Raspberry Purls

I have not covered any crafts for some time.  Sorting through my photos I came across this one.

This is exactly like the very first sewing machine I ever used. I was a young school girl at the time and staying with my aunt, daddies eldest sister. I was still quite short in stature then and found it difficult to get my feet going into a steady rhythm while concentrating on the actual sewing and keeping my fingers from going under the needle.

I saw this particular machine in the window of a dry cleaners and menders, at Royal Avenue in Belfast. Typical me I had to go in and ask for permission to take a photo.  The lady in charge offered to take a photo of me sitting at the machine, and sure why not make the most of the opportunity.  I didn’t have an unused handkerchief in my pocket so my ever present gloves had to come to the rescue to make it look like I was actually sewing! 😉

You have seen the blue jumper before, both in the making and again when it was completed.  The waist band, cuffs and collar were knit in single rib the remainder was crocheted in shell stitch. Please don’t ask for a pattern as I didn’t actually have one and would need to go back and count the stitches. Did I mention last time that I crocheted the pieces together when it was finished instead of the usual needle and thread method?  It gave a neat finish and you can see I worked the seam on the outside across the shoulders. I will use that method again!

Since then the experiment in pink above, again without a proper pattern, this time knitted mostly in the round, is completed.

A long tunic to wear in the winter over trousers. I call it the tea cosy stitch, since it was the stitch my mother favoured for knitting a tea cosy when I was young and about the only item I enjoyed knitting back then. I think the correct name for the stitch is fisherman’s rib.  The pattern is worked over multiples of four stitches plus one.  The tea cosy had 39 stitches for each side.  Each row is the same and as mammy would chant it – One right. Two wrong, two right – to the end of the row. In other words it was knit one, (purl 2, knit 2)* for the remainder of the row.  By the time you have four rows completed you can see the pattern and stop chanting! 😉 It is an easy pattern to work and builds up well.

So what am I at now?

You saw the pink scarf made from ruffle yarn when I finished it. A quick project that I managed to complete in a day.  It was worked over eight stitches. As you can see I made one in green but this time I worked it over fourteen stitches.  It is shorter, but has more body. The navy/grey/white ruffle yarn was made up over eight stitches, but I disliked it and ripped it back, washed, pressed  and rolled the yarn over card, I hope the pressing will make the job of re-knitting with more stitches much quicker and easier.

Finally we come to the green raspberries.

It is my next project. Something I saw on the internet, but was unable to find the pattern so I am making it up as I go along.  I am almost half way there at the moment. The Raspberry stitch is worked over four rows in multiple of four stitches plus one.

I am hoping to have it and at least one other cardigan finished before the winter. So the fingers will be busy… either clicking the keys or clicking the knitting needles!

22 thoughts on “Raspberry Purls

  1. Ursula

    Yes, Grannymar, the treadle. And Singer. Brings tears to my eyes remembering my grandmother running up all those little numbers for me (from birth I had a wardrobe of frocks to die for). I was fascinated by the rhythm of her foot. One of my first memories.

    I salute you for not needing a pattern. That’s a gift. A true gift. My aunt, my mother’s sister, who died a few days ago, was like that. She’d crochet the daintiest and most difficult in zero time. Little miracles to me at the time. Another of my earliest memories.

    I think your recent advice to me is right considering how nostalgic I become whenever I read any of your ‘needlecraft’ posts. So please do keep your fingers going, clicking both the needles and the keyboard. Who says I am selfish?


  2. alienhippy

    Just read your interview over on Tilly’s blog. Thought I’d pop over and say hi. Love that sewing machine, my Nan had one the same. I learned to sew on her industrial machine though and I became a dressmaker after leaving school. Nice to meet you. Love and hugs. xx 🙂

  3. Grannymar Post author

    Ursula – Write about your memories NOW! Who knows, maybe you son will provide you with a grandchild or three in the future and they might appreciate having the ‘family history’ to read and refer back to.

  4. Grannymar Post author

    alienhippy – Welcome on board. It was fun to be interviewed for Tilly’s blog. I am pleased to jog your memory with the photo of the treadle sewing machine.

  5. Mike

    My grandmother had one of the treadle Singer machines. I have no idea what happened.

    While Karen does mostly hand work with her quilts, she sometimes uses a sewing machine. She has two and her favorite is an old electric Singer “Featherweight,” made in the very early 1950s. (I bought it for her on ebay.)

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Mike – Those old machines were great workhorses, without the need for internal computer technology. At one stage we had a hand operated Singer sewing machine at home. It meant that you fed the fabric through with the left hand while turning the handle to operate the machine with the other one. I wonder how left-handed folk managed back then?

  7. Alice

    The Singer is exactly like the one I sewed my first table scarf on. It belonged to my mother. You, m’lady, are quite the knitter. With knitting like that, you don’t need to buy any sweaters–ever! How long does it take you to do something like that tunic? (I love tunic lengths by the way. Hides so many lumps and bumps!) 🙂

  8. Grannymar Post author

    Alice – The tunic took a long time as I was deciding what to do and where to go at each stage. Sometimes it sat for weeks without a stitch being added When I reached the stage of having the sleeves and body in one piece it was heavy, so four or five rows was the maximum at one sitting. The area below neckline needs embellishment in some form, so that may well be sorted before the winter.

  9. Rummuser

    Those old singer treadle machines can still be found in many towns of India. In the South of India, hosiery manufacturing factories call lock stitching any thing, say like attaching labels as singering. I was trained to strip them down and service and put back together! You have brought back a lot of old memories. Thank you.

  10. Grannymar Post author

    granny1947 & gigi-hawaii,

    Apologies, I went to visit at your houses and forgot my manners. Welcome to my blog and I hope you find something you like within the posts. I enjoyed my few minutes of fame at Tilly’s place today. I also like you blogs. Today opened many new doors.

  11. wisewebwoman

    Oh I do so miss your craft posts, GM. I am working on an afghan for a nephew and his bride at the mo. Just finished a random scarf for Grandgirl and her upcoming dorm days away at university. I must photograph it if I can pry it out of her suitcase!!
    I learned on the old treadle Singer and I give my sewing now to a woman who makes my curtains and pillows on her great grandmother’s Singer. Just for the sheer pleasure of watching her work on it. And listening.

  12. Grannymar Post author

    WWW – Maybe in the winter, I might organise a day for craft work, right now I have so many directions calling me away from it. Can one make winter resolutions?

  13. Dianne

    Enjoyed this post, will come here again. I was looking for a sign I should get back to needlework and this is it. I too learned to sew on an old treadle Singer. How wonderful you spotted it in your travels. Dianne

  14. Grannymar Post author

    Dianne – Welcome to my blog. That machine brought warm memories for me when I saw it and seems to have done the same again today for others too.

  15. Elaine

    The Singer sewing machine is the same one as I remember my Gran having – what memories that photo brought back!
    Oh, I’ve dropped by via Tilly Bud’s blog. 🙂

  16. Debra

    I, too, came via Tilly’s blog…and I’m glad I did. I have a Singer treadle in my home, too, that once belonged to my grandmother. It takes up a lot of space, but I can’t put it out! My Scottish grandmother taught me to knit and I only wish I had stayed with it…I so admire the art! 🙂 I’m very glad I was introduced to you! 🙂 Debra

  17. Grannymar Post author

    Elaine – Welcome to my blog. I have had that photo of the sewing machine for several months and for some unknown reason I decided to use it yesterday. It was a surprise to me, how many memory boxes it would open. I will be round to your blog for a wander a little later today.

    Debra – That Tilly has a lot to answer for! 😉 Welcome on board. I would love to have one of those old machines, but alas, space to show it off might be a problem.

  18. Brighid

    I loved the little singer featherweight I bought with the money from my first livestock project. Made most of my own clothes, and then my kids. Looking for one now for my grand girls to learn on…the new machines just aren’t as good.
    Love your jumper and the fact that you don’t need a pattern! I can knit & crochet…but I’m left handed, so I have to transpose the directions.

  19. Grannymar Post author

    Brighid, the singer sewing machines were great old work horses. My present machine may enable me to do very fine and delicate pieces, but the old one could handle heavy work like replacing a zip in a four man tent! A different time and a different life!


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