Friday, July 20, 2012

Not quite a finished object Friday

Despite good intentions, I have no finished object for today.  My pattern writing efforts ended in frustration but I learned a lot about sizing.  I can design and knit for myself and it will fit perfectly.  Which is what I did with the Mock Cable Pullover.  But what I found out is that my shoulder width is not close to what is considered normal for my bust size.  Which means just sizing up is not very easy.  Couple that with an all over ribbed fabric that I wore with -4 inches of ease - yes, that is a negative four - and this was pretty difficult to size up.  So I have a new plan for my next design - plan first, swatch, design and then knit.  We'll see how that works.

I did get my shawl finished and it is blocking but no pictures until next week.  My Mom's sweater is also almost done, ready for blocking and then seaming and edge finishing.  Not sure that will get blocked this week due to the shawl taking up my blocking space.

But I do have something to share.  In a way it is a finished object.  I am just not the one that did the work.
This is an antique pump organ.  It belonged to my great grandmother who received it as a sixteenth birthday present in 1909.  Unfortunately I don't have a before picture but the red fabric was black with age and had holes, the brass on the pedals was brown with dirt, and the wood was so dark that I thought at first it was black walnut.  Eighty years of weekly polishing by my grandmother and great grandmother with coal tar based furniture polish had turned it black.  Nothing worked on it.

When I inherited it almost ten years ago, I had dreams of restoring the wood myself.  Those ended after a three hour session that was frustrating to say the least.  So it sat in our garage for ten years - actually two different garages as it made one move with us.  When we decided last year it was time to down size, my husband said there is no room in the next garage - get it restored or sell it.  Well obviously I couldn't sell it.  Thanks to the internet I found a restorer and six months later, here it is in working order.

The craftsmanship, both originally and the restoration is amazing.

For those of us who appreciate craftsmanship in every form, it is really inspiring.  The woodwork and detail is fabulous.  The mirror is the original as are all the keys.

A little about my great grandmother.  Her name was Hester Mae and she lived in West Virginia - which in the early 1900's was rural by definition.  Her father had money as one of the first people to find natural gas in that area.  (He died penniless; his final advice to the family was never sell the mineral rights.)  He ordered this organ for her birthday from the Montgomery Wards in Pittsburgh and it was made by the Windsor Organ company.  It was delivered by train to the nearest station and then was brought by horse and wagon the last five miles or so.  That must have been a sight.  She loved to play the organ.  I remember her as a child but she no longer played.  My mother can remember her playing hymns.  She had 11 children and lived into her late eighties.  She willed the organ to my aunt as the oldest granddaughter and then it came to me as the oldest great granddaughter.  I think she would be very happy that it is back to its original condition and loved as she loved it.

For fiber finished objects, go check out Tami's and I promise to have something next week.

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