This photo has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the post, other than it was my daily photo on Tuesday, and some of this post takes place on Tuesday. Consider it a sneak preview of some of the things you’ll see come out of the kiln on Saturday morning!
Tuesday night I left knitting early to take a class with Mariana at our friend’s new sewing studio, Sew Make Do (previously mentioned here). We took the Intro to Sewing class; even though I vaguely know how to sew, I can’t do it without cursing the machine and getting up and walking away from it six times, and there are other classes of hers that I want to take but feel I need a stronger background before I do. MAN AM I EVER GLAD I TOOK THAT CLASS. And not just because I’ve always wanted to like sewing. One one hand, I feel genetically obligated to like sewing – my grandmother was and my mother is an accomplished seamstress; I like pretty cloth; I like making things; I like the mend-and-make-do mindset. I like the idea of sewing. I like the sense of accomplishment that I thought might come with being able to sew something without inventing new and creative curse words. And yet sewing, anything more than tedious handsewing, fills my neck with stress and my jaw begins to ache with clenching and I get a twitch above my left eyebrow. WELL NO MORE.
Within the first hour of the class I found out two things:
1. There are two types of bobbins, and they are the same size. One type (the type I was using) is slightly curved on the top and bottom, making them just slightly rounded. The other type (the type I’m actually SUPPOSED to have been using) is flat on both top and bottom. The fact that mine were the wrong ones, and rocking just so slightly around while spinning, helps to explain the horrible tension problems I’ve been having. And also probably that horrible sound that comes from my machine so often.
2. The #4 with the down arrow on it, that I always thought meant “hey, dummy, thread goes here, through this needle down below this arrow!” actually means “hey, dummy, there’s a piece of metal that looks very much like every other piece of metal and it’s down here under this arrow but above the needle and you need to put your thread through that before threading your needle!” — that explains a lot of the rest of the tension issues.
So yesterday, even though I really didn’t have time to do it (I was also glazing ceramics and dyeing Star Wars yarn and running errands and had a charity event to go to) I emptied most of the piles of boxes-that-contain-shit-I-need-to-go-through out of our library and set up my sewing machine in there. The library is a funny little room. It’s maybe 8×8, and originally (according to the people from whom I bought the house) was the back porch. They enclosed it to add a little office for the dad, and it made a nice walkthrough from the kitchen to the carport, with some strange small extra bedroom off the front of it. Then they enclosed the carport, and now it’s a little room with three doors in it and a window, making each wall almost useless. The whole time I’ve lived in this house it’s been the Place I Put Crap For Later, but a few years ago Tim renovated it and now it’s also my library for hardcover fiction, science fiction, and mystery books. And boxes of crap that one day needs to be sorted through.
Now all of those boxes are piled up in front of the back door in the laundry room (where it will be in my way as I use that door a dozen times a day to let the dogs in and out or to get to the kiln or go into the back yard without walking across the house to the other back door). And the library has a few boxes of books that I still need shelves for… and my sewing machine. I’ve got my new(ish) machine sitting on top of my G-ma’s old sewing cabinet (her machine is still in it, but it’s one of those “flip over to use” kinds, so is technically hanging upside down underneath it). My spinning wheel will also go in here, and after I get it set up, my loom will go there as well. But probably not today; I have yarn to dye, soap to wrap, bisque to get into the kiln (and a few more pieces to glaze), I should fold the laundry I did yesterday, there’s social knitting tonight, I have a ton of email to answer, lip balms to list on Etsy, and why don’t I ever seem to have time to exercise these days…?