Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another case of the Monday's? (Part 1)

If you've ever seen the movie "Office Space" you'll know what I mean by the title of this post(and btw...one of my favorite movies ever!)

Do we really get "cases" of Monday's? Nah. But sometimes it just seems like "one of those days"...so when it happens on a Monday, the start to our work week, the easiest explanation is to blame it on Monday. Poor Monday.

But this week a good portion of corporate America had off on Monday...so my Tuesday is a Monday that started on Monday and therefore all blame defaults to it. To be fair, this case of the Monday's/Tuesday's started many years ago.

When I was a little girl both my mother and grandmother sewed because, let's face it, who didn't sew in the 70s. The 70s were all about sewing and matching blue gingham outfits...at least in my small world. My mom even made my sister and me matching Mickey Mouse print dresses for our trip to Disney one year. Those were the days.

So all my life I've sewed on my mom's Singer. I mostly made Halloween costumes and clothes (I vaguely remember making some M.C. Hammer-style pants, red of course, to wear to a Cure concert...with a hand painted t-shirt that my friend Donna and I made in her mom's dining room...Robert Smith never looked so happy as the way I portrayed him). I digress...

The point is...I knew I would always own a sewing machine. Approximately 10 years ago, my grandmother moved from her home to an independent living facility. Since she was downsizing she gave me her machine, complete with table/cabinet. It was an honor to receive such a nostalgic piece of my childhood. The hours my grandmother and I spent on that machine whenever I would visit...I could start listing project after project...it was heaven.

I brought the machine in for a tune up and was kind of disappointed when they said it would take a few weeks. I patiently waited and picked it up as soon as it was ready. Mind you, I had nothing in mind to sew...but the mere thought that I COULD sew...well, that was something. Of course the best laid plans fell to the wayside and I didn't make anything for quite some time. By the time I did want to make something, I realized the bobbin threading wasn't working properly no matter what I tried. I should have brought it back in for servicing right away...but I didn't. Bad Karen. Some more time went by and I tried the machine again. I used an old piece of felt and everything worked great! I moved on to the actual project and it all fell apart...the bottom bobbin was misbehaving. I was SO upset. I closed the table up again and it sat like that for years.

My tangled yoke was the deal breaker. I knew I wanted to reinforce the button band with ribbon but was afraid the machine would pull one of its notorious stunts. I took every precaution. I knit an extra swatch. I carefully examined the machine and the bobbin threading. I tested on the swatch AND some old felt. The old gal seemed to be working!

Until yesterday afternoon. Hubbins and Ramona were happily watching Sponge Bob and I snuck away to the basement to tackle the button band once and for all. I retested on felt. I moved my chair around until I was comfortable. I brought the needle down into the ribbon and through the yarn, dropped the foot and pressed the peddle to the metal.

About5 inches along I could tell disaster had struck. I pulled the sweater out and lo and behold, SNAGGING all along the underside. I could have cried. I pulled my seam ripper from my notions pouch and started taking out the mess of thread. I got some more felt and the knitted swatch and tested on them again. No problem. Ok, maybe it was a human error. Let's try again. This time the machine seemed to be fine...got to about 9 inches...let's just take a teensy weensy peek...NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Yes, full of "clumping". Fighting back the tears and restraining myself from screaming, I took the sweater and went upstairs, leaving the monster machine in the dark to think about what it had done! Hubbins immediately knew something was wrong. I said "It's either the machine or me...and it might be time for a new machine!" My brain raced...Did I still have the President's Day coupons for AC Moore? How late were they open? How much does a new machine even cost? My head hurt. Bad.

Hubbins to the rescue! "Do you want me to call my mom so you can borrow hers?" OMG - his mom has a machine? How did I never know this?!?! "Yes, please, call her, now, please, thank you, what year is it?" came spilling across my lips. "I dunno. My grandmother bought it for her so it's not that old". [**Hubbins' paternal grandmother was an awesome awesome lady - she passed away several years before I entered the picture so we never met...BUT she had a yarn stash the family tells stories about and she was quite crafty. They say she would have LOVED me like it's no body's business...and I know I would have loved her back].

So Hubbins the Great hopped in the car and drove over to his parents house (1/2 mile away). I sat patiently at the dining room table re-pinning the ribbon in place. A swear a white burst of light shone from behind him when he got back home - hooray for Hubbins and Nana!

I quickly set up the machine, wound a bobbin and prayed. I don't even think I tested on anything...I mean...how much worse could it get? I carefully started sewing and immediately knew things were looking up. I stopped about 6 inches in and the stitching was perfect! I kept going all the way to the end and snipped the thread. Can I have a Hallelujah and an Amen.

...stay tuned for the second installment of this story tomorrow...

Here's a photo of me wearing it at work...just so you know there's a happy ending!

Finished Tangled Yoke


Sarah said...

You are far braver than I. I've only ever put my knitting under the sewing machine once, and that was to reinforce steeks, so it didn't matter if it wasn't perfect. I'm glad to see that it all worked out!

Dora said...

You rock again. Okay we truly must be twins separated at birth. Office Space and The Cure....... Oh my Gosh you are my mirror image.

Now I just want to know WHERE ARE YOUR PIECES OF FLAIR....

choo choo knits said...

They are with my red stapler and TPS reports...of course :o)

Jeannine said...

Wow, what a story...you had me going there! Glad there's a happy ending and you are WEARING it! It's beauti-mous!

MRS MJW said...

Your tangles yoke is lovely. I love the bold color.