Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Fifty Years Ago Today

Fifty Years Ago Today

Happy 50th anniversary of the lunar landing!

I was a not-quite-4-year-old when it happened, although I have some memory of standing in my grandmother’s living room staring at grainy black and white pictures of the moon landing on her TV. My mother was with me but my father was not; he was a NASA engineer and working with the rest of the team to ensure a successful mission.

We humans can do truly amazing things when we set our minds to the task.

And if you’re on Twitter, please follow my friend @hollymathnerd. She has spent the last week tweeting some terrific profiles of Great Women of Mathematics as well as profiles of women astronauts.

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I’m done with the projects I needed to finish on the Necchi industrial, so the husband swapped in the Singer 78-1 for me. It fits perfectly and I didn’t even need to change the treadle belt.

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The husband laughed when he saw our friend’s initial in the lower right hand corner. “Did he put his initials there so you wouldn’t think about trying to keep this machine?” Ha ha.

The 78-1 is a “needle feed” machine. It doesn’t have any feed dogs.

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The needle moves to and fro as well as up and down, thus advancing the fabric. From the 78-1 manual:

This machine has the so called  needle feed mechanism by which the upper and under pieces of material having uneven or adhesive surfaces are moved forward with exact uniformity, and therefore come out even at the ends, if of the same length; this mechanism consists of the needle and an upper feeding foot acting in unison; in operation, the needle descends into the material, the feeding foot at the same time descending upon the surface of the material, both then move forward carrying the material precisely the length of the stitch desired; the presser foot then descends upon the material and holds it firmly while the needle and feeding foot rise and return to position for the following stitch; there is no under feed and the material moves upon a smooth throat plate. 

I’m seeing some conflicting information about the capabilities of this machine. I purchased it from someone who had horses and was obviously using it for some tack projects. Other sources indicate that it’s comparable to the Singer 31-15, which—although it is an industrial machine—is a tailoring machine meant for lighter work. My Necchi industrial is very similar to the Singer 31-15. Tommy uses the 78-1 on vinyl. I don’t intend to do any leather sewing, and the vinyl projects I need it for are fairly thin. My Necchi balks at feeding thicker materials, though, and I think the needle feed capabilities of this machine will help to get around that.

I’ll experiment a bit and report back.

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I decided to go ahead and dig up the perpetual lettuce bed and replant it. It’s overrun with sweet clover (Melilotus officianalis). Sweet clover is like quackgrass in that the only good way to eradicate it is to dig it up and pull it all out by the roots. (Our garden is completely organic. I refuse to use any kind of chemical weed killers.) Fortunately, when the soil is loosened, the sweet clover pulls up easily, root and all. The lettuce that was in that bed is starting to bolt and that’s only going to accelerate with the high temperatures expected next week. We still have some lettuce elsewhere that will keep us going until the next crop comes in.

I got a gallon and a half of raspberries yesterday and the patch is just starting to get going. There are some spots in the middle that I can’t get to, so the 6’4” husband may have to help out.

And I am still going over the pea vines every couple of days. They didn’t do as well this year as they have in the past, for some reason, but we should have plenty for soups.

We also will have plenty of potatoes and I even saw some small tomatoes on the vines out there.

Installing the Metal Roofing

Installing the Metal Roofing

My, How Times Have Changed

My, How Times Have Changed