting after other vintage machines and paraphernalia. I’ve inherited some of my grandparents sewing threads and other bits and bobs and I’m now thinking about how I could decorate my future hypothetical sewing room (or corner, I’d settle for a corner) with vintage sewing collectables. I’ve now got a 1930s Singer sewing machine oil can coming in the post next week…