Maker’s Dilemma

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Our weeks of more spring-like than wintery weather changed. Yesterday morning, after we were hit with a snowy freeze, I hurried out to toss hay for horses and goats before hurrying inside to warm my gloved-fingers which felt frozen. The current Coronavirus pandemic has encouraged self-isolation. Preparations are one thing but there’s another reality of entire days in limited environments.

I sat knitting on my neck-warmer while listening to TV. Talking heads occasionally grabbed my attention and I lost control of stitches–how many I had created and if they should have been knits or purls. Since this neck warmer is for me to wear, it’s stitches, knits, and purls are relatively unimportant. This garment will be creative and unique. The rub is that knitting correctly calls for following pattern instructions.

One can knit only so long. In the back of my mind was a sewing project. Recently, a pair of jeans that needed hemming forced me to a sewing machine that’s sat unused for years. It’s computerized with selection-choices looking like Greek. I read instructions and went through a long period of trial and error, finally managing to wind a bobbin, load the top thread and get it through a needle. By guessing, I selected a stitch. Finally, those jeans got hemmed.

Stitch choices

Recently driving home and sighting a fabric store, I paused. Having hemmed successfully, why not? Inside, finding an easy skirt pattern, I took a deep breath and waded through materials. I made a selection, found matching thread and elastic for a waistband.

Yesterday, on setting aside my knitting, I turned to sewing. Not having used the sewing machine for several days meant learning all over how to thread and select a stitch. Before using the machine, however, I cut material. After dredging up old memories of cutting to patterns, this simple skirt proved less challenging than a reintroduction to that sewing machine.

Sewing a first long seam was easy, but on starting a second seam, fabric became stuck beneath the presser foot. I bolstered my courage by considering the next steps as learning experiences. I took apart the machine’s needle and pressure works to release the fabric wad.

Pressure foot apparatus

Now my new skirt hangs. It’s in a draft mode, needs a little work to finish. Just a waistband and hem.

Dear Friends: Self-isolating means finding ways to push oneself to alternative activities. Diana

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