Monday, March 21, 2016

It Started Making that Noise Again

My sewing machine was still working 2 days ago, (been taking a break) but that weird "tinking" sound is back, rather intermittent though most often using the basting stitch. I may be avoiding finishing my shirt because subconsciously I'm worried it's going to go belly up again. Can't be any thread caught in the tension discs, so it's something else. If it does go poof I'll be taking it to Bay City. Fingers crossed this isn't required, but if I do have to go there, at least I'll have a few machines I can test out. Can't figure out how the Alpena store is staying in business with no machines at all in stock or on display!

I only have buttonholes and buttons to add and the shirt is done, it fits rather well, too, those gussets did the trick. But it's been years since I've made a buttonhole, I will have to practice a lot first.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Machine Is Working!

Well, I took him in to Alpena Sewing Center and the owner/repairman looked it over while I went grocery shopping. He called about 40 minutes later and it only needed cleaning. There was thread caught in the tension discs which I couldn't see and as it was still under warranty I wasn't going to take the machine apart to look it over. So, long story short, I got to take it home with me and I used it this morning. Works great, probably better than before as it's nice a clean. Apparently there is a little corrosion due to humidity but until that totally destroys the machine, I am good to go. Unless something really bad happens to it. Fingers crossed that won't happen. But I am very happy. It was cost less than $100, too.

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Sewing Machine is Not Working

A few days ago while merrily working on my new flannel shirt I heard a tiny "tinking" sound and then it jammed. I turned over the sleeve I was working on and there was a long line of mangled thread. Hoping it was just from the fabric being folded over twice (which shouldn't happen, never has before) I tried a test strip. Same problem. So I then opened up the bobbin case and cleaned out the lint. Still no go. Figuring there might be some lint stuck in the feed dogs, (yes, we're desperately reaching here) I lowered them, dusted, then raised them. Or rather, I didn't raise them because when I try to turn the wheel it won't move. Sort of a double whammy.

I bought my machine on April 21, 2006. Technically it is still under warranty for parts. Ten years by the current warranties, but in reading mine, it looks like 20 years. I discovered this by finding the unregistered warranty card. I have read the law on this and it still must be honored if I didn't damage it through misuse or neglect. No problem on the misuse, I fear they might try to get me on neglect, I think it's only been professionally cleaned once. In my defense there were years I didn't even use it so it doesn't have anything near 10 years of wear and tear on it. However, the manufacturer's website also says I need my date receipt. Yeah. after 10 years that is kind of missing. I did find the credit card statement with the name of the store and price, but no serial number of course.

The warranty/registration card could also be a problem. It has a crossed out number and the new one. I had to return my first machine and ended up with the floor demo because the one out of the box couldn't sew a straight line. So the owner crossed out and wrote in the new number. I don't remember if I worried about that at the time. I did email that store yesterday (no one seems to be open on Sunday in the sewing world it seems) in hopes they can send me a copy of the receipt.

I was planning on driving 2 hours to Bay City today with my machine to get it fixed. Then I discovered yesterday the store in Alpena did not go out of business. it merely moved. I'd been there once before to buy bobbins and I think I took my old Montgomery Ward 1967 machine (manufactured by White) to get a new belt but they had it 3 or 4 weeks and had done nothing with it, they were so back-logged or couldn't get the part, I don't remember. I eventually got it serviced downstate instead. when Hal's sister took it in for me. I pulled it out when my current machine blipped but it is even more hopeless, and I am guessing not worth what it would cost to fix again..

Ah well, guess I'll find out in a few hours whether I am screwed or not.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Sugar Bush

Hal is really getting into the maple sap collection this year. After putting out the 25 new stainless taps and wine jugs, he decided to buy some 3/16" tubing and T-connectors and create our first sugar bush. A sugar bush is simply a collection of maple trees, tapped and then instead of running their sap into individual containers they are connected to each other in a line of tubing that runs downhill into one container. This continual downhill slope creates a suction/vacuum that pulls the sap more efficiently so that we will get more sap per day. With the forecast temps reaching into the 50s and even 60s for the next 10 days and no real dips into freezing it's looking more and more like the season will be super short. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Here's a photo of part of his sugar bush. There isn't much to see, just blue tubes running about the forest and down slope into a bucket. Time for me to walk the pups and go check to see if the sap is flowing yet. Two of the 7 trees he tapped for his experiment started yesterday, with the temperature already 42 it's probable the rest will start today as well.

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Lobster Dinner

Hal and I gave his parents their Christmas gift tonight. A lobster dinner. I bought the live lobsters at the Meijer in Alpena, MI at the end of the shopping trip I needed to get all the other side dishes. I took Hal's mom along and she got a little shopping in for herself.

I got calamata and feta stuffed olives, macaroni salad, mustard potato salad, a lemon we forgot to use, pumpernickel bread we also did not use as his dad had hot bread fresh out of the oven. There was a pinot grigio to drink and dad's usual red. Oh and there was homemade creamed corn my mother-in-law and I made last summer with a little shucking help from FIL.

Dinner was very messy but was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. The lobsters, for those who may wonder, were first chilled and then killed before being boiled. I refuse to boil a creature alive.