Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Cream-crackered Crafting

Late-night crafting and me do not mix, it seems. I had been feeling so smug about Kingscot: 'Why would anyone knit it in pieces when it's such a piece of cake doing it seamlessly?' I thought to my smug self, smugly. I finished the armhole decreases last night and stopped to check my stitch count. Both fronts were A-OK. The back... hang on a second, that can't be right, let me count that again. No, I still appeared to be short not one, not two but TEN STITCHES. Part of me was upset and more than a little mystified. Another part - the fearless, nocturnal adventurer part - saw this as an exciting opportunity to do what this blog's name suggests: to drop stitches, and hook them back to the path of righteousness.

It was rather enjoyable watching stitches that had been bound together reassuming their own separate identities, as I crocheted them back up the rungs of the dropped-stitch ladder. I was nearing the end of my knitting emergency rescue, when I glanced down to double check just how many stitches I should have. And saw that I had been looking at the wrong bit of the pattern. And had had the right number of stitches to begin with. So I had to drop all of my newly-created stitches and re-decrease them, by which time I think I may have been wielding my hook with more than a little frustration, resulting in this slight pulling of stitches. Stitches which had of course been totally fine to begin with.

So this evening I decided to change crafting tack and get better acquainted with - or, rather, introduce myself to - my sewing machine.

Other than giving a foot pedal a nervous little tap in the shop where I chose my machine, I hadn't done any sewing since my last Home Economics class when I was about 13, and even then I wasn't really paying attention (out of laziness masquerading as ersatz feminism). Since I have started perusing awesome sewing blogs, such as 'So, Zo...' (she made pants!) and Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing, and have become aware of the repository of gorgeousness that is Colette Patterns I have been longing to learn. I bought myself some inexpensive muslin, and screwed my courage to the sticking-place. A cautious straight stitch went fairly smoothly. I tried seaming two pieces together; also ok. This sewing malarkey was not as tricky as I thought! Then the curvaceous form of #26 caught my eye. I popped on my satin stitch foot...

... with a bit less success...

I was a little indignant at that woeful, shrivelled leaf. #26 wasn't going to get the better of me. I tried again... I'm almost too embarrassed to show the result.

I forgot to drop my presser foot, and my fabric was sucked down into the hell-mouth of the needle-plate. Instead of a playful leaf, I basically created a monstrous muslin arsehole. There was a hairy (maybe not a good word to use so close to arsehole) moment when I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to liberate the offending scrap from my machine. Just as I managed to unwedge it, my desk lamp flickered out, plunging me into stygian gloom. Curses.

So it hasn't been a very productive couple of nights. I know I'm more liable to make mistakes when I'm exhausted, but then it can be hard to find time during the day... have you found a solution to this? I'd also love to hear about other people's nocturnal crafting mishaps, to stop me feeling so sorry for myself.


  1. I usually don't laugh at 8am but this is brilliant. I want to sew!

  2. Very funny post! That leaf really does look like an arsehole and i'm glad you shared it - the image will stay with me all day! With those decorative stitches it's a good idea to practise them on a shirt weight / sheeting fabric while you're getting used to the machine. Not sure but that muslin looks like a very loose weave so it might be too fine for use with your thread / without a stabilising backing for that particular stitch. I've visited your blog a couple of times now - your knitting projects are beautiful and I can't imagine every being able to knit that well!

  3. Haha! That's so funny, I'm so glad I'm not the only person who has a very turbulent relationship with their sewing machine. And late night is the worst - I think it's because I tend to be subconsciously rushing because my body really kind of wants to go to sleep. I have no solutions to offer I'm afraid, but lots of sympathy!!

  4. I've heard crack is a good one for keeping that late night sewing on track.

  5. Awww! I've had too many sleepy crafting mishaps to even begin to recount them (one of my special moves is sewing two pieces of fabric together that are facing the same direction, rather than right sides together, so I press the seam and suddenly realize that one piece is inside out). I've definitely pulled out knitting that was just fine before.

    The sewing machine looks awesome!

  6. I've also had ideas that seemed brilliant in the wee nocturnal hours and turned out to be...ambitious on not enough sleep. Congratulations on trying though.


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