|Singer 285K, a 3/4 size machine circa 1965|
This absolutely adorable machine is widely considered to be one of the worst of the all-metal vintage Singers ever. You can read a thorough and scathing review of this machine here. (I would credit the author by name if I could find a name, btw.) It's a good review and I could not have said it any better, or taken better pictures.
I first read this review several months ago and have been longing to get my hands on one of these ever since. The weirdo lower drive mechanism was every bit as fascinating as I had hoped. What WERE they thinking? The reviewer suggests that they were smoking crack, an anachronistic drug reference that tells you that the reviewer was not around in the mid-1960's.
It came with a case in excellent condition, both cosmetically and structurally. Word on the boards is that plastic cases weren't really designed to hold cast iron machines for decades and most have crumbled by now.
The DDs gave me LOTS of great books, both old and new, including:
another book on paper pieced pineapples that I can't find on Amazon now
Adventures in Bookbinding
Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery: The Art & Embroidery of Jan Messent
which plays VERY nicely with the bookbinding book. And if you don't know of Jan Messent, you are not living a full and rich life. Just saying.
And as if that wasn't overwhelming enough, I also got Persia Wooley's Guinevere trilogy. Plays nicely with Jan Messent's work, too!
Child of the Northern Spring
Queen of the Summer Stars
Guinevere, the Legend in Autumn
If you also are a big fan of Arthuriana, you know that many, many, MANY authors have tackled the Matter of Britain. I'll pick up just about anything Arthurian in the thrift store, but it doesn't take more than two paragraphs to discover what dreck most of them are. What a joy to find something worth reading! I have finished Child of the Northern Spring and find Wooley's Gwen entirely convincing as a Celtic queen, and a nice antidote to Marion Zimmer Bradley's insipid Gwen. Other than Guinevere, I DO love The Mists of Avalon though, which also views the Arthurian world through the eyes of women.
Do you have a favorite author of books about King Arthur's court? I would really love to know, please post a comment. After all, life is about more than sewing machines, isn't it? ISN'T IT?..................
Back to the Singer 285K: I love it even with, or especially because of, its fascinating flaws. Mine has two speeds: off and 100 m.p.h. It's one of the fastest machines I have run, scary fast and with little speed control. I haven't tried it with a hand crank yet, which would certainly solve the speed problem, and at the slow pace of a hand crank the vibrations would be much less of a problem. A project for a rainy day.
We had a wonderful family holiday, the kind everyone thinks they are supposed to have, but that does not always happen for whatever reasons. A real Norman Rockwell experience. Next year we will probably go back to being normal!