Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In the works...

I currently have a lot in the works, whether it's a project that is sitting on my crafting table or my couch or my floor (I should really clean up one of these days) or a project that is floating around in my head, I have a lot on my plate. Not just fun crafty either...nope, I have all the stuff of life piled on top of it too.

Oh, and winter isn't helping. Seriously, if I see snow one more time...

Now for the wip report. I've come to almost a dead stop with the sewing and the reason? The sewing machine of course.

While I was working on the drawstring bag, I decided I was going to add a small loop of fabric on each side of the bag to thread yarn through (I got the idea from the GoKnit Pouch). So I proceeded make two tubes of fabric, seam them on each side, and then add buttons and buttonholes.

Bad idea.

I've now had to add about 10 things to the list of "Things My Sewing Machine Will Not Tolerate".

(Oh, and technically it's my mom's machine, I just borrow it.)

For a few examples, it doesn't like it when I change the foot, change the stitch pattern, change the tension, change the stitch length or presume to attempt an even seam.

After I made the first buttonhole and took a short knitting break, I began working on some basic seams. However, the machine kept grabbing the bobbin thread up through the fabric and pulling the top thread out of the needle. How does that even work? It also broke a few needles, groaned to a horrifying stop, and put a very messy "seam" into my bag-in-progress.

After a lot of messing around with the machine (basically I reset everything and then reset it again to the original) it finally started working again.

Unfortunately, because I didn't connect the fact that the buttonhole messed the machine, the next day I made another one. Oops. This is the now the second time in two days that the machine has acted inappropriately and I'm afraid I can no longer be understanding.

I'm giving it the silent treatment.
I may give in tomorrow. Maybe.

My other gripe is the knitting design project. I'm working on short row shaping that isn't exactly working. That is, it's working, but it won't translate very easily into various pattern sizes, so either I'll have an epiphany and realize that I can indeed write out the instructions for several different sizes, or I come up with another method and knit another prototype with those mods.

I'm thinking that I may just finish it up, post photos and hopefully get a little feedback on the design. Then, when I'm in a better mood (which is currently depending almost entirely on the sewing machine's behaviour) I'll frog around 20,000 stitches and re-knit them using a different technique.

And my last gripe: the sister's birthday present. I'm truly unable to comprehend how many times I have frogged this project (it's going on about eight I think). It's a very easy pattern and with the time I've spent knitting and re-knitting I should have about three items completed, but no. Anyway, last night I finally got going on it without making any huge errors and am now about 25% done...until I find another mistake, which is entirely possible, if not inevitable.

And with all that out of the way, how about a bit of less cranky blogging? :)

I have thwarted the sewing machine in one respect.

Its bobbin winder has been broken for years (so my mom tells me) so I've been winding bobbins by hand, which is a big pain. So last weekend, I bought a bobbin winder at Joann's. It has terrible reviews online, so I was really, really, reluctant to buy it, but since I was desperate I ended up bringing it home. As soon as I could, I tried it out and found that it works! I couldn't be more thrilled.

With the delight of instant bobbins in front of me, I began thinking of doing some garment sewing. Totally new territory for me. I browsed around a few pattern companies and found a couple of cute "easy sew" top patterns that I can see myself wearing. Now I just have to hope that the machine doesn't develop a dislike for garment sewing, though I can't help imagining that the very idea is repulsive to it.

I'm also planning my summer knits. I'm excited to try knitting with cotton (a fiber I have almost no experience with) as well as hopefully produce a few cute spring (assuming it shows up eventually) and summer pieces. I've got a road trip coming up around the end of the month, so that'll be a good chance to do some knitting. Now I just have to order the yarn so that it gets here in time!


Ellefsons said...

I love the sewing machine story!!!
I have had many a love hate relationship with mine....I actually hit it once and called it an idiot.
Kari was 3 at the time and asked "I thought it was a sewing machine why did you call it an idiot?"
Love to read on your projects!

Celestial said...

You are busy busy!

Can't wait to see you on Sat.