Thursday, 11 September 2014

Awl For One, And One For Awl

We gave ourselves a gift in August. Well, two actually. We had decided to mark our 35th Anniversary with a slate sign for ‘'Cornerstones’ and we set a budget for this, then agreed to spend any difference on a ‘silly and frivolous item we would both enjoy’. We got the plaque, duly affixed to the wall last month.


Then when we were in the Chandlery in Wells Next The Sea, we saw something we both felt was an ideal item – it really ‘ticked awl the boxes’


And you just have to love something made in Poughkeepsie


Poughkeepsie is in the state of New York. You pronounce it “Pukipsee” and it means "the reed-covered lodge by the little-water place"

Here is the awl- beautifully made, with full instructions


It comes with a reel of strong waxed thread inside the handle, and two needles [which store neatly and safely inside when not in use] Thus far I have used it for two projects – I sewed together the ends of a length of very tough webbing for Bob – and an ongoing personal project which is part of my 52 Projects list. I am hoping to get that completed over the weekend and will blog that later.

Awls have been around for centuries. There are various different types of awl [saddler’s, shoemaker’s etc] and some are stitching awls like this, with a needle, others are simple ‘pricking awls’ designed to puncture the fabric and make holes. Lots of awl stuff here. I am getting a lot of enjoyment working with this one.


  1. You seem to have it awl under control.

  2. I never thought I'd see another one of those awls. I have one inherited from my late father and who knows where he picked it up. They certainly have their uses. The slate sign is very swish.

  3. I have a tool my Dad called a 'Brad awl'. He used to mend tents and stuff in the army and I have his leather thumb guard too which has come in handy many a time to mend things like a boot,shoe or once a friends' rucksack leather strap.
    You've inspired me (along with Kevin Alti on Blogger) to do a non-electric powered blog post, I have a few items that I keep, like Kevin because, you never know when there will be a power cut or how long it's going to be off. Something of the 'Prepper' as the Americans say, in me and a love of old ways of doing things. They never really go 'out of fashion' when you need them!

  4. Lovely house slate sign. Sometime, I don't know where or when but I've had hold of an awl, just like in your picture, but I didn't know what it was. I do now. Thanks for showing us.

  5. I think my dad has one of these somewhere.
    Jane x

  6. I first heard of 'Puckipsee' in Ally McBeal! Your sign is very classy.Awl go at yours then?! :-)

  7. How awesome is it that I find Poughkeepsie is a blog from across the sea? You see, I live very close to Poughkeepsie and have never seen or heard of these awls - but it is something that I'd love to put into my sewing kit. I will see if I can track one down. Poughkeepsie is north of me in NY - I live in a tiny village right on the Hudson River which runs from NYC up to Albany (the capital). Up where I live, I go to sit by the river and watch the boats, fishermen, barges and am surrounded by mountains of green trees, both around my village and across the river with incredible sounding names, i.e., Break Neck Ridge, Storm King. Up at Poughkeepsie, there is an old unused railroad bridge that goes across the Hudson, and has been renovated and is now a "walkway" - you can walk across the Hudson River with other ramblers - its about a mile walk - no trains, no cars, nothing but the beauty of the surrounding area.

    1. Now I want to VISIT Poughkeepsie - there seems to be a lot more to it than a funny name and an awl factory!! Thank you SO much for all this information, PatsyAnne


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