Friday, January 19, 2007


On Monday, I went to my mom's house for a sewing day. Now, I grew up with a Sewing Mom--Halloween costumes as far as the eye can see--but I don't sew, myself. In my mind, the sewing machine is like a mythical beast: the source of great things, yes, but also noisy mysterious and capable of taking off my finger without breaking a sweat. When I was about ten, I sewed my grandparents a pair of matching his-and-hers pillow cases (very Wheel of Fortune of me) with their names puff-painted on the hems. A few years later, I made myself some flannel pajama bottoms. That's been about it for me and the sewing machine: I got away with my pj pants and all of my fingers intact, and felt grateful for it.

Knitting supplies make a girl do crazy things, though. My needle collection has begun to grow, and it's practically a miracle that I haven't impaled myself on a stray US-10.5 on the way to the bathroom at night; instead of tempting fate, I decided awhile ago that I should make myself a needle case. I studied the (sewing) pattern in the back of my Stitch 'n Bitch book; I went to Hancock Fabrics and bought some uber-girly pink-and-brown fabric and a shiny brown satin ribbon to use as a tie. My mother graciously volunteered to help me out.

The case took practically all day, no thanks to a mis-cutting incident where we ended up back at Hancock's for more fabric. It turns out that learning to use a sewing machine is much like learning to drive a stick-shift car: feet do one thing, hands do another, there's a button for reverse, and don't forget to steer! There's a lot of lurching, of S E W S E W S E W sewsewsewsew S E W S E W S E W sewsewsewsew. I measured the fabric and cut it out and spent an hour measuring and sewing seams for the needle pockets. I sewed seams around the edges and only called for help when I'd inched in towards the middle and couldn't steer back. Eventually I turned the whole thing right-side-out and Mom agreed to sew the outer 1/4-inch seam and hand-stitch the ribbon to the outside. And? Voila:

All ten fingers still attached, and my knitting needles are safe and sound (and not sticking out of my bare feet in the middle of the night).

Also, along similar knitting-related lines, proof that I don't deserve my friends--I arrived at work on Thursday to find this shirt:

folded neatly on my chair with a note from Christine. She'd seen it on a recent episode of Gilmore Girls and thought I should have it, because she's super-nice like that. Don't mess with me, yo. I have several pairs of big needles in my purse.

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