24 May, 2009

Toaster vs. Bobbin

Please place your bets now before reading further.

So Toaster has been in an unproductive funk lately that he has been filling with video games and whiskey. This happens from time to time, usually when I'm low on Cookie Power and I'm used to it; it always passes fairly soon. Maybe these periods are just subconscious protective mechanisms to keep me from overclocking too often and burning out. Or perhaps its a visceral reaction whenever I look at the towering stack of papers I mean to read and blog, eventually. Either way, it's no big deal, although it is interesting that, with the help of whiskey, I've entered a stable biphasic sleep schedule where I take a nap of ~2 sleep cycles in the late evening then remain up most of the night, only laying back down at dawn for ~3 sleep cycles before awaking completely refreshed and ready to go. I spent most of last night with my sketchbook trying to break out of this creative ennui and failed to do so, although now my desk is covered in a lovely sheen of eraser shreds.

Anyway, given this state of affairs, I've been trying to get around and finally do some of the chores that I've been putting off. One of these chores is sewing. A particularly irritating consequence of my lanky stature is that clothes very rarely fit me right off of the rack. If I want a shirt that has long enough sleeves, I must buy something that hangs about my torso like a tent while if I want a shirt that doesn't flap about in the wind it is usually far too short. I've even tried those "athletic fit" and "trim fit" shirts and they're almost as bad, just very slightly less so. Dress shirts are especially bad about this. To remedy this, I learned how to sew so that I could take in the excess fabric on the sides of the shirts. I can usually cut out 8" of material and the shirt is still loose. I have several shirts that don't fit well at all and the novelty of flapping them about like I'm a flying squirrel has lost its appeal.

Enter the bobbin.

I had* an old sewing machine from an aunt. I used to know how to use it. Apparently I haven't used it so long that I've completely forgotten the basics of setting it up. I started out with the machine set up completely backwards and then noticed that the bobbin was not threaded through the needle plunger hole thingy. Sewing machines are not meant for large clumsy man hands, so I was sitting there trying to guide the bobbin thread into what I thought was the proper channel with two straight pins. I thought I had it right, and tried starting the machine up only to have a large knot form instantaneously. About a half hour of cleaning knots up and trying to fix things to prevent them from happening ensued. Finally, I RTFMed and in the process managed to slam my thumb in the sewing machine case with the entire weight of the the bastard crashing down on it. RTFMing didn't help much because even after that, even after I'd managed to thread the bobbin and pull the threat through the right part of the machine, the thread started falling off of the needle. I would have the needle threaded, then it would go into the machine and disappear into a lovely new knot, somehow remaining connected to the spool while getting out of the eye of the needle and the other end of the thread in my other hand. Magic shit.

I am ashamed to say that I gave up because it was going nowhere slowly. I mean, who designed this? Even FACSDiva is more intuitive! And then the bobbin ran out of thread, and I didn't want to try to reload it and risk injuring myself in the process. So I wound up hand-stitching shut some of the holes in other shirts (armpit holes, so not worth throwing away yet).

Yeah, the bobbin won.


*Yep: past tense.
**For the noobs among us, RTFM refers to "read the fucking manual" and is commonly used when noobs go to free tech support forums and ask inane questions that could easily be answered if they'd looked in the ware's documentation first.

P.S. - Arikia, you are correct: armwarmers do indeed increase one's typing speed.

1 comment:

Science Bear said...

I had a similar experience before moving to PA. My grandmother taught me to sew a few years previous and due to my incredibly obsessive nature, I decided to make a quilt. I managed to get most of the way through the process (on the machine my grandmother set up) and had to change the bobbin...

I have yet to finish that damn quilt and have since decided a seamstress is out of my list of possible jobs.

Hope you manage to concur the bobbin battle soon! (at least you can hand sew!!!)