Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bobbin Winders & Bees

   I have been enjoying tinkering with my Kenmore model 158.902. I think this is the prettiest Kenmore I've had in my possession, thus far. It reminds me of a classic automobile. All that lovely chrome. It even has a shapely fender that houses the light bulb.

   Her finish isn't perfect but that just shows that she was loved and used. Everything that I have tested, so far, has worked. Her only problem was a broken bobbin winder tension disc. Somewhere along the line it had been snapped off.

   The tension disk on this machine is shaped more like a little round metal button. Without a tension disc it is pretty much impossible to wind a bobbin. Something so small is terribly important. Sure, I could always wind bobbins on a different machine but I would rather not have to get up to go do that. I figured I would have to order a replacement which would run me about $10 with shipping. Meanwhile I had acquired this little Italian machine for $10.

   It is straight stitch, only. I don't really need another straight stitch machine but the price was right. I thought I would fix it up and pass it along. Unfortunately when I got it home and took a closer look I found it would require more effort to restore than it would be worth. The tension assembly was in need of repair and the wiring looked dicey. But guess what it had? A functioning bobbin winder tension disc. Which now resides on the front of my model 90 Kenmore.

   It isn't exactly identical to the Kenmore disc but they all do the same thing. That was $10 well spent on the Visetti, which I turned around and sold today for, you guessed it, $10. Free tension disc! I admit I did keep a few more of the Visetti parts that would work on other machines (bobbin, bobbin case, and spool felts). It was purchased by an OSMG (old sewing machine guy) with a fondness for Italian machines so everyone was happy in the end.

   Now for the bees. You remember the last photo of them bringing in amazing amounts of pollen? I was curious as to where they were getting it. I heard from beekeepers in England and in California that their bees were all over the ivy. IVY??? I didn't even know ivy bloomed. It does, but only when it is mature. Most ivy that you see in landscaping is pruned back and this inhibits it from maturing. It remains in the juvenile form. But ivy left to its own devices will eventually grow so large that it will have a thick woody trunk-like stem and the leaves will take on a different appearance. This mature ivy blooms in late October here in the PacNW, and bees LOVE IT! This morning the husbeast drove me around on a scouting mission for ivy. We both remembered this old abandoned brick building that is located in the Fern Hill district of Tacoma. Sure enough, part of the building is covered in ivy.

Ivy covers the ground next to the building, as well.

 A close-up of the blooms.

   Of course now that I know what to look for I am seeing mature ivy everywhere. There is a lot of it in my area which is a very good thing for the bees. I doubt they will starve this winter. They were still bringing in pollen today, the first day of November.

1 comment:

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

You are right, it does have that classic car look! Pity about the other machine - perhaps someone else will take it.
I had no idea bees would get pollen from ivy - you learn something new every day.